Our Supertrax Editors Choice for Arctic Cat in 2011 is the new F8 EXT. If we hadn’t put some miles on an EXT (the Turbo version) we probably wouldn’t recommend it.
If you’ve been reading Supertrax the last few years you know we’re not big fans of 144-inch tracked trail sleds.
However, we’ve been impressed with the way the 144-inch F-bodies handle trails. The EXT platform feels much more nimble and agile on hardpack than you’d expect and it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to drag its track around corners the way some long track trail sleds do.
Our experience has been there’s no top speed penalty with a longer track either, so lake runners will likely love the EXT.
We’re big fans of weight reduction, especially in the F-body and, as stretched sleds go, this one will feel much lighter than the Turbo EXT.
Combining this chassis with Cat’s 800 makes for a strong power-to-weight ratio and should still provide stellar flotation in the powder.
We’re convinced this sled is a little heavy for pure off-trail riding and hill-climbing but as an all-round snowmobile for trail versatility and occasional off-trail use, we think it’s a good trade-off.
We’d rate it for about 60 percent trail use and 40 percent off-trail riding. Having the ability to ride either way is a really nice benefit, though, and it’s why we think the Cat faithful will like this sled this year.