Arctic cat 440zr-- is it too much power for a 9yr old?

Dazzler

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Might be looking at getting a used 440zr.
Would it be too much power for a young kid?

Any historical issues with these sleds?

Thanks,
BC24
I personally think that's a lot of sled!!! But it depends a lot on your 9 year old. Back when my boys were that age, I would have been reluctant to let the one solo a 440 but under supervision he would have managed.. the other one, I was reluctant to let him solo a toboggan.
 

Snowmow

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Might be looking at getting a used 440zr.

Would it be too much power for a young kid?



Any historical issues with these sleds?



Thanks,

BC24

My oldest daughter started on a skidoo Safari 440 when she was 7 She could handle it well
Except for the controls (throttle, brake levers)

She’s now almost 9 and on a skidoo freeride backcountry 550. She handles it well too. The electric start and reverse make my ride much more enjoyable too!
 

Reeb

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What model year are we taking? About 20hp difference depending on which sled you are referring to.
I was riding a MXZ470 and Jag Z 440 when I was 7. I wasn’t lighting the world on fire but I rode the hills and raced them both just fine.
It wasn’t until I was 10-11 and got a Prowler 136” that I was actually climbing and jumping and keeping up with the guys on the trail. Once I got on my Summit 500 at 12-13 I was outclimbing guys on stock Powder Special 600’s etc. At that point I was just one of the guys.

Now fast forward to my own kids. My daughter is 12 and can handle a F7 on the trails and in the fields but she’s not “handling” the sled well enough to take on a mountain trip. I hope the 440 Mountain Fan i built her will give her the ability to grow into my riding buddy out in the hills. She’s 5’ and 100lbs.

How much common sense does your kid have? I’m trying to get mine to leap frog into more common sense but I have a feeling I’ll be replacing lots of parts before she gets there.


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Oct 27, 2012
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He's a noob. He's rode a z120 for about 2 years and physically getting too big for it.
Thinking he needs something inbetween that and a 340 or so. 440 seems like it might be a bit much for him. I know he'd love it, but probably get into trouble with it. He's not that big, so I have concerns that he would be able to use the controls well. Not sure on the year, guessing maybe a 95 or 97. Thanks again.
 
Jun 23, 2004
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Depends on your boys thought processes, where you ride (lotsa trees and cliffs in WA) and well, yes it's subjective.
If it's the right sled, you could always slow it down. Screw up the clutching so that it's not as snappy. Heavier weights, differnet springs or helix.
Or the simple jerry rig a throttle block on it.
My thought process was even the old 440 fan and 380 they the boys started out on could spin the track or pull the skis if you grabbed a handful at the right or wrong time, so I concentrated more on how to ride.
Even now, riding 700 and 800 (if we actually ever get to the snow), they probably only ever use about 30% of the throttle because they know it'll get away from them.
 
Jun 23, 2004
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At some point a full size sled is going to be too big for a year or 2. But there's not an economical option for light 3-4 size, except for old Yamahas, Bravos, enticers, Phazers.
Both my kids were/are small for their age, but could pilot a full size sled down a trail at age 7-8. Did have to stop sometimes to give sore arms, hands, thumbs a break. Had to put running board risers on one sled so little boots could actually reach the running boards. But good times!
 

Dazzler

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Not sure what your budget is but I picked up the new Polaris Evo for my grandkids to fill the gap. It's a 550 but detuned to 30 mph max, longer throttle flipper to give the thumb a break, reverse and electric start. I think it's an awesome addition, and there is a kit you can purchase to turn it into a regular 550 trail sled. I believe it has clutching, heavier suspension, throttle flipper etc.
I currently have 4, Polaris 120's, 4 yammy enticers (3, 340's and 1, 300) and now the Evo. I hopefully can dump a couple 120's next season and I'll pick up another Evo.
 

Devilmanak

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Depends ENTIRELY on your kid's restraint. Tater is 8 now, had a 340 longtracked Indy Deluxe last year. He was ok with it until I let him ride one of my 850 Doos on the lake. I figured that he would fall off the back, but he respected the power and was good, and was done with the 340. Now he has a 130 horse tuned 2016 M6000 and he had done nothing so far that makes me regret the purchase. 70 pounds, today he started to figure out sidehilling and balance points.
Kids are smarter than us old farts, he is really surprising me. 3 weeks ago he was scared to climb a small hill, now he is doing stuff that scares me to watch.
 
Nov 26, 2007
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96 and later ZR 440's were 90 - 105 hp. They are high strung...probably not a very good engine package for a young person.

The non-ZR 440 engine from cat (jag, cougars etc.) was 68 hp and much more mild mannered.
 
Jan 16, 2008
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I bought a 97 formula 500 fan for my 8 yr old. I ride with him on trails but when we get to a clearing hes on his own cruising around. My buddy's son (same age) handled it fine too, they even rode the 174" around a bit, till it gets warm... they both have been on dirtbikes for a few years, and ride them very well so they understand throttle pretty well.
 
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