The trails haven’t even opened yet, but Arctic Cat is moving forward and changing the way they’ve done things in the past by releasing limited information on some (not all) of their 2021 line-up. You read that right, they’re already showing us some of their 2021 snowmobiles – in October!
Arctic Cat’s pre-order “Snowmageddon” program for selling snowmobiles was very successful for their 2020 line-up, so the 2021 line-up will again follow the likes of the 2020 line-up and be offered on a pre-order basis only. You read that right, if you want a new Arctic Cat you have to pre-order. But, different from last year is how both consumers and dealers will now have more time to make their purchase decisions – as the Snowmageddon program for the 2021 build will be launching in about a month (November), continuing through April 18th, 2020.
So, before you even get to ride your brand new 2020 Arctic Cat they are going to show you next year’s sleds and start taking orders for the following year. That does change things!
Again, Arctic Cat is only giving us a glimpse into their 2021 line-up right now. You will not see all of their exciting new product innovations for Model Year 2021 until mid-November.
Even so, showing their hand at such an early date is highly unusual. Consider the fact their entire 2020 build is sold, so by releasing information early they are not stalling the sale of any current units on dealer’s showroom floors. Unless, of course, you happen to be a dealer that ordered some extra units to have for sale while there was snow on the ground, but in Arctic Cat’s eyes those units are already sold.
Another change for 2021 is how Arctic Cat will be offering discounted accessory kits for nearly every one of their 2021 models. The kits will have reduced pricing when compared to buying each of the accessories individually. Another new program is called “Give Your Cat an Extra Life,” which is a kit to extend the life of your current Arctic Cat while you wait for your 2021. Customers who pre-order before December 31 will receive a discount on the kit of their choice. Items in the kit include new carbides & hyfax, ski rubbers and two new bearings for the steering column.
Yet another change is a new customer loyalty program. Any customer who pre-orders a 2021 snowmobile will be part of a new Arctic Cat customer group. Existing members of “Cat’s Pride” or “Team 2020” will be grandfathered into the new owner’s group. There will be more information to come on this new customer group in the future.
Arctic Cat has provided some details on many of their popular models for 2021, but again this is not all of what is coming – according to Arctic Cat. One additional clue they have provided is that they will be coming with “one of the most exciting new products lineups we’ve ever released – designed to expand the entire snowmobile market.” This alone leads one to believe there will be a new model or segment of machine coming to fulfill the “expand the market” statement. If true, that would really be exciting!
So, from a product launch timing perspective Arctic Cat is making a huge shift in the way things have been done in the past, and they also aim to quickly squash the rumors that Arctic Cat is going away and end all the speculation. They firmly believe that this model year will show you that Cat is back!
2021 Arctic Cat Changes & Updates
This is what we know so far about the changes and updates to the 2021 line-up from Arctic Cat. More detail are said to be coming in about a month (mid-November) when all of the info on their 2021 line-up is expected to be released!
2021 Arctic Cat Norseman X
Back by popular demand, the Norseman X has returned to the Arctic Cat line-up for Model Year 2021. It’s built to tackle any job or any task with its standard tow hitch and tunnel bag, and riding it is made even easier with the electric start feature. New for 2021, the Norseman X now comes equipped with updated 4” single carbide runners for more responsive steering, in turn making the riders feel more in control.
2021 Arctic Cat M 8000 Mountain Cat & M 8000 Hardcore Alpha One
The kings of the mountain continue to conquer the backcountry with the revolutionary ALPHA ONE single-beam rear suspension. For Model Year 2021, Arctic Cat will continue to use their industry-leading heat exchanger system, which minimizes snow build up on the chassis, running boards, and rear suspension to ensure solid footing and drastically reduces snow weight carried on the machine in the backcountry.
For 2021 we find revised calibrations on all FOX QS3/ QSL shocks and springs for improved big bump absorption – something that was needed based on our testing of the 2020 models.
In addition, all models come with standard Alpha snow/ice scratchers for cooling and lubrication, and a revised engine mounting system utilizing a carbon fiber TCL (Torsion Control Link) for a 2.5 pound weight savings with improved engine vibration damping.
2021 Arctic Cat ZR 6000 & ZR 8000
For model year 2020, Arctic Cat introduced their ARS II Front Suspension on the ZR trail performance models. This upgrade provides added ski pressure that creates confidence inspiring steering and increased ground clearance, along with a revised slide action skid with increased front arm travel for improved big bump absorption.
Those features return on the 2021 models. Two new features found for 2021 include a revised engine mounting system utilizing a carbon fiber TCL (Torsion Control Link) for a 2.5 pound weight savings with improved engine vibration damping, along with new carbide runners. The previous 11” dual runner carbides have been replaced by a 17” single carbide runner to provide more responsive steering.
2021 Arctic Cat Riot 8000
Arctic Cat’s 50/50 crossover Riot was introduced for 2020. This came equipped with the new ARS II Front Suspension and a new uncoupled Cross-Action rear suspension to balance on-trail ski pressure with off-trail transfer and smooth bump absorption. Updates for the 2021 Riot include the revised engine mounting system utilizing a carbon fiber TCL (Torsion Control Link) for a 2.5 pound weight savings with improved engine vibration damping and the 17” single runner carbides to provide even more responsive steering and less pushing in corners.
2021 Arctic Cat ZR 120
The ZR 120 continues to deliver outstanding performance for first-time snowmobile riders. New for 2021, the front ski/shock assembly will provide 5 spring adjustment settings, which can be easily adjusted by the twist of a knob as the rider grows. Adjustment allows for up to a 50% increase in spring stiffness, from the base setting to the top most setting. The spring adjustment settings can be changed with the use of an accessory tool available for purchase, part number #0644-658.
2021 Arctic Cat ZR 200
A top seller and clear standout in the Arctic Cat lineup, the ZR 200, built for young riders, continues to deliver outstanding performance. All 2021 ZR 200 models will come with both a new front and rear shock assemblies, which provide 5 spring adjustment settings. These settings can be easily adjusted with a twist of a knob as the rider grows. Adjustment allows for up to a 50% increase in spring stiffness from the base setting to the top most setting. The spring adjustment settings can be changed with an accessory available for purchase, part number #0644-658.
The rear suspension has also been redesigned to reduce weight by reducing the number of parts and provide an enhanced, more refreshed look.
2021 Arctic Cat ATAC Suspension
Arctic Cat’s iACT adjustable suspension feature has been renamed to ATAC – Arctic Technology Adjustable to Conditions. This suspension system allows the rider to independently adjust the front and rear suspension in less than 0.5 seconds without ever having to take their hands off the handlebars. It also allows them to program to separate Driver 1 and Driver 2 settings for quicker on-the-fly adjustments. This technology is available on the following pre-released models:
* ZR 6000 137 ES LTD ATAC
* ZR 8000 137 ES LTD ATAC
* ZR 9000 137 Thundercat ATAC