Dear Ralph: I have a 2007 Arctic Cat F-1000. I am not real happy with the stock track, so I want to replace it...

Dear Ralph:
I have a 2007 Arctic Cat F-1000. I am not real happy with the stock track, so I want to replace it with a Ripsaw 128” x 15” x 1.25”. I am not going ice dragging with it, 98% of my riding is on groomed trails and the rest is racing my buddies across the lake. The dealers tell me I’m nuts for even thinking of changing it, but I had one on my ’02 800 and it made a huge difference in lose snow with just 96 picks down the middle. I know there is a pound or two difference in weight and I may lose a little on the big end, but I don’t think so. So what’s the big deal?
Also, if I remember right you guys had an article on what all needed to be changed in the rear idlers? Spacers, or something?
What do ya’ think, am I nuts?
Tim Madden

No, I don’t think you’re nuts at all. We had the same reaction to the stock tracks used on the 2007 F-Series models, they were adequate but not as good as a Ripsaw. They’re good for top end and good for packed trails and the 1” lug height is preferable for studding due to the lower lug height, but ideally I would also choose a Ripsaw as my first track choice. The difference in top speed will be minimal, 2-3 mph at most would be my guess.
Why would dealers tell you you’re nuts? Possibly because they think a sled with this much power should have no less than 144 studs, with many telling you 168-192 is even better, and if you’re going to be installing that many studs then the shorter 1” lug height and resulting shorter stud length would be preferable. No doubt. But, like you stated, you’re not going ice racing with it, 98% of your riding is on groomed trails. Knowing this, I agree with you that the Ripsaw would be a better all-around choice for traction, acceleration side-bite, and loose snow performance, while maintaining outstanding top speed and reduced rotating mass, all with a good history of durability. Warranty claims have been minimal with the Ripsaw pattern, it’s a really good track.
There will be some who would balk at the price to make the change, and question the performance gain for the dollar. Only you can answer this question, as you would have to figure in the total cost of getting the new track installed minus what you can get for your old track. I personally believe it would be worth it if you ride a couple thousand miles.
Yes, the 2007 F-Series sleds had narrower tracks, which allowed owners to install the narrower 14” tracks for top speed gains. Look closely at the width of the drive lugs inside of the track, on the outer belts. The rear axle and spacers are shorter to let this happen. To install a Ripsaw you would need to install the longer axle and spacers from a Jaguar Z1 (according to the track experts at Tracks USA). Very simple and inexpensive.
Or, one other option could be to try the new Cobra 1.25” track that Arctic Cat is fitting their 2008 SnoPro models with. Assuming Arctic Cat is still using the narrow drive lugs, the Arctic Cat version of the Cobra track might drop right in without any axle and spacer changes. We haven’t tested this new track, but it should be worth consideration.

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