Riot vs Alpha One

Very Different Focus For Mountain Riding

February 2020 Feature Steve Janes

The best way to summarize a comparison between the Arctic Cat Riot and the M Alpha One 8000 is that other than a common color scheme and the Arctic Cat logo, these are two very different snowmobiles.

Okay, they share the same powertrain, although the Riot does feature a 6000 as well as the 8000 in its lineup and the Alpha One gave up on its 6000 after last year’s feeble early-season effort to introduce one.


The Alpha One is a true mountain sled. The Riot is a cross-breed between trails and mountains. Although the Riot does have an aggressive track, its limitations are at 146 inches long and 2 inches in profile. That doesn’t come close to the Alpha One’s 154- or 165-inch by 3-inch profile track. And the deeper the snow, the more noticeable that difference becomes.

The Alpha One features a single-beam rear suspension while the Riot comes with a Cross-Action rear skid. The Alpha One has the AMS front suspension while the Riot comes with the ARS II front. Basically, this means one is designed for getting on top of deep snow while the other is designed to pound through the moguls. Both feature Fox Float 3 QS 3 shocks. The Riot has reinforced running boards for added rigidity designed for big air impact.

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