Dyno Test: Cat Power Evolution

Comparing the new 800 C-TEC2 DSI to the old Suzuki 800.
Arctic Cat with their new 800 C-TEC2 DSI motor.
Rob Budrow
Arctic Cat snowmobile with Suzuki 800 motor
Rob Budrow
Part of the satisfaction of having independently dyno tested snowmobile engines (and other motorsport engines) for 30 years is that I’ve witnessed the gradual advancement of 2-stroke technology, reduction of emissions, and, most importantly, the increases in horsepower.

History of Cat power

In 1998, DynoTech Research used its SuperFlow engine dyno to attain test results of the then-new 1988 Arctic Cat 650 Wildcat engine with twin factory pipes, which was putting out 104.8 CHP. That was the first time a sled engine had an output of more than 100 HP! Then, in 2007, the Suzuki 800 twin 2-stroke snowmobile motor put out 145.8 CHP. Now that is some progress!

In 2010 came the EFI motor that most of us are familiar with, and it powered Cat’s 800 sleds. This was the more radically ported Suzuki 800 H.O. engine that was putting out 154.4 CHP. When first released in the F8 chassis with a straighter, tighter exhaust in 2010, they were fairly peaky at 160+ HP. However, the 800 H.O.’s power was soon relaxed and broadened with a looser, more convoluted exhaust and more conservative fuel and spark calibration to deal with poor-quality fuel and abuse.

However, thanks to a well-engineered cooling system in this motor (top-down proper GPM coolant flow, high-flow low-temp thermostat, and heat-scouring low-volume, high-velocity coolant passages in the head and cylinders), we were able to use Dynojet’s fuel and timing tuners with our hot trail or drag maps to easily bring late 800 H.O. horsepower up into the mid- to high-160s in legal stock trim on 92 octane pump gas. We have seen that modified 800 H.O. engines can be tuned to run deto-free on pump gas at up to 180 HP! There were other positive gains seen by other performance folks as well.
dyno test results for 800 motors
Dyno test results for 800 motors.
The new 800

For an interesting comparison, we have taken all three fairly modern Cat 800 engines and put them into a graphic for you. For 2018, we have the Arctic Cat-designed and manufactured C-TEC2 800 DSI (dual stage injection) that bumps HP up to just over 160 with very conservative full-throttle fuel flow. But it’s important to observe the overlay plot showing the difference in mid-range and over-rev HP in the three 800 twins we are discussing.

With the newest Cat 800, we see a meaningful 6 HP increase in peak horsepower compared to the 2017 Suzuki 800 H.O. But there is a whopping 15-20 HP difference in mid-range! With how flat the HP curve is in the new C-TEC 800, it should provide great mid-range acceleration as well as forgiveness for less than spot-on clutch calibration. By comparing each of the power curves here, you can very clearly see the progression of power in just a decade. We don’t often sit back and realize just how far we’ve come in a short period as far as snowmobile stock performance is concerned.

Although this was an interesting comparison, we would have loved to include that 650 Wildcat HP curve in this graph. As crazy as it sounds, at 104.8 peak HP, it wouldn’t show up even at the bottom!
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