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I had to make this post on HCS because my buddies who ride the other brands aren't members here. So now I'm making it over here for those of you who don't frequest HCS.


Well, here goes ... I owe my buddy fire_chief a topic out here so he can gloat. Although, I will say, you deserve to gloat (for now anyway).

Spent the weekend in Northern Wisconsin with some buddies on our annual Guys Trip - we stayed on Lake Namakagon, and despite the cold weather we did find some pretty good riding. The majority of our riding was firelanes, but we did manage to run a few trails, and even worked our way south to the Chippewa Flowage on Saturday.

Now, here's the sleds:

Me - new F8, completely stock and 170 picks (also the 14" track)

Fire_Chief - new Dragon w/ Ripsaw & 144 picks (he claims it's stock, but has never owned a stock sled in his life LOL)

OldGuy - 2006 Fusion 600 w/ 1" track & 120 picks (pretty much stock - TempaFlow is about it I believe - removed his EPI kit)

BK (not a member here) - '02 Edge XCSP 800 w/ 144 picks and Hot Seat clutching

Chief (not a memeber here) - new F6 (2007), completely stock with 136 picks

There were a couple more sleds, but these were the sleds that raced on and off over the weekend.


I will be the first to say, I've never claimed the Dragon would be a pooch. In fact, I've said since Hay Days that the Dragon would be the new F7 of 2007. I mean c'mon - it was built with the F7 in mind ... 700cc, 140+ HP, 470 lbs, etc. I will also say, I have been defending the F8 from Day 1 claming there's no way Cat would deliver a sled that doesn't match up with it's previous model ... I was certain the F8 would match up with a F7 (stock for stock). With this past weekend's results, I have to say I am wrong, and have to admit defeat to the mighty Dragon

Keep in mind, we didn't race a lot, but it was enough to show who had what. The first race I ran was with BK on a short stretch of firelane between Mellen (Jones' Bar) and Island Lake. We were riding next to each other doing about 20mph and got on the gas ... ski tip to ski tip was the result after about 1000'. We got to Bear Chasers in Island Lake and went in to warm up a bit. After that, we decided to hop down on the lake to see how everyone stacked up against each other.

We marked off .2 of a mile (1000' race we figured), and lined up the Dragon, F8, XC800, and F6. The Dragon took the hole shot from everyone, and won by about 3 sleds lengths. I was 2nd, and the XC800 was a length behind me, and the F6 was nowhere to be found according to the owner of the sled. We raced again, this time with me on the Dragon & Fire_Chief on my F8. Same basic results, except this time the F8 lost by about 2 sled lengths.

I knew after that race that I wasn't going to touch the Dragon the rest of the weekend. The pull out of the hole reminded me of being on my F7 ... it pulled like a raped ape and just kept going. My F8 would pull hard, but just wasn't the same.

Later in the day, on our ride home, OldGuy and I were screwing around on the firelanes and did a rolling start. He stayed even with me until I let off, and that was probably a little over 500 feet. Granted, I didn't keep going, and probably could have, but even the "little 600" was competitive. On Saturday, I found out OldGuy & Fire_Chief did some racing on the flowage (I was leading the group and didn't know they stopped to race). From what I understood, the Fusion matched up with the F8 ... it lost by about 2 sled lengths in 1000'.

So, in summary ...

I will eat my crow and raise a glass to Fire_Chief & his Dragon (for now anyway). I'm searching for some clutching and/or overall setup that needs to be done. Two weeks ago I was pulling 103mph & still climbing, and this weekend I was lucky to see 99mph (conditions were ideal). I'm hoping I don't have to deal with this trauma every trip from here on out :stop_nono: slaphappy

By the way - anyone heading up to Namakagon, or even the Chippewa Flowage area ... you'll find decent riding if you can pick your way through firelanes. Oh, and one other tip for any Fusion owners out there (carb'd models). Make sure you don't get a sock or facemask sucked through your airbox ... wink, wink (eh OldGuy?) :lol:
 

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Wow, you guys found your way ALL the way down to the Chip Flowage??!! I'm impressed! :D
 
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