When Mike Foss of Black Diamond Xtreme contacted us about
hooking up for a ride last season, we had one question: Where and when?
Though it wasn't exactly that easy to finally hook up, we
did get to spend a day riding in the mountains on the Idaho/Wyoming border. Foss
brought his special sled, an '08 Arctic Cat M1000 with most of the M replaced
with Black Diamond parts and another 200 added to the 1000, thanks to Bikeman
Performance. Foss called it the Pro Lite, a name derived from the large amount
of Black Diamond Xtreme parts from the company's Pro Lite line.
But something has to move all of those lightweight parts and
Foss wanted something big. The BMP 1200cc engine with a BMP billet head, BMP’s
Y-pipe and Fat Azz pipe with a D&D Barker can and Black Diamond’s Power
Valve Plus kit packs all the punch you'd expect from a big bore. The engine
produced big torque and held it over a very broad rpm range, with dyno numbers
to back it up. The big twin made 224 horsepower and 157 lb-ft of torque. If
that wasn’t enough to get the job done, a Boondocker nitrous kit with a
Boodocker fuel control box was there to help.
While the power was impressive, what we were really after was
an up-close look at the Pro Lite performance parts.
First off, Foss' sled features the BDX Diamond Lite Drive system. In 2007,
Arctic Cat switched to Diamond
Drive cases with a reverse gear in them It was a
heavy mechanical system and added quite a bit of weight to the sleds. Cat has
since switched to ACER (Arctic Cat Engine Reverse), similar to Ski-Doo's RER
and Polaris' PERC, but there are plenty of 2007 and 2008 M sleds carrying
around more weight than they should be. The Diamond Lite system is a bolt-in
replacement gear case that eliminates the mechanical reverse (the kit also
requires the BDX Lite Weight Trackshaft to complete the conversion). The Diamond Lite Drive
conversion drops 11 lbs. from the M-series chassis and is a simple bolt-in
replacement. No cutting, no welding.
While we're on the drive system, Foss' sled also featured
the Lite Weight Black Ceramic brake rotor, which is half the weight of the
factory Cat rotor. If you run the aluminum/ceramic composite rotor, you also
need the Black Ceramic brake pads.
Foss was running a BMP torsional secondary clutch to get the
1200’s power to the snow.
Under the rear end, Foss' mod sled was sporting the ported
Camoplast 15x162 track, wrapped around a Float skid with a BDX Anti-Stab kit
and the Pro Lite 2-Wheel rear axle kit. The axle kit cut 2 lbs. off the sled's
weight. The sled also had the BDX Inner Idler Wheel kit.
The front end features the BDX Black Boxx, a replacement
airbox system that cuts 8 lbs. off the nose and hood of the sled and improves
cold air flow to the engine. The system replaces the stock airbox and, instead
of drawing air from the hood's intake plenum system, it pulls in air from holes
drilled in the sled's nose pan. The kit also includes the Pro Lite 9-Piece Vent
Kit, which is an adhesive-backed hood vent screen that sticks on the hood and
prevents snow, water and debris from entering the engine compartment while
allowing fresh air in.
To complement the vent and airbox mods, Foss also had the
Pro Lite Side Panel Vent Kit, a standard side panel vent kit that lets hot air
evacuate the engine compartment.
If you're really after weight savings, Black Diamond's
titanium engine and chassis bolt kits will cut 5 lbs., and, like Foss, you can
also use the BDX Oil Injection Elimination kit, which drops the weight of the
oil reservoir and the oil it holds.
From looking at the sled, you're probably wondering about
some of the aesthetical features, like the rear bumper and tunnel close off.
It's a very cool way to update your M-sled to the shorter running boards and
clean tunnel taper and rear bumper. Black Diamond also has its own line of Boss
seats, custom made to its specifications.
Foss says this sled weighs in at about 440 pounds with no
fuel. Now that’s living up to the Pro Lite name.
For more information on Black Diamond Xtreme's Pro Lite
products, check out www.bd-xtreme.com.