Ride Report: Arctic Cat Crossfire 600 141

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By: Kent Lester

We were skeptical about the trail riding proficiency of the 2009 Crossfire with its longer 141-inch track.

Since we do most of our testing on trails, we really don’t like the idea of dragging extra inches of track around tight corners on groomed trails. We’ve put a couple hundred miles on it now.

We first rode the sled in Colorado last March and were impressed with its crisp running EFI 600 but, because of conditions there, couldn’t tell if adding the 141-incher had produced any negative effect on handling.

Although this isn’t the most sophisticated 600 2-stroke out there (it’s not an SDI or DFI and only uses a pipe sensor to control emissions), we felt it worked very nicely in the lightweight Crossfire chassis and delivered decent power with almost no fuss.

At warm-up there’s considerably more smoke from the exhaust than the E-TEC, though.

Our press 600 was set up by Birch Point Cats in Bobcaygeon, Ontario, and even with a fully studded track, we were shocked at how well the sled handles on hard packed snow.

Yup, it’s a 15-wide track, so even though the extra length only adds about another 2.5 inches on the ground, you’d expect there’s a fair bit of resistance from the studs and extra lug surface and track width (compared to the 14-inch wide ’09 CF-R). Not so.

We didn’t notice one iota of difference in the way this sled handles even compared to last year’s 136 Crossfire – and believe us, this thing can float large in deep powder!

The new 141 Crossfire makes a strong case for OEMs fine tuning sleds they already have in production. This one is a sweet ride and, frankly, has surprised us all.

Click here for specs and details on the 600 Crossfire

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