2020 Arctic Cat 2020 Arctic Cat
Arctic Cat has experienced great success with their Alpha One monorail mountain sleds, and this feature is going to be maximized for being unique... 2020 Arctic Cat

Arctic Cat has experienced great success with their Alpha One monorail mountain sleds, and this feature is going to be maximized for being unique and special. That’s why it should be no surprise to see the Alpha One monorail on ALL of the Arctic Cat mountain sleds for 2020.

2020 Arctic Cat Hardcore Alpha One
2020 Arctic Cat M Hardcore Alpha One

There are now three Alpha One models to choose from in two track lengths; the M Hardcore Alpha One, the M Mountain Cat Alpha One, and the M Alpha One. Each one is offered in 154” or 165” lengths, all with 3” PowerClaw tracks. The ONLY engine option is the C-TEC2 8000 two-stroke. These are the ONLY Mountain sleds being offered for 2020 from Arctic Cat.

2020 Arctic Cat Mountain Cat Alpha One
2020 Arctic Cat M Mountain Cat Alpha One

            One of the biggest voids in the Arctic Cat line-up for the past five years has been the lack of a true crossover sled. For 2020 we finally get to see the all-new 146” RIOT and RIOT X models, fitted with a torsion-spring Cross-Action 146” rear suspension that combines an un-coupled rear arm with a Slide Action front arm. These sleds are aimed directly at the heart of the popular crossover market.

2020 Arctic Cat RIOT RIOT X
2020 Arctic Cat RIOT 146″
2020 Arctic Cat RIOT X
2020 Arctic Cat RIOT X 146″

The RIOT and RIOT X are similar, yet different. The RIOT is more of a trail sled with a lower lug track, the RIOT X is more of an off-trail sled with a deeper lug track. Each one is offered with two shock packages to choose from. All RIOT models are fitted with ProClimb-7 G2 mountain skis, electric start and a tall mountain seat.

2020 Arctic Cat RIOT

The RIOT is being called the “Perfect 50/50 Crossover Machine”. It is fitted with an all-new ARS II Front Suspension, a Laydown Steering Post and your choice of the crossover style Cobra 1.35” or Cobra 1.6” track. The C-TEC2 8000 comes in Green or Charcoal, where the C-TEC2 6000 engine only comes in Charcoal. Shock options depend on the machine color, with Green being the premium package and Charcoal being the standard package. The ARS II Front Suspension has adjustable FOX 1.5 ZERO QS3 ski shocks (Green) or Arctic Cat IFP 1.5 (non-adjustable) ski shocks (Charcoal). In the rear, you get adjustable FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3 rear track shocks (Green) or Arctic Cat IFP 2.0 (non-adjustable) rear track shocks (Charcoal). The RIOT has adjustable 42-43” ski stance (subject to change, we’re seeing two specifications here).

2020 Arctic Cat RIOT

The RIOT X is more off-trail oriented, allowing you to cross over into the steeper and deeper conditions. It is fitted with the Arctic Mountain Front Suspension, a Vertical Steering Post and a Challenger 2.0” (or PEAK 2.25”, we’re also seeing two specs on this one) lug height track with angular lugs. Your only engine choice is the C-TEC2 8000 engine. Once again we have Green and Charcoal shock packages. The Mountain Front Suspension comes with adjustable FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3 coil-over ski shocks (Green) or Arctic Cat IFP 1.5 non-adjustable ski shocks (Charcoal). Both colors come with adjustable FOX 2.0 ZERO QS3 coil-over rear shocks in the CROSS-ACTION Rear Suspension. The RIOT X has adjustable 39.5-41.5” ski stance and an adjustable 39.5-41.5” ski stance.

2020 Arctic Cat RIOT

            The ZR portion of the Arctic Cat line-up has been seriously trimmed and tweaked for 2020. We now have far fewer models with the 129” track length totally gone. The 9000-Series turbo only comes in the Thundercat, with or without iACT shocks. The ZR RR only comes with the 8000 engine, but there is a ZR R XC with a 6000 engine (same sled, smaller engine and different name). The ZR Limited comes with or without the iACT shock package in both 6000 and 8000 engine sizes. The ZR Sno Pro comes in both 6000 and 8000 engine sizes. All of these are 137” track length sleds and all come with the new ARS II front end.  

2020 Arctic Cat ZR6000 LTD 137" with iAct
2020 Arctic Cat ZR6000 LTD 137″ with iAct

            Past this, there is only the ZR 120, ZR 200, a single Bearcat XT and a Lynx 2000 in two track lengths. That’s it. Taking a page from Yamaha’s move last year, Arctic Cat has enough of the “other” models in their dealer network so it was time to perform some “inventory correction”. There are no Panteras, no Crosstours, no XFs. There are no M 6000s, no turbo Ms, no 7000-Series models, no Norseman, and of course no 129” ZR sleds. The ONLY 4-strokes left are the two versions of the Thundercat, that’s it. Let that one sink in for a moment. This is serious model reduction, but really, it was getting out of hand.

2020 Arctic Cat ZR Thundercat
2020 Arctic Cat Thundercat

            Textron appears to be quite serious about making Arctic Cat, both dirt and snow divisions, quite profitable to meet their expectations. They’re taking the steps they believe are required to make this happen. They’ll likely make a few mistakes along the way, but they’re determined to make it happen.

Cross-Action Rear Suspension

2020 Arctic Cat RIOT

The new CROSS-ACTION Rear Suspension blends the increased weight transfer of an uncoupled rear arm with the optimal cornering and bump absorption of a SLIDE-ACTION front arm. The result is a playful ride quality, for great performance in all snow conditions.

ARS II Front Suspension

2020 Arctic Cat ARS Front Suspension

The Arctic Race Suspension II – developed on the racetrack – delivers improved handling, with increased cornering bite and ground clearance. All-new forged aluminum spindles are taller from the ski to the lower A-arm, and new lightweight upper A-arms are more rigid, with revised geometry that delivers a new roll-center and adjustable camber.

Check out the Spring Issue of SnowTech (Early March) for more info on the 2020 Arctic Cats. .Subscribe Here

  • Tim Spencer

    February 23, 2019 #1 Author

    Another website failure for Cat and its leadership team from Textron. Lack of a 850 or better engine and the reduction in models shows a sign of change. The spring only order system they are telling dealers means if you do not snow check one you will not get one.. Way to go cat!!! Sad times at TRF

  • Mark

    February 23, 2019 #2 Author

    Tim, I agree with you. Website crashed and failed from AC, the 850 is not available but I saw on youtube from a dealer saying that the 800 they have has increased HP by 5 HP and is equal to 850. And yeah, I agree that the spring order really sucks. Because now, after April 30, no one will be able to order 2020s! This means dealers are going to have to be smarter by ordering the 2020s more than than get from customers and then turn around and sell at very high value priced sleds from May 1st on.

  • Mike

    February 24, 2019 #3 Author

    The new manangement at Textron sees that they are not maximizing profit so they are changing their business plan. I don’t have market statistics but I bet spring check sales are only a small part of sales for most manufacturers.

  • Akrider

    February 24, 2019 #4 Author

    Snow check only is a really stupid business plan. After my experience in the past 30 years with ordering sleds in the spring and then having a low snow winter…. sitting around looking at your expensive sled sit in your shop because you can’t ride it isn’t any fun. Besides that, paying a premium in the spring and then seeing the same sled for sale at a big discount that following winter doesn’t sit well with me. It looks like Cat will be missing out on a bunch of sled sales during the winter with this idioctic plan.

  • John

    February 26, 2019 #5 Author

    I am surprised to see the four stroke only available in two Thundercats. No other models. I thought that the 4 stroke was helping to keep Cat and Yamaha in the business. Is this a bad sign for one or both manufacturers? I hope not.

  • Ponoka Pete

    February 26, 2019 #6 Author

    Build what sells and is in high demand 1st. But don’t miss the boat by having too many holes in your lineup either. IMHO they should have kept the M6000 Alpha and a couple of dual rail M’s (153″ and 162″) with 2.6″ Powerclaw tracks. For the deep snow crowd who ride pipelines and also go to the mountains. (A 146″ just doesn’t cut it out west). Probably should have kept a ZR 129″ too.

  • Steve

    February 26, 2019 #7 Author

    Not a fan of spring order only . Buying something I saw a picture of at the cost of sleds today. The riot was almost a good idea but a 146” track don’t sound like trail to me. But I would have to buy one this April to maybe find out in December. Hope they don’t force the to walk into a Polaris dealer and look at an 850 xcr switchback and decide to buy it

  • Steve Hayward

    February 28, 2019 #8 Author

    Spring order systems allow a company to build the most efficiently and will help to make sure your favourite brand is going to stay in business. Right now with ballooning inventories programs/price reductions etc. spiraling costs will erode the corporation’s viability. Hey I love a great deal. I also want a company to be there with service. parts and a good warranty. Let’s face it everyone, Arctic Cat was bankrupt again and have been bailed out. If this doesn’t work out, they will be like Rupp, Kawasaki, Mercury, and a hundred other brands gone as well Yamaha isn’t building their own chassis anymore. Their agreement with Arctic Cat may be on the ropes. . Perhaps the market really is the “Big Three”

  • Charlie

    April 16, 2019 #9 Author

    Wow lot of complaints here. I read a number of uninformed complainers. 1) you are not paying a premium on these Spring sleds, they are discounted nicely, NOTHING RVEN COME CLOSE PRICE Wise… 2) There has been do many demos with this line up, And numerous videos, if you did not get to ride one, or watch the numerous test drives and ask questions it is your own fault. 3) Dealers purchase numerous Spring onlys ever year, not to mention, customers lose their deposits, and dealers end up with sleds every year.. Point is , the earth is not shattering, they are trying to make money and give both customer and dealers. Something that benefits both. They did it lowered overhead for dealers, got customers new tech, at awesome prices…Open y o ur minds..thanks. Charlie

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