Trail test: 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR


2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR
2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR

June 8, 2010

The Arctic Cat Twin Spar platform has received a host of upgrades since its introduction in 2007 to improve handling and comfort, most notably the tipped chassis and flatter footwells that were part of the 2009 model year’s refinements. For 2010, Arctic Cat stripped off the big trunk and complex snow flap in favor of a traditional setup on the rear end that significantly cleaned up the sled’s appearance.

Fast forward to 2011 and the Twin Spar snowmobiles are comfortable, well-mannered, well-handling machines that offer superior ride quality by isolating the driver from the bumps. And the wide, protective cab protects him or her from the elements, especially with the new windshield on the 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR.

Running the 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR Down the Trail

Sitting behind the handlebars on the 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR, you feel confident, secure and comfortable. The sled is a beast — about 640 pounds dry — but it’s a nice snowmobile to drive down the trail. The long sled handles predictably and has a really stable, planted feel to it. Steering is surprisingly light for a heavy sled.

The ride is plush and the front and rear suspensions work well together; perfectly for what this sled is designed for, one tester said. The seat is wide and cushy, but the seat covering is slippery. If the bars and seat aren’t set right, the Infinite Rider Positioning (IRP) system offers a wide range adjustment.

Hands are perched comfortably up and in front of the body and the feet are laid out in a position so the driver can use his or her feet and legs to hold the body in place without fatigue.

The new, huge windshield on the 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR offers great chest and hand protection, but one of our 6-foot-tall test riders said he felt a lot of wind buffeting at the helmet. The gauge is easy to read and controls are simple to use, but the switches look cheap.

Running boards are grippy, which contributes to the secure feeling a person enjoys when riding this snowmobile. The sled doesn’t include mirrors, and that would be a nice addition for its solo-touring customers to look back at their riding buddies as they try to run down this 177 hp power cruiser.

2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR Is A Powerhouse!

There’s no shortage of power from the Z1 Turbo LXR’s industrial sounding engine. In fact there might be too much snort. OK, we won’t say that it has too much power, the sled just doesn’t have enough traction.

If you buy a 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR, screw in some studs — a lot of them! In stock form, a driver can’t make use of all of the power because the 1-inch Camoplast Hacksaw track doesn’t hook up when he or she stabs to full throttle out of the hole or from a corner. A more conservative squeeze makes better use of the engine’s power delivery and saves fuel, not to mention the snowcover on the trail. When it does grab hold of the snow, pull from the engine never fails to excite the driver.

— Andy Swanson

A new, larger windshield on the 2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR keeps drivers warm.
2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR Hits

  • Twin Spar comfort
  • Ride quality
  • Power

2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR Misses

  • Acceleration traction
  • No mirrors
  • Slippery seat

2011 Arctic Cat Z1 Turbo LXR Specifications

  • $13,799
  • Engine: Suzuki
  • 1056cc, liquid-cooled, twin
  • Bore/Stroke: 98mm x 70mm
  • Type: four-stroke
  • Front Suspension: AWS VII, Fox Zero Pro shocks, 9.5 inches of travel
  • Rear Suspension: Skid-Action, Fox Zero Pro shocks, 13.5 inches of travel

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