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Discussion Starter #1
What's up with marketing? First, Polaris dumped theirs, now Cat too. Surely not everyone races (and who races with a Bearcat or Panther anyway?) Any thoughts/ ideas on why, other than low sales, these companies are dropping engines of this size?      If it is poor sales, why? Does no one use these great rigs for work anymore?
 

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Arctic Cat will have the 440 Z again this year.
I have a 98 440 Z and am very pleased with it. Certainly no muscle sled , but it is a great trail sled.  
 
 

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I think a more practical application for work would be an ATV. More and more people are buying them for work and play, especially with the poor snow conditions over the past few years. If a product isn't selling, why build it. For farmers, hunters, fisherman, and people in smaller towns and acerages, an atv is much more practical than a work sled.  
 
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You can't take an ATV 60 miles off road in snow in most places and I wouldn't do it ever. An ATV does not pull sleds well either. I wonder how many folks realize that a snowmobile, even the fan cooled ones, have the power to pull an entire field-dressed moose or sled loads of logs weighing in excess of 1000 pounds. I know there probably aren't a lot of folks in the lower 48 states who use them like this but there are good numbers in Alaska and I'm sure Canada has many as well. I do realize that many of these folks take pretty good care of their rigs and don't replace them every year so sales are undoubtedly not as high a with the machines that are run fast and hard - and wrecked with only a paltry few thousand miles on them in many cases. Still, why concede this part of the market (and brand loyalty) to Ski-Doo which still makes these smaller fan engines?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
.....I should also add that dropping fans from the line-up of sled offerings makes little sense if poor snow years continue. A fan cooled machine is a more versatile machine able to go when and where the liquids can't go. Admittedly they don't make equal horsepower cc for cc but going 50 mph over ice or hard snow is better than going not at all.
 

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Yup....I helped hand load a new summit 700 and a rmk 700 last year when the temp dropped to -26f.  They took turns breaking down for one reason or another all day!  The only sled running at the end of the weekend was my old 96 panther deluxe....440 FAN!  (true story)
 
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