Long-Term Test: 2016 Arctic Cat XF 8000 Crosstrek

Hauling cargo or passengers on your snowmobile? There's a Crosstrek for that!
2016 Arctic Cat XF 8000 Crosstrek snowmobile
La-Z-Boy comfort can be hard to find on a sled, but Arctic Cat’s XF 8000 Crosstrek offers plenty of plushness and amenities to relax your cares away in the snow!
Ryan Thompson - RLT Photos
It wasn’t difficult to choose which 2016 sled we wanted to be on if we had a big day of trail miles ahead of us. Over the course of the winter, we found two things to be true about our Arctic Cat XF 8000 Crosstrek: It was warm, and the 800 Suzuki 2-stroke engine had as much pep as ever.
2016 Arctic Cat XF 8000 Crosstrek snowmobile
Ryan Thompson – RLT Photos
High-mileage machine
I nicknamed this one our “Smokey and the Bandit” sled. If I had a long way to go, and a short (or even long) time to get there, then this was the sled I was pulling out of our stable.

We had minimal complaints at first glance, as this machine solved all our usual gripes about wind protection and lack of storage with a tall windshield, including mirrors (what are those, right?), and soft saddlebags stock. All were quite useful on those long, cold trail rides.

What’s intriguing about this sled is that it‘s not like Arctic Cat’s bread-and-butter high-HP, Ricky Racer sleds that the green team is often known for, especially in some previous model years. There’s a lot here for the comfort cruisers of your group to love, including the ultra-cushy seat.

Our early MPG numbers were surprisingly very good from this engine (based on past experience). We thought those numbers might change over the course of the season, and they did, but only slightly. We know most snowmobilers aren’t all that concerned about fuel mileage, especially in an 800 sled, but more MPGs are always better. The Crosstrek was more than kind at the gas pump.
2016 Arctic Cat XF 8000 Crosstrek snowmobile
With oodles of stock storage, you can take along whatever the day calls for, whether you’re getting adventurous off-trail or pounding out mile afer mile of freshly groomed trails.
Ryan Thompson - RLT Photos
The longer track (137 inches) made this a little pushy in tight corners, but overall it wasn’t bad. We stuck with the stock carbides on this sled for the early part of the season. Adding a little longer, more aggressive carbide decreased the pushing somewhat. If you weren’t pulling warp-like speeds, it was mighty comfortable in those corners.

The suspension offers some nice performance characteristics, but you’ll figure out fairly quickly that it’s not the high-end type of package you’d find on something like one of Cat’s racer replicas. The back end is definitely set up for a heavier load (cargo or passenger), and it handles well through some small trail bumps. Once you hit those big sharp moguls, it becomes obvious that it’s not quite up to snuff for the really rough stuff.

This is absolutely one to consider for your average trail cruiser. It’s particularly worth a look if you’ve got reasons to carry cargo or passengers.
4 Takeaways
  1. A Cat 800 that’s good on fuel? If you’re cruising normally, yes. If you’re pushing the pace, then its MPG numbers become more average.
  2. Very plush seat. Almost too soft because you just want to sit in even more than stutter bumps, butt appreciated on long rides.
  3. Stock storage is more than enough for a saddlebag trip.
  4. Don’t forget to set your handlebars; this sled is even comfier and easier to drive with the perfect rotation.
Engine: 794cc EFI twin 2-stroke Drive: TEAM Rapid Response primary, TEAM Rapid Reaction BOSS secondary HP: 151.0* Exhaust: APV w/ tuned pipe, pipe sensor and stainless steel muffler Brake: Race radial master cylinder hydraulic brake Ski Stance: 42-43 in. adj. Front Susp.: ARS w/ sway bar, FOX Float 3 shocks (10 in. travel) Rear Susp.: Slide-Action w/ Tri-hub rear axle, coupling blocks, torque-sensing link, adj. torsion springs, Arctic Cat gas IFP center shock, Arctic Cat 2-in. IFP rear shock (13.5 in. travel) Track: 15x137x1.5-in. Cobra Fuel Tank: 11.7 gal. Rec. Fuel: 91 Octane Dry Weight: NA Wet Weight: 637 lbs.* Price: $13,699 US / $15,599 CA Real World Stats*: Top Speed: 87.13 mph 1,000 ft.: 12.35 sec. Season Avg. MPG: 15.94
*AmSnow Tested
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