A Cat That Really Purrs

Introducing Arctic Cat’s 2017 Mountain Cat

It’s all in the name: Mountain Cat. Light on its feet and aggressive in its maneuverability, the 2017 Mountain Cat sports a durable body and houses a two-stroke ticker that’ll climb the shred without hesitation. It would win best in show for agility, and maybe even for looks alone.

Arctic Cat broke the mold when they made the 2017 Mountain Cat. It has everything that you wished your older models had and cuts back in all the right places. Starting with the most significant, the M 8000 doesn’t have an electric start, making it about 30-40 pounds lighter overall. It’s equipped with the Arctic Drive System, which features a lightweight magnesium chain case. The new TEAM Rapid Response II drive clutch features an auto-adjusting belt tension design that promises to deliver consistent performance without manual adjustments. Put it like this, this is low-maintenance, easy-tuning. Plus, reduced slippage keeps clutch temperatures low and your track power high.

Another notable is the driveshaft that was lowered by 1.125 inches for increased clearance of the three-inch lug track while enabling the use of eight-tooth drive sprockets. Yes, eight-tooth, not seven as compared to the previous design. The results are a flatter track-to-snow approach angle, which is like harnessing the power of floating. It also makes for quicker climbing over snow while accelerating and improved overall handling.

A more finite but important feature is the revised running boards. They’re narrower by about one inch, playing a huge role when it comes to side-hill performance and laying the sled over deep snow. Also exercising its new potential is the revised belly pan shape. It allows your feet to move two inches farther forward for even greater comfort and control.

You’d have to go looking for something that doesn’t strike your fancy with this ride. It’s the same deal that we’re used to, only it’s the sharper, spunkier cousin. Its double-edged sword is going to be its weight, or lack thereof. Because of the thinner gauge aluminum on the rear tunnel section work, in combination with new cut-outs on the front tunnel, the overall reduced weight is significant from that of its earlier versions. It’s an impulsive and reactive ride for experienced riders but could have a few too many tricks for the less experienced mountaingoer. Overall, it’s the perfect date for playing in some powder.