| 2004 Arctic Cat lineup

These Cats Don't Just Play in the Snow

Aug. 01, 2004 By ORC STAFF
To many, the Arctic Cat name conjures up images of high-speed touring across the frozen North American countryside. To the rest, "Arctic Cat" is probably some animal native to the tundra that chases "snow mice". Apparently, the guys that run the Arctic Cat company had plans to make sure that everyone recognizes their name as not only a premiere snowmobile manufacturer, but cutting edge ATV manufacturer as well.

A fairly formidable task considering the impressive machinery available in the marketplace today, the guys in Minnesota were nonetheless dead set to make their name known from Anchorage to Arizona. Although they've been building quads since 1995, Artic Cat saw the need to penetrate the sport ATV market as well as the high end utility market. For 2004, several new ATV models were recently released at their Thief River Falls production facility-among them the DVX-400 and 650 4x4.

Sport Class - The DVX400

They make no bones about it, the DVX400 (mouseover for picture) is unabashedly a reskinned Suzuki LTZ400. Arctic Cat has licensed the rights to this highly successful machine directly from Suzuki and has added their own flare to draw attention to this machine. Combined with an edgy, aggressively styled body, the DVX has replaceable fenders front and back that can be swapped with several other color schemes to provide that unique, custom-look quad you always wanted. Fenders can be purchased in marble, carbon fiber, or chrome, whether you feel the need to accessorize, or just happen to break a fender. The trick plastic is not only arguably the slickest looking skin on the market today, but has the advantage of being economically replaced should you crack or break a fender.

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During our testing session at the Paul Bunyan National Forest in Minnesota, we had opportunity to ride this machine through a variety of terrain- sand, rock, mud, and hard pack. The 400cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single eagerly powered through it all, easily lifting the front wheels

whenever desired. Although powerful enough to be a serious racing contender, the DVX also offers some cushy features for the recreational rider like electric start, and reverse. It's an easy machine to grow comfortable with- it has good suspension manners, quick throttle response, a light clutch pull, and a lightweight feel.

Click here for full specifications on the Arctic Cat DVX400.

650 Class - 650 4x4

Through the years Arctic Cat has already made a name for themselves with their 4x4s and utility machines. What they were missing was a flagship powerhouse. This year they accomplished that task by dropping Kawasaki's much ballyhooed 650 V-twin into their top-end chassis. This motor gulps air through two 32mm downdraft carbs, through two four-valve heads, and into 633cc's worth of piston displacement. Although this machine weighs in at nearly 700 lbs, it's not too tough the urge the motor to lift the wheels over the rough stuff.

loading picture ... With an automatic trans, high/low range gearbox, electronic locking front differential, and shift on the fly 2wd/4wd, hills and bogs are child's play. On the other hand, the 650 can be put to serious work if needed. The MRP (multi- rack platform) model has provisions for racks specifically designed for construction, lawn care, ranching, camping, fishing, or hunting- each of which can be installed or removed in a matter of seconds by virtue of their cleverly designed attachment system. You can carry up to 300 lbs on the racks, and pull 1000 more if needed.

Some of the other features that really set this Cat off from the rest of the pack include a 2" square hitch receiver so you can share the hitch from your tow vehicle with your ATV. Also, a new digital gauge cluster offers an LCD view of speed, trip odo, and gear position. Owed largely to its independent rear suspension, this machine boasts "best in class" ground clearance of 12 inches, with 10" of suspension travel.

Click here for full specifications on the 650 4x4.

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