Arctic Cat is aiming an all-new 2018 ZR 6000R SX snocross race machine at the top step of the podium this season thanks to a wide array of technological improvements that deliver improved handling, greater predictability in rough conditions, optimal ergonomics and better throttle response.
The result of an intense effort by the Arctic Cat Engineering and Race Departments, the 2018 ZR 6000R SX snocross machine is new from nose-to-tail, with more than 350 new parts compared to the previous year.
“Many of the improvements we’ve made to the 2018 ZR 6000R SX were inspired and proven by the Pro Open snocross sleds raced by Tucker Hibbert and Logan Christian during the past several years,” Brian Dick, Arctic Cat High Performance/Race Product Team Manager, said. “In fact, both racers played a big role in the testing and development of the new sled and, after some late spring testing, confirmed the huge improvements we were aiming for.”
It starts with a longer 15x136x1.75-inch SnoCross track and revised SLIDE-ACTION rear suspension that deliver improved traction for holeshots and acceleration, greater straight-line stability on a rough race course; and improved traction while braking. A new rail profile places 6 inches more rail contact on the snow (compared to the previous 129-inch track) for improved bump compliance and reduced bottoming on the chassis.
It’s matched by the new ARS front suspension featuring increased caster, adjustable camber and increased ground clearance. The result is significantly improved handling that’s more predictable and confidence-inspiring, as well as increased cornering bite.
Racers will appreciate a full range of ergonomic improvements to the new ZR 6000R SX, including a new lightweight seat design that works in concert with a new, ultra-compact 3-gallon fuel tank, Next Gen side panel bodywork and a new console to allow easier movement around the sled, especially for cornering, as well as a lower center-of-gravity. Racers will be able to move further forward on the sled while cornering, with more clearance for legs and knees. New foot enclosures complement the upgrades.
Weight was trimmed everywhere. Besides the seat and lightweight fuel tank, a new hollow driven shaft, headlight assembly and revised chassis components shave off several pounds to offset the marginal weight increase of the longer track and rear suspension.
When it comes to holeshots and accelerating out of corners, a heavily revised Arctic Cat C-Tec2 6000 EFI engine delivers a 15 percent increase in horsepower and torque and a 20 percent improvement throttle response at low- and mid-range levels thanks to new cylinder and exhaust valve configuration, revised calibration mapping and V-Force reeds.
The massive changes and upgrades reflect Team Arctic’s desire to give its racers the most potent stock snocross snowmobile, from the Junior class to Pro. It reflects many of the same features and technology used on previous Pro Open sleds piloted by Tucker Hibbert and Logan Christian. And both racers spent considerable time testing the all-new production racer.
“We took a lot of the ideas we’ve been using on my winning Pro Open sled the past two years and applied them to the new race ZR,” said Hibbert. “The changes to the front suspension made it better than anything we’d previously used on our race sled. From a handling standpoint, this is the best stock ZR we’ve ever had. It’s more stable and tracks straight, without kicking sideways; it doesn’t scrub speed on hard landings or when pounding through big holes; it turns better; and the new narrow bodywork is a huge improvement.”
The 2018 Arctic Cat ZR 6000R SX can only be purchased through the Arctic Cat Race Department. To apply, go to www.arcticcat.com/teamarctic and click on Riders Only Information.
New For 2018
- Longer 15x136x1.75-inch SnoCross track provides improved traction for holeshots and acceleration, greater straight-line stability on a rough race course; and improved traction while braking. Tested and proven in Pro Open competition.
- New 136-inch SLIDE-ACTION rear suspension features a new rail profile that places 6-inches more rail contact on the snow (compared to the previous 129-inch track) for improved bump compliance and reduced bottoming on the chassis.
- Modifications to the ARS front suspension deliver significantly improved handling that’s more predictable and confidence-inspiring in snocross conditions, as well as increased cornering bite and increased ground clearance, thanks to a combination of revised geometry that delivers a new roll-center and camber, with less bump steer; a new spindle that delivers 1.5 inches more distance from the ski to the lower A-arm; and new lightweight upper A-arms with increased caster and adjustable camber.
- New Fox 2.0 ZERO C front track shock with position sensing grooved body is a larger diameter shock compared to the previous 1.5 ZERO shock for improved sensitivity to smaller bumps while maintaining excellent resistance to bottoming out.
- Revised C-Tec2 6000 EFI engine package includes new cylinder and exhaust valve configuration; V-Force reeds; revised calibration mapping; and improved Hot Start function. The result is a 20-percent improvement in low- and mid-range throttle response and a 15 percent increase in horsepower and torque at low- and mid-range levels.
- New TEAM TS-273 driven clutch and Tubular Driven Shaft combination features a larger 29 mm OD shaft (compared to the previous 25 mm OD for the solid shaft) that trims 2.4 lbs. while increasing stiffness by more than 7 percent. A lengthened shaft spline improves clutch-to-shaft support for improved clutch and belt alignment. The new clutch is based on the previous TSS-04 model, but with a new post design to accommodate the new hollow driven shaft.
- New upper chassis support structure increases chassis stiffness while also reducing weight by 1 lb.
- New foot enclosures on the running boards enable racers to better hold their feet in the toebox.
- An all-new 3-gallon fuel tank is smaller to reduce weight and nearly eliminate the shifting of weight as fuel sloshes/moves around the tank. The smaller size and the placement of the filler neck away from the seat area improves the comfort and ergonomics of the sled, making it easier for racers to move around the sled.
- A new seat design reduces weight, lowers the center of gravity and is shaped to enable easier leg and body movement for the racer.
- Next Gen side panel bodywork and a new console improves the ergonomics by allowing racers to move further forward while cornering, as well as providing improved sealing against snow ingestion and simplified access to the engine compartment.
- An all-new upper hood deflects snow away from the rider, while the new headlight/windshield combo reduces weight.
- New nosecone/airbox intake design eliminates internal baffles and foam to reduce water absorption, while the intake screens are now located on the rearward side of the nosecone, near the upper A-arm mounts, away from snow roost.
- A new cutout-style rear tunnel section exposes the heat exchanger, allowing teams to pack snow on the coolers for improved hot-shot cooling performance.
- New 2-piece clutch guard eases access.
- Revised electrical component placement is easier to access.
- Increased exhaust deflector design reduces capping-off of exhaust on hard landings in soft snow.
Racer Comments About New Features On The ZR 6000R SX
Regarding The Revised ARS Front Suspension:
- “This is a huge improvement. The changes to caster, camber and bump-steer made a huge improvement in handling, especially in the big holes that you have to slam into. The sled [now] goes straighter through the bumps and doesn’t kick sideways. This is a change I felt all the time, on every bump. It’s a night-and-day improvement. Also, because of the increased distance from the ground to the lower A-arm, snow doesn’t hit the A-arms and scrub speed. This is really key on big landings.”
- —Tucker Hibbert
- “This was the change that made the biggest difference. It’s substantially better everywhere on the track. You can drive ski-first into the bumps if you have to and never lose speed. It turns sharper while preventing the sled from wanting to tip up. And there’s less feedback into the handlebars and arms.”
- --Logan Christian
The 136-Inch Track:
- “The long track is really good, especially on the start. It’s a big improvement because of better traction. It’s also more stable when going through whooped out holes, it keeps the sled tracking straighter and stays on top of the holes rather than dropping into them. It also helps the sled turn better in a lot of conditions, because it doesn’t let the sled transfer, or squat, like the short track.”
- — Tucker Hibbert
- “I’ve always been a fan of the longer track on my Open sled because of the way it handles through the bumps. The sled stays straighter and it feels like I can manual over the bumps better. And I can drive it harder into the corners without worrying about losing the back end of the sled while trying to slide it around.”
- — Logan Christian
Changes To The Seat, Spa Rs, Fuel Tank, Bodywork, Console:
- “Another big improvement. The side panels are narrower and sleeker at the back, which makes maneuvering around the sled a lot easier. My leg doesn’t hit the sides [of the panels] like on the old sled.”
- — Tucker Hibbert
- “The narrowness of the new sled makes it a lot easier to lean forward and off to the side while cornering, so you can put a lot more pressure on the skis. The seat is nice for the bumps. And with the gas cap moved away from the front of the seat, it’s great to have cushioning in that area. It’s really easy to move around the snowmobile.”
- — Logan Christian