Dear Ralph: I just bought a 2006 Arctic Cat F7 and I have about 100 miles on it. When I bought the sled I...

Dear Ralph:
I just bought a 2006 Arctic Cat F7 and I have about 100 miles on it. When I bought the sled I thought to myself “140 horsepower has got to be more than enough!” But honestly, I’m really not impressed with the bottom end performance on this sled.  Taking off uphill it even bogs down like its an Élan, or something! I read another article on your website about F7 compression and it had a few good tips. Is there any other cheap, minor mods that will help with the bottom end and throttle response?  I don’t want to do any major engine mods, and I don’t like clutch kits, but I would definitely play with stock clutching options. Any information you have, or an article you could direct me to would be greatly appreciated.
Mike in Alaska

Way too often guys are looking at complicating what should be very basic. A stock 2006 F7, properly set-up and calibrated, shouldn’t “bog down like an Elan” taking off uphill. Before we start making mods to a package that performs quite well in stock form, let’s make it work like it should in the first place. Because, the sky is the limit when it comes to things we can do to an F7 to make it faster, or whatever.
So, is the sled properly calibrated for the elevation you’re riding? Being from Alaska raises this flag, as we get tons of Alaska questions where sleds are set for sea level operation, but the elevation changes you experience make sleds run like crap. If you’re riding at anything over 2000 feet elevation and the sled is set up for sea level, it will progressively run worse as you get higher.
The drive belt is the first place to be looking, things like deflection and ride height. We talk about this all the time, but guys don’t consider the easy and obvious and instead want to start dicking with the sled instead and actually complicate things far worse. You must cover the basics before rendering your warranty void. Since it has only 100 miles on it, have you consulted with your dealer? It is still under warranty, so if it isn’t working properly why not give them the opportunity to make it right before you do something that burns the bridge of warranty coverage?
The Diamond Drive gearing on these models is really tall, so you might need to consider a gearing change if you’re at any kind of elevation as well. Normally, a low end bog on an EFI unit is drive belt, clutching and gearing related. Get all of these verified and calibrated properly and go from there.
The secondary belt adjuster is a cheap plastic piece that wanders around. Get a aluminum one that stays in the same place so your belt ride height keeps the system in the right start shift ratio. We install an Injector Perfector in every Cat EFI we have, simply to reduce the fuel being delivered and to improve the range and it definitely wakes up the entire range of throttle response. Usually it is good for a couple MPH across the entire powerband. Again, past that the sky is the limit. There is no reason it shouldn’t work acceptably well in stock form if set up properly for your elevation.

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