OSM, Spring Buyer's Guide, 2012
Top 40 of 2012
Forty things you need to know on the 2012 sleds, Page 39
Page 37, #5. … For 2012, all Polaris Pro-Ride models will feature a front suspension that is a direct adaptation from their successful IQ Racer. The IQ Race IFS delivers 20% reduction in steering effort, versus the sometimes heavy-handed Pro-Ride models of old…. The system uses all new upper and lower control arms as well as the same spindle extrusion found on their red racer. With reduced caster and subsequently less trail, the system should give the 2012 Pro-Ride models more accurate steering with a reduction in steering effort.
Page 37, #6. Improved Trail Ski - We would be the first to tell you that Yamaha has had its struggles with quirky handling traits in recent years. But through efforts in 2011 and now in 2012 model year, it looks as if the Yamaha handling house is starting to get its cards in order. While a set-in-stone spec was yet to be finalized when writing went to press, we do know the new 8HV ski will feature increased trail performance. This was done by moving the mounting point of the spindle ahead in the ski-saddle by 15 millimeters. This small change gives the ski improved bite, especially from mid-turn through exit. While this same change is often associated with a slight increase in steering effort, the buttery effects of power steering now gracing more models, virtually nullifies this negative trait. The new 8HV ski will make its way onto all 2012 trail models. PHOTO appears to be a 2010 ski
Page 39, #11. They still turn – Every year when we return from Snow Shoot, we gather our collective thoughts under the allure of a few tall cold ones, to compare notes and discuss overall traits of the new buggies. This year, as it has been in the past, Ski-Doo continues to wear the crown for king of the turn. While the new Pro-cross platform from Cat is damn good and Polaris has improved the Pro-R, the XP chassis continues to set the mark for its ability to hold a line with accuracy and predictability across the board.
Page 42, #20. Race Track Marriage – Racetrack DNA has been a design trait of Arctic Cat sleds for virtually their entire 50- year history. More so than any other brand, Cat continuously brings race tested designs, ideas, chassis, motors, and more from the track to the trail. The new Pro-Chassis is no different. When the Twin Spar design failed to catch on with Cat faithful, which ironically is one of the few designs where Cat didn't draw from the race track first, the crew in Thief River Falls knew they had to return to their checkered flag heritage. However, they also knew they had created some goodness in both their older M-chassis as well as the Twin Spar. With the race proven SnoPro chassis leading the way. Cat engineers combined the best attributes of all three into the new ProCross and Promountain chassis, while keeping a watchful eye on weight and performance goals. To put it best, the new Pro-Chassis takes all the talent of the race chassis and softens the edges and eliminates the brashness. What's more, the new design allows all three segments; the short track on trail, (F-Series) crossover (XF-Series) and mountain models, M-Series to use the same chassis core, with only changes made to the steering geometry and rear tunnel sections. Unlike the SnoPro racer, the new Pro series chassis mounts the upper and lower A-arms at a 30-degree angle for strength.
Page 52, #40. Like Butter - One of the first things you'll notice once you ride a new 2012 Cat is how easy and smooth the steering is. While riding sleds in Montana this past spring, in what was often heavy wet snow, we were still amazed at how easy and linear the steering felt and performance remained. While we'd have like to have seen a bit less front arm and more bite dialed into overall set-up, the simplified system that eliminates additional joints, steering racks and linkages, has lots of promise.
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