Getting back into the sport. What to buy? - - Arctic Cat Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-11-2019, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Getting back into the sport. What to buy?

Hi folks, I'm just getting back into riding at 38 after not riding for the past 20 years. I recently bought a '98 ZR600 EFI from a friend, and quickly realized it's just not going to cut it on the trails for me. I'm a big guy (280 with gear) and the bumps hurt a lot more than they did 20 years ago. I've read about upgrading the seat, springs, handlebars, etc. for a smoother ride but I'd rather just sink that money into a better sled.

I'll be mostly trail riding in the Southern Tug Hill region in New York. But would like to have the ability to do some off-trail powder when the opportunity arises.

Anyway, I'm looking for a good used sled that will hold up with my weight. Looking in the 2012-2015 range but there are a ton of models and options. I've ridden my bro-in-law's 2016 SR-Viper and like it a lot. I know it's basically the same sled as the XF 7000/9000 and that's what I've been looking into, but the prices are a little too high for me.

I like the idea of the 4-stroke with 137" track. Being a bigger guy I think the longer track/heavier sled will help me keep the sled on the ground in the corners. But I'm not opposed to a 2-stroke or 129". Other models I've seen in my price range; 2012 XF 800, 2013 XF1100, 2015 ZR8000, 2013 F800.

Which sled would have the best suspension for a big guy? Any models to avoid? Recalls/issues to look for? I've read that some 2012-2013 models are real belt-blowers, which I'd like to avoid.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-21-2019, 12:58 AM
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You're probably going to have to have your suspension revalved no matter what you pick. Might need fatman springs too (preload does not does the same thing).

Well, considering I can make a rooster tail everywhere I go at all times, from a 140 horse 700cc AC with 2" lugs and 136" track, I suppose you're going to have to look for 137-141" for "the occasional powder play". Anything less, because of the extra power, will just dig straight down especially with a heavy person on the sled (I'm only 165lbs).

I haven't heard any problems with the XF7000s. They should be real cheap in a couple years, and those engines will run forever.

Friend of mine has a 2012 XF 800, he has had no problems with it, but then again he also lets it warm up before setting off (even after each time we stop to talk). Have no experience with the others. Though I know there are many 1100s with tons of miles as long as the owner changed oil often and let it warm up properly (there are also quite a few that blew up because they didn't).
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-24-2019, 07:54 AM
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If you're looking for something that will last for years go with the 7000 or sr viper then you could add the springs from a race replica. These springs are stiff. Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-24-2019, 07:59 AM
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Sled: 15'ZR8000 LXR, 74 Panther
guess there's always passing up on the Lasagna?

sorry couldn't help it

Owning a Thundercat is like having a totally hot wife..... All of your friends want to see it, feel it and check it out..... They all want to know what it is like to ride it, but if they only knew how much time and money it takes to keep one up, they would call you a fool!

Seen in a DOO forum

"Of all the 850 vs Sidewinders/Thundercat/ZR 9000's; you are the first I have ever heard that beat one. I know the 850 is strong but it's down 30 hp from the turbo sleds.
I have a low slung fully built( by a well know engine builder) 3 cylinder 800 cc that made multiple dyno pulls over 200 hp on a calibrated Land and Sea dyno and I barely pull my buddy on his stock Thundercat. And I do have video."

Things on NASA headphones that are not good;
"That supposed to be like that?" "What the hell was that?" "Did you just pee in your spacesuit"
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