Undoubtedly when news of an alliance between Yamaha and Arctic Cat was first announced just moments before the kick-off to Yamaha’s North American dealer meeting, thoughts of Arctic Cat faithful immediately turned to what this meant for their brand in 2014. Most certainly a 1049 Genesis powered Arctic Cat would be in the mix, and it is, but little did we know even bigger news would be forthcoming that would ultimately trump the YamaCat relationship.

The introduction of a new 600 cube two-stroke from Arctic Cat has been a long time coming. Even after Cat brass attempted to assert that the 1100 normally aspirated four-stroke was their 600 offering going forward; it remained a foregone conclusion a new two-stroke motor was being developed. What we didn’t expect, and most likely neither did the competition, was a new engine that delivers claimed on par cleanliness and fuel economy with the industry leading ETEC mill, and does so without complex and expensive direct injection technology. Add to this, across the line enhancements, a deep and diverse engine offering, and of course the unknown benefits of having the industry leader in quality at your side, one can’t help but wonder if this could be the year of the Cat?

6000 Series C-TEC2_600_Engine_Cutaway_5_2014

Sticking with their successful “laydown” engine design, the new 600 C-TEC2 engine is in some ways a classic example of a “better mousetrap”. While the competition went the path of higher and higher technology, Cat engineers developed a semi-direct injection system that operates using low fuel rail pressures and dramatically enhances engine durability through both design and a pre-mixed charged; all this while serving up super clean burn levels and big gains in fuel economy. Cat is also quick to point out that the new engine is an all Arctic Cat design that will be built at their St. Cloud Minnesota engine facility.

C-TEC2_600 Slotted Piston_Injector

A big part of the “genius” behind the new C-TEC2 engine is the slotted piston design, which allows the single injector to deliver a two-stage charge (both atop the piston and into the crankcase). What’s more, the pre-mixed charge delivers significant and consistent lubrication to both the wristpin and crank bearings for greatly improved durability.

FastTrack_SLIDE-ACTION_RearSkid_2014

Minor tweaks were made to the FastTrack Slide Action suspension for 2014. Revised front arm geometry raises the arm mount and relocates the tunnel location rearward for improved small bump compliance and reduced track tension during full compression.

IMG_6508

Here’s a look at a real deal piston from the 600 C-TEC2. Fuel delivery is metered completely by duration, which means during low-rpm operation, the slot design is likely not in play.

IMG_6512

This view gives you a better perspective of the injector location and its relationship to the piston, combustion chamber, and slot. Lubricating oil is introduced into the engine both at the traditional reed valve location along with a premix form in the fuel rail.

IMG_8940

Most 2014 Cat models will feature a new larger secondary sheave that has larger cooling fins for reduced operating temperatures.

IMG_8960

Your butt should feel better aboard the 2014 ZR and XF models as Cat engineers added more foam to the chair. The flat boat cushion design has also been addressed as the side panels have been reshaped for improved ergonomics.

IMG_8963

Yup, here it is, the 1049 Genesis motor in Cat colors. If you’ve already brushed up on the changes for Yamaha in 2014, you know this is basically a Yamaha motor fitted into an Arctic Cat chassis. One major difference between the two, at least as of this writing, is Arctic Cat has opted to use their own familiar clutching components.

IMG_8980

A new, all-digital gauge will make its way onto all 7000 (Yamaha powered) and 6000 (new 600 two-stroke) models. The jury is out on the design, although we’re personally fans of the quick glance capabilities of analog needle gauges. We’ll need some time in the saddle with the new package before we pass final judgment.

IMG_8982

Cat has added even more bling to the color palette this year, at least when it comes to limited edition models. Painted spindles, A-arms, rails, and bumpers gives models like this XF Limited 9000 lots of curb appeal.

IMG_9009

You’re looking at what could very well be the most coveted 2014 model regardless of brand. The new 600 motor is available in one model next and one model only, the ZR 6000 El Tigre. Think Cat is gearing up for a big run? Those are pallets of the new 600 mill serving as a backdrop.

IMG_9017

The XF 9000 Turbo Sno Pro High Country isn’t only one of the longest names in the Cat fleet but is also one of the best looking sleds with its white and black trim. The 177-horespower monster features the race-version master cylinder brake for improved pull and feel; new Float 3 shocks; and big fin secondary for 2014.

IMG_9043

Like infants in a nursery, there was a cache of new 600 twins awaiting new homes while we visited Cat’s St. Cloud engine facility in January.

M8_162_SP_LTD_Blk_2014

The big boy on the mountain is undoubtedly the M900 Turbo Sno Pro Limited… ya man enuff?

Sticking with their successful “laydown” engine design, the new 600 C-TEC2 engine is in some ways a classic example of a “better mousetrap”. While the competition went the path of higher and higher technology, Cat engineers developed a semi-direct injection system that operates using low fuel rail pressures and dramatically enhances engine durability through both design and a pre-mixed charged; all this while serving up super clean burn levels and big gains in fuel economy. Cat is also quick to point out that the new engine is an all Arctic Cat design that will be built at their St. Cloud Minnesota engine facility.XF8_HighCountry_Action14_2123A big part of the “genius” behind the new C-TEC2 engine is the slotted piston design, which allows the single injector to deliver a two-stage charge (both atop the piston and into the crankcase). What’s more, the pre-mixed charge delivers significant and consistent lubrication to both the wristpin and crank bearings for greatly improved durability.Minor tweaks were made to the FastTrack Slide Action suspension for 2014. Revised front arm geometry raises the arm mount and relocates the tunnel location rearward for improved small bump compliance and reduced track tension during full compression.Here’s a look at a real deal piston from the 600 C-TEC2. Fuel delivery is metered completely by duration, which means during low-rpm operation, the slot design is likely not in play.This view gives you a better perspective of the injector location and its relationship to the piston, combustion chamber, and slot. Lubricating oil is introduced into the engine both at the traditional reed valve location along with a premix form in the fuel rail.Most 2014 Cat models will feature a new larger secondary sheave that has larger cooling fins for reduced operating temperatures.Your butt should feel better aboard the 2014 ZR and XF models as Cat engineers added more foam to the chair. The flat boat cushion design has also been addressed as the side panels have been reshaped for improved ergonomics.Yup, here it is, the 1049 Genesis motor in Cat colors. If you’ve already brushed up on the changes for Yamaha in 2014, you know this is basically a Yamaha motor fitted into an Arctic Cat chassis. One major difference between the two, at least as of this writing, is Arctic Cat has opted to use their own familiar clutching components.A new, all-digital gauge will make its way onto all 7000 (Yamaha powered) and 6000 (new 600 two-stroke) models. The jury is out on the design, although we’re personally fans of the quick glance capabilities of analog needle gauges. We’ll need some time in the saddle with the new package before we pass final judgment.Cat has added even more bling to the color palette this year, at least when it comes to limited edition models. Painted spindles, A-arms, rails, and bumpers gives models like this XF Limited 9000 lots of curb appeal.You’re looking at what could very well be the most coveted 2014 model regardless of brand. The new 600 motor is available in one model next and one model only, the ZR 6000 El Tigre. Think Cat is gearing up for a big run? Those are pallets of the new 600 mill serving as a backdrop.The XF 9000 Turbo Sno Pro High Country isn’t only one of the longest names in the Cat fleet but is also one of the best looking sleds with its white and black trim. The 177-horespower monster features the race-version master cylinder brake for improved pull and feel; new Float 3 shocks; and big fin secondary for 2014.Like infants in a nursery, there was a cache of new 600 twins awaiting new homes while we visited Cat’s St. Cloud engine facility in January.The big boy on the mountain is undoubtedly the M900 Turbo Sno Pro Limited… ya man enuff?