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Discussion Starter #1
Hello cat people,

I currently have a ZR 600 CC and am extremely happy with it. I have had it since it was brand new. I see a year of the Firecat has just about passed and am looking for some honest feedback on the sled. I will probably spring order one and want to make sure it is the right thing to do.

How does the handling compare to the ZR Chassis? Do you like it better than the ZR chassis? How has the reliability been? Is the overall fit and finish good? How is the 600 cc? Is it stable at high speeds and in cornering? Is the EFI smooth all throughout the power range? Is the Sno Pro package worth it? Does the suspension feel too soft? Do the shocks get beat too quickly? Any other complaints or pleasures?

I would appreciate the feedback, because I honestly don't know if the ZR chassis is really obsolete....

Thank you, from a dedicated cat lover.
 

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>How does the handling compare to the ZR Chassis?
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Lighter, feels more like a lightweight Sno-Pro chassis. More stable in flight, wants to fly more because it weighs less. Less weight on skis, meaning they pop up more, but on the rough stuff that's usually good. I can "with ease" go 25% to 30% faster on my F7 than I could on a ZR600 Blair Morgan 2000 sled I had which had adjustable clickers, and a 1.25 inch Preditor Sno-Cross track. My friend can go 25 to 30% faster on the trails than on his ZR400 2000 Sno-Pro. Same trails, much higher speed. There is a "WARPING" like effect you can get when you hit the throttle on the straights. Something you will NOT GET from a ZR600. I've only gotten that type of feeling at times on a T-Cat I rode. It's very powerful and a riot to ride.


>Do you like it better than the ZR chassis?
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Yes. The ZR chassis feels more like a minivan after riding on the Firecat. Often I feel like Tucker in an open Sno-Cross event when riding over the rough stuff. I love to be able to do stand-up with ease with the narrow track and more narrow seat.


>How has the reliability been?
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I'm only speaking for myself and my buddy. We've both got about 2400 miles with no major problems. Minor problem was a seat leak under the seat (easy to fix) put a little silicone to fill in the small hole the factory missed in sealing the heat exchanger under the seat. No problems with skids or skis or carbides. Skid comes out with more ease than the wider skid, if you decide to pull it to do any skid maintainance or shock work.


>Is the overall fit and finish good?
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Fit and finish on the 03 was okay. Not as "polished" as on some other sleds (REV, RX1), it's a more RAW look, because AC left things off to make it lighter. Would you rather have a plastic cover fitting over the bare aluminum tunnel on the back of the sled to make it look more finished or would you rather have every ounce shaved off that was possible. I myself prefer a minimalistic TRAIL BEAST which is what the F7 is.


>How is the 600 cc? Is it stable at high speeds and in cornering?
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I haven't rode one, but others say that the smaller drive gear and some other adjustments made by AC make the 600cc turn better than the 03 Firecats. The 600 is reported to be very fast up to 80 or 100. As fast as F7's with less insurance price since it's a 600. Perhaps a good reason to have one if your counting each dollar.


>Is the EFI smooth all throughout the power range?
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Yes. Very smooth. Linear power. It's power is very linear and sneaks up on you. You will not realize how fast this sled is based on the "raw grunt" pull that you feel from some heavier sleds that are pulling a heavier sled and make it seem to pull faster. The lightness of the sled makes it pull faster than other sleds that feel like they are pulling harder.


>Is the Sno Pro package worth it? Does the suspension feel too soft?
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I weigh 135 lbs. I have a standard. My friend weighs more, he has a Sno-Pro version. If you want to hook up in snow, powder and low end better or like a stiffer ride, the Sno-Pro is better. If you want top end for racing on the lake, don't do a lot of powder riding and want a pluser suspension that will not bottom out much and still soaks up the bumps as good as older ZR Sno-Pro technology, get the standard. The standard is better than older Sno-Pro technology for jumps and suspension. The Sno-Pro is the ultimate suspension for jumps and big air types. It's a coin toss. My friend has a Sno-Pro version with the Dakota Clutch kit and he beats me (up to 70MPH) in any drag race. The bigger lug and better clutching make that sled rock. After 70 or 80 mph the standard track comes into play (pushing less air and with more top speed) and I will pass him. So it depends. We are both happy.


>Do the shocks get beat too quickly?
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So far I haven't had any complaints with our shocks. NOTE: I have not done ANY maintainance on my shocks for 2400 miles. AC recommends a shock rebuilt after the first 500 miles. Mine might fade a bit (on the standard) after perhaps 50 or 60 miles of riding on rough trails full of 2 foot jumps and bumps. The Sno-Pro my friend rides doesn't have that problem. It's not really very noticable, but a minor thing I noticed maybe 2 or 3 times when riding out. My shocks were never recharged since I bought it.


>Any other complaints or pleasures?
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I'm running with ZR 10" carbides. Yes I bought the wrong ones, but they fit well enough. This was my first set of carbides with the Fast Trac studs (156) I put these on before the first mile of my sled. I have 2400 miles of riding and have NOT completely worn out my first set of carbides. I'm going to put new carbides on at the end of the season. Rode one week 750 miles in deep snow conditions in KeeWeenaw and Gogebec areas. Had a very good "carbide" year.

My only complaint is the season was to short. I rode every weekend (3 day weekend) except for two this winter and it was NOT ENOUGH. The Firecat made it EASY.


>I would appreciate the feedback, because I honestly don't know if the ZR chassis is really obsolete....
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The ZR chassis is not completely obsolete, but it can't compare in performance. In durability, the ZR chassis may be better because it weighs more, but only time will tell. For some people the heavier chassis is preferable. For most aggresive riders who ride a Firecat, the ZR Chassis will seem like a dead chassis in my opinion. I look on it with fondness of memory of a good old chassis, but something I'd rather not ride any more.

Hope this helps some.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Greg, appreciate the feedback. One last thing, EFI or Carbed with the 600? Is there room for any perfomance enhancements out of the EFI? ECU's, pipes, clutching, etc.....
 

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Greg
nice post! That was well written and politely informative.
Thanks Jim !!
 

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I was going to add some feedback but ATOMICAT took the words right out of my mouth. I have 2435 miles on my F7 without a single problem and I have only had the handlebar riser block and slide rail endcap recalls done. My last sled was a 2000 ZL 700 and I really liked it (so much that I kept it for a company/backup sled) but as ATOMICAT said-it's like driving a station wagon compared to the FCat. I am keeping my F7 another year but there is definitely a 2005 FCat in my future. :D
 

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Buy a Firecat Efi in any size & u cant go wrong
 
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