Arctic Cat has made a habit of unveiling a race sled and maybe one other surprise consumer sled or two at the annual Haydays Grass Drags & Swap Meet. This year, they followed suit, although the focus was primarily on racing… for now. Trail riders should pay attention, however: There could be cues to the future here.
In front of a huge crowd at 1 p.m. on Sept. 6, Cat officials pulled back the wraps on two new race sleds: an updated ZR 6000 R SX race sled targeted at snocross racing and an all-new ZR 6000 R XC aimed at cross-country racing in general and the I-500 cross-country race specifically.
There were some minor updates to the snocross sled, including but not limited to new Fox FLOAT Evol RC shocks and a new track, and the sled kept its carbureted 599cc Suzuki powerplant, race chassis and C&A Pro skis, and a shout out was given at the event to the team’s snocross superstar Tucker Hibbert. But the star of this program was the new cross-country machine, which incorporates Arctic Cat’s ProCross
chassis and self-built engine and adds a bunch of features targeted at the rigors of cross-country racing.
This will be the first race sled in the previously consumer-only chassis, and when talking about the revised suspension geometry, one Arctic Cat officials said, “that’s only on the race version of the ProCross chassis, for now.” Hmmmm.
Inside The ZR 6000 R XC
Changing rules within cross-country racing, aimed at attracting more entries from Joe or Jane Common Snowmobilers, require racers to compete on sleds powered by modern, fuel injected engines, particularly in the I-500. Well, rather than just let those entering the race roll out on its so-called ZR 6000 RR (race replica) snowmobile, Cat went for this big upgrade.
The ZR 6000 R XC sits in a reinforced ProCross, featuring what Brian Dick, a Cat engineer and racer, called a “race sled front end” with revised suspension geometry, beefed up components, Fox EVOL RC airshocks and a 43.5-inch ski stance.
The Slide-Action skid gets even more updates, with a longer front arm and other geometry changes, a seven-position coupling system, a 1.5-inch, compression-adjustable Fox Zero C front arm shock and 2-inch, compression and rebound adjustable Fox Zero RC on the rear arm.
It’s all contained inside a 15- by 129- by 1.25-inch Cobra track, and a new, eight-tooth driveshaft that provides more ground clearance.
Under the hood is the Arctic Cat-built 599cc C-TEC 2 engine that transfers power through a Cat primary and TEAM secondary tied to a race-specific driven shaft. The Torque Overload Sensing bottom sprocket in the chaincase and the race brake found on previous cross-country race sleds in the old chassis make their way into the ProCross.
Other things that separate this sled from other ProCross machines include a clear fuel tank, tether cord, grippy seat and different chaincase gearing.
Arctic Cat is planning to make these sleds available through its race program. It may be interesting to see how Cat’s launch of a race sled for the I-500 affects other brand’s interest in playing in this sandbox with their consumer-oriented sleds. Time will tell.
Here is information about the 2015 Ski-Doo MX Zx 600 RS racer that was unveiled Friday at Haydays.