The snowmobile season has been a long time coming this year, but finally, it’s starting and we are already in the middle of January. I’ve been waiting for the Arctic Cat Riot 9000 2023 to be tested for a few weeks. So, when I was very happy when Atelier Évasion Sport from Laterrière in Saguenay offered it to me.
This year (2023) Arctic Cat offers us this vehicle with a 4-stroke engine. Moreover, the model we tested is equipped with power steering (EPS) and adjustable handlebar suspension (ATAC) as options.
Arctic Cat Riot 9000 2023: an Hybrid Machine
The RIOT is a 50/50 hybrid machine that I had the opportunity to try last year with the 800cc 2-stroke engine.
At the end of this article, I will answer the following question: Does the Arctic Cat Riot 9000 with EPS and ATAC 2023 meet the 3 essential criteria I look for in a snowmobile, namely high performance, reliability and comfort?
Let’s start with this criterion that I usually put first when choosing a machine.
The 998-cc turbo engine is very powerful and is not for beginners I would say. It develops around 204 HP when it comes out of the factory and you can feel it when you press the throttle.
Since there are not 3 performance modes, like we see in other manufacturers, the HP is all there when you press the throttle.
The 15″ x 146″ x 1.6″ cobra track that this machine is equipped with also helps with performance and is very quiet. The dealer also installed some spines, and I’d say they give it a lot of bites.
This criterion is more and more important for those like me who swallow several kilometres of trails per winter. The explanation is simple, we want to go, but we also want to come back from our ride.
This 4-stroke turbo engine from Yamaha has proven itself. It has been used in other Arctic Cat vehicles, such as the ZR Thundercat, and also in Yamaha vehicles, such as the Sidewinder, for several years. To my knowledge, it is very reliable.
The older I get, the more this criterion becomes important. With the few comforts features this machine has, it allows me to enjoy my day even more in all conditions.
- The heated seat, ooohh this famous heated seat that I also have on my personal machine and that I could not do without.
- This one is so efficient that I think we could cook our lunch on it. I couldn’t leave it on all the time, it was too hot even at minimum.
- The power steering (EPS), I talked about last year in my article on the ZR Thundercat. It is such a must-have feature in my opinion. Other manufacturers should think about equipping their cars with it in the future.
- The suspension (ATAC) is adjustable from the steering wheel with 3 levels (soft, med, and firm) allowing us to adjust the firmness in real time according to the trail conditions in front of us. Although it does the job and is a nice option, I find it a bit stiff and too reactive.
In conclusion: Arctic Cat Riot 9000 2023
Any machine is not perfect no matter the brand and it would be a lie to tell you that this one is, even if it gave me a good look with its great look and its red color instead of the green we know from this manufacturer.
So, I remind you that this is a 50/50 hybrid machine and, at the risk of repeating myself for those who have already read one of my articles, it comes with some understanding to own such a machine.
The biggest compromise for this one is the skis that are made wide to be able to go off-trail to play in the snow.
It’s not the best for trail riding and maneuvering even though the ski spacing is 41.5 to 43.5 inches like on machines designed for trail riding only.
If I were to buy one, I would solve this problem by installing trail skis like the ZR Thundercat. So, it’s very easy for me to fix it because I only do trail riding.
For the others who want to keep the versatility of their machine, I have to say that this is not a very serious flaw and don’t worry about it, the stock skis that come with the machine are still fine once you get used to the understeer they do.
The initial question
So, to finish, I have to answer the initial question: Does the Arctic Cat Riot 9000 2023 meet the 3 important criteria I’m looking for in a snowmobile, namely high performance, reliability and comfort? Well folks, despite the 2 small flaws in the suspension and skis (in my opinion), I have to say YES.
Feel free to consult my other articles and those of my colleagues for more information, because it’s only my opinion and not every snowmobiler shares it.
HAVE A GOOD RIDE SEASON!