RIDE IMPRESSIONS: Arctic Cat ZR 4000 RR
We weren't expecting much when we decided to take our 2015 ZR 4000 RR for a trail ride.
After all, this is a race sled and is intended to do duty in cross-country race events with very little modification required.
We were pretty sure its calibration would be way off for decent pleasure cruising.
This RR Cat differs from its 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 kin in that it is more basic and stripped down for race-ready lightness.
For instance, its gauge package is bare minimum, there's no electric start or reverse available, it sports Cat's most beefed up racing slide rails and comes with adjustable skidframe shocks with a wide range of compression damping settings.
At the front, Cat has installed its raciest Fox X EVOL air shocks with both compression and rebound adjustability. It also uses a very thin and light 1.25-inch Cobra track (129-inches long).
This low-resistance track allows the 4000's 500 EFI twin to spin the track easily and it really accelerates fast up to its 80-mph top speed.
All this is good if you're competing but usually not so good if you want a smooth riding, comfortable sled for all-day snowmobiling. We were surprised.
Wisely, Cat has built-in sufficient adjustability with these shocks that it can be ridden on trails without pile-driving your spine through the top of your helmet.
In fact, when we used minimum settings, it rode extremely well, handling stutters and chatter nicely and when the trails got rougher, even at those low damping settings, the skidframe never bottomed out. This sled has quickly become one of our faves!
Yes, the 500 twin is high-strung, making 84-hp and having a fairly narrow powerband. It's clutched nicely however, and the sled is completely rideable - especially if you tend to be a bit aggressive with the throttle.
The question is: Is the ZR 4000 RR a good replacement for the former Sno-Pro 500? We say YES in capital letters. This is a truly refined snowmobile that can perform way more than just one function.
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