Brothers and Co-Publishers of Supertrax – Kent and Mark Lester debate their picks for 2011’s Best In Class Awards.
WINNER: Arctic Cat Z1 LXR
Last winter few sleds in our fleet endeared themselves to our crew in a manner as convincing as Cat’s Z1. The sled was exceptionally quick, handled in a linear and very predictable way on both tight, tree lined trails or wide-open groomed fire roads.
The floating front arm skid was ultra plush in jigglers but exceptionally bottom-resistant in gnarly, ungroomed whoops.
Most impressive is the way the Z1 looks after its pilot. Warmth is assured with a well protected rider’s perch and comfort guaranteed with the IRP system’s moveable seat and handlebars.
Okay, maybe the Z1’s even firing exhaust cadence more resembles a 1962 Farmall orchard tractor than the melodious tunes produced by Kent’s pick, the Yamaha Vector LTX. Still the Zee gave no gait to the Yammer on full pulls down Kevlar Lake.
Add in this reality: Oh great, Kenny, the Z-1 comes with skis you can actually use on snow! Get in front of it, brother: Yamaha’s cred is seriously undermined every time it delivers another snowmobile with those plastic things hanging on the spindles they call ‘skis’.
It’s clear the 1100cc 123-hp 4-stroke used in the Z1 represents the best power package from AC in the F-body. Mix in the fact the Z1 can get close to 20 mpg when ridden sanely and big miles become easy miles.
Mark, how can you even compare the Z1 to the EFI Vector? I will grant you the two sled platforms described here measure up pretty nicely but there’s just no comparison when you rate the two engines.
The Vector’s 1049cc triple is a sweetheart of a snowmobile mill that delivers excellent throttle response, great top end pull and, when shifted out on trails, is the sweetest sound this side of an angel choir’s harp section.
Yes, there are issues with the stock skis but, hey, you’re gonna wear out the runners quick anyway and you can get some SnowTrackers or Qualipieces carbides to completely solve the problem.
Shoot, just buy some of those new Slit Rail skis and you’ll be the coolest dude ever. Come to think of it, you could use a little coolness.