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Discussion Starter #1
Here are some observations (in no particular order) I made of the Firecat while at the Syracuse (NY) showing on March 4.  These observations are made with the understanding that the machines on display were prototypes.
Cons~
~The "airforce induction" has a very fine screen under the aggressive looking noise piece.  I realize they are trying to keep the air clean & free of snow but I am concerned about it plugging in powdery conditions.
~The spark plugs are accessible however they are very close to the exhaust pipe that wraps over the engine.  It looks like a pair of mechanics gloves (that cover the wrist & forearm) will be needed if the plugs need to be changed while the pipe is hot.
~The front heat exchanger is welded to the close off panel of the tunnel.  This is a concern if you are going to run studs. I am sure I am not the only one that has punctured the front heat exchanger when a stud went astray.
~The brake light assembly did not look as finished as the rest of the sled.  I am sure the production version will be cleaned up a little bit.
~The monogage is tilted up similar to Polaris' angle.  While viewing should be easier while sitting, I am not sure how well I could read it while standing up.

Pros~
~Both the left & right headlight assemblies are adjustable from the dash.  No more lifting the cowl to adjust the headlight.
~The monogage is 6" in diameter & easy to read.  They didn't have one powered up so I don't know how big the numbers on the digital portion are.
~The gas tank filler neck is large and appears to be an insert.  The gage appears to be molded into the tank so the gas cap no longer imparts the force of sloshing fuel hitting the float. I believe this is what broke the neck on my '97 ZR6.
~The dimmer switch is integrated with the brake lever. No problem finding it!
~The tool kit is in a molded case under the front of the seat.  There is a shelf molded into the back of the gas tank where the tool kit sits.  The seat fits over the other half.
~Unlike the 2002 Sno Pro, the APV is attached to the cylinder by cap screws instead of studs. This should make removal easier as you won't have to flip with the servo cable.
~The recoil handle has been moved up out of the way of your right knee.  No more annoying bruises on your knee!
~425/435 pounds dry weight?  I believe it! Weight reductions abound! Many pieces have been combined to shave weight & lower assembly time.  Even the ski saddles are milled out.
Have you seen the Firecat?

Tell us what u think!
 

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Hopefully by the time the Firecats reach consumers the bugs will be taken car of.Should be since us Sno Pro owners are doing some of Cats R&D work for them.Maybe by then they will have a fix for the Speedo & trip functions since mine never worked.Also I have been informed there is a guard of some sort for the heat exchanger.

As far as changing plugs you are right .the right one is easy but the left one kinda sucks since its close to the exhaust.

No problems reading the tach when in digital or analog when standing.
 

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I'm 5'-9" tall have also noticed (at the Syarcuse show) when you sit on a Firecat your knees seem to be higher than your waist.  This would explain why the footrests are flatter than usual.  The higher knee position will make it harder to go from a sitting position to a standing position.  I like the sled, but I'm concerned that this low sitting position would cause fatigue over the course of a day.  This is just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.
 

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You can all rest assured that what you see at the shows more than likely won't be what you're getting in the fall.either they will upgrade or cut costs.Either way what you see now won't be what you get in the fall.
 
 
 

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One thing that scares me is all the plastic and less metal. How is that sled going to hold up for years to come?

I for a fact would not want to buy a used one. After 2-3 years of hard riding that thing will be a rattle trap and falling apart.

Lightweight is cool, but durability is just as important to me. I am highly doubting how durable this sled is going to be.
 

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hp the only reason you see more plastic is because most of the plastic parts on the sled are formed together making less parts and more apearence of the plastic. But rest assured because this is a sno pro chassis which means it can take a beating, and I know that because i have a 02 Sno Pro 440 Liquid.
 
 
 

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I was at the show here in Regina Sask on feb 22. The firecats are nice sleds, very small and light. As for pro's and con's the only con is the air induction hood. The cloth material that filters the snow dust is not going to work...FACT. With the big holes and screens that sleds currently have they still plug up in deep snow. The heat that the pipe will give off will melt small snow particals in the cloth and leave it wet therefore when you stop for food, drinks or whatever it will freeze up. After the screen is frozen and clumped up with ice you cant clean it out how does the sled breath?  As for changing plugs with the pipe set up thats not to worry about because with EFI you can run a whole year on a set of plugs.......or if your concerned then change em before you leave home.  The sled is solid and feels good to sit on and has nice ergoes......really nice.
The only reason I am not getting on is the Torque numbers that they wont tell us about......Big deal 140hp....no torque no PULL.
 

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Sled-head-Everyone that I know that has an EFI has fouled out plugs before-it is just as easy to foul out a plug on an EFI machine as it is on a carbed machine.

insidr34-I have seen nothing but compalints about the 02 sno-pro's. Most all say what I said earlier that they arent as durable and wont last-because of all the plastic.

Arctic Cat in the past few years has gone down hill in the durability department when it comes to the chassis and hoods and their fit and finish is still bad compared to the others.  
 

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Aw common sled-head, I have always said they all have their problems. I know that.
 

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It just depends on what color of junk you want to ride on.I will take mine green.

As far as all the plastic goes & not holding up is this coming from non-pro Snow-X's that think every corner is a demolition derby?Just what are you reffering to as what is plastic on Firecats & metal on other sleds?
 

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Yes answer sno pros question. What parts of plastic are you refering to? By the way sno pro I live in Wisconsin Dells just north of you.
 
 
 

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My guess...... probably gonna be more bad than good
 
 

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Sled Head. Im sorry but your wrong.  The fit and finish of arctic cats is laging far behind the others.  This is my honest opinion.  When you open the hood of a AC its just looks like everything is out of place and that it was put together by a guy that didnt have all the tools he needed.  

Doos fit and finish is the best all around.  They may need more bungies to hold the hood in it (EXTREEM DRIVING) But the engine and exhaust is just perfect and its a joy looking under a doos hood.  Everything is all nicely dressed up and everything looks good and clean.  This may not be important to all people but to me its the first thing i look for.  The fit and finish follow to the back of the sled also.  

The new rev will beat the F7 no matter what.  The Rev reviews by magazines are so high and even the test riders say its the best now.  They call it the sled of the future.  It goes around the corner on rails with no skilift.  It corrects itself in mid air if you jumped crooked.  The exact words of the magazine are that no matter what brand you ride you will have to admit that the rev is the best because it just is.  

Also the new rev has amazing fit and finish and they didnt go with Digital Tach.  

The firecat does have some cool cowl designs.  And i like the headlights. but thats where it ends.  I would still go for the ZR before the F7.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I hear what you are saying about the durability and a lot of that has to do with the design & application engineering.  But the fact stands that this sled is light so the force that is imparted on the chassis will be less.  Remember F=ma, we can't change the acceleration due to gravity "a"
 (unless you fill the seat with helium&#33
but when the mass "m" is reduced, so is the force "F".  Is this reduction enough that the plastic can withstand it?......that remains to be seen.  
 

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Of course the magazines give the REV great reviews.They cant afford to badmouth a sled from a major manufacter, just like car magazines.Its all about kiss ###.

Then you have Ski Doo reps & Dealers test riding them, do you think they are going to say it sucks?No because they have to sell them next year.

Dont get me wrong I believe it is a great machine but I want to ride a production unit, not some test sled that may have different suspension on it than what you will get.Plus from some of the pictures I have seen of it under the side panels looks like a nightmare (really cramped).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
After reading posts from several forums, I have a few questions for the 2002 Sno Pro owners~
Is your brake rotor located on the track drive with caliper mounted to the tunnel?  If so do you have problems with "cold" brake application?
What are the problems associated with the digital/analog gage?
Have you had any problems with the airforce induction?  Have you taken in snow during snowy rides or while hitting powder?
Have you pulled the top steering out of the gas tank?
When you buy a Sno Pro, do you get any special attention from AC?  Since it seams to be a limited production, development project it seams to me AC would be interested in your input.... what is working & what isn't?
Rear suspension~ Do you have the Cross Link? Do you have a torque sensing link?  I noticed the Firecats at the show didn't have TSL & I am wondering why?  And it appears AC is not offering the Cross Link on the F series, not even with the Sno Pro suspension.  I wonder how sold they are on this "double coupling" idea?
Just wondering.........
 
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