Two New Lightweights: The Crossfire R Models
A new version of the successful, fast Firecat models are coming to Arctic Cat dealers as 2009 models: the Crossfire Rs. Instead of the 136-inch track of current Crossfires is a 14- by 128-inch track. The result is a lightweight, sit-down, corner-carving trail rocket with either the 800 or 1000 twin on board. Cat’s product manager Joey Hallstrom called the new Crossfire R “a Firecat with up-to-date ergonomics.”
The other Crossfire models were updated with a longer, 141-inch track in 2009, replacing the 136-inch version. With a CAD drawing, Hallstrom showed that the longer track only increased the on-the-ground-footprint length by about one track lug. The benefit is improved flotation when off trail without a notable change in on-trail handling.
Twin Spar Revisions Improved Handling
We’ve criticized the Twin Spar chassis’ handling, commenting previously that the chassis pushes in the corner and lacks the sort of steering bite inherent in past Arctic Cat designs.
The Twin Spar chassis now has a tipped tunnel design that moves the steering angle 1.5 degrees forward for sharpened handling. It’s a longer wheelbase that should help the sled stay even straighter in bumps, too.
The Most Powerful Stock Snowmobile Engine
The rumors were true about a new turbocharged version of the Z1 engine. Cat presented a dyno chart of the engine output and is claiming 177 hp at 7850 rpm, making it the most powerful stock snowmobile engine on the snow.
It’s an intercooled turbo with a stock spec of 9 psi boost pressure. The advantage of a turbo engine is that it can produce the same power output at 12,000 feet elevation as it can at sea level. The engine is offered in both a standard and LXR package Z1, and the new-model Z1 Turbo Touring.
ACT Drive Updates & A New Steering Stem
Weight loss for the two-stroke F-Series models totals 11 pounds. The greatest chunk came from a new reverse system that removed gears, bearings, linkage and a shift motor out of the ACT Drive unit with the new Arctic Cat Engine Reverse (ACER), a push-button, engine-spins-backwards technology as used by Ski-Doo and Polaris.
A new steering post available on the Crossfire Sno Pro and M-Series Sno Pro models has an adjustable height in 3/8-inch increments over 4 inches of total adjustment.
22 Fewer Pounds On M-Series
For mountain riders, a new rear suspension contributes to a total claimed weight loss of 22 pounds on the M-Series. Lighter rails are now machined and the outboard rear idler wheels were nixed for a 3.5-pound savings.
Spinning around the new rails is the Power Claw track. This new-for-09 track is a hybrid combination of the Attack 20, Challenger and finger-type tracks in one, Cat said. The 15-inch wide track is available in 153 and 162 lengths with 2.5-inch lugs.
Also on the M-Series is a redesigned tail and shortens the overall vehicle length by 6 inches. The new rear has a snow flap and a LED tail light as part of the redesign as well. Add in the weight reduction of the new reverse system available on the 800 and 1000 engines and the combined weight reduction is 22 pounds.
Now in the Twin Spar chassis, the Z1 engine drives a 20- by 156-inch track on the new Bearcat XT. Features include a new articulating rear suspension, 8-inch wide skis, massive underseat storage, a center grab strap and a huge 17.5-gallon fuel tank. Ground clearance was increased on the XT compared to previous Bearcats, too, for improved off trail performance.
Two fan-cooled Bearcat variants use the 570 engine driving two different track options: a 15- by 144-inch track and a 20- by 156-inch track.
Because of the strong, rigid Twin Spar chassis the Bearcats have increased carrying capacity more than 30 percent. Easier backwoods and breaking trail navigation comes with the move to the rider-forward position and driver ergonomics are improved as well.