2012 ARCTIC CAT F1100 LXR

The 1100 4-stroke LXR fully embodies what we look for in a trail-happy sled. The Suzuki-built 4-valve EFI twin under the hood is a solid, dependable power source with hundreds of thousands of reliable miles behind it.

Its durability is further endorsed by the fact it can be taken from 123 ponies up into the stratosphere by adding a turbocharger to it. Cat’s turbos also have zillions of miles of consumer use on them.

None of this is intended to mask the fact a liter-plus 4-stroke has a weight disadvantage compared to a 600cc 2-stroke. What’s amazing about this sled is the way it handles the extra mass.

We’re not exaggerating when we tell you the F1100 gives away nothing in handling and ride to a 2-stroke. You can ride this sled a hundred miles and, except for its flatulent exhaust note, never be aware it’s a 4-stroke.

What you get as a bonus is that nice, 4-stroke low end torque and, although power up top may not match an E-TEC or a Cleanfire 600, we’ve seen triple digits on the speedo, which we’re pretty happy about.

Cat has developed a fairly revolutionary setup called a Torque Control Link that amounts to a one-piece, extruded aluminum brace that connects the engine and the jackshaft and adds incredible support between the primary and secondary clutches.

The result is near-perfect belt deflection and alignment. Certainly, this means the belt will live longer but better yet is what it does to the power delivery of any of the Cat engines in this new chassis.

Spool-up from low RPM right to the top is smooth, linear and velvety. There’s a sense this sled is getting all of its power to the snow – and this is in fact, true.

We’ve made the statement this sled represents the peak of 4-stroke snowmobile development. We think the competition has some catching up to do.

Indeed, Cat has rewritten the book on 4-strokes and if you aren’t a believer, you will be after riding this one.

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