Arctic Cat has just announced some brand new innovations for their 2019 snowmobiles…
It seems that since the acquisition of Arctic Cat by Textron Off-Road the development teams have been extremely busy creating, what can only be described as… revolutionary innovations to the 2019 Arctic Cat Snowmobile lineup. Normally you would see a manufacturer as storied as Arctic Cat, making minor changes to suspension systems to slowly road map their way towards their final revision. However, it seems Textron looked at their newest acquisition and said, “Lets hit the ground running at 200 mph.” The major changes I speak of is Arctic Cats 2019 Suspension innovations, the AlphaOne Suspension for the Mountain Snowmobiles, and the iACT On the Fly Electronic Suspension for the trail snowmobiles. In this article I would like to highlight some of the releases for 2019 we have seen so far from Arctic Cat / Textron.
Wait… theres only one rail on the skid? 2019 Arctic Cat AlphaOne
My jaw dropped to the floor when I first saw this rear skid. I believe since the snowmobiles inception, the skid has always had two runners, which provide stability, and an even distribution across the track. With the migration of the sport to carving up the mountain side, we saw many innovations from all of the manufacturers. This year Arctic Cat is taking it to a whole new level.
By changing the rear skid from a dual runner design to a single runner down the middle of the track, this allows the track to flex toward the edge of the mountain ensuring the maximum amount of track is planted and delivering more power where it needs to be. We have seen similar methods of doing this from other manufacturers, but never like this. Arctic Cat is taking it to extreme levels.
Not only do you get the edge planted just by design, but the weight savings, both the hardware, as well as the snow release alone makes this game changing. Any kind of weight you can pull off a sled equals performance on the snow.
With any new completely out of the box innovation, there are always a million questions. Someday I hope I can take one of these out to see if the questions can be answered. So I will make some hypothesis’, until I can update this with some solid facts. Here are some questions I have:
- Stability? How will this perform while going to your favorite Mountainous region? Will it be able to put the power to the ground on flat surface yet still be stable enough to not throw you off on the first bump or corner?
- Longevity? It will be interesting to see how the single rail will hold up to bumps and hits. I would assume that it may actually hold up better due to the single mass of the rail being thicker than most other rails.
- Longevity of the Track, as well as aftermarket availability? With the extra flex of the track, it will be interesting to see how this holds up by not only flexing along the length of the track but also the width. As well as with the single pressure point being used most down the middle, is there going to be some odd wear patterns with it?
I am sure the engineers at Arctic Cat have asked themselves these questions, and worked to address them. Be sure to look for Arctic Cat to be ready for the mountain shootouts against the likes of Ski-Doo, Polaris and Yamaha.
iACT On-the-fly Electronic Suspension Adjustments… its about time!
Another awesome suspension change for 2019 Arctic Cats, is the iACT system. If you look at the auto industry, this type of system has been around for a long time. Most times users of this system set it to one setting and basically leave it there 90% of the time. However, in snowmobiling, or off road sports, this is incredibly useful.
How many times have I tuned and retuned my suspension… its usually out of boredom, and rarely out on the trails. Mainly because there are 5 different points you can adjust and this takes time away from your ride. Arctic Cat has developed a great system in the iACT where, by simply a push of the button, you can change the ride to suit a change in terrain, a change in ride preference, or just to test a new setting. The iACT system comes with 3 settings, Soft, Med, Firm and are controled through Arctic Cats dual screen display.
The iACT system is teamed with a set of Fox IQS Shocks. Which have seen a lions share of awards for their quality and performance.
The iACT system will be released on the 2019 ZR9000 Thundercat 137 iACT, the ZR 9000 Limited 137 iACT, ZR 8000 Limited ES iACT, ZR 7000 137 iACT, ZR 6000 limited ES iACT. I would expect this system to be released in the future on the touring and perhaps the utility sleds.
With the changes being released in the 2019 Arctic Cat lineup, snowmobilers are taking another serious look at the Cats.
Besides the suspension upgrades for 2019, there are a whole host of new improvements to the 2019 lineup. Chassis improvements in the mountain snowmobiles with the redesigned Ascender Platform with Mountain panels. The Entire lineup has a more refined look across all models.
The offerings from arctic cat run the gamut of all snowmobile riding style, from crossover, backcountry, mountain, trail and even youth, there is an Arctic Cat for every rider.