The 700 motor in the 99 & 00 Cats was basically a single piped version of the old Wildcat motor. I think it was a great motor for it's time. I had a Wildcat and loved it. The only problem I had (others will agree) is it ate clutches. I considered that minor considering the fun-factor of the sled. I don't know of any "common" reliability problems. I know that my old Wildcat still purrs and the motor hasn't been touched.
Reasons for its lack of popularity:
- Old, "heavy" design.
- Not as powerful as the new 700's from Polaris and Doo.
They never seemed to recover from the poor the setup on the 99's and AC's slow response to fixing them. My 99 had nearly 2000 miles on it before they got it close to right. Both my 99 and 2000 ZR-700's after jetting and clutching performed very well with decent mileage. When purchasing my 02 ZR-800 I would have bought another 700 if they still offered it. Good luck and enjoy it. Rick.
I have a 2000 ZL 700 that I bought new and I love it. I am keeping it for a backup when my new F7 gets here. The big complaint was lack of power but I think if it is clutched right you will like it. In 4200 miles I have never had a problem, my only complaint is fuel economy-I average about 8 mpg pretty consistently.
Here's what the Nov. '00 issue of SnowGoer had to say about the 700 when rating the new for '01 800:
"Now, finally, Cat officials are privately admitting that the Suzuki 700 twin found in the ZR 700 the past two seasons was a poor engine.
After two years of defending the embattled engine, Cat officials are now quick to point out how much better their new 800 twin is than that old piston port 700...ANY of the 700s or 800s in the sport would look good compared to Cat's old 700 twin."
I think a lot of people were just disappointed when Cat brought a "new" 700 model back to the lineup, but there was not much new w/the motor department. If you buy it, I hope you enjoy it, but I think you should look for an 800 if you can find one, IMO.
My buddy had a 700 and it just about vibrated the handle bars off. This was the newer I believe 2000 700. I believe and agree with another responder the motor was unchanged for years(99' and older). I have a 99' Powder Special 500 EFI I'll sell ya cheap!!!!!!!!!! [email protected] if interested email for details and pics!
I'd take the magazine article for a grain of salt. It's a proven motor with a few inhearent, although not serious issues. It's a fact that the newer models put out more power but if you're not interested in being the first one to the end of the lake (not the last one either though), it'll be fine.
Good point ZR. Never intended to sell it short, just realistic.
This motor STARTED the 700 revolution making it the oldest (by 10 years). Some of the others are just putting out more hp. I do think that properly set up, it should run with the others until hp runs take over.
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