There is only one Haydays, the largest gathering of snowmobile enthusiasts in the world. And for the 49th Annual event, Arctic Cat celebrated the “Official Start to Winter” by releasing two new Team Arctic ZR 6000 Race Sleds (ZR 6000 R SX and ZR 6000 R XC) that will hit the track this November. In addition, Arctic Cat teased the crowd with a very brief showing of an all-new “Snow Vehicle” that will have additional details unveiled in the coming months.
Arctic Cat reps were fairly tight-lipped about any firm details surrounding the new machine, such as when it would be available. They stated that the snow vehicle was being unveiled at Haydays to provide a glimpse into the future, keeping true to their commitment to their company vision to deliver “The Ultimate Off-Road Riding Experience”.
Brad Darling, Arctic Cat’s VP/GM of Snowmobile, PG&A, and International Sales stated, “The suspension system on our new snow vehicle has been a joint project with Camoplast for the past three years.”
Darling went on to say, “It’s Arctic Cat’s goal to provide a new riding experience to a category of snow lovers that want the lightest, most affordable vehicle for the mountain market. We’re announcing the Arctic Cat SVX 450 and you can expect further details in the coming months!”
So in the very brief few minutes the vehicle was on display, this is we were able to glean from the opportunity – the track system had been developed with Camso (formerly Camoplast) appearing to sport a full tunnel. The bike itself appears to possibly be a Sherco 450 – a little-known French builder of dirt bikes.
For 2015 the French brand has just added the 450cc model to their dirt bike model line. It features an all-new and incredibly compact 450cc engine had been in development for three years. The 450cc engine is a very cool motor, with the highlight being in how compact it is. The motor weighs in at under 65 pounds, with electric start. It features a unique camshaft gear drive system, which operates from one large chain-driven gear transferring the motion to the cams, rather than the chain wrapping around each of the two camshaft gears. The piston is a double-bridge unit using Formula 1 technology.
Fuel is fed via a Synerject Fuel Injection System. Engine braking is controlled at different levels depending on engine capacity for optimum feeling while riding. Basically, it uses a “stepper” system which controls small bursts of fuel charge when you shut the throttle to reduce engine braking and gives the bike a fantastic level of control in corner entry, as the consistent feel when both on and off the gas inspires confidence and balance from the chassis without any diving.
Of course, all of this is speculation at this point in time. But one thing is for sure – the snowmobile manufacturers are eying the increasing popularity of snow-bike style snow vehicles and they do not want to get left out in the snow dust. Hopefully they will also seriously consider the dual-ski X2 front suspension system from Raptor Performance, now featured on the CMX Bike Kit from Crazy Mountain Motorsports, for the control, confidence and predictability it adds to such vehicles.
From the November 2015 issue of SnowTech Magazine – Mailed in Mid September 2015
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