To call this hard part from Racewerx a “bumper” sells it short because it’s more than just a bumper — it’s also a skid plate.
Judging by its design and heavy-duty construction, this piece of snowmobile body armor seems like it could stand up well to a buried stump or rock. Racewerx’s bumper extends underneath to protect the bulkhead and it’s made from a grade of quarter-inch thick aluminum that’s commonly used to manufacture pressure tanks and boat hulls. Heavy-duty Huck rivets fasten it to the machine for a mount that feels sturdy as an Old West bank vault.
The Mountain Version we tested offers extra front-end protection with wings that flare out to the side. Styling of the Racewerx bumper/skid plate coordinates well with the angular design of Arctic Cat’s new ProCross snowmobiles, so it ties in nicely for a factory-like appearance. The center grab tube is reminiscent of a sport quad’s front bumper. It’s a sturdy place to lift, but at only 6 inches wide, there isn’t enough space for two hands grab on.
Just like automobiles have crumple zones that absorb energy and protect occupants, side plates of Racewerx bumpers — the parts that are riveted to the bulkhead — are designed to reduce damage to the snowmobile. And a cool feature of the bumper’s multi-part design is that components can be removed and replaced when damaged.
Installation took several hours. The bumper kit consists of a bunch of hardware and six separate parts that need to be assembled over the course of about 20 steps laid out in the instructions. Photographs within the instructions and better descriptions of which piece of hardware should be used in each step would have made assembly and installation easier and faster. Racewerx deserves a high-five for making its bumper fit so well, though.
With many parts and presumably different tolerances between Arctic Cat and Racewerx, it must have been a big challenge to make the bumper’s components align with the snowmobile’s parts. For example, rivets on both sides of the snowmobile had to be drilled out so the Racewerx bumper could be riveted to the sled through those holes. Surprisingly, all eight holes in the bumper lined up nearly perfectly with the holes in the snowmobile so the rivets slid in without having to auger out the holes or do any heavy duty prying and coercing to make them fit.