Last season, I had the chance to run a long-term trial of the 2016 Arctic Cat XF 6000 CrossTrek. This was a new adventure for me since it was a return to 2-stroke engine. Effectively, since 2005, I had the opportunity to test numerous 4-stroke models. Don’t get me wrong, I still like 4-stroke snowmobiles but last season, I wished to try something totally different… To get a new perspective !
We chose this model because its features should meet the expectations of many Québec snowmobilers. In fact, Arctic Cat has designed an adventure hybrid that can be compared with a Swiss army knife with all its versatility.
I am very fortunate to live on the limits of the regions of Bas-St-Laurent and Gaspésie. It represents a wide variety of ground, trails and snow cover, which is perfect to test the XF 6000 CrossTrek. So, here is my long-term trial final report.
This model is equipped with the 6000 C-TEC2 engine designed and built by Arctic Cat. With its 125 HP, it has been designed to be robust, reliable and yet fuel and oil efficient. All season long, I have been able to appreciate the performances of this engine that can be easily compared with those of other snowmobiles in this category. The engine satisfied me with its accelerations, pick-ups and response time. I must talk about the oil / fuel ratio that remained stable between 1:70 and 1:75 all winter long.
For 2017, along with the 6000 engine, Arctic Cat offers the CrossTrek with 3 other engines : the 7000 (998cc 4-stroke with natural aspiration), the 8000 (794cc 2-stroke) and the 9000 (Turbo 4-stroke).
New in 2016, the XF models are now equipped with Team clutches. They work very well and the power transfer to the track is very well achieved. We kept the same belt all season long and after over 4000 km, we did not see any sign of excessive wear.
The ProCross chassis of the XF 6000 CrossTrek is satisfying for those who like groomed trails and quick off-trail escapes. The Arctic Race front suspension and the Slide-Action rear suspension provide good comfort to the pilot in most trail conditions and off trails too. Personally, I rode many times over 600 km without feeling any fatigue at the end of the day.
The steering of the XF 6000 CrossTrek is very efficient. It is precise and requires low effort. I just adored driving this snowmobile on sinuous trails because it allowed me to keep an excellent control at all time. This is one of the elements that make piloting this snowmobile so enjoyable.
In terms of comfort, the mid-height windshield provides a good protection against wind. The seat is comfortable and allows the pilot to get a good riding position. The mirrors are built into the windshield which offers excellent rear view.
The XF 6000 CrossTrek is equipped with 3 storage bags. In the bag under the seat, we can easily store a spare belt and one or two pouches of oil. However, the zipper used to open and close the bag is sometimes hard to operate. The saddle bags offer good storage room and they are very easy to reach. They can be easily removed, which is very convenient when travelling. Even if the snowmobile was not equipped with a cargo rack, I fully used the space behind the tunnel bag by attaching a hard case containing my photographic accessories. Looking back, I think I should have installed the optional cargo rack offered by Arctic Cat.
The XF 6000 CrossTrek is equipped with the digital gauge package. They provide lots of information and include a clock and two trip meters. Personally, I think that all snowmobiles equipped with digital gauge should provide these data. Well, this being said, the size of data on the CrossTrek gauge allows the pilot to read them while riding. The buttons let you choose the data you wish to see while riding.
On the left side of the handlebar, we find the brake lever, the parking brake mechanism, the controls for intensity of lights, hand and thumb warmers. Their location is ergonomic and we get used to it very quickly. The heated grips and thumb are very efficient but offer only two levels of heat. On many times, I had to switch from one level to the other because it was too warm or not warm enough. I think that these features should offer more choices of heat levels…
On the right side of the handlebar, we find the throttle and the famous push-button engine reverse… I say « famous » because since many years, we repeat that its location makes it hard to operate with gloves on or with mittens. However, I must say that the engine reverse mechanism works very well.
The XF 6000 CrossTrek has been tested under quite ordinary snow cover conditions until the beginning of March. Then, during my off-trail rides, I have not been able to test it in deep snow, not even in medium-depth snow. However, despite Mother Nature vagaries, the conditions of groomed trails in my region were very good overall. So, I have been able to fully appreciate the features and performances of this snowmobile that proved its nature of adventure versatility in the 600 class.
Finally, I would like to thank the manufacturer Arctic Cat who made this long-term trial possible.