The newest line of full-featured Arctic Cat ATVs for 2017 sees more models come with the same new bodywork and the same new rack system that were introduced last season. These are just a few of the changes that came with the much-welcomed new Alterra brand. It is not a total redesign, but includes a lot of cool improvements that do offer better comfort and usability. The older generation of Cat ATVs was really good in many ways; always loved how forgiving they could be, now that the TRV and smaller displacement models are also getting all of these great upgrades, everyone can enjoy riding a Cat, even more.
Cats are often valued by humans for companionship and for their ability to hunt vermin but there is another kind of Cat able to give you as many, or even more reasons to smile; one with a tough and smooth Duramatic transmission coupled to a purring, American-made, engine. Arctic Cat ATVs will take you just about anywhere your heart desires. First to slip a 1000cc engine in a Quad and to offer powerful and confident mud-specific ATVs, the Thief River Falls, Minnesota based company is undoubtedly talented in designing some of the best-looking and easy to use and own off-road products. Through a network of independent dealers located throughout the contiguous United States and Canada, and through distributors representing dealers in Alaska, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and other international markets, Arctic Cat spreads the joy of trail riding and ROV use with exciting and great-looking vehicles. The St. Cloud engine facility has been a great addition for the company since they began manufacturing their own ATV engines there in 2007. We’ve come to love Cat models for their boldness in looks and efficiency on any trail.
The ATV segment just isn’t the one that drives the biggest buck anymore, and demand is what drives innovation, so it is nice to see that some manufacturers find time to update their ATV offerings, while designing the next hottest Side-by-Side models. The new Alterra line of quads offers palpable improvements and that’s all we’ve come to expect every few years. Ideally there would be a ten-page document regarding a myriad of changes for improvement at every year change but that just isn’t a financially plausible thing for any manufacturer. Easier steering, revised suspension geometry and a more comfortable rider position are the main points addressed on the new Cats, and the resulting ride is truly better. It is more ergonomically correct to a wider range of riders and commands more alertness. The mid-section we’ve always found to be somewhat wide on the older generation models, with the housings on the engine’s sides keeping the feet spread apart more than on most other large ATVs on the market. Now they’ve revised the rider’s position and the engine has been mounted further forward in the chassis, which results in 3 inches of additional foot space in the foot well, placing the feet approximately 2-in. closer together than before for a noticeable improvement. We have to say that the entire ride really does feel better balanced like this.
The 2017 Alterra TRV models, with their extended chassis, deliver a premium 2-up riding experience for both the driver and passenger with a newly redesigned, extra comfortable two-passenger seat with padded backrest, and new ergonomically friendly handles and raised passenger footrests. Key new features in the Alterra TRV platform include dual front tow hooks and dual halogen headlights with LED accents, plus dual rear LED lights. Also new, the steel-reinforced composite SpeedRack II front rack is now matched with an all-new, full-sized rear SpeedRack II, both featuring the integrated accessory attachment system providing secure, rubber-coated surfaces and 100/200-lb. capacities. Arctic Cat’s smart rack system enables quick attachment or removal of a wide array of useful accessories. When it’s time to go for a more intense ride without a passenger, a new and simple latch system allows you to easily remove the passenger seat/backrest combo, or you can even replace the seat with a rack or accessory cargo box.
The TRV chassis and its double A-Arm front and rear suspensions with 10 inches of travel and 11 inches of ground clearance, rides well through the rough and we liked the better view of sharp rocks close ahead thanks to the revised rider position and new sleek bodywork. Then when we reached flatter grounds and after politely asking our passenger to take a little break, we pushed a bit more and we felt the rear swaybar enhance cornering. Weight transfers down the sides felt more natural and we soon forgot these were designed for relaxing off-road treks with a friend or loved one. If anything, the longer chassis renders some extreme challenges easier to deal with. The new Alterra TRV line includes the TRV 500 and TRV 700 XT both available in red or green and the TRV 1000 XT that only comes in red.
Our favourite is the 695cc Arctic Cat H1 engine featuring the convenience and consistency of Electronic Fuel Injection and the peace-of-mind of liquid-cooling gives the TRV 700 the performance to handle any adventure. It’s matched by the Duramatic Automatic transmission featuring High, Low, Reverse and Park convenience. We truly think the larger offerings are just overkill and a waste of money and that is simply backed up by the level of fun we seem to be always able to achieve with any of the big bore singles out there. An important aspect to note about this and most other Arctic Cat rides is the new closed-loop EFI system providing 25 percent improved fuel economy and lower CO emissions for optimal performance in all conditions.
Arctic Cat’s Variable Assist Electronic Power Steering (EPS) delivers steering assistance as soon as the key is turned to the on position and provides significantly reduced steering effort when in 4WD, especially when the differential lock is engaged. We like it because it doesn’t steal away too much communication with the ground.
Other new things to expect are a multi-function digital gauge, a dual rear LED taillight system for more powerful cut through the dust lighting performance and an engine sound reduction system featuring a rubber isolated outer CVT cover and new gaskets for an 8dBA reduction in operation sound. Also, a 333-cu.-in. (1.44 gallon) storage box has been added to the rear of the machine, underneath the rear fenders, for increased capacity and simplified access.
Other premium features include hydraulic disc brakes; zero-maintenance suspension bushings; sealed drive shafts; a large 5.3-gallon fuel tank; and a durable, full-length plastic skid plate.
The Alterra TRV 700 also features premium automotive-style paint and cast aluminum wheels wrapped with 25-in. Carlisle Trail Pro tires. It’s available in Team Arctic Green or Vibrant Red Metallic.
The 2017 line includes something for every potential rider. From the avid hunter that we strongly suggest take a long look at the new Alterra mid-size family of three that we consider to be the best value you can get. They have much lower prices but include many of the same improvements as the big Cats and just simply feel good to ride. Kenda Pathfinder tires with powder-coated steel wheels do their job well and the lack of a diff-lock mode might not be a issue if you know you are going to be using it just to get to your usual and easily reachable spots in the wild. Who knows, maybe the new Alterra 300 at a cool and nicely accessible to the masses $5000 price, might be able to do more than you would expect. The impact-resistant racks on that one are rated for 50 lbs. carrying capacity on the front and 100 lbs. on the rear and does without an all-wheel drive system but many people we know have a 4WD ATV and never need to switch it into 4WD. It is good practice to pay close attention to the numbers like its decent towing capacity of 226.8kg (500 lbs.). If it sounds like more than you will ever need, take note. Another great thing about these mid-size offerings is that they come in red or a basic looking green that in truth does just as good of a job at keeping a low profile than any expensive camo. Know what your true needs are and give the models in this affordable Mid-Size line a chance, before you look at the Full-Size line.
The single seat Alterra full-size quads return in their newly redesigned form, sharing all the same innovations mentioned before on the new TRVs. The 700 XT EPS is available in green, red or camo wearing nicer aluminum wheels and Carlisle Trail Pro tires which are a much shoe to wear if your hitting lots of sharp rock filled switchbacks, than the Duro tires on the 700 that comes with regular steel wheels and only red plastics.
Alone sits the 1000 XT EPS in the Big bore section, unchanged but still a mighty contender in your search for the best ride for your more extreme terrain conquering intentions. If you are among those wishing for just a fun quad to ride that looks hotter and sportier, the XC450 also comes back in its familiar yet excellent form and if you are on the opposite side of the spectrum and want the ultimate work partner, the TBX 700 EPS is also back as its same good self, available only in red.
Rounding up the roster and on top of the dirt munching chain at your Arctic Cat dealer, are the mighty MudPro mud competition ready quads, legendary instigators of this new class of ultimate terrain conquering machines. The MudPro 1000 Limited EPS and MudPro 700 Limited EPS, come back in their usual and very well-known form in a new very cool-looking shiny black and orange paint scheme, with among other things durable 6-ply rated Maxxis Zilla tires, rear 2-inch receiver, powerful 3,000 lb. winch with 50 feet of durable wire cable, tough as nails beadlock wheels, race-inspired suspension with 14 inches of ground clearance, huge bumpers, and of course the elevated snorkel that pumps clean air to the engine and clutch, while helping keep the CVT belt dry and cool.
Then you have the new Alterra 90, the sporty DVX 90 and 150 models of Arctic Cat’s Youth line, so to not leave any member of the family unentertained.
Arctic Cat has been manufacturing recreational vehicles since 1960 and created its first ATV in 1996, meaning they have the experience needed to provide you with a quality ATV experience, so make sure to include them in your next search for your very own, ultimate off-road lifestyle value.
For more information on the above mentioned models, please visit the Arctic Cat Website