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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide which sled to buy for the upcoming season. ''03 ZR900 or "00 T-cat? Leaving price and conditon out of the equation, which sled would you choose. I ride in Michigan mostly on trails but ocassional lake or long field blasts. I like the power of the T-cat but not the extra weight.  Should I be concerned about he extra weight? I am 6''4" and weigh about 255 and ride agressively to give you an idea. On the other hand I like the ZR900 because of the less weight and respectable power that it has. So leaving price and condition of the sleds (lets say BOTH are brand new) which sled would you choose?
 

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Bigdude, you have probably just started a thread that will go on for a while, unless everyone's tired from the last time this topic was discussed.  
  However, I just went through this dilemma myself, and have just decided to stick w/the ZR.  I considered the weight and was still willing to go with the T-cat, but then thought about the chassis and the availability of parts and accessories.  The T-cat is in the older chassis, and I believe is a little less trail-friendly...I also ride the trails of northern WI and MI.  If I were you, I would go with the ZR900...you will be very happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
New to the site so I didnt see the older posts. Guess I will do a search. Anyways, I uess I would be happy either way as I am sure both sleds are great. With that said, right now I am leaning towards the T-cat and keeping the extra $3,000 in my pocket. Unless of course someone on here convinces me otherwise.  
 

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Let me give it a go. I weight about as much as you and ride a 2000 ZR440 and just love that sled. Think of the ZR900 as a platform for improvement...get a Black Magic big bore kit down the road and you're way up there in power to weight ratio. It would be quite easy to make it a 175 hp sled like the T-cat and still have a killer trail sled. It has a great chassis, like the Sno Pro. However, with a T-cat, what do you have, a powerful, heavy sled that will get no lighter. I think most will agree that the T-cat doesn't have too much on the ZR900 in stock form. You can make the ZR900 into a beast for less cash than a T-cat and not gain too much weight if any at all. For the kind of riding that you describe, I think you need a trail machine more than a lake machine; afterall, the T-cat is best suited for lakes and mountain areas. The ZR900 gives you, IMHO, the best of both worlds. How easy would it be to jump a T-cat vs. a 500 lb ZR900. Get the ZR and never look back.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, good points. Maybe this should be another thread now but instead of a BIG T-cat or even a "big" 900 how do you feel about getting a Zr440 or even a Zr600 and put a big bore kit on it. This would give me a great power to weight ratio and a killer trail sled. Are these "kits" reliable or will I always have to be tweaking them to make them run right? What big bore kits should I be looking at? should I start with a 440 or a 600
 

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Bigdude, just buy the 900 and be done w/it.  You have everything in one pkg w/the 900.  Why would a person want to piece together a sled when you can buy one ready to go and it has full warranty?

IMO, Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you cant tell by now, I cant make up my #### mind. Plus I like to stir the pot a little and see what people say. With snow at least a few more months away I have plenty of time to think about it and lose sleep every night.  
At least I know one thing for sure, I want a CAT for sure!
 

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If  I was in your shoes, I would get the ZR9, no hesitation. Buy what fits your riding style most, and by your own admission, it is trails. Of course, if you want to wait until January and see what Cat releases mid-season.....might throw another model into the mix
 

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I think its a no brainer, You have the best of both worlds w/ the zr9. You got the speed of a T cat and you can drive still have a light dich banging sled.  JMO
 

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Bigdude, I had to laugh when I read your last post.  I know what you mean about not sleeping at night and thinking about these sleds...I've been doing the same thing for the last week or two.  I've changed my mind two times about trading my ZR in for a T-cat.  I think our addiction to snowmobiling is worse than some people's addiction to tobacco!!  Now that I'm keeping my ZR, I'm constantly thinking about a new paint job for the hood.  When will this madness ever stop....NEVER!!!
 

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Why go with the 900 when the 800 only has 65 ccs less and costs about 1000 less.  just s thought. i personaly love the triples. but then i am 6.1 and 230.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah I know, I am getting the sickness bad. Cant get rid of it. Probably not until at least April or so. I go from heavy, powerful, cheaper, used T-cat to brand spankin new, no worrys, lighter weight, good power ZR900, to still lighter and maybe just as powerful F7. When will it stop? I guess I will just hav to close my eyes, take a deep breath and pick one. Then it will finaly be over. Well not really, then I get to lose sleep over which pipes to get, or which clutch set-up, or maybe even praying for snow the whole night. It just never ends and thats probably the best part. Gotta love it!
 

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Bigdude, reading your posts tells me that we have a lot in common.  I spend many wakeless hours obsessing about sledding.  I can't tell you how much I debated buying my TCat and struggled with the decision.  Either sled you're considering will be a great ride.  But with the issue of weight/hp ratios the sleds are actually about the same, if you believe AC's posted #'s anyway.  TCat, 575 lbs/172 hp = 3.34 lbs. per hp.  ZR900, 507 lbs/150 hp = 3.38 lbs. per hp.

As for the ZR900 being a ditch banger, I've never ridden one so I can't say, but I don't think I'd call the ZR one - if that's your primary riding style then buy an F7 and bang away.

But judging by a lot of your posts - the '00 TCat is far from being an obsolete/inefficient chassis.  The ZR9 is without a doubt better, but it's not the difference between a '02 SnoPro and '89 Exciter.  You sound like the kind of guy that will always want something more.  With the TCat you can get really stupid someday and put a 300 hp PSI Genesis engine together.  The ZR will never have that much potential with one less cylinder.

So to sum it up - flip a coin, they're both good sleds for big guys like us.  But nothing, and I mean nothing sounds or feels like a big triple.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In all reality I will probably end up with the Tcat. There are a few I am going to look at this coming weekend. I mean they both are great sleds and very similar in performance. However with the Tcat I can buy a nice used one for cheaper and if I want with what I save I can throw some mods to it and never look back. I like you weight to HP ratio but what is even more interesting is to add your weight to the sled. So add 255Lbs
to each sled 830/172 = 4.82 for the Tcat and 762/150 = 5.08 for the Zr900. Still very similar but now the Tcat has
even more of an advantage than before. Plus like you said,
you just cant beat the sound of a big triple. Now.....which pipes should I get................just never ends.
 

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Consider the following:

A new T-Cat or "used" T-Cat will cost less to buy than an ZR900.  Yes as SnoProG suggested, the T-Cat cost more, but not when comparing the "blow out" last years prices on it vs. a new ZR900.  The T-Cat will have more power for drag racing and on the lake in a drag it will beat a ZR900.  If the ZR900 wins just keep going making the race longer, you'll end up winning with the triple.

The T-Cat (stock) will get better miliage on the trails than the ZR900.  It's big drawback is weight, but for big guys that isn't always a drawback.  For lighter guys like me, a T-Cat is often a pain, because it's just to heavy to pick up.

The balanced triple power is also smooth.  There's a dealer near me that has a T-Cat 2002 with reverse still on the showroom floor. . . how many days longer I wonder?

With all that in mind tho' you've got to wonder.

If most of your riding (mostly trail riding) is done on trails that requires speeds well under 100 MPH, what is the advantage of the triple over a ZR900.  People really don't drag race on the trails, they take off and run single file.   So from a day to day perspective of riding for most people the ZR twins would suit 90 to 95% of their riding style better.  Unless your living on a lake or want to drag race, there's practically no advantage to having the T-Cat.

My two cents.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Atomicat, thanks for the info but I would have to disagree. Well i guess you are right that the T-cat really has no advantage over the Zr900 when it comes to trails. But I dont see the advantage that the Zr900 has over the Tcat either. IMO both sleds on the trail are really a waste because who needs 150+ HP on the trails. I would mch rather have a nice 500 to 600 cc's on the trail. However when you hit those long straight aways or big lakes there is no question. So I really dont see any advantage the ZR900 has over a Tcat that is setup right. Stock for stock then maybe. Even if BOTH sleds were setup with mods the Tcat still shines brghter...IMO.
I think you said it best when you said big guys like me shouldnt be concerned about the extra weight like smaller guys should. Lets face it, the Tcat is a BIG sled designed for bigdudes.  
 

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If it were me I would maybe even consider an XCR800 which I believe this year will still give the ZR900 a run for its money. And as far as trail ride goes I think the XCR is a much better handling sled for larger guys.
 

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I'm trail/lake running in northern Mi, and have been a long time. I've come to love the large/fat/heavy/ ill handling, triples dearly. They are incredibly smooth, and very powerful on the trails and lakes. They get great gas milage, especially when compared to anything close in power. Even though the media would have everyone believe that they won't handle, they are able to carve a corner much faster than I can hold on for (6'2"/280). I don't believe the weight deal is anything more than publicity hype when it comes to the majority of drivers whose primary usage is not on a track. The vibration levels of these newer large bore twins may not seem like much the first half of the day, but I can assure you that it will be very noticeable the second half on long trail runs. On long days out on the trail, it is definitely a factor contributing to fatigue. Maybe thats why you never see it mentioned in any of the hype. Something else that comes up in our discussions, is how your arms feel after a full days riding, and it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference what you ride, twin or triple. It has to do with the very high performance machines, say, 800's and up. You will notice some sore shoulders and forearms- a result of having them stretched every time you pinch the throttle trigger. A lot of guys don't like their new machines for that reason - too much work just to hold on. One more thing and I'll get off the stool. The triples are smooth enough to get a rookie into trouble very quickly. At first you don't realize how quickly you are accelerating, until that curve, tree, or fence is there much sooner than it should be.....

Just a couple of thoughts,
AL
 

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BIGDUDE, I went through the same decision last season when the Zr 900 came out. At the time I was riding a T-cat, I bought the Zr900 and am very happy that I did. Much more rounded sled, trails, lakes, open water, It didn't matter, it was great!! T-cat was a lot of fun, But I am gonna hand it to the Zr, they did a great job. I bought my zr900 close to the end of last season, I waited to sell my T-cat because I just had to no which on was faster!!. Out of the hole, T-cat 192 studs 1 inch lugs, and the zr900 w/192 studs but 1 1/4 lug track, The zr tore the t-cat up! Bad! top end was close at times (my brother was riding my t-cat weighing close to the same as me) the t-cat pulled very, very slowly away from my 900. I was very happy that I bought my zr900. also think about this.... parked at a bar/restraunt, which one do you want to pick up to turn around....... nuff said!! t-cat for the last two years was great!! but It was time to upgrade and that is exactly what I did. hope that helps!
 
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