Arctic Cat XF 8000 Sno Pro 137 : first impressions…

motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015

What can be more exciting than mounting our new sled for the first time! Most of the time, we do not have the opportunity to test our purchase before its delivery. We see our machine on the WEB or at any snowmobile show and this, many months prior to its arrival. And finally, that moment happens… It is magic.

motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015
Arctic Cat snowflap!!

As there was not much snow in the region of Basses-Laurentides, I went snowmobiling in Monts Valin for my first kilometers… The first rotations of the engine were executed by -25 °C… I thought it would be difficult to start up since there is no electric start. Amazingly, the 800 HO was running after only three pulls of the rope .. Under such cold, the engine needs to warm up before we leave, in order to let the metal parts warm up gently up to their operating temperature. After only a few kilometers, many positive elements and improvements were noticed.

motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015
800 HO Engine

We can feel the power of the 800 HO; response from a standing start is very effective and powerful. However, on throttle responses, whether exiting a turn or on straight line, the clutch calibration makes it difficult for the engine to reach the recommended 8 100 RPM. Being in the breaking-in period and on the first ride, it will be more accurate to come back later in the season with the development.

motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015
Suspension Slide Action 137“

In terms of suspension, the Sno Pro edition is very rigid. The rear adjustment was at its softest setting; however, the central shock preload was quite high, since the extreme cold weather, I decided to adjust it later. But it is obvious that a lower central preload will improve comfort in small bumps.

motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015
Fox Float 3 Shock

The Fox Float 3 air shocks at front offer nice possibilities. The edition 3 seems to have a more linear progressiveness than the previous versions, meaning that skis are firmly planted without requiring a strong preload, in order to keep a good level of comfort. I will come back later after some tests on this matter.

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motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015
Ski and carbide runner

The greatest surprise concerned the handling. Skis are really planted to the ground; you have to be very aggressive if you want the inner ski to lift while cornering. We rode our first kilometers in 8 to 12 cm of powder snow (3-5 in.) and I never noticed any understeering, as soon as I turned the handlebar, the response was instant, as they say… it turns on the spot!! The combination of the aggressive keel of the skis with the deep carbide runners provides nice feeling of stability and there is no darting. Despite this grounding, the required effort to turn the handlebar is amazingly very low! 

motoneige Arctic Cat XF8000 SnoPro 137 2015
Sno Pro low windshield

The Sno Pro edition is not very warm for the pilot, due to its low windshield. So, we must be wearing very warm clothes. A taller windshield, as the ones on the LXR or CrossTour models, would provide a better protection against wind, for our hands as well as for our body.

After 600 kilometers in three days, I have been able to test this snowmobile in various conditions. Its strong elements are without doubt its handling and riding precision. Improvements could be brought for more comfort in small bumps and a better calibration of clutches. 

During my next rides, I will lower the central preload and see if comfort is improved without compromising on the handling. The clutch part will be more difficult, because I will probably have to change ramps and spring of the primary pulley (clutch)!! 

Fanatics, stay connected for future development!!!