Join Date: Feb 2005
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Sled: 2005 Bearcat 570
ATV: 1995 Suzuki 250 4WD
I own a 05 Bearcat 570. Finally we have gotten a foot and a half of bottomless snow up here in Maine to add to the previous foot and a half of bottomless snow. Time for Operation Bearcat! One word - incredible! It will break trail so easily due to it's 16x156 track and the low gearing from that wide ratio clutch. My other sled which is similar to a Panther 570, my 2000 Yamaha Venture XL was struggling to break the same trail, as I had to go much faster than I would have liked to keep the Yamaha, with it's conventional clutches, in it's powerband. So comparing breaking trail between a Panther 570 and a Bearcat is like night and day. Bearcat is nice and easy, ease on down the trail. Panther is frantically keep her spooled up in it's powerband, hoping to maintain control on tight powderbreaking manuvers.
Like most people, breaking trail in bottomless snow is maybe only 3% of my riding, what about the other 97%? I thought I'd never say it, but that Bearcat 570 is a rocket. I thought that wide ratio clutch would mean this machine would go maybe 40 mph tops. Boy was I surprised. How about 80-85 mph without breaking a sweat ? I discovered that my Bearcat is just as good of a long distance touring machine as a Panther, but when I turn off the groomed boulevard, and head on down the goat path, I have a machine that's up to the task.
I should have bought one back in 2000 rather than that 2-up Phaser, the Venture XL. Finally I have a snowmobile that can creep as well as cruise on down the trail. As far as I'm concerned, all sleds should have that wide ratio clutch. It makes easing onto the trailer or into the shed so much less stressful. I'm even amazed at the Bearcat's tight turning circle and it's ability to back up in powder.
It would be a great sled for ice fishing. It has so much torque due to the wide ratio clutch, it should pull the shanty well. Mine certainly had no trouble pulling the dead Yamaha back to camp. But that's a story for another day.
You won't be disappointed. For us non Blair wannabees, the Bearcat 570 is the best sled Cat makes.