Man you guys have some weird ideas sometimes!
I ride a ZRT600, I have ridden a 1998 Thundercat. It had picks galore. Hook up and run like HE.. well you know the rest (scary fast).
I have also ridden a 2000 ZR500 (among many other sleds). Lighter is better in all circumstances. This is why the manufacturers are making the sleds lighter.
I like the TTTrrriiipppllleee TTTrrriiipppllleee TTTrrriiipppllleee alot.
You have a ZRT800, it is the same thing with more power, riding the Thundercat to me did not seem much different than the ZRT600 except the throttle requires a bit more care.
As for soaking up the bumps more, The lighter 500 I noticed less of the trail and the bumps than my ZRT. Granted, the ACT shocks that come on the 2000 make a world of difference.
Also the heavier sleds do require more driver input and they are more stable as a result, but I don't feel that this qualifies as saying that it will absorb the impact of bumps better.
Personally, as for handling, I like the AWS 4 better.
As for the MachZ 800, The 1999 that I rode for a day I was able to master that machine in about an hour.
I ran heads up against that same Mach when we went to the UP and beat him up to 100mph with my 600. Granted mine is geared (and tops out at 100 at which time he vanished) and tuned and his is stock but.......
The same stock Mach800 when my ZRT 600 was stock, raced fairly even, but the snow conditions only let both of us spinnnnnnnnnnnnn the tracks.
The Mach is faster than my 600 but not faster than a Thundercat. Read the numbers. They weigh the same, 150 HP against 172 HP, in a stock sled race the Mach may actually win the SPINNING TRACK contest, LOL
The ACT shocks that come on the 2000 make a world of difference.