Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Savoy, MA
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Sled: 2005 F6 Sno Pro, 1997 ZR 440
ATV: 2001 Kawasaki KX 125, 2000 KTM 200 EXC
Wow this "little" ZR SCREAMS for a 440 even though its not as high tech as the newer sno-pros. Though power isnt that great right after engagement, once you get into higher RPMs the 440 engine excellerates hard and is extremely snappy and quick. Its a blast around a home made track or through the woods, even on the lakes it goes fast enough for me!
This machine is the first year for the AWS V and wow it handles great. I havent had a machine that kept its line as good as the 97 ZR 440. The Front suspension with Fox Clicker shocks soaks up pretty much everything on the trail, though with it valved stiff for racing applications its a bit harsh at low speeds over the bumps. Ive never really felt the need to play around with the clicker settings. The ZR-style plastic skies are awesome, they made me a believer in the superiorness of plastic skis. Nice and flexible and dont transfer much shake to the bars. The front gives GREAT high speed confidence.
Excellent when you are hammering it, harsh when you are not. You really see that this is a racer first and foremost when experiencing the rear suspension. It has Fox shox with the cockpit control for the front arm mounted on the handlebars. It adjusts ski pressure and therefor the overall handling of the machine. You can notice a difference adjusting the front arm when you are hammering it or going through the deep stuff, other areas it isnt as noticable. I had a durability issue with the rear suspension, a bolt for the spring got loose and wobbled a hole through the slide rails which seemed to throw the whole suspension out of wack and quickly wore many bushings in the suspension. The shocks are also a pain to service, especially the complicated front arm shock with the cockpit control, expensive too.
Watch the clutches on these machines. The driven clutchs seize on to the jackshafts like you wouldnt believe on these models, I ended up by having to cut the thing off after it was damaged from another incident. We tried pretty much everything you could imagine before turning to cutting it off, because it HAD to come off. The drive clutchs also wear greatly, so you have to service them often. I found this out the hard way, it detonated into many pieces putting a hole in the bellypan, putting a kink in a tie rod and A-Arm, damaging the driven clutch (thats why we had to cut it off), and making me miss out on some EXCELLENT riding during an EXCELLENT winter!! But it was a preventable thing and it was our fault for not keeping up on the service.
I love this machine overall though, it might be a bit old now but it still has that punky ZR look to it that is timelessly intimidating.
The snot rocket 440 definatly scores a 10 on the coolness scale, with all the trick features on it. It is pretty bad on gas and oil consumption, but hey when you squeeze 90-92 Horsepower out of a 440 without exhaust valves, you need some serious gasoline to make that horsepower!!!
Ill give the machine a 8 Overall, its excellent but some of the durability issues and gas and oil consumption bring it down a tad, but a 8 is still great.
Overall Arctic Cat's 1997 ZR 440 is a winner!! Just keep up on the maintence and you will be all set!!
I had originally posted this over on Hardcoresledder.com, but I found it quite suited for this section!
And this "magazine" for articles from members is a really great idea!! I love it, I might add some intresting articles in the future Cheers!
Ride Green - Since 1998 baby!