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Discussion Starter #1
I had a couple of observations that I wanted to share and get others opinions

I test drove a Firecat F7 (standard) a little over a week ago with a friend of mine and was impressed. I rode in the ditches with lots of road approach jumps. I was a long time Cat owner until this year when I decided to get a REV8 Sport. I don't want to argue over which is better....let's just say they are both great rides that are very different from one another.

I also believe that any problems (real or imagined) that the Firecats had this year will be resolved in 04.

Anyway, my 04 Firecat observations:

1. I was hoping that the lowering of the rear suspension in the 03 Sno Pro would be incorporated in the 04 Firecats. It doesn't appear to be and I can't understand why. AC themselves said this improved handling in the 03 Sno Pro.

2. They didn't change the seat to give you more storage space. I like to carry a tow rope and a decent set of tools in case of problems...this has come in handy too many times to count.

3 They didn't make the seat taller (thicker?) to make sitting to standing transitions easier.

4. I assumed AC would move the hand/thumb warmers to the left side where they should be. It hasn't been mentioned so I am assuming the controls are still on the right hand side.

5. It appears that there is built in traction on the running boards...excellent.

Items 2 - 4 are minor, but I'm surprised about item 1. What does everyone else think?

One last question...Where do you carry the spare belt and plugs? My 02 ZR8 carried the belt on the clutch guard and the plug storage was part of the air box.
 

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There is storage for the belt on the clutch guard of the F series. It is two velcro straps. For the plugs, I carry them in my pocket. Wish there was a plug holder.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I thought that under seat storage was only on the Sabercats, not the Firecats.
 

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Nope its for the sabrecat line.I'm gonna switch mine over to that style,looks better and is more practical,finally some real storage :huh: should have come like this last year
 

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Discussion Starter #7
redF5sp,

Kind of expensive to buy a Firecat then also buy a Sabercat seat to get the storage you want. Cheaper to add one of those soft rear bags like I saw some with this year.
 

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Originally posted by klj@Feb 25 2003, 02:09 PM
redF5sp,

Kind of expensive to buy a Firecat then also buy a Sabercat seat to get the storage you want. Cheaper to add one of those soft rear bags like I saw some with this year.
Your probably right about the cost,but thats only one factor.The redesign of that seat should take care of the ice creatures that grow out of the side of my seat,and have destroyed it.My boots also played a role in ripping it open,so i think its out of pocket anyhow for a new seat cover.Besides the storage is permanent and the rear finally appears to be finished,unlike how they just stuck the tailight on the end of the 03's ,I dont want a new sled, just a new seat with a trunk thats useable :rolleyes:
 

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doesn't that finish the rear off better?
 

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My only question is how well do you think that plastic case is going to hold up at -20C or -24f when you hit a big bump and land a little late on the seat!!

It's just like the old cats that had the plastic glove boxes. They constantly broke!


Just a thought.
 

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Anyone landing far enough back on the seat to hit the "glove box" has got more problems than just a broken box!

just my two cents--i've never come close to landing that far back on the seat, even if i did get tossed around a little.
 

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Cat makes a spark plug holder for like 5 dollars that you can rivet to your clutch guard. It works nice, they should have added it to the sled from the factory but atleast it is a cheap part.
 

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Originally posted by ZRJoe@Feb 25 2003, 04:30 PM
My only question is how well do you think that plastic case is going to hold up at -20C or -24f when you hit a big bump and land a little late on the seat!!

It's just like the old cats that had the plastic glove boxes. They constantly broke!


Just a thought.
Technology has come along ways since the old cats with plastic glove boxes!Ask most anyone in the business and they'll tell you that AC has the most resiliant plastics out for use on a sled.This stuff is tough,look how much of the Firecat is plastic and structural plastic at that!!It's tough stuff and I wouldn't be the slightest bit worried that it would break in the cold,its designed for it :blink: :wacko: :D
 

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The Cat rear storage back is nice. It gives plenty of room for extra stuff you NEED and looks good, around $65 bucks. The plug holder cost me around $3.00, and riveted it on the belt guard next to the BELT holder. Seems I have covered the bases some of the items listed above. A oil caddy would make a good improvement. I did fill up a 1 litre Coke bottle full of oil and packed it in my rear storage bag. Came in handy at about 180 miles and the damn oil light started flashing, another cheap fix.

As far as the suspension height between the .pro and standard F7, they are the same.... well, my buddies sno pro is about 1/4" taller at the front bumper (sure the stiffer springs attribute to this) and the same height at the rear bumper. These measurements were taken with the same tape measure, on a level surface :) Don't know where you got your information.

There is no guarantee that the "phantom" burn down god will not come back next year. I think it is a hit and miss problem.

Consider the cost savings getting a F7 this year VS. next year just for a couple cosmetic improvements. Yes, I like some of the graphics choices for next year, but I am re-assured I made a good choice getting one for this year, and am happy with it, that is untill a F8 comes out.

I did expect to see some changes on the skid-frame.... Rear wheels to be exact.

WE DO NEED A IMPROVED REAR SNOWFLAP TO KEEP THE ICE CHUNKS DOWN. Come on Cat or aftermarket..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Firecat F7,

I'm talking about the 03 440 Sno Pro racing machine, not the Sno Pro package you can get on spring order. From the AC web site regarding the racing machine:

"The FasTrack rear suspension is lowereed 2.5 in. (6.35cm) which effectively tips the sled and rider forward for better cornering and centralization of the rider's weight."

I've also seen quotes from Kirk Hibbert in various mags saying how much of an improvement this makes on handling.....I am very surprised this mod didn't get incorporated into the 04's. Maybe Cat was too busy developing the diamond drive and calibrating for carbs on the Firecats. Hopefully it wasn't because they were wasting their time putting a turbo on that 4-stroke boat anchor.

I tested an F7 and although it was an impressive machine I think the 03 Sno Pro 440 suspension improvements would have been a big improvement in the handling and ergonomics of what I tested.

Just my opinion.
 
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