Lean green machine

Mountain Cat pounces and packs a punch!
2018 Arctic Cat Mountain Cat 153
Kind of like that kid we all know who is always confident, quiet, not a lot of talk, bravado or bragging. He waits for everyone else to have their chance in the ring and then after all the high fives, likes, and shares he quietly, but ferociously, beats the champion and leaves everyone saying wow!

■ Stealthily stalking the hill
We rode this 2018 Mountain Cat all winter, and it quietly proved itself throughout the season, hitting every benchmark and expectation. In the powder evaluation, the MC was lightest in our fleet in both shop wet weight, and in-field wet weight. This was due to many small changes Cat made in the body, hardware, drive shaft, fuel tank, etc.. Additionally, the panels were lightened and the running boards trimmed. What surprised us, however, is the in-field wet weights. In the powder eval, we tested weights after 2 hours of riding. The Mountain Cat gained less than 8 percent of its weight in snow, while the others in the fleet were over 12 percent. This sled sheds snow like a long-haired Saint Bernard, and for 2019 it gets better with the Alpha One monorail set up because when there is no where for the snow to collect! It only makes sense that you will be riding around with less weight, plus thanks to some good seat time on the Alpha One this last spring we know for a fact it sheds the snow in all conditions.
2018 Arctic Cat Mountain Cat 153
■ Technology Insights
There’s a lot of tech on this sled. The CTEC2 motor has more than enough power to get you where you want to go. With its R&D originating from the race circuits, there’s fabulous throttle control, and it’s amazingly responsive in the bottom and mid ranges. With input in the designing process from racers and hard core backcountry riders, the end result was a consumer sled eager to perform in all conditions. This sled should be Viagra blue, but envy green seems to work too …

We reached out to David McClure, one of Arctic Cats pro backcountry riders and highly decorated RMSHA racers. Here is what he had to say about the CTEC2:
“The 2018 Mountain Cat is an awesome sled! New motor, dropped chain-case, and new body work made the sled feel completely new, but with the same legendary Arctic Cat strength and reliability. I don’t think anyone that bought a 2018 mtn cat was disappointed.

“The motor feels stronger throughout the entire RPM range to me. It starts noticeably easier than the old Suzuki motor after you roll the sled over. I also like only having to deal with two spark plugs instead of four.”

Additionally, the Fox QS3 clicker shocks provide ease when traveling in steep and deep terrain. When you lockout the rear shock, the front of the snowmobile stays firmly planted and it helps to keep more track on the snow on long steep pulls. The combination of the CTEC2 and the suspension let the rider climb with the speed and ease of a true mountain cat. When you hit the trail, loosen the shocks up for a cushy trail ride that will have you happily coasting over the bumps. Your assets will also appreciate how soft the seat is, however if you forget to unlock the rear shock on the bumps, your tailbone and those pesky hemorrhoids will be cursing you for a week.
2018 Arctic Cat Mountain Cat 153
■ Beast’s preferred conditions
The 2018 Mountain Cat performs incredibly well in all snow conditions, but really shines in the deep snow and crud. The Power Claw track and the non-stop pull of the CTEC2 in combination with the suspension made it easy to pull long steep side-hills. Also, with the new body work, paneling out was never an issue on steep and deep side-hills.

While small changes were made over the 2017 model, they really brought the sled into line with the human element and made everything easier. The forward stance, slimmer panels and dropped chain-case all made what was already a great sled even better.

The Mountain Cat is named appropriately, as it’s natural habitat is the backcountry. With all of the new changes mentioned, riders can easily side-hill and boondock to their desired destination. The sled was designed with boondocking in mind, all of These features make it super responsive and agile on any mountain. This lean machine also consumes less oil and fuel than its predecessor. Pair that with better emissions - for the green sledders - and this Mountain Cat is a win-win for anyone trying to get the most out of their sleds in the mountains and deep POW.
2018 Arctic Cat Mountain Cat 153
■ Test Rider Conclusions
This sled proved itself to be a contender on the mountain. New riders, and those that haven’t been riding for some time took the machine through trees and up steep terrain with ease. The increased agility and motor control from previous sleds made riding it a breeze. The added tech made the steep and deep more manageable and fun.

Test Rider Lonnie Thompson thought it handled really well, especially when compared to the previous models. However, he was not a fan of the vertical steering and thinks it would be better with and benefit from a more laid-back steering approach. He liked the the clutching as well as the power of the new CTEC2 engine and its ability to get up on top of the snow quickly and without too much effort.

Since the Alpha One was released, the game has been stepped up several notches. An already great platform in the 2018 Mountain Cat now gets a whole new foundation that is lighter, more nimble and stronger than ever. While our riders loved this model, the 2019 Mountain Cat is going to be a game-changer. Stay tuned!
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