As Arctic Cat dealers study the 2005 product lineup, they’re repeating a new motto from the factory: Share Our Passion.
Along with its new machines, the Thief River Falls, Minn.-based company rolled out the new theme.
“It works to our key strengths,” said marketing manager John Tranby. “Everyone at Arctic Cat is passionate.”
It’s a trimmer passion, too, as Arctic Cat dropped 11 models that include the F6 Firecat carbed; Mountain Cat 900 151 and 159; Mountain Cat 800 151 and 159; Mountain Cat 600 EFI; Mountain Cat 570; Pantera 800 EFI; Panther 370; Sabercat 600 and 600 LX.
There is a renewed effort in the mountain segment, however, with the “M” series. There’s also an all-new chassis, new skis, a new seat, expansion of the ACT Drive system and remote start, a three-wheel rear axle assembly, Fox Load Optimizing Air Technology (FLOAT) shocks, a new mountain track and EFI added to the 900 twin engine on the King Cat.
As an effort to further minimize snowmobile noise, all of the sleds that come in the Firecat chassis have new sound-reducing foam under the hood. Arctic Cat engineers say it reduces noise by 1.5 to 2 decibels.
M Is For Mountain
The biggest changes in Arctic Cat’s lineup are in the mountain sled category. There’s an addition of a 700-class engine, a new chassis, less weight, new saddleless skis with a deep keel and more.
The series includes the M5, M6, M7 and M7 Limited. Arctic Cat said the M-Series sleds are 30 pounds lighter than the Mountain Cats. All are liquid-cooled and come in the Firecat-based M-Series chassis. The tunnel is 16 inches wide to fit a 15-inch wide track. Unlike the Firecats with a 13.5-inch wide track, Arctic Cat engineers opted for a 15-inch wide track, which they said provides better traction and flotation.
All M-Series sleds also are outfitted with the ACT planetary drive system, AWS VI front suspension with 9.2 inches of travel and FasTrack Long Travel rear. They also receive new plastic saddleless skis with deep keels, removable side panels, a front exhaust outlet behind the right-side A-arms, a new rear bumper and tail light assembly, new drive sprockets, an adjustable ski stance, a digital/analog speedometer and a new footrest.
The M6 and M7 snowmobiles have several different track length options.
On the M6, buyers can opt for a 141- or 153-inch long track with 2.25-inch tall lugs. The M7, however, offers three track length options — 141, 153 and 162. The M7 Limited gets some additional upgrades, such as FLOAT shocks on the front suspension and titanium springs in the rear.
“The M7 Limited won’t be the cheapest sled in our lineup, but it will be the lightest,” said product manager Joel Hallstrom. Hallstrom says the machine is 30 pounds lighter than the 2004 M machines.
The M5 comes with a 15- by 141- by 1.6-inch track and 17 inches of travel at the rear. The engine is fed by two 34mm round slide carbs.
The engines are based off the Firecats. The twin-cylinder 500, 600 EFI and 700 EFI engines are available. The 600 and 700 engines come with variable exhaust.
The King Cat returns in the ZR chassis with a 900 carb or 900 EFI engine. The 900 EFI model was released in January.
However, in addition to the EFI option, the King Cats come standard with Fox FLOAT shocks on the AWS V front suspension. The shocks were released by Fox as an aftermarket upgrade for the 2003-2004 riding season. They don’t have a coil-over spring and use air to create preload. Riders can adjust the air pressure in the shock with a pump. The front offers 8 inches of travel.
Returning are titanium springs on the rear suspension, a 162-inch long track with 2.25-inch tall lugs and parabolic skis.