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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals! I'm new here just looking for your opinions on sleds. I'm in the market place for a 97-99 Cat Zl, zr, or ZRT. My buddy took me riding a few times this year on his 99ZL 600 efi and 99ZL700. I really liked the way the sleds handled, and I am interested in getting one. I hear good things about mods done to the 97's using the front suspension and steering from newer cats. I'm thinking about giving up my expensive 4X4 hobby and picking up something that cost a little less like sleds, the only down side is the whole snow thing.
 

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Welcome to Arcticchat Jek.
There's a lot of people on this site that can help steer you in the right direction when looking at these sleds. I've never ridden the ZR or ZL personally, but from everything I've read if you're the type to just take it easy cruising along groomed trails, the ZL is nice and comfortable. For high speed fast trails and bumps and jumps, the ZR might be a better choice. If you're looking for something strictly to run across the frozen lakes pushing 100+ it would be hard to beat the long legs the triple engine ZRT's and T-Cats were known for. The old triples in stock form might not be quite as quick in short distances as the new twins of the same size, but in the long run they're still hard to beat CC for CC. The main disadvantage with the triple engines is they seem to be a little heavy in the front end, which with my '96 ZRT600 I only really notice in deep soft powder. With the older ZRT's and ZR's AWS-4 front suspension, upgrading to the newer AWS-5 A-arms should give any of these sleds great handing, at just a fraction of the cost of a brand new sled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Spraguepsycho1 @ Mar 8 2007, 07:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Welcome to Arcticchat Jek.
There's a lot of people on this site that can help steer you in the right direction when looking at these sleds. I've never ridden the ZR or ZL personally, but from everything I've read if you're the type to just take it easy cruising along groomed trails, the ZL is nice and comfortable. For high speed fast trails and bumps and jumps, the ZR might be a better choice. If you're looking for something strictly to run across the frozen lakes pushing 100+ it would be hard to beat the long legs the triple engine ZRT's and T-Cats were known for. The old triples in stock form might not be quite as quick in short distances as the new twins of the same size, but in the long run they're still hard to beat CC for CC. The main disadvantage with the triple engines is they seem to be a little heavy in the front end, which with my '96 ZRT600 I only really notice in deep soft powder. With the older ZRT's and ZR's AWS-4 front suspension, upgrading to the newer AWS-5 A-arms should give any of these sleds great handing, at just a fraction of the cost of a brand new sled.[/b]

Thanks for the help. So your saying that the ZR's and ZRTs will handle better then the ZL on whoops and twists. My only complaint about the zl is the short handlebars. I like to stand up alot, and through the sled around lean into turns etc. My buddy and I were able to go around 50 mph or so on the whoops pretty easy and the zl's seemed not to mind too much or jump side to side. I cant wait I'm pumped, just want the snow to stay now...lol
 

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As far as I know the suspension on the ZR's and ZRT's used better shocks, and were set up a little stiffer than the ZL. My '96 ZRT had Fox gas shocks stock, and I believe ZR's did also. As for the taller handlebars thing, several guys on here have done a steering post mod that raises the bars up and moves them forward a bit making standing more comfortable, I believe it is done using the parts that are already on the sled. Check the pinned topics at the top of the section for steering post mod.
 

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i'de say look for a 99

there was only a 440 in 97 and 98 was production year for the 600

the sleds are great, non powervalve but with a few tweaks can be just as quick

if you want risers i'de suggest just looking arround ebay for a set of sno-pro bars that come with cables, i know you can do a bit of a rise but don't expect to bolt on a freestyle bar with enough cable/wire length

i know the feeling about standing up though, coming off a sno pro i had to drop a 2'in rise on my 800 and that still isn't nearly close but its better than nothing
 

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I have a zr 800 and a zl 500(wifes),If you like to stand zr is the way to go,newer ones like my 02 have the risers on the bars already and reinforced footboards.I agree paperkid;) but its fun and addicting none the less
 

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I'm kinda new to this sport as well. I purchased both a 1999 ZR 440 Sno-Pro and a 1997 ZRT 600 at the beginning of the season. Both are fine sleds, but the ZR 440 Sno-Pro is the hands down winner in the fun category. It handles like a sports car, accelerates like a whipped stallion, and gets fuel economy like a Honda Prius compared to the ZRT 600. One thing the ZR 440 Sno-Pro can't do; two-up and burn regular fuel. It is strictly a one-up sled. The ZRT is built to haul two butts. Now many members here, after painstaking efforts and big bucks in parts, will get a ZRT to approach ZR 440 Sno-Pro handling on the trail, but it will not be your run of the mill $1500 sled at that point. We love the ZR 440 S/P so much, we purchased another over the past few weeks and are flying up to pick it up and ride this weekend (before the big melt hits).

When it comes time to purchase, make sure you ride the sled before handing over the pile of $100's to the former owner. You'll quickly know if you've "being taken for a ride" or are getting a good deal. Should be no vibrations, smooth acceleration, engine should RPM to 9000 RPM easily and effortlessly, shifts should be crisp, and, although it sounds funny, the speedometer should work (or it could be something very expensive about to break).

Above all, keep your sled maintained and have a fun time riding it.
 

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The ZRT600's were supposed to run right around 8250rpm's in stock form, most seem to read about 8400-8500 on the factory tach when running strong, with aftermarket pipes they are usually supposed to run right around 9200rpm's. If you're looking at a stocker don't worry if it only shows 8400rpm instead of 9000rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (paperkid96 @ Mar 8 2007, 08:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Did you say costs less????

Once you get addicted it will cost you far more than you ever thought. Haha.

Welcome to the site!!!!!!!![/b]

Yeah but try spending 2000 on a dana 60, then poping out 380 bucks per tire x5 plus motor mods etc, then go beat the snot out of it and try to fit it on trails you can bearly squeeze a quad on. Not to mention I was breaking big parts like transmissions and stuff like that. 600 bucks for tubing for a roll cage, a 600 dollar welder. a 1400 dollar tube bender. Yeah I think snowmobiles might be cheaper. I already have a tow rig and trailer, so that why I thought it would be cheaper. But if you guys think I'll be spending more then 10g's a year like I was on pace for with my K5 truggy you are crazy.
 

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Once you find a nice reliable sled, it shouldn't cost too much to keep it going. Fuel and oil when you ride, maybe a new drive belt at the beginning or each season, and carbide runners for the skis when the old ones wear out (lifespan varies depending on snow conditions from year to year). A little routine maintenance goes a long ways with sleds, simple things like cleaning the clutches, and lubing suspensions can make the difference between riding for 10+ years trouble free, and breaking down every ride.
 

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You will like the ZR setup- suspension wise. Triples are front heavy and not good for jumping, plus tire you out by day's end. The quick windup of the 2 cylinders these days, in my opinion, is far superior to holding open 3 big carb slides all day over rough terrain. If you're looking for a good rider/ jumper, the sno pro setup is YO!
 
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