For several years we have been asking for a snowmobile manufacturer to “rebuild the pyramid”.
Let us explain. Since the introduction of the very first snowmobile, technology and capability has progressed and advanced. Slowly but surely, with each passing year the machines became more powerful & faster, fitted with ever improving suspensions and growing lists of standard features. But as this advancement occurred, the sleds got bigger, heavier, more intimidating and more expensive. They became expert machines for expert riders. The number of people truly qualified and able to purchase such specialized equipment slowly got smaller and smaller – the upper end of the pyramid.
At some point you need to start over, go back to where you came from. Somebody has to stop and rebuild the base of the pyramid. Offer a simpler, lower cost machine that isn’t so big, isn’t so intimidating, isn’t so fast, isn’t so expensive. Something for younger and/or less experienced riders to embrace. Something that will appeal to the masses and bring a new group of riders into the sport. But at the same time be fun enough that it can still be enjoyed by all.
Smaller, lighter, less powerful, less expensive. But still fun to ride, right? Like, it has to be a total BLAST to ride, right? We do ride these things to have fun, right?
Here it is, Arctic Cat’s latest attempt at building the mythical mid-sized snowmobile. For real, it does exist. Lighter weight, easy handling and maneuverability are what this is all about, with a size that aims to allow more riders the ability to capture more thrills. We’ve been telling you for years that Arctic Cat was working on something like this and they finally had the vision to make it happen. The 2021 Arctic Cat BLAST snowmobiles. Smaller, lighter, less powerful, less expensive and a BLAST to ride!
2021 Arctic Cat BLAST
Arctic Cat’s model year 2021 marks another milestone in the history of the company with the introduction of BLAST, a new mid-size snowmobile offering three different models and technologies with performance at a value.
BLAST is being positioned as an entry-level option for the customer looking for a sub-$10,000 sled, or for the experienced rider who wants an easier-to-ride snowmobile that is a blast to ride. The 2021 BLAST line includes the trail-friendly BLAST ZR 4000, deep snow mountain sled BLAST M 4000 with ALPHA ONE Single-Beam Rear Suspension and sport-utility BLAST LT 4000 mid-size model.
At the heart of the BLAST models is the industry’s first electronic fuel-injected, single-cylinder, 2-stroke engine — the 65+ HP-class C-TEC2 4000. Basically, a 400cc 2-stroke single with fuel injection and a 3-stage power valve – half of an 800 engine. Mated to the smaller and lighter chassis this new package hopes to satisfy riders and will attempt to deliver enough power for the experienced rider, while also having silky-smooth and controllable power delivery for a new rider. The models feature an Arctic Drive System now with a CVTech Trailbloc drive clutch and CVTech Invance driven clutch to deliver power to the snow.
To complement the engine, the all-new, mid-size chassis is said to be lightweight at just over 400 pounds (according to Arctic Cat), delivering reduced-effort maneuverability at any skill level. The new, mid-size seat is claimed to “make it simple for the rider to transfer weight when cornering”. How is this possible? We don’t know, perhaps through a shorter design for smaller riders. To keep the sleds lightweight, Arctic Cat equipped them with the same Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS) found on full-size mountain sleds, and hydraulic twin tube shocks – front and rear – to provide bump absorption. Nothing fancy here, just good old simplicity.
The BLAST models do feature electric start so the rider can just turn the key and go, no more pulling on a rope like a weed whacker. The vehicles’ digital instrumentation provides standard data, while hand and thumb warmers aim to provide an enjoyable experience in colder temperatures. To work or play all day, the sleds have a generous 11.7-gallon fuel tank. The new, sleek bodywork is clearly Arctic Cat styling, freshly revised for the mid-size package.
“Arctic Cat is back in a big way,” said Craig Kennedy, Vice President, Arctic Cat. “The 2021 lineup is a true testament of our dedication to the snowmobile industry, our customers and the brand. Our engineering team in Thief River Falls has been working tirelessly to create innovative new products that appeal to not only today’s snowmobile rider, but tomorrow’s potential enthusiast.”
Riders will enjoy much of the same technology found in BLAST’s full-size counterparts, such as the Arctic Drive System and Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS); the mountain version also features the revolutionary ALPHA ONE suspension system. And with a smaller chassis, these models claim to offer handling that is easy to maneuver and fun to drive. The BLAST lineup is designed and manufactured at the Arctic Cat plant in Thief River Falls, Minnesota and the engine is built in Arctic Cat’s St. Cloud, Minnesota engine manufacturing facility. They are being offered for pre-order only, with delivery late next summer or early fall of 2021. Contact your local Arctic Cat dealer to order.
Single-Cylinder 2-Stroke EFI Engine
With an industry-first design that’s compact and lightweight (under 50 pounds), this 400-class (397cc) two-stroke single-cylinder engine with electronic fuel injection and 3-stage exhaust port modifier (power valve) system delivers improved throttle response and better overall engine performance. The big single is rated at 65+ HP-class performance, nowhere near half the power of the 800cc twin. A counter-balance shaft eliminates most engine vibration.
BLAST ZR 4000
The BLAST ZR 4000 is designed to be a mid-size trail sled for the whole family. Whether the rider is moving up from a youth model or an adult who wants a fun, lightweight, easy-to-ride sled, the BLAST ZR 4000 should open up the possibilities for even more riders to enjoy the sport.
The BLAST ZR 4000 claims to be a mid-size trail package. Looking at the images it might be closer to a 7/8 size sled than a true 3/4 sized sled. Up front the AMS front suspension offers 7.2 inches of front travel, an adjustable 37.5-38.5-inch ski stance and is equipped with 6-inch wide trail skis. In back, the slide-rail suspension with dual hydraulic twin tube shocks and adjustable torsion springs provides 10.7 inches of rear travel. A 121” track is narrower at 14” wide for agile handling with 1” lug height for traction in various conditions. The model also features a sporty 4” low-height windshield, cool looking but lacking in rider protection.
The BLAST ZR 4000 is available in two color choices – Medium Green/Dynamic Charcoal and Blue/White – both priced at $7,695 US ($10,095 CDN).
BLAST M 4000
Built for the new mountain rider but still a blast in the backcountry for the experienced rider, the new BLAST M 4000 combines the DNA of the full-size M 8000 models with a smaller stature and mill, offering a fun deep-snow experience.
Similar to its full-sized counterparts, the BLAST M 4000 features the Arctic Mountain Suspension (AMS) with lightweight spindles and mountain-specific suspension geometry. The front suspension has 7.2 inches of travel, an adjustable 37-39-inch ski stance and is equipped with 7-inch G2 ProClimb skis for predictable handling in all conditions and deep-snow flotation. In back, the proven ALPHA Single-Beam Rear Suspension with twin tube hydraulic shocks provides 12-inches of travel to prevent bottoming out, and agility beyond traditional 2-rail sleds. The 146” Challenger track with 2” lug height provides all-around performance and great traction. The model also features a 4” low-height windshield.
The BLAST M 400 is available in four color choices – Dynamic Charcoal/Orange ($8,095 USD/$10,595 CDN) and a special limited edition Camo/White/Fire Red in one of three options – your choice of American Flag, Canadian Flag or standard Camo/White/Fire Red – priced at $8,195 USD ($10,695 CDN).
BLAST LT 4000
Bigger isn’t always better, and the BLAST LT 4000 is the perfect mid-size sled for the cabin owner, outdoorsman or small business owner who needs a reliable work partner. The BLAST LT 4000’s mid-size lightweight chassis makes it easier to maneuver than full size sleds when hauling or towing for less driver fatigue during those long workdays. Its 4000 engine has enough brawn to take on the task at hand, and its value price is attractive to those customers who contemplated a sport utility snowmobile but were hesitant about a full-size price tag.
The BLAST LT 4000 has an AMS front suspension with 7.2 inches of travel, an adjustable 37.5-38.5-inch ski stance and is equipped with 6-inch trail skis. The utilitarian XTRA-ACTION Rear Suspension provides 12.5 inches of travel, and features dual twin tube shocks and adjustable torsion springs to help when carrying loads. A 146-inch Cobra track with 1.6-inch lug provides the perfect grip for a wide variety of tasks. The model also features a 15.5-inch windshield to better protect the rider from the elements.
The BLAST LT 4000 is available in one color – Red/Dynamic Charcoal – priced at $8,095 USD ($10,595 CDN).
2021 Pre-Order ONLY
Arctic Cat’s Snowmageddon pre-order only sales event returns for 2021. All 2021 Arctic Cat snowmobiles are available by pre-order only through the Snowmageddon event. This means Arctic Cat dealers are now becoming delivery, service and accessory centers as they will have little to zero brand new snowmobiles for sale right off their showroom floor. You order the sled in the Spring and take delivery in the Fall from your local dealer, the same as always.
This year Arctic Cat has lengthened the order window as they are announcing their vehicles earlier in the season. This year they also plan to provide more demo opportunities to consumers. The big change from tradition continues to be you can only pre-order for next year, not take delivery of the sled right then and there after a demo ride. This way dealers do not have to stock inventory, nor does the factory need to guess at how many sleds they should build for next year as all sleds are built to pre-order and are therefore already sold. If every sled you build is sold for profit you should remain strong. While this approach might leave some money on the table through lost sales, it does however guarantee a certain level of profit and sustainability. Less risk & less gain, but a very predictable outcome. Again, the ONLY way to get a 2021 Arctic Cat is to pre-order one – according to Arctic Cat.