Supertrax Magazine Co-Publishers and Brothers Kent and Mark Lester are at it again bickering and arguing about their picks for the annual Supertrax Best In Class Awards!
WINNER: ARCTIC CAT ALPHA ONE
Arctic Cat has been working feverishly the past five years on its mountain program. Although the company has kept its own customers, it’s been a struggle to convert Polaris and Ski-Doo enthusiasts over to the brand.
Andy Beavis and the Arctic Cat deep snow engineering team have pared weight, streamlined suspension components so there’s little snow retention, relocated the chaincase and changed the angle of approach of the track. All these things worked and improved the M-series but nothing has made a significant dent in the competition. Not until now.
With the intro of the new Alpha One single beam skidframe, Cat may have made a quantum leap into the mindset of other-branded riders.
The Alpha skidframe goes with the principal that a deep snow skid doesn’t need two rails. Instead, there’s a single, extremely rigid rail running down the middle of the track allowing more turning flexibility from the track, quicker pivots, better sidehilling, reduced weight while still maintaining all the best of what the back of a mountain sled should do in powder.
Our mountain riders tested the Alpha One and walked away impressed. Even considering both Polaris and Ski-Doo have incredible mountain sleds with amazing technology, this one rang the bell.
Combine this tech with Cat’s very torquey, lightning responsive DSI 800 and the Alpha is a very solid contender in showrooms.
This is big progress and we believe it will turn a lot of heads in the vert market. Kudos to Cat for breaking through!
Now, listen to Mark’s feeble rebuttal on why no one else but Ski-Doo or Polaris can ever be a consideration in the mountains. Times change, buddy, and that’s what makes the snowmobile industry run!
RUNNERS-UP: RMK 850 & SUMMIT 850
Okay Kenny, I get why you picked the new Alpha Arctic Cat. It’s whiz-bang new and captures the imagination of those who are less enlightened (than me).
Here’s the deal – it’s impossible to deny the amazing engineering, incredible mountain specific features, enormously torquey and powerful 850 engines not to mention the tested, proven, near bulletproof reliability of the Ski-Doo Summits and the RMKs.
BTW – check your Ski-Doo Summit and you’ll notice its tMotion skid allows for track flexibility in a way that’s oh-so-similar to the Alpha. Hmm?
Try this on for size – the RMK has been meticulously engineered to be super light – even lighter than the Summit and lighter than the Alpha – with or without its skid filled with snow.
Maybe Cat’s onto something here – in the meantime lets be honest, Kent. It’s going to take a lot of converted, influential mountain pilots to sign on with the new Alpha before AC will be challenging Ski-Doo or Polaris for vertical market supremacy.