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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would take this opportunity to show a couple of pics of my son Derek who is 7, and his "new" '78 Jag. I also thought that this might strike up some memories from those of you who are around my age, and maybe some thoughts about a great need for a medium size sled.

Let me explain- I believe to this day that the Kitty Cat was the single best idea that AC ever had. Those of you who grew up in the seventies and later and were lucky enough to hop on one probably attribute bleeding green (or purple) to these "kids's toys." I guess what I am saying is the Kitty Cat created a whole generation of Cat loyal IMO (like me). My son has been riding one since just before his third birthday. That was 4 years ago. Then the inevitable happened, he grew! He has been complaining for a about a year that he is too big for the Kitty. So, the next logical step would be a 120, right? Yes, except that he is already plenty big for a 120, and could only ride one for another year or 2, at most. I personally cannot see spending the big $$$ for something that does not really go any faster than the Kitty (yes I know how much better the 120 chassis is, and can be modded for even more $$$), but it is not big enough or powerful enough for kids like 7-10. I guess that my thinking is that for the kind of money you have to spend for a 120, you should get something that is another step ahead, not just a 2000- something vintage Kitty Cat with "some" suspension. Yes, I believe the 120 is a great starter sled, but for less money. Where I am going is that there needs to be an intermediate sled that doesn't cost a small fortune.

This past year, I have thought about what I could put my son on next to keep him interested in snowmobiling until he can handle a big sled. It had to be a Cat (since he is already brainwashed,,,,, oops......), and I had been thinking about a late 70's Lynx (or Jag), because they were compact and easy to drive. Lynx's are almost non- existant. So I thought about a Jag..... I grew up riding with my father on his couple of Doos and Poos as a kid and when he was converted to Cat in about '76, there were Panthers and Jags in the garage. We also had much more fun on these, because they ran and were not broken all the time, go figure. Panther was too big and not fun for a kid. Jag was light and fun to ride.

I found a '78 Jag in December from a guy who owned it since it was a year old, and it was in great shape with 2200 miles on it. I bought it (for 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of a 120) and gave it to my son at Christmas, however the weather has been crap sice then. Yesterday's snow changed all that! We spent hours teaching him what he already knew anyways- but he was a little intimidated by the "bigger" sled at first. He did a wonderful job, he followed every direction he was given; he rode with dad; rode with mom; rode by himself. He said it is much easier to handle and steer without (225lb) dad on the back!!!! Then he was ready to go on a ride and follow me. I spent a couple hours riding 20 mph on my F5 with the Jag in tow. I never thought I could have so much fun riding 20 mph...... Just to clarify, we were just cruising fields and woods around the house and he will NEVER be on ANY trails until he is the right age, and I have the Jag limited to 25 mph through throttle limits I put on the sled.

Sorry aout the long post but my points are 2:

1) These old, smaller, sleds can be a great teacher for kids...and
2) Cat really needs a TRUE INTERMEDIATE- for those too big for a 120, but too small for a big sled, and AFFORDABLE. And, I do not mean a Freestyle or Phaser- they are still too big for a kid and both are uglier than the midwest weather this past December!!!!
 

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i think you have done a great job at keeping your son intrested in the sport. i wish my dad had done the same for me when i was young. when i was 8 years old my dad finally bought a sled. He had been out of the sport for years due to a seriose accident with his 75 Merc snowtwister in which he injured his back. but anyways even when we had that sled (93 lynx 340) i only got to drive it at the cabin at christmas.

What im getting to is i admire how you and some of the other dads on this site are spending so much time with your kids and sledding, wish my dad would have when i was your kids age and younger.
 

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I agree 100%

Maybe the manufacturers aren't willing to take the risk. I guess they make what sells.

There may be more of a demand if the dads out there would realize how great it is to ride as a family. Many of my buddies have kids and they leave them behind when they go out to ride. I'm not judging them I just don't understand why they would do that.

Anyway, nice sled. You and your son will have a blast with that thing.
 

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It seems our sons have similar experience as well as age. I feel the exact same way as you. We've had the Kitty Cat since age 3, and I couldn't convince myself to spend 2K on a 120 that he will use for another year or two at the most. Especially when there are much better "full size" sleds available at half the price or less. I found a "take it now/ ask questions later" deal on a 95 Jag Dlx, which he seems cautious of, but is doing fine with.

It's nice to be able to ride alongside him, or else ride with him. Niether option was practically available with another youth sled. At this point anyway, it was a great decision. I too have kept him in the field by the house, or around the yard... the trails are not a place for him to learn. And like you, I have set the speed max for him. I went to 30, it just felt like a comfortable speed for both of us to ride. (living in eastern ND, we don't have to worry about trees or hills!) :lol:
 

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Just moved my seven year old up to my 81 John Deere Spitfire, it is the perfect size for him.

I can't believe how light it is! I can lift the front easily with one arm!

It's not a Cat, but at least it's got Cat colors....

Bonus is that I get to relive my youth (that was my first sled that was all mine) and hop on it for a short spin.
 

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I also agree, arctic cat had a survey done a few years back on making a intermediate sled I jumped all over it and was jacked. but I have not heard anything from anyone since. The feestyle and phaser have a niche but not for 7-12 year olds.

I got tired of waiting and I found a 87 yamaha bravo in some weeds and fixed it up for the kids it is perfect! a 250 single cylinder small and light they can go on real rides with mom and dad.

I told AC that if they made a sled like this I would buy it in a heartbeat.

I grew up riding a 72 lynx 292 single cylinder I had a blast! and fell in love with the sport at a very young age.

I think if AC would build a sled like this, the Dad's who are leaving their kids at home will be bringing them along.

My son is now 12 if I bought him a 370, its the same size chassis as a zr. he is just a passenger not a rider. he is in love with the new phaser I could see him buying one of those in the near future if Cat does not get off the pot.
 

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Sounds like many of us were in the same boat, I got my kids kitty cats when they were both 3, and started them out doing drag races, then to oval racing, when my daughter turned 9 she shot up and pretty tall, so the same thing, too big for a 120, so I got a Z370, it was a perfect fit for her, and she snocross raced it one year, then my boy, turned 9, also a little big for a 120, had been riding his sisters Z370 around the lake, did his first snocross race, and handled it very good. when my boy turned 12, I picked him up a Z440, and by then, could handle that pretty good, last year at 15 he got my hand me down zr500, thinking something to grow into, and when riding with the big boys, he's right in there, kind of amazes me,, this year he's 16, and can't wait to get some good trails, both of the kids by stepping up, can ride really good, better than alot of adults I have ridden with. that Jag you got your boy should be a perfect fit, and he will learn to handle it well by the time he's ready to step up,, Good Job, Always fun to beable to ride with the kids. Biggest thing, teach them to stay to the right side of the trail.
 

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a few years back i was following a family riding the trails. A dad, mom and a girl about 11. The girl was riding a Polaris Starlite. it was a single cylinder 250. She rode it with ease. no struggle at all. The industry needs to go back to smaller sleds for the young. It can't always be... next years will be bigger and faster ALL the time. Sales drop every year. could it be that they are leaving the new people to the sport behind?
 

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ya looks good i grew up on a 93 jag 440 fan great all around sled hard to wreck too ;)
if you get him a new sled in a few year a jag like that is perfect untill he wants more ponies
i let me 4 year old cuzin ride it around the lawn untill it runs outs gas then you fillhim up and there he goes again


<div align="center">Jags rock!!!!</div>
 

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First off,

Good job F5 Firecat. I also wish that my dad would have been that willing to snowmobile like you. We did a little bit but my starter sled was a 75 John Deere JDX 340. Pretty good old sled besides being pretty tippsy but, everything was at that time. ALL of these stories are very encouraging. I have a 2 year old daughter and next year I hope to have her on a kitty cat. I did get to take her up and down the street when we had ice on the road but I am hoping to get her out agian this winter. PRAY FOR SNOW>>>
 

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I totally agree with you F5 Firecat. My Dad did pretty much everything he could to get my sister and I into sledding. I too started on a Kitty Cat and then had a 70s Jag. After that I had an old El Tigre and then a '97 ZRT 600. I'm sure had there been a new intermediate sled available from Cat my Dad would've snatched it up. Some of the best memories with my Dad is when we've been out sledding. If your son is anything like the rest of us, you've got him hooked for life. Pretty soon you guys will be hitting the trails together. :sledder:
 

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F5 firecat, great to see the young guy on the "new ride" I too agree with many and you. the need is going unnoticed. I have a 9 year old that has a 90 cat 4 wheeler and he is probably a better rider than some others I know.
If Arctic Cat isn't carefull they will miss the boat on the "middle class/entry class" sleds.
I think Yamaha still makes the Bravo!! Another great sled to learn on.
Good job and keep him riding as that is the future of our sport.
 

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i hate to say it, but the skidoo freestyle is a decent option.. its so small and light and stuff.. and its only like a 300cc? i think.
 

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nothing like seeing a kid on a snowmobile happy as they can be :D , that even makes me smile. my dad got me goin on snowmobilin when i was about 10 or 11 my first sled was an 89 jag 440, good sled, ive been addicted ever since.
 

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This thread is like deja vue. Me, my 16 yr old daughter and my 4 year old son just came into the house from riding around the yard. It was his third time riding the Kitty Kat we had bought about 12 years ago for his older sister. The snow is about 2 inches deep and is perfect for the Kitty. We started with a reminder lesson about where to ride and not to ride, the controls (limited as they are) and how to be safe. He burned up an entire tank of gas (and that is alot about 2 hours worth) with little or no stopping. He hasn't stopped talking yet trying to tell my wife all about it. My elder daughter was on my 94 EXT and me on 04 Sabercat as we rode back and forth in line across the neighbors field at 8 mph. I put 5 1/2 miles on before i parked and just let him motor on. As we came in from the 14 degree temparature I asked him if he had fun and was it ok? His response...."Ya Dad cool..but it needs to go faster so I can do jumps and stuff" More to follow I'm sure.
 

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what happened to the prototype D&D or someone was building ( they had it on show this year in Yellowstone) if I remember right wasn't that the size of the freestyle or smaller with a honda or kasi. eng. in it. as for the jag that was an awsome sled I had three kids learn to ride with one of them. mine was a 79 jag 3000f/c and they loved it.
 

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ok you can buy used 370 and 440's,.. but i do agree with him on this maybe bring back the 370 or something, but put it in a newer chassi.
got a 2000 z370 for sale
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ACBOY09 @ Jan 17 2007, 09:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
ok you can buy used 370 and 440's,.. but i do agree with him on this maybe bring back the 370 or something, but put it in a newer chassi.
got a 2000 z370 for sale[/b]
The point is that a current Z370 is on a full size chassis and is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to big for younger kids. For those that have commented on the Freestyle- still wayyyyy to big for the smaller riders and the Phaser is basically a full sized sled that only looks smaller (and like :turd: IMO). I mean the Phaser is also about as heavy (depending on who's weighing) as a F5. As for the Black Magic sled- Yes- it is perfect, but rumored to be $4000 or more because it will be basically a custom built, low volume sled..... if it happens. Again- too much $$$$$ for the regular "blue collar" moms and dads to spend on the kids.

I like all the comments that I've seen- I think I brought to light a subject that many of us think about often. My thinking is that a 2/3 scale Firecat chassis (old style with narrow tunnel and 13.5" track- but shorter- like 100-110"). Plug in a 370 fan, or even make it a little smaller, maybe a 300- like the Doo. Doesn't have to have expensive shocks- kids are light. If guys wanted to race them (of course the next evolution), then go ahead and mod them with better suspension parts. The sled needs to be the equivalent of a KX65 dirtbike for that EXACT market. And it must cost less than 4 or 5 grand. If there were something really good out there, then many would justify maybe 2500- 3K on a new one. I could be off on that, but I bet I am close...... And, the original reason for the post was that the Jag is really good for kids because it is basically 2/3 the size of a current sled. Cat please listen and go through your parts bin and throw something together that is afforable and the RIGHT size.
 

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (f5firecat @ Jan 17 2007, 10:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (ACBOY09 @ Jan 17 2007, 09:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
ok you can buy used 370 and 440's,.. but i do agree with him on this maybe bring back the 370 or something, but put it in a newer chassi.
got a 2000 z370 for sale[/b]
The point is that a current Z370 is on a full size chassis and is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy to big for younger kids. For those that have commented on the Freestyle- still wayyyyy to big for the smaller riders and the Phaser is basically a full sized sled that only looks smaller (and like :turd: IMO). I mean the Phaser is also about as heavy (depending on who's weighing) as a F5. As for the Black Magic sled- Yes- it is perfect, but rumored to be $4000 or more because it will be basically a custom built, low volume sled..... if it happens. Again- too much $$$$$ for the regular "blue collar" moms and dads to spend on the kids.

I like all the comments that I've seen- I think I brought to light a subject that many of us think about often. My thinking is that a 2/3 scale Firecat chassis (old style with narrow tunnel and 13.5" track- but shorter- like 100-110"). Plug in a 370 fan, or even make it a little smaller, maybe a 300- like the Doo. Doesn't have to have expensive shocks- kids are light. If guys wanted to race them (of course the next evolution), then go ahead and mod them with better suspension parts. The sled needs to be the equivalent of a KX65 dirtbike for that EXACT market. And it must cost less than 4 or 5 grand. If there were something really good out there, then many would justify maybe 2500- 3K on a new one. I could be off on that, but I bet I am close...... And, the original reason for the post was that the Jag is really good for kids because it is basically 2/3 the size of a current sled. Cat please listen and go through your parts bin and throw something together that is afforable and the RIGHT size.
[/b][/quote]
i see where you are coming from.. but the way i see it, is that arctic-cat could keep it a full sized sled, but take out the weight, i think a full sized sled that is light wieght would be better than a half sized sled so the kid can get used to it.. just my .02 CENTS and i still see where your coming from they need a freestyle.. with the fircat chassi or the XFIRE AND Mountain chassi and reall really light all they need is a motor and make it trail legal for a cheap price with 2,500k msrvp
 
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