Even if the manufacturer from Thief River Falls is not the most important among the 4 manufacturers, Arctic Cat is very active in the mountain snowmobile segment. Effectively, this one offers an impressive combination of track length, suspension kit, equipment and engine in 4 major categories. The M Series, with its long history of development, presents again this year even more innovations and most of all, a wide range of available models. Arctic Cat is the only manufacturer who offers 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines in this segment and partly bets on this variety to increase its total sales of mountain snowmobiles. Even if some people may find this strategy questionable, the sales results prove it right as Arctic Cat offers unique products compared to other manufacturers, such as the M 9000 Series.
One of the decisions made by Arctic Cat is to equip all its M Series snowmobiles with the latest innovations, thus optimizing the production costs and making the buyers happy. So, all snowmobiles in the M Series are equipped with lighter components such as the new AMS front suspension, the Float-Action rear suspension, the magnesium chaincase and the TEAM clutching, which is not only lighter but is also known in the industry for its performances at any engine speed. Also, the TEAM pulleys used since many years by Polaris, have a reputation of durability and reliability. All M Series snowmobiles are built on the ProClimb chassis and take advantage of the new ProClimb-7 mountain skis.
M 6000 SE, Sno Pro, Limited
Arctic Cat M6000 153 Sno Pro 2016
With the C-TEC2 Dual Stage semi-direct injection technology, the M 6000 models are powered by the 2-stroke engine of 600 cc built by Arctic Cat. The SE Series may be considered as the entry-level models, but unlike the competition, they are equipped with the latest technology in 2-stroke engine as also in chassis and suspension. One of the major elements of the M 6000 SE and Sno Pro is the optional track of 141x15x2,25” / 358,1×38,1×5,7 cm. Offered by competitors in 144 and 146” / 365,8 et 370,8 cm, this track length allows the 600 cc to deliver its power without being restrained by a too long track. The optional track of 153” / 388,6 cm is also available in the SE, Sno Pro and Limited editions. However, the Limited edition offers only one version of 153” / 388,6 cm with 3” / 7,6 cm lugs, which we think is at the limit in regards of the available power of a 600 cc.
M 7000 Sno Pro et Limited
Arctic Cat M7000 Sno Pro 153 2016
These models are powered by the robust and reliable Yamaha 4-stroke engine of 1049 cc. Only offered in 153 and 162 / 388,6 and 411,5 cm editions with lugs of 2,6” / 6,6 cm for the Sno Pro and 3” / 7,6 cm for the Limited, the M 7000 appeared to be a snowmobile set between two models (600 and 800 cc). Even if the torque of the Yamaha 4-stroke engine is very efficient at start or in heavy snow conditions, there is some lack of power at high speed in the M 7000. Of course, the pilot must consider the more important weight than the 6000 Series. All Sno Pro editions, including the M 7000, are equipped with Fox Float 3 shocks while the Limited models are equipped with Fox Float 3 EVOL shocks.
M 8000 SE, Sno Pro, Limited
Arctic Cat M8000 162 Limited 2016
In the M 8000 Series, the same logic is applied for the SE, Sno Pro and Limited packages in regards of available track, suspension and standard features, the last one being the most equipped. In fact, the totally Green Limited edition caught everybody’ s attention when we attended the SnowShoot last March. The M 8000 is obviously the volume seller among Arctic Cat mountain snowmobiles, and for good reason. We have been impressed by the difference in performance of the ProClimb chassis when it is equipped with the powerful Suzuki 800 HO 2-stroke engine compared to the M 7000. The balance of the snowmobile is clearly better in the M 8000 we tried out and the available power is incredible as well as the accelerations.
Arctic Cat M8000 SE 141 2016
The M 8000 provides a feeling of lightness in contrast with her big sister the M 9000. We would have liked to benefit from a 2-stroke engine of 800 cc equipped with the Dual Stage injection technology and then, to reduce odors and also the fuel consumption. Effectively, even if we could not ride on long distances during our tests, we have been able to notice that the fuel consumption of the Suzuki 800 cc is a little higher than competitors.
M 8000 HCR
Arctic Cat M 8000 HCR 153po 2016
Important competitor in extreme mountain category, the HCR is offered in only one edition with the Power Claw track of 153x15x2,6” / 388,7×38,1 x6,6 cm and with the 800 HO engine that develops over 160 HP. This is definitely the Arctic Cat’s best package for a robust mountain snowmobile. Taking advantage of Fox Float 3 EVOL shocks, the suspensions calibration is however very rigid, which makes the machine more robust for the terrain but also for the pilot. The adjustable ski stance can be set wider than on the other M Series models and it makes the snowmobile much more stable on trail. Performances and handling are really available in many conditions. However, before buying the HCR, you must be aware that it is meant for tough and expert pilots who represent a rather low number of fans.
M 9000 Sno Pro et Limited
The M 9000 Series is clearly in a class of its own. Equipped with the proven Suzuki 4-stroke turbo engine of 1100 cc that is famous since many years, this M 9000 offers over 180 HP along with the special torque of 4-stroke engines. Designed for long ascents in straight line, the M 9000 is however less agile than the M 8000 because of its weight. It requires quite an experience in mountain snowmobiling to be able to control this beast. The M 9000 is available only in the edition of 162” / 411,5 cm with studs of 2,6” / 6,6 cm for the Sno Pro and 3” / 7,6 cm for the Limited package. This is consistant with the goal of pilots of this type of vehicle.
- The power and flexibility of the 800 HO engine
- The incredible look and the equipments of the Limited package
- The new AMS front suspension
We would like
- A cleaner and more fuel-efficient 800 cc engine
- A HCR that would be more pilot-friendly
- More comfort from the Float-Action rear suspension