Jason “the Mailman” Soucie took the new 2018 Arctic Cat M8000 SnoPro out for a rip recently. He sent in a raving report on the first 2018 to hit the snow! We distilled his comments down to five things you need to know about the sled. Here you go…
#1. “The new motor is awesome. It’s so snappy right off the bottom end, and never quits pulling all the way through the entire power range. It’s very smoothly delivered power too! They did a really good job with all the changes on the sled. The motor is so responsive right off the bottom end it’s kinda crazy. This particular sled is a 153” track with 3” lugs, and it motored and sidehilled up and through some pretty gnarly stuff yesterday! I had my doubts in a few spots, but it just kept trucking! Coming off four-stroke Yamahas from the past two seasons. I like what I think works for me. And this cat is awesome!” See the info on the new engine here.
#2. “The chassis got skinny! It’s 4 inches skinnier than the previous Cat chassis which glued the sled to the mountain while sidehilling. It never tried to wash or panel out at all. This sled is like the Spaceship’s skinny punk-ass cousin! The one you don’t want to be around or ride with, but you just have to cause it’s awesome!!” Not only is the plastic sucked in, but the runningboards got an inch narrower as well.
#3. “The new narrow sidepanels not only look better not being wide, and bulky anymore, but they make access to each side of the motor compartment way easier to get into.” The Next-Gen plastic on the M8000 uses the same basic look and feel of the turbo sled, but it has been drawn in tighter to the sled on the sides and up on the shoulder. Those fancy quarter-turn fastners are easy to grab onto and do a good job holding the panels in place. You can get in to swap a belt and put it all back together in about a minute and a half.
#4. “Being equipped with Fox shocks all the way around has always been a plus for guys like me that usually end up changing out stock shocks.” Fox increased the air volume on the 2018 M sleds’ FLOAT 3 shocks by dishing out material from the end caps for more supple compression in the first part of the stroke. The rear track shock is also longer overall, which gives it additional volume. The end result is a better ride and more tunability.
#5. “The whole sled lost roughly 13 pounds total. Which is always a plus being lighter but not too light. There’s a lot of Backcountry guys, like myself, who would rather have a durable sled that is going to take a beating all year and not flat out break because it’s ‘too light.’” The litany of redesigned parts is long and distinguished. We’ll do a full article on Cat’s diet plan in the near future.
#6. The bonus note from the Mailman: “This new cat is bad ass.”