First Ride: Production 2015 Arctic Cat XF 6000 Limited

2015 XF 6000 Limited
Based on our first impressions, another year for engineers to massage the fuel system calibrations seems to have given the 2015 Arctic Cat 6000 engine more zip.

This weekend, Snow Goer Editor John T. Prusak, his brother-in-law Steve and I went for a ride in northern Wisconsin with our 2015 Arctic Cat XF 6000 Limited demo. The XF 6000 is an all-new crossover snowmobile from Arctic Cat that has a 137-inch track and Team Green’s home-built, 6000 Series two-stroke engine with semi-direct fuel injection.

Throttle response from our demo on Saturday was clean and crisp all through the rev range and acceleration felt muscular. Running quality was excellent with consistent performance and mostly quiet, civilized noises from the intake, exhaust and engine.

This is a fun engine with a wide power band, and so far we think it’s the highlight of the 2015 XF 6000 Limited. Engineers’ further massaging of the fuel system over the past year seems to have made it run a little crisper and pull a little harder than the engine that powered our 2014 ZR 6000 El Tigré demo last season, and the new sled starts with one pull when warm – last year it sometimes took many pulls to relight our 2014 ZR’s engine.

The Fox FLOAT air shocks in front worked pretty well after reducing air pressure. I first checked and set the pressure inside our heated shop the day before our ride, but on Saturday after lunch I reset the pressure down to 60 psi from 68.

Roomy ergonomics were also appreciated, and considering we were riding when the air was about 30 degrees F the lack of decent wind protection wasn’t a bother at all. I like the new curved brake lever, but reaching from the handlebar to the lever is a little bit of a stretch for my paw.

The XF did have one mechanical hiccup, however. For some reason (and at the most inopportune time) the push-button reverse failed when we needed it most, causing us to have to tug-and-pull the machine out of a tight situation in a swamp. The reverse system worked fine before the situation, and for the rest of the day, but for some reason it wouldn’t react at all when pushing the button in that instance – even after shutting off and restarting the engine.

Overall, it was a smooth running, fun and athletic machine that seemed to run quieter than our 2014 demo model from last year (the XF Limited’s little storage pouch between the steering post and gauge seems to help muffle the sound under the hood). Modifications planned for this sled include installing a set of SLP MoHawk skis and to reposition the spindle spacers to widen the ski stance. Check back all winter for more impressions on the Snow Goer test fleet.

Here are impressions about our 2015 Polaris 800 Rush Pro-S demo that also went along for the ride.


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