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Long-Term Test: 2016 Arctic Cat M 8000 SE

Cat makes huge gains with the new front end we've been waiting for
2016 Arctic Cat M 8000 SE mountain snowmobile
Many are hoping for a new 800cc engine from Cat. If 2016 is the last go for the Suzuki-built twin, it might be the best yet.
The Arctic Cat ProClimb chassis has been around for several years now. When it first launched in 2012, this radical new chassis was a huge change from the old M-Series chassis. With wild styling and unique tall spindles, the ProClimb got everyone’s attention.

Once on the snow, however, it became apparent that the front end wasn’t yet perfect for sidehilling. The chassis could be inconsistent, where the spindle would dig into the snow and bring forward motion to a halt. In many cases, this also caused the track to wash out.

Cat worked hard to fix this handling trait, making steps of progress every year, but it wasn’t until 2016 that it really became a totally different machine. With a redesigned spindle and narrower front end, Cat finally overcame the early issues. It was immediately noticeable when we rode the 2016 prototype machines in the winter of 2015, so we were really excited to spend a full winter on a demo unit to see how it worked day in and day out.

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