In September 2022, Arctic Cat unveiled its new chassis—the Catalyst. I had the opportunity to be present during the Hay Days at the time of this major announcement (read here). This year, the manufacturer introduced this chassis in three segments, including the trail segment with the ZR 600 2024.
This model is available in four versions:
- ZR 600,129 with AWS suspensions
- ZR 600,129 with ATAC suspensions
- ZR 600,137 with AWS suspensions
- ZR 600,137 with ATAC suspensions
All four combinations come with a 1.25-inch Ripsaw II track.
The model under review in this test is the ZR 600,137 ATAC.
In the spring of 2023, I finally had the chance to take to the trails and discover this brand-new platform. This model was my favourite in the Arctic Cat 2024 lineup (read here).
Let’s not hide the fact that during events like the Snow Shoot, all snowmobiles on display are thoroughly examined by on-site technicians to ensure they perform at their best.
In real life, riders use production models. Only during a test in Quebec, on our trails, in our climate, and at our altitude, can one truly judge a snowmobile’s potential. We can then compare it with what we have ridden over the years and see if the sled meets our expectations.
So, here is my pre-ride analysis of the ZR 600 137 2024. I will present the main features and my expectations now that the season is about to begin.
The Catalyst Platform
The Catalyst chassis is much more than an update for Arctic Cat snowmobiles. It has been thoughtfully designed from scratch. It’s a departure from the old chassis design. Arctic Cat engineers worked tirelessly to centralize mass, lower the centre of gravity, and reduce the weight of the snowmobile.
Furthermore, they implemented the latest industry trends while optimizing the rider’s positioning.
During this season, I will test the snowmobile’s behaviour in terms of both ease of handling and comfort. All of this will be done during rides covering hundreds of kilometres, something I couldn’t do during the Snow Shoot.
Although the ZR 600 137 2024 is equipped with the Arctic Cat 600 C-TEC2 engine, everyone who has ridden it has had the same impression. Indeed, this engine in the Catalyst chassis offers better performance.
During my test, I want to validate this first impression and see how this engine performs on long rides, in Quebec’s various weather conditions, and on very cold days. Another aspect I will be observing is fuel and oil consumption.
The next two elements are crucial when riding a snowmobile as they make the difference between an enjoyable ride and one you’d rather forget. These are handling and suspension.
Handling of the ZR 600 2024
Concerning handling, I want to test its precision, the level of effort required to turn the handlebars, and how easily it negotiates winding trails. Additionally, I’ll check if the snowmobile is predictable and, if possible, forgiving when a mistake is made.
From a suspension perspective, the ZR 600 2024 is equipped with the ATAC adjustable suspension. It is possible to change suspension modes while riding. This is very practical when trail conditions suddenly change. You can switch from one mode to another without ever stopping.
My goal will be to test its efficiency in absorbing what pops ahead of the snowmobile and its impact on the rider’s comfort. I will try out the different modes in a variety of trail conditions. It is bound to be interesting!
Finally, I want to evaluate the “fun factor” of the ZR 600 137 2024. Is it enjoyable to ride during long trips? Is it maneuverable and high-performing? Can it repeatedly bring wide smiles to my face?
We will see if my first impression during the Snow Shoot was just a fleeting excitement or a long-term love.
Waiting for the Real Start of the Season
The ZR 600 2024 is in the garage, eagerly awaiting my first ride in the trails. I gave it a little preview last November during a small excursion in my playground, but it was more to stretch my thumb than to conduct a real test.
This snowmobile is a trail model, and that’s where I’ll be able to test it properly. It will then have the chance to captivate me once again during our first real “date”!
Until then, I’ll keep admiring it from afar!
Keep on reading
- RIOT 600 146 Catalyst : My Favourite from Arctic Cat 2024
- Arctic Cat’s Catalyst Chassis is unanimously approved by the SledMagazine.ca Team!
- Denis’ Arctic Cat 2024 favorite: The ZR 600 137 Snowmobile