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I need some help from riders with experience on both the 4 strokes and 2 strokes.
Here's the situation :
- I have only owned 4 stroke sleds in the last 10 years. I currently have a 2014 Viper that is due to be changed out.
- AC has stopped the 7000 line for next year and Yamaha has limited the Viper to only a couple options.
- I see no other '600 class' 4-stroke sleds out there for 2020. I can either do a 900 ACE (scared of not having enough power) 900 Ace Turbo (Do I want to spend a premium and get more power than I want) or do a Sidewinder/Thundercat (and have way more power and spend than I need)
- After todays Arctic Cat spring sale with significant discounts, I cant help but consider a 6000 or 8000 series AC, more specifically a Riot 6000 or 8000 with the 1.3" lug.
- I generally do trail riding (90%) but love the other 10% of off trail riding.

Now come the questions. I love the throttle response and torque on my Viper and of course the reliability. Will I get that out of the 6000 ?
What is longevity like on a 600 and 800 2 strokes these days? I recall the days of 10,000km's/6,000miles and you are in a for a rebuild. Rarely do you hear of a blown 4-stroke, but I'm assuming 2 strokes must be better now.
What is belt life like on both the 600 and 800 ? (i'm assuming the response will be different for each)
I can get 220km's on a 39L tank of gas on my Viper. I know this is not great, but it is good. How does this compare to both the 600 and 800's ?

Thanks in advance for your response. I'm really struggling this round with what to buy. Nothing other than the Riot stands out and says 'Buy Me'.
 

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Well, I have always had 2 strokes until recently switched to a 4 stroke to gain the reliability. I did not like the 10,000 mile rebuilds either. I am hearing the new 2 strokes are now more reliable maybe just like a 4 stroke but only time will prove that. You will probably miss the running quality of the Viper for sure if you go 2 stroke. If I had to go away from my 4 stroke, I think I would get used to it pretty quick and enjoy it just as much as long as it didn't have engine troubles.
 

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My dad is on his second 7000. He really wanted to ride my new 800 this year. After he road it he wants to go back to a 2 stroke.
 

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I've had both this year, 18' 800 and 19' T-cat and they both have their strong points for sure. The 1" lugs (it is studded) on the T-Cat pretty much relegate it to being happiest on groomed trails. It is fast and a ton of fun and I have it handling amazing on the trails. It is not so happy in fresh powder or off trail stuff and also not a "ton" of fun when/if you get her stuck!
The 800, on the other hand is an awesome mix of power, trail speed and could still handle some casual off trail excursions pretty well without burying the nose. Don't get me wrong, the 1.25" track is not ideal for boondocking, but definitely better off trail than the heavier front end of the 4 stroke, coupled with a bit more lug height out back.

I love both sleds, and now the wife says she wants to ride on mine, not her own, so the T-Cat may double as the family truckster, ughh. We've had such an amazing month of February, snow wise, here in Central MN, I can honestly say every time I've gone out riding lately has been absolute blast. Even launching that Thundercat has been fun and interesting, as it wasn't something I pictured doing with that sled. The I-act is also pretty amazing!
 

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If you are riding the 7000 now you will find the 6000 lighter with plenty of power, same hp I believe. It just seems like more. Belt life is very good. I get about the same kms on a tank of fuel. Best advice is try them. I have about 8000kms on my 14 600 and it’s still running strong. I will not buy another 4 stroke sled. The two strokes sleds just keep getting better. (Jury is still out on the 800 ctec imho)
 

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I like the "no smell" and quiet 4-strokes more and more. On trail I now ride an old Bearcat 660T because of that and fuelconsumption. I had an 1100T @230-240hp in -12, really loved it, switch to an M800 in -13 and I could really feel the -40kg in weight off trail but for trailriding I would go 4-stroke. Tried a Lynx Commander 800 (Ski-Doo Expedition?) and was suprised how much louder the track was compared to the old BC also heard that trottle by wire is not that plesant.

M800 -13, Speedwerx full exhaust, PCV. BC WT 660T -06
 

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what is your dressed weight? If you are a bigger person, you may want the 800 for power over the 600. I am about 175 in gear, I ride f1100T and can ride my sons 6000 with no complaints. The 6000 has plenty of power for the trails. I would not take my turbo off trail, front too heavy. would wear a person out. I would take the 600 off trail and be able to have a blast. The newer two stokes just keep getting better and better. They will last, it boils down to how they are operated/maintained. Its no different than your truck, if your foot is to the floor day in and day out, its not going to run as long as if you drive it sensibly and take care of it.
 

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The new 2 strokes are definitely better today. Even just a few years ago, most 2 strokes burned pistons etc even with a lot of care taken to deice fuel and make sure everything was perfect. I had plenty of those for years and maintained everything very carefully but I grew tired of the constant repairs after 40 years or so. When 4 strokes came on the market, it was the perfect time to sell many of them and I was sold. Mine runs like a car. Start it and go daily without repairing anything outside of routine checks now and then. Like I mentioned, I believe the 2 strokes are better now but why go back once you've experienced a quiet, clean and reliable engine.
 

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FWIW, I'm 5'7" and probly 250-260 fully dressed (short, fat, mean, miserable,, ugly and balding....LOL) and I ride a '14 ET C-tec 2 600 129" w/ min studs. Sleds does absolutely fine w/ my LA on it and gets around 15-17 mpgs on most days. Sleds does smoke upon initial cold start up and once warm, no more smoke and suit does not smell of smoke either. She is great on trail and tho it has a 1.25, does ok in deep stuff. Also have a '07 Jag Z1 w/a 121" 1" track which is my go to back up sled and love how it rides. Also have a '08 F6 LXR LE, which was mine, but now the wife's which I don't ride and only she rides it (I will if I have to and ONLY 2 others will be allowed to ride it). Yes the Z1 is a tow truck needed if ya get her stuck, but the ride is incredible for a 121.

I'm sorta in same boat as OP for I'm toying w/ a '20 ZR8 LTD and unsure which sled to sell, '07 or '14. Both have been w/o major problems, just the occasional hic-cup but always great runners. OP, PM me if would be interested for more info on my '14.
 

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Why did AC stop making 4 strokes? Wtf?
AC has been outsourcing the 4 strokes from Yamaha, Kymco and Suzuki for a while now. I am not sure if they ever made any of their own. They are not offering any more new ones for 2020 because of excess inventory that needs to be sold first. After that, one would think they would continue offering something for the 4 stroke buyers. It is more cost effective for AC to concentrate on the 600 and 800 which they make themselves and put that in a leaner lineup for 2020 and get older stock cleaned out. After that, we need to wait and see what will come up. Quiet, Clean, and Reliable are still the selling points if they can offer them at the same price point as a 2 stroke. Once AC gets on board with this, they will compete well with the others. Yamaha, and Skidoo are leading the way with their line up of 4 strokes and it may get harder to keep up with them if Textron suppresses AC's capabilities. Neither engine is better than the other, they each have attributes they excel at.
 

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I bought a 2014 XF7000 mainly because of the alleged Yamaha engine reliability and limited maintenance needs.
Not needing a valve adjustment, until 20,000 miles, is an out right lie. More like 10,000 miles or less. Mine was showing tight valve symptoms at 6500 miles.
Mine had cold start issues. Some do. Some don't. At colder than -10f, a heat gun was needed to start. Even with upgraded relays.
Mechanical reverse has too many moving parts. Actuator stripped with less than 3500 miles on machine. Re-clocked the gear and made it another 2000 miles.
Engine is placed too high. This makes the machine less stable in the corners.
It's a 600lb machine with a claimed 135hp. After 4 seasons, I was done.


Picked up a ZR6000 129. Night & day difference.
Lower engine placement, engine reverse, and no smoke after first start up.
Corners excellent, not tippy, and has the same ride as my previous XF7000 137.
It's a 500lb machine with a claimed 125hp. Much better power to weight ratio.


Engine maintenance will be comparable.
1049cc four stroke will need valves done at around 10,000 miles.
600cc two stroke will need a top end around 10,000 miles.


Had my fun with the Yamaha 4 stroke. Lesson learned. If I ever loose my mind again, and think I need a 4 stroke, the Ski Doo ACE would be the one.
Both Arctic and Yamaha dropped the ball on their collaboration efforts. Should have been the whole engine & management system and not just half of the puzzle.
How many ECU re-flashes has there been? I think I've counted six. And it's still not right. Both Arctic and Yamaha are still suffering from this not so genius collaboration.


Knowing what I know now, if I found a new carry over 1049cc anything, it better be a practically free sale.
For now, I'm sticking with 2 stroke.
 

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I bought a 2014 XF7000 mainly because of the alleged Yamaha engine reliability and limited maintenance needs.
Not needing a valve adjustment, until 20,000 miles, is an out right lie. More like 10,000 miles or less. Mine was showing tight valve symptoms at 6500 miles.
Mine had cold start issues. Some do. Some don't. At colder than -10f, a heat gun was needed to start. Even with upgraded relays.
Mechanical reverse has too many moving parts. Actuator stripped with less than 3500 miles on machine. Re-clocked the gear and made it another 2000 miles.
Engine is placed too high. This makes the machine less stable in the corners.
It's a 600lb machine with a claimed 135hp. After 4 seasons, I was done.


Picked up a ZR6000 129. Night & day difference.
Lower engine placement, engine reverse, and no smoke after first start up.
Corners excellent, not tippy, and has the same ride as my previous XF7000 137.
It's a 500lb machine with a claimed 125hp. Much better power to weight ratio.


Engine maintenance will be comparable.
1049cc four stroke will need valves done at around 10,000 miles.
600cc two stroke will need a top end around 10,000 miles.


Had my fun with the Yamaha 4 stroke. Lesson learned. If I ever loose my mind again, and think I need a 4 stroke, the Ski Doo ACE would be the one.
Both Arctic and Yamaha dropped the ball on their collaboration efforts. Should have been the whole engine & management system and not just half of the puzzle.
How many ECU re-flashes has there been? I think I've counted six. And it's still not right. Both Arctic and Yamaha are still suffering from this not so genius collaboration.


Knowing what I know now, if I found a new carry over 1049cc anything, it better be a practically free sale.
For now, I'm sticking with 2 stroke.
Nothing wrong with enjoying your 2 stroke. Sorry to hear about all your troubles, a lemon for sure. My son has that engine, bullet proof, no valve adjustments until 20k, and legendary Yamaha reliability. I have a Cat and have done nothing to it except plugs and clutch cam arms.
 

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... My son has that engine, bullet proof, no valve adjustments until 20k, and legendary Yamaha reliability. I have a Cat and have done nothing to it except plugs and clutch cam arms.
20k and no valve adjustment on a YamaCat? Or is your son's a Vector, Nitro, or another Yamaha with the 1049cc?
How many miles on your Cat 1049cc?
 

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That explains it.


Today's Arctic 7000 series, and Yamaha srVipers, are a totally different ball game.
After 2014 they both suffered from the mismanaged collaboration of the two.



Since this is the "2 Stroke or not to 2 Stroke" thread,

choose your 4 stroke wiselyif that's the route you plan on going.
 

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well I agree none are perfect and not going to say one is better than another
but its the nature of the beast
AL 2 strokes, like it or not, start and NEED/SHOULD BE be checked for top end going down at about 5,000-6000 miles, as they are by design to wear and go down!
a 4 stroke does NOT have this issue, by design!
they can go a LOT farther NO matter how advanced the new two strokes are getting
its a design deal
yes 4 strokes need valves adjusted at "X" miles, and some are easier to do than others
and then there are bottom end parts
on a two stroke that also wear faster than a 4 stroke by again design

SO< if BOTH of these motor ran PERFECT, I mean no lemon parts in the mix
bu design, the 4 stroke will always outlast a 2 stroke period, before motor work needs to be done

there are and will always be exceptions to things
some guys will have issue's with 4 strokes sooner than expected as will 2 stroke guys
and vice versa, some will go way longer than expected before ever needing anything!
forums and ?? are all full of folks that LOVE one type over another, and countless folks BRAG about going thousands of miles and never needing anything on both!(odds are many never even know what compression tests results are but stll brag any how LOL)
IMHO if someone wanted a lighter more flickable sled
a 2 stroke wins hands down every time!
there is an easy 75 lbs or so between them, up front and like it or not, its there on ALL 4 strokes right now over 2 strokes
if all you do is run nice trails, odds are you will never care about it
get into a lot of moguls and or tight slower twisty trails, and or OFF trail a lot
you will feel it and then some
nature of the beast

if your NOT a tool turner, a 4 stroke has a SLIGHT advantage till it needs work, as again MOST should make it FARTHER than any tow stroke before needing any work done
so, by design again a 4 stroke will or SHOULD always make it farther down the miles.hours end before motor work is needed
rest of sled pretty much is the same on wear and tear

and for anyone that thinks 4 strokes DON"T smoke that's BS they do smoke like made at cold start up in a trailer, my 7000's is crazy how much smoke it makes(not so much oil a s condensation burning off, but I end up smelling IMO worse than I did on my two strokes in closed area's with it running at first COLD start up of the day!

to me WHERE and HOW you ride really matter more than just looking at what one MIGHT go farther before needing motor work!
riding a FUN sled in bad trails that MAYBE needs work sooner
if better than working your butt off to ride a sled that maybe won't need motor work till more miles/hours happen
but if I rode all nice smooth trails, a 4 stroke is a sweet riding sled!
 

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mrbb is 100% correct. Couldn't be explained any better than that. When your talking just engines alone, not the sled as a whole, the 4 strokes will always or should always outlast all 2 strokes by a fair margin. Hence, the reason for some of us switching. We just don't like to wrench anymore and are willing to trade off a few things like weight and handling for that.
 

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Heres my jist of the matter,

All this motor "will last longer" stuff can be laid waste as well. I've seen new engines toss a rod, no matter who builds it! They all blow up, that's one thing each camp cannot deny.

I bought a two stroke 800 because that IS the best motor to "feel" when driving a sled. And I care a lot about handling, that might be why that's my choice. I came to a 800 Procross after a T660 Turbo. Believe me I know what it's like to try and muscle around a 600 pound sled trying to keep up with one buddy with an 800 Gade and another one with an Apex. And while fuel mileage was great when just cruising along taking it easy, with those two idiots, it was always balls-out and I got 13mpg at best because the turbo was always in a high boost situation. the 800 DOO and the APEX always killed me on mileage. Now that Apex owner has heart trouble and doesn't ride anymore, the 800 Gade was given to my buddies son and he finally burned it down with about 7000 miles on it (I was there the day he got it new in 2009). That guy didn't take care of that thing AT ALL! Never even fogged it down for the summer. I opened the hood up and there was so much belt dust in the clutches it was like concrete.

Here's where I'm going with this, who cares if something lasts 20,000 miles on a sled? The rest of it is junk by then anyway. The 800 Gade was taken to a local guy , and he's putting a top end on it and blew the clutches out and it will be the kids back up sled. Now if he bought a 1200 Gade instead it would be fine motor wise but the rest of the sled still has 7000 miles on it right? So the rest of it is STILL worn out. So all the rest will need attention. So are you going to take apart it all and work on it for two or three weekends and sink money into a sled that will be (when all fixed back up ) a fixed up , "worn out sled". Either way it doesn't pay. Because the majority of us sled owners don't keep them that long. The this needs a top end most just sell them. I'll look for a 4 stroke for the wife if I can steal it
 
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