2009 ARCTIC CAT F8 TWIN SPAR 800

A ten-year-old sled, if you can find a really good one, represents good value and can provide comfort and reliability at a fraction of the price of a new sled. If you’re looking for used iron, here’s a few suggestions in no particular order:

With all the hype about Cat’s recent DSI, slot-injected 800 replacement engine, recommending the Suzuki-built case reed, throttle body EFI 800 powering the Twin Spar Cats of this era may seem strange. However, the fact is, of all the used 800 2-strokes built ten years ago, the Suzook 800 twin has proven to be the most reliable.

Sure, there was vibration, less-than ideal fuel and oil mileage, smoke, and a “fat” demeanor when the throttle was tipped-in, but these engines were strong runners and held up extremely well with very few crank, bearing, piston or bottom end failures reported on stockers.

It’s hard to think of an 800 as being “pipey” but this one is happiest when the RPMs have built beyond 4000. Much below that and throttle tip-in isn’t very crisp.

Cat’s Twin Spar chassis was never very pretty or particularly light but was built battleship strong. Suspension, handling and ergonomics (adjustable handlebars) were very good by 2009 and these sleds were warm and comfortable on long rides, providing you had the right windshield.

Cat used its own spin cast primary clutch and a roller secondary in those days and belt life and belt heat was actually very good on the 800, however, the engine heat light comes on very easily when you’re riding in hard-snow conditions.

Believe it or not, this isn’t as serious as it seems but you’ll need to keep finding loose powder to ride in to get the snow up into the tunnel in order to make the light go off.

Big thing: These sleds were first to use a 129-inch track.

We give the F8 a 3.5 out of 5.

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