The Perfect Base

Arctic Cat Alpha One 800

January 2020 Feature Steve Janes

Although the M 8000 Alpha One represents the base model mountain snowmobile for Arctic Cat, you will still likely find this sled far above the base of the mountain.

The combination of power and technology makes the Alpha One a leader in innovation for 2020. We fell in love with the Alpha One concept last year when it was first introduced on the M 8000 Mountain Cat Alpha One. Now this technology has been expanded to the entire Cat mountain line.

What caught our attention first was the patented single-beam rear suspension that distinguishes the Alpha One from the competition. We’ve watched how Cat engineers have quickly and methodically developed this new design concept over the past four years (that’s how long we’ve known about it … Cat has worked on this concept for much longer), working out the bugs and sorting out the geometry issues on the snow.

Pivot Points

The Alpha One suspension has moved the pivot point from the edge of the track (slide rail design) to the center of the track (mono beam design). This allows the sled to react quicker to rider input since you have more leverage. It also allows the track to flex and conform better to terrain since there isn’t a metal rail holding it in place. And when you’re tipping the snowmobile on its side, the track isn’t coming out of the snow as far so you maintain positive traction and forward thrust.

The single beam is made from extruded aluminum and magnesium with a hollow box support system for strength. It’s a simple design with fewer parts and virtually no place for snow to be trapped or packed into the suspension. So the single beam starts out a little lighter than the conventional slide rail system and stays much lighter in deep snow. This is a very efficient system.

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