Ride Impression: 2013 Arctic Cat XF CrossTour

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Last year’s highly successful intro of the 600 Switchback Adventure has caused a spin-off in the snowmobile industry and Arctic Cat is the first to respond to it.

The concept of a sled with a longer track (136-141-inches) and capacity to carry on-board gear in an integrated, reliable manner seems to be capturing the imaginations of new-sled buyers and it’s likely all about versatility.

Both the Adventure and the CrossTour give owners the advantage of off-trail capability and long distance touring prowess with the focus on gear stowage and maximum rider comfort.

The CrossTour offers a sturdy on-tunnel rack setup, really quite different from the Adventure’s hard surface, lined bags; a soft gear bag under the back of the seat and the possibility of adding a handlebar bag, a windshield bag and a zip-up goggle holder at the front.

Certainly, the rack design allows for more luggage storage or is just a great place to bungee extra travel gear.

With a warm, high windshield and a 141-inch track underneath, the CrossTour should be a nice place to do business on longer rides. There’s even a bolt-on optional 2-up seat you can add to the mix.

The new Cat is available powered by either the 1100 Turbo or Cat’s 800 2-stroke and uses the crossover XF’s very light non-coupled skid with an adjustable air shock at the rear.

Adjustment, using a gauge and air pump is fairly complex for most riders and is better left to a dealer to set up. This could be viewed as unfortunate, because the XF skidframe often needs to be tailored a few notches for different rider weights and riding styles to get maximum comfort.

The idea is for snowmobilers to get as much use out of one sled as possible and the versatility and multiplicity of uses of sleds like the CrossTour provides owners with a lot of options.

This fact could be the reason there’s an explosion in sales of longer tracked sleds the last couple of years. As prices continue to go up, riders want to get everything they can out of their purchase.

Both the Adventure and the CrossTour deliver the goods without compromising ride, handling or power.

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