Oldcats:You will love the riding position of the new F8, as does everyone else including myself. The better ride and bump handling capabilities go along with the rider forward position. In my opinion, it's not as though Cat has done anything fantastic with the suspenion, it's just that you are positioned where you don't feel the bumps as much. I said that about the Rev. It was the cheap easy way for SkiDoo to give you a better ride. Instead of designing a new and better suspension, just relocate the driver. Cat has taken it one step forward and made it possible to be comfortable in the middle of the teeter totter as well. You have to hand it to them for that!
I believe the F chassis is much stronger then the Firecat, hence the extra weight. That is only from what I have heard, because I have never owned or even rode a Firecat. My opinion of my new F5 LXR is based on comparisons with my 2003 Z570.
Other then the riding position and the added strength of the chassis, that is about all I can say that is good about my new F5. Handling is on par, if not a tad behind my Z570, at least until the going gets rough. The F5 has a slight edge for bump handling capabilities. I find it more natural to stand and take on the bumps. It seems very comfortable and confident inspiring to stand thru the nasties with the new chassis. Again, more rider position then anything fantastic with the suspension.
There are many design flaws with the new F Series that make you wonder how a company with the back ground of Cat, could possibly let this stuff happen or be so lacking in inovative thought. It is so advanced in some ways and just so down right stupid in others. To name a few:
-the rear storage that makes no attempt to be waterproof
-the dumb dumb design of the hood and dash area. You do not want to check or change your spark plugs on the trail
-the clutch guard. NOT USER FRIENDLY
-A-Arms that bottom out on the bulk head
-track clearances so close that you swear it is rubbing on the tunnel or DD case, but not enough evidence to confirm to your dealer
-speaking of the Diamond Drive. Is it really more efficient or is it the cause of all the new models being so slow
-fuel mapping of all the EFI units af ALL size engines, is a total screw up. Did I mention the EFI is right out of the 80's
-oil pumps set from the factory that would be helpful for fogging mosquitos, if there were any at -20
-handlebars rubbing on instrument panel
-poor handling out of the crate. You can get it right, but it will cost you time and money
Those are just the every day flaws that you have to live with even if they don't cause a total meltdown. Then there are the flaws that will give you some exercise walking home:
-wiring harnesses rubbing and shorting out on the frame
-ECU's acting erratically and failing at will
-DD oil spewing out of seals
-idler wheel failure
I probably missed a few, but the bottom line is that you would have to be out of your mind to buy one of these things at this time. The seating position is good, but not that good. All Cat really did was raise the seat. Not exactly an engineering break through. Steal a cushion off of the living room couch and duct tape it in place. You will accomplish the same thing!
Will Cat get all this fixed for 2008? I certainly wouldn't put my money down before I see or ride one. From what I have been told by my dealer, Cat is in denial there is anything wrong at all! I will probably ride my F5 for another year because from a financial perspective, I have to. This is my third Cat and after last year I swore I would never buy another. Then I saw the F Series with the perfect rider position and they sucked me in again. The other manufactures will follow. The new SkiDoo is already there for 2008. Bye Bye ***** Cat!