The marriage between Yamaha and Arctic Cat continues, and this means most of the hot new technical innovations for the coming winter can be found in both flavors. Our favorite is the new from the handlebar controlled iACT or IQS shock valving system. Think of it as FOX Quick Switch 3 shocks without the knob. Instead, both front suspension shocks and the rear arm shock feature compact servo motors, all of which are linked together and controlled by a left-hand control button with gauge indication. Just like the Quick Switch design, the system serves up three levels of compression damping (Soft, Medium, and Firm). The best part is you can control these settings while on the fly with nearly instant results. The system can switch between ride levels in just a fraction of a second. This means you can adjust your suspension to meet changing terrain as you drive. See a big kicker or road approach you want to send, click the shocks to firm; or the trail is an ocean of washboard chop, dial it back to soft. The system is also smart enough to recognize when you activate reverse, at which point it stiffens the rear shock and softens the front to help eliminate the rear of the sled from “diving” and potentially digging down or climbing atop the snow flap. No doubt this is only the tip of the iceberg for this type of shock control technology.

With the initial breathless hype subsided and time to make a spring buying decision, the staff at On Snow Magazine is bringing you 19 days of new snowmobile and technical innovations along with our first impressions.