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Riding the Revolutionary
In the world of snow machines, standard designs have remained relatively unchanged over the last 30 years. Typical machines have the same basic components, similar styles, and comparable issues. That is, until this year. Arctic Cat is completely changing the game with a newly designed revolutionary machine. The 2019 M 8000 Mountain Cat Alpha ONE 154/165 is something that will inspire and thrill generations of mountain riders.
While typical snowmobiles have been built with the traditional 2-rail system, Arctic Cat holds the patent on the single beam rear suspension and they’re not holding back. This year’s single-rail design has kicked that innovation up a notch with the introduction of the Alpha ONE. The hollowed box support system is extruded aluminum and has magnesium attachment points, which result in needing less parts and creating a lighter sled that comes in 11 pounds lighter than the previous design. That simplicity in design also translates into less carry weight. Where other machines can accumulate heavy snow, the clean design allows for virtually no accumulation.
“It’s going to make it handle and maneuver a lot better than previous models. It’s weight saving so you’re not carrying around a lot of snow on the trail,” says Travis DeJong of Track 2 Trail in Sioux Falls.
Having only a single extruded aluminum beam means there is a single pivot point which encourages increased maneuverability. Wanting to develop a track with flexibility while also increasing the traction, Arctic Cat has created a Next Gen Power Claw track. This newly designed 15” track has central windows that align with the beam and come in lengths of 154/165. Clawing through the powder with 3.00” paddles and with 3.5” pitch, this track moves, flexes, and grips snowpack in any terrain. Riders have raved that where they once would have lost traction when putting the machine on its side and trying to roll out, the Alpha ONE maintains grip and does it with less rider effort. Simply put, it means riders experience less fatigue and have more energy to spend in the backcountry.
The Alpha ONE also boasts 10” rear idler wheels which allow the power to stay on the ground and create less power loss than standard models. Retaining that power is important especially when you see an 8000 C-Tec2 engine with DSI under the chassis. With a faster throttle response and acceleration compared to previous models, the 2019 Alpha ONE is ready to react. It also reportedly has lower emissions, less oil consumption, and increased low-end and mid-range torque.
Understanding the need to keep the engine cool while riding, Arctic Cat has installed ice scratchers. Lowering these when there is little snow but a lot of ice can keep your engine from overheating.
While the single rail is not specific to the Alpha ONE, when you pair the incredible agility of the mono-rail and Power Claw track with all the other specifications of this machine, you can understand why brand loyal customers are switching over to Arctic Cat.
Those specifications include the award-winning Ascender platform introduced last year. By giving the Alpha ONE the 1.125 dropped driveshaft, riders get 3” of track-to-tunnel clearance and a 9.7-degree lower approach angle, making handling this machine easier with less weight transfer needed.
Accompanying the Ascender platform are Next Gen mountain body panels and a 10 percent slimmer profile. The belly pan has been reshaped to move the rider’s feet forward and help with ergonomics and rideability. The Alpha ONE Mountain Cat has ProClimb 7 G-2 skis. By implementing molded-in foot traction on top of the skis, a tapered width, and a rubber dampener to keep the tips up, these unique skis complement the unique features of the Alpha ONE and decrease the chances of diving or knifing.
Also impressing riders is the reuse of FOX Float 3 QSL shocks that allow riders to change from a looser ride to a more rigid one with the push of a button. And being able to change the characteristic of your ride means the ability to react quickly to changes in terrain.
DeJong believes that any level of rider will find this machine impressive.
“The more aggressive mountain rider is definitely going to feel the benefits,” says DeJong. “But they’ve also said that you can take a novice rider and it will make them a lot better rider with a lot less rider effort.”
Arctic Cat has revamped all of their 2019 models with updated handlebars that will allow the rider to easily be precise and access all of the necessary controls. And precision is important when you’re in the backcountry.
The Alpha ONE from Arctic Cat is radical from concept to design and will galvanize the masses with its superior maneuverability and style. If you’re ready for a revolution, stop by Track 2 Trail to see the Alpha ONE, along with the entire 2019 lineup.