2012 Arctic Cat ProCross 800

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If someone argued this was the fastest 2012 800 it would be pretty tough to challenge the claim.

This sled has a power delivery like a freight train and offers a double hook in its powerband that makes you hang on for dear life.

The first power surge hits at about 5000 rpm and the second one up higher and it feels like an old 454 Vette with its carburetor secondaries opening and big gulps of gas being swallowed into the intake tract.

This raw-boned mill requires you pay attention at all times but the reward to a performance purist is inarguable.

A motor that generates power like this one does can easily be forgiven for its smoky start-up and thirsty gas consumption.

The key word here is power and when you buy a sled in this category, you want it to feel fast and be fast – that’s what you’re getting here.

The lightness and quick handling of the new ProCross platform is a perfect fit for this light, extremely fast 2-stroke power package.

We’re not sure if the 800 is faster than the 1100 Turbo but it feels like it could match it and its power-to-weight ratio is almost the same.

Buyers will need to choose between a very civilized, slightly slower handling 4-stroke or a raucous, macho 2-stroke that runs on a mix of 91-octane and pure adrenaline.

We’re a bit disappointed Cat has stiffened the rear suspension settings a touch from what we experienced in the early Sno-Pro prototypes but it is by no means harsh and simply pales in comparison to the Pro-R Polaris and the Ski-Doo rMotion.

Obviously, Cat has the potential to match the competition here but chooses to play to extreme riders who fear any potential for suspension bottoming. We still prefer the LXR’s calibration.

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