This could be classed as one of the better family machines. From comments given and heard, Arctic Cat was always considered one of the back-bones of the industry, but, until this year, it hadn’t really stood out as an individual. They went along for years, earning their laurels from the work-horse field and now have emerged as a show-horse — all dressed up — but maintaining the stability of workmanship that made them leaders. This Panther Series was a delightful surprise and here’s what we found:
STABILITY: We’re giving stars again — and whop out a big four right here! This rides solid, even, level and here, we’ll have to comment on their track suspension system — ADJUSTABLE to weight of the load. This eliminates any “bottoming” of the track. This was unique and worthy of closer investigation so our Engineering Department went over this very thoroughly. It is apparently the only snowmobile with this specific feature and we think some others may come along with something like it.
MANEUVERABILITY: It’s there! You don’t need four arms to get this one in and out of the trees. We let beginners try this for Steering and found there were no problems. Four stars.
SPEED: Here is a steady one — and will hold its own this year. We found it a bit slow On acceleration but there is no lack of power when you want it.
HILLS: Leave the snow shoes home and let the Panther do the work — you’ll have not one problem. At least we didn’t. The hill at Cliff’s Ridge is no mole-hill (ask the skiers) and this one growled up the mountain like it loved it!
CONSTRUCTION: We’re being lavish with the stars again, but always liked galaxies. We can’t say enough about the adjustable track suspension system — see accompanying photos — and the rest of the machine is put together like it was meant to stay together. Let’s give the Big Dipper on this one. Should mention their flip-up hood -— now there is something!
STYLING: It’s neat, clean looking and such an improvement over past year’s design! A word must be given on that leopard seat! There will be many a Panther sold because of this feature. The women covered it. When asked — they said “cute”.
COMFORT: Enough to warrant more stars. We couldn’t find a thing wrong with the comfort on this one — and don’t think you will either.
TO SUM IT UP: The spark plug fouled at about nine hours on break-in and the throttle cable broke at the carburetor at about 32 hours of use. Neither of these is anything major. We don’t know where they were hiding it, but this year’s Arctic Cat is really the Panther they say it is! As we said before, they have always made a substantial, powerful machine. This year they have come up with the best yet. This Panther really Pppuuurrrrrs!