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Cat Unveils Longer, Quicker, Lighter Snocross Sled For 2018

Snow Goer staff
2018 Arctic Cat ZR 6000R SX

The 2018 Arctic Cat ZR 6000R SX is said to be lighter, faster, longer and quicker.

On Saturday Arctic Cat continued what has become a Haydays tradition – it unveiled new snowmobiles at the sport’s biggest event in North Branch, Minnesota.

For 2018, the new sleds unveiled were Cat’s two race sleds for the coming season, and Cat’s snocross and cross-country racers and race fans have a lot to be intrigued by. Starting with the snocross sled, the 2018 ZR 6000R SX will come with a longer track and rear suspension, revised front suspension, new shocks, a new top-end on the engine and new bodywork that covers a new upper chassis support structure. It goes along with other big updates offered by Polaris and Ski-Doo in the 600 snocross class, as changes in race rules have the factories putting updates on the stock snowmobile that used to be dedicated only to the Pro Open snowmobiles raced by the top teams.

All totaled, Cat officials said the 2018 race sled would: 

  • Be 20 pounds lighter than the race sled it replaces;
  • Quicker off the starting line and in mid-range, due to a new cylinders, new mapping, new exhaust valves and new reeds that offer 15 percent more horsepower and torque down low; 
  • Offer more clearance and better handling due to revised front suspension geometry; 
  • Handle small bumps better due to a larger Fox 2.0 Zero C front track shock while maintaining bottoming resistance; 
  • Be easier to move around on, due to a new upper chassis support structure and smaller body work that goes around in; and 
  • Shift better due to new TEAM TS-273 driven clutch and a tubular driven shaft that are lighter. READ ABOUT THE NEW 2018 SKI-DOO RACE SLED HEREREAD ABOUT THE NEW 2018 POLARIS RACE SLED HERE

Below is the press release from Arctic Cat. 

The Ultimate Snocross Race Weapon

Arctic Cat is aiming an all-new 2018 ZR 6000R SX snocross race machine at the top step of the podium this season thanks to a wide array of technological improvements that deliver improved handling, greater predictability in rough conditions, optimal ergonomics and better throttle response.

The result of an intense effort by the Arctic Cat Engineering and Race Departments, the 2018 ZR 6000R SX snocross machine is new from nose-totail, with more than 350 new parts compared to the previous year.

Arctic Cat Race Sled

The cockpit on the 2018 Arctic Cat ZR 6000R SX will be roomier, though it will include new foot enclosures on the running boards.

“Many of the improvements we’ve made to the 2018 ZR 6000R SX were inspired and proven by the Pro Open snocross sleds raced by Tucker Hibbert and Logan Christian during the past several years,” said Brian Dick, Arctic Cat High Performance/Race Product Team Manager. “In fact, both racers played a big role in the testing and development of the new sled and, after some late spring testing, confirmed the huge improvements we were aiming for.”

It starts with a longer 15- by 136- by 1.75-inch snoross track and revised Slide-Action rear suspension that deliver improved traction for holeshots and acceleration, greater straight-line stability on a rough race course and improved traction while braking. A new rail profile places 6-inches more rail contact on the snow (compared to the previous 129-inch track) for improved bump compliance and reduced bottoming on the chassis.

It’s matched by the new ARS front suspension that features increased caster, adjustable camber and increased ground clearance. The result is significantly improved handling that’s more predictable and confidence-inspiring, as well as increased cornering bite.

Racers will appreciate a full-range of ergonomic improvements to the new ZR 6000R SX, including a new lightweight seat design that works in concert with a new, ultra-compact 3 gallon fuel tank, Next Gen side panel bodywork and a new console to allow easier movement around the sled – especially for cornering and a lower center of gravity.

Racers will be able to move further forward on the sled while cornering, with more clearance for legs and knees. New foot enclosures complement the upgrades.

Arctic Cat Race Sled

The ARS front suspension offers new geometry for increasing corner bite plus more ground clearance. It has increased caster and adjustable camber.

Weight was trimmed everywhere. Besides the seat and lightweight fuel tank, a new hollow driven shaft, headlight assembly and revised chassis components shave off several pounds to offset the marginal weight increase of the longer track and rear suspension.

When it comes to holeshots and accelerating out of corners, a heavily revised Arctic Cat C-TEC2 6000 EFI engine delivers a 15 percent increase in horsepower and torque and a 20 percent improvement throttle response at low- and mid-range levels thanks to new cylinder and exhaust valve configuration, revised calibration mapping and V-FORCE reeds.

The massive changes and upgrades reflect Team Arctic’s desire to give its racers the most potent stock snocross snowmobile, from the Junior to Pro classes. It reflects many of the same features and technology used on previous Pro Open sleds piloted by Tucker Hibbert and Logan Christian, and both racers spent considerable time testing the all-new production racer.

“We took a lot of the ideas we’ve been using on my winning Pro Open sled the past two years and applied them to the new race ZR,” Tucker Hibbert said. “The changes to the front suspension made it better than anything we’d previously used on our race sled. From a handling standpoint, this is the best stock ZR we’ve ever had – It’s more stable and tracks straight, without kicking sideways; it doesn’t scrub speed on hard landings or when pounding through big holes; it turns better, and the new narrow bodywork is a huge improvement.”

The 2018 Arctic Cat ZR 6000R SX can only be purchased through the Arctic Cat Race Deparment. To apply, go to arcticcat.com/teamarctic and click on Riders Only Information. 

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