Arctic adds v-twin ATV from Kawasaki

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Chris Twomey, president and CEO of Arctic Cat, recalls leaving last year’s ATV dealer meeting with specific orders from the dealers — produce a big bore machine that can meet the competition. Twomey didn’t waste any time. “We looked for the best engine available,” he said, “and it was Kawasaki’s V-twin.” Since Arctic doesn’t have many dealers who sell Kawasaki, Twomey and other Arctic staffers soon flew to California and cut a deal. He wouldn’t disclose details, though.
Arctic dropped the Kawasaki 633cc into a new 650 Class 4 x 4 automatic that got dealers at the 2003 dealer meeting really charged up. The lime green machines drew crowds of excited dealers during the two-day meeting here.
It was a bit odd to see the Kawasaki logo stamped on the engine, but no more so than to see Suzuki labels on Arctic’s other machines. Arctic has been running Suzuki engines and transmissions on its ATVs and snowmobiles for years, and Suzuki is a major investor in the Thief River Falls, Minn., manufacturer.
Twomey said the joint venture between Suzuki and Kawasaki didn’t have anything to do with the engine purchase.
The Arctic 650 features the company’s double A-Arm up front and fully independent rear suspension. It’s got 12 inches of ground clearance and features a new digital instrument gauge and pod that displays MPH, odometer, dual trip, hours, clock and gear position.
The digital instrument package is something that’s been on the wish list of Arctic dealers for some time, says Twomey.
The 650 lists for a base of $7,299 and runs up to $7,899 for a limited edition LE version.
With the addition of the 650, a new sport quad DVX 400 and new youth models, Arctic Cat has 33 models in its lineup for 2004, one that it boasts is “the most extensive and complete ATV line in the world.”
sport quad is added
Arctic dealers also received the sport quad they’ve been looking for to round out the Cat lineup. The DVX 400 comes in three color packages : black with lime green fenders, black with red fenders or all red.
It’s based on the Suzuki Z400, yet is “uniquely styled for excellent ergonomics and a distinct Arctic Cat look,” say the Cat folks. “Arctic Cat designed (its) own body plastic, headlight and seat, along with other distinct features that distinguish the brand from Suzuki and Kawasaki,” the company notes in its literature.
The DVX 400 is powered by a 398cc four-stroke liquid-cooled Suzuki plant and has a five-speed manual transmission.
Noting that the plastic fenders on sport quads are often the first to go — either because they break or because owners want to personalize their machine — Twomey says the DVX’s detachable fender feature is a big selling point.
“We talked with people in California,” he said during a tour of the showfloor, “and that’s what they want. They want to be able to personalize their machine easily and quickly.”
Fender sets are available in red, green, carbon fiber, chrome, smoke chrome, red marble and green marble.
The DVX carries an MSRP of $5,699.
Fun for Two
Although not new, Arctic pushed the 500 4×4 TRV, a two rider vehicle that lets a passenger perch on a second seat in back of the driver. The TRV, which began shipping late last year, is built on a specially-built heavy duty chasis that features eight inches extra wheelbase for passenger seating and stability.
The TRV has an MSRP of $7,399.
More MRPWhile the Kawasaki V-twin drew plenty of attention, perhaps the most comments were generated by Cat’s broad new lineup of accessories for its award-winning MultiRack Platform concept.
The approach features open channels on the front and back of Cat ATVs that accept numerous slide-on accessory racks. The attachments are secured in seconds with locking pins.
Editors at ATV Magazine were so impressed with the approach, that they gave the MRP their annual Product Innovation Award.
Nine new packages were introduced, ranging from a “Rapid” fishing shack for ice fishing to Rapid Blind game and waterfowl packages.
These Rapid packages list from about $700 (with margins of about 50%) up to more than $1,200. The complete packages include a shelter and related equipment such as a holder for an ice auger or a weather resistant cargo box in the big game package.
The clamshell-design shelters are fastened to the front and rear ATV racks and can be set up in less than five minutes using a system of lightweight metal supports. When completed, the ATV and rider sit comfortably inside.
The Rapid Blind measures 89 inches high, 88 inches wide and 100 inches long, large enough for two people.
The cover is constructed of heavy duty cordura fabric and is available in a number of camouflage patterns.
Also available are packages for construction, camping, ranching, and lawncare applications.
A special Remington Big Game package is part of a joint venture with Remington.
Youths and Workhorses
Arctic also added a four-stroke 90cc automatic and a 50cc two-stroke to its youth lineup. Both come in green, lime green or red.
The 50 retails for $1,799 and the 90 four-stroke carries an MSRP of $2,299.
Finally, the company added a new 400 4×4, powered by a 376cc four-stroke, to its TBX line. It features a 300 lb capacity rear box of high impact plastic that tilts to dump cargo. The TBX 400 retails for $6,499 and its big brother, the TBX 500, has an MSRP of $6,999.

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