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Talked to an F7 owner today who started out a conversation with us at a dealer asking if we had F7's and liked them. We said we loved them. He said he had one and hated it.

We asked him what was wrong with it.

Here's the basic summary of the problems he was having with his F7.

1. To much ski lift. He said it way to unstable compared to his old ZRT 600.

2. Doesn't hook up. (He had 144 studs/Woody Pattern put into his standard). Said the track spun, compared to his earlier sleds that had a lot more studs in them. He said he was "spinning the track while his buddies were pulling away".

3. Seat was "too short". He wanted to sit back further on the sled.

4. Didn't know where the coupling blocks were. Didn't know about this site.

5. Said he was the "slowest" in his group. Said the ZRT600 always hooked up and went flat over the bumps and was a lot faster than his Firecat.

6. He was complaining a bit about ski lift, but later said he liked ski lift. He also said the sled was unstable because it was so light it jumped around to much when he was hitting tough rough trails in MI.

7. Mentioned some of the guys he knew were setting the handlebars back (tilting them back more).

He was a tall guy and was in the 230 lb range riding a Standard F7, with 144 woody studs and stock carbide.

*** BRIEFLY -- OUR SUGGESTIONS TO HIM ***

1. We showed him the coupling blocks and told him to turn the coupling blocks to the number 2 position. It's important to relate to F7 owners who haven't been reading information here or on one of the other sled forums that the coupling blocks are set for a LOT of ski lift and that will transfer into less control. We said, set the coupling block to 2.

(2 being the most coupling)

2. There was some discussion about his riding style. We mentioned that this sled is different and is indeed lighter. We mentioned that we have a more aggressive tank hugging style and this F7 likes body inputs. I showed him the degree of weight shift I make with my 135 lb frame to get better cornering. The dealer sales guy mentioned that since the F7 has a track that is more narrow, it doesnt need as much weight input from the rider because the track is a narrower stance that can be shifted more easily.

3. At first we suggested him loading up the springs more to get more ski pressure, but after talking to him and realizing he wanted less chassis roll, we decided (as a group of guys standing there) that he would be better off losening his suspension.

4. We mentioned limit straps, but told him not to try that right now and see what the other adjustments would do for the sled.

5. We said he had to get more carbide. We mentioned my friend Gene's Sno Pro had 8 inch carbide and C&A skis and my sled had stock skis and 10" CAT carbides. He thought that 10" might be better for his sled as he'd rather have too much turning with more carbide than not enough control.

6. I mentioned that yes this sled might have some problem hooking up, but you cannot hammer the throttle at the beginning of a drag race. You have to feather the throttle a bit to get going. NOT A WOT from a standing start.

7. We mentioned that yes this sled is different. It's lighter and doesn't have as much inertia from a heavy motor on the front.


CONCLUSION:

Think about this: Take a lightweight sled. Put a big rider on the back of it and have the spring settings for the rear spings set soft. What will happen?

Well for starts the front arm spring under the suspension will be acting as the pivot of a see-saw. The leverage action will cause the sled to lift the skis up high and take weight off the skis and the front of the sled.

Seondly since this sled is a bit longer and narrower, it turns a little wider than a ZR because it's not as short. Since the guy has 6 inch runners (not enough carbide) we would have a very light ski pressure situation on the skis and they would NOT GRIP into the trails and not having weight they would lift even more. Since the coupler was set to 1, the ski's would lift even more making it less stearable.

Compare that to sitting a heavy rider on the back of a Thundercat. The T=Cat is much heavier in the front and more stable. The weight of the engine and other components will cause the T-Cat to have more ski pressure. The T-Cat will probably have a stiffer suspension and it will not be as plush but a stiffer suspension will mean it will not transfer weight to the back of the sled as much as a firecat.

Since the firecat is basically the weight of a Z370, it will ride a lot more freely from a perspective of it being "bounced around". This happens because the sled just doesn't have as much mass/inertia. So if your looking to sit back and cruise and ride on the back of a sled without putting driver inputs and getting your weight to the middle of the sled, the Firecat may not be the sled for you.

Although it has a lot of power, it's not a direct replacement for a much larger feeling massive sled like the big triples.

Think of it this way. The T-Cat is like an aircraft carrier, it's strong and heavy. The Firecat is like an F-14 Tomcat. It's light and fast, but will be buffetted around a bit more than something with a lot more weight.

The Firecat is a lot closer to a superbike type of machine, than a big hog.

Any other comments.
 

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Originally posted by ATOMICAT@Jan 28 2003, 04:03 PM
1. We showed him the coupling blocks and told him to turn the coupling blocks to the number 2 position.  It's important to relate to F7 owners who haven't been reading information here or on one of the other sled forums that the coupling blocks are set for a LOT of ski lift and that will transfer into less control.  We said, set the coupling block to 2.

(2 being the most coupling)
#3 is the most coupling. :wacko:
 

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Seems like his story sort of contradicts itself. On one hand, too much ski lift and then he states it doesn't hook up. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
#3 is the most coupling.

------
Jay,

If you look at the blocks carefully you'll see that #2 has more thickness and allows less travel from the arm to the coupling block than #3.

In theory (by the manual) three has the most coupling. In reality, it looks like #2 has more coupling.

Might have been a slight QC oversight by the buyer of Coupling blocks at AC.
 

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HOLY SHIT!!! Here we go again!

Tell you what measure them and let me know what you think then.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool,

I'll do that. But can't measure them on my Firecat, cuz it's stored up north. Unless I take some gauges and a tape measure and head on over to my dealer. . . hmm. . .

I'm not stating that to start an arguement, just because it's something that was posted in the past and seemed to be true when we looked at our skidframes. (If I'm wrong, I stand corrected.) Thanks for the feedback. Any other comments.

(and yes the guy kind of contradicted himself during the conversation.) How can you want to carve better, yet love to have ski lift?
 

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#3 is thicker.. we went through that months ago. the flatspot makes #2 look thicker but its not.

Doesn't matter anyway, as you should take the coupling blocks off and throw them away. They are a total waste, all Firecats do everything better without them.
 

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#3 is thicker.. we went through that months ago.  the flatspot makes #2 look thicker but its not.[/b]
Thank you. At least these guys will believe you!! :p

Doesn't matter anyway, as you should take the coupling blocks off and throw them away.  They are a total waste, all Firecats do everything better without them.[/b]
I disagree, but thats another discussion. I personally think my sled is better with them. I think it really comes down to personal preference.
 

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FYI - 3 does have the most just ask Craig the mechanic at LeBarons. There is less rubber but more offset. I think he comes to this site but does not post.

After riding a standard this past weekend and being 255 lbs, what you told him will not work. The push will actaully increase especially with the front shock having more pressure, it needs to be less as the weight is behind the suspension not above the suspension like the ZR/ZRT/ZL chassis. By applying more pressure you are making the front-end lighter on the firecat chassis.

There is no way a ZRT600 with just studs will beat an F7 (I have a F7 snopro). I ride with one every weekend and only time he gets ahead of me is on ice then by time he gets up to 60 I am a green blur (that how he puts it) going by him. The ZRT600 also steers much heavier (it should is weighs 60 lbs more) and it rides very plush.
 

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The only way a zrt6 is faster, is if was being towed behind a mod t-cat.

Had one, it went over the bumps better ( you dont feel washboards in a shermin tank either). I had a zrt6, good in its day, but.....

Tell him he should buy a doo. :p

Pat
 

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Your missing the point guys , its all about the fact the he lives in Troy Michigan. Yuppie Town, too much money not enough brains, LOL!
 

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It seems everyone spends more time fiddling with there sleds than enjoying them. I rode my F7 sp (as is) for the first 200 miles (I love it, sat close to the tank and railed on the turns) the next 200 I removed the coupling blocks seemed a little better on the bumps, but not much difference, I think I will leave it alone from and enjoy the power and ride of one of the best built sleds I've been on to-date.
 

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Originally posted by firebyrd@Jan 28 2003, 08:55 PM
It seems everyone spends more time fiddling with there sleds than enjoying them. I rode my F7 sp (as is) for the first 200 miles (I love it, sat close to the tank and railed on the turns) the next 200 I removed the coupling blocks seemed a little better on the bumps, but not much difference, I think I will leave it alone from and enjoy the power and ride of one of the best built sleds I've been on to-date.
I fiddle around AND ride, 3200mi+ :lol: :p B)
 

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Originally posted by duke1n@Jan 28 2003, 08:35 PM
QUOTE
all Firecats do everything better without them.
Really? Even jumping?[/b][/quote]
I was talking to Dana on the phone tonight about this.. I honestly don't think removing the coupler blocks will have much effect on jumping, as you generally land flat, and the coupling blocks don't even come into play. The coupling blocks mainly affect the ride and handling on the rough stuff.

Thumper, if you are reading this please add your comments.
 

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Just a thought........If coupling is not better for the sleds, including jumping....then.....why do the SnoPro's have a cross-link, which is a fluid COUPLED suspension ???????? :huh:
 
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