First Ride Impressions: 2017 Arctic Cat King Cat

January 2017 Snow Tests, Feature

The 2017 Arctic Cat King Cat holds the title as the most powerful mountain sled in production. What the King Cat has over its twin sibling, the Yamaha Sidewinder, is what really intrigues us. The King Cat comes with the 200 hp factory turbo 998cc engine stuffed into the super nimble Mountain Cat chassis which includes the drop and rolled chain case, narrow boards, and Fox EVOL shocks in all four corners. These are all good things for the rider.


Even more exciting than how this sled arrives out of the box is the potential it has waiting to be unleashed. Just like a diesel truck, we feel this beast is just dying to be awoken to its full potential. A little bit of clutching, refresh the electronics, shed some weight here and there and you could have on your hands a near 300 hp monster. We can’t wait to see what the aftermarket has in store for the King Cat.

Heading up the trail the King Cat had some incredibly hard steering, this could be due to the weight of the engine, the less than ideal Cat skis on a four stroke, or suspension setup. It was a bit of a pain, but once we stabbed the throttle and those 200 ponies started running we quickly forgot about the hard steering as the sled rocketed from 20 mph to 70 mph in a split second.


Once in the riding areas the King Cat was right at home. It would wheelie on command, it carved with ease, you could sidehill park and do downhill U-turns. After fooling around in the open stuff I wanted to see if this sled could handle a few hard tree lines. To my surprise I attacked the line just as I would on a two stroke and the Cat handled it with ease. The Mountain Cat chassis definitely works with the four stroke power plant.


This sled isn’t for everyone, and is by no means a replacement for the 800cc two stroke mountain sled. It is however, the closest you can get to two stroke like handling while having a factory supplied 200 hp covered under warranty. If you’re not trying to be Chris Burandt in the trees and spend most of your time in more open terrain with a few tight tree lines and jumps here and there this King Cat could be a game changer.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth review as we rack up some more miles on this beast. 

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