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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, looks like i might have  some extra cash this fall and am considering a zl550 .  Just was hoping that i could get some opinions on this sled. I almost ordered one this spring but ended up buying a polaris 500 left over.  The wife would really like the polaris  so i'm thinking of going with the zl. looks like more sled for the money than the polaris any light that you guys can shed on the AC will be appreciated.  Thanks
 

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What year zl500 are you looking at.  I don't think they are making zl500s for 2003.
 
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FYI Indywild, I ran my ZRT up against a 98 ZL with a D&D clutch kit and power breather, the airbox was gutted out too and it spanked me 3 out of 5 runs.  I have 126+ horse against the ZL with maybe 105 horse.  Those ZLs run great as long as you dial them in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry guys my screw up i mentzl550.I've spent to much time in the garage polishin the pol 500 that  500 is inbeded in the old gray matter. again sorry for the srew up.
 

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Zl are great sleds but don't expect them to handle on rails, it won't happen. Check major dealers as they all have tons of leftovers Cat pushes on them. They will all be advertising come Aug or Sept in mags like RV traders,etc. You'll get a major savings. The Smartride rear skid is a sweet ride also if you went that way.
Caleb
 

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I use to have a 97 cougar 550.  It had decent power after some clutching and I never had any trouble with the engine or anything else for that matter.   I think they have made some changes to the 550 engine so maybe it is a little more powerful.  The zlframes are great.  If you aren't looking for a complete performace machine the 550 would be great otherwise look for a zr500 or a zl500 hold over .
 
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I personally would shy away from the 550.  It doesn't have but I think 80 horse.  The 500 in the ZL and ZR has almost 100 stock.  Better bang for your buck.
 

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I agree with ARCTICZRT600

I had a 99 ZL500 for going on three years..... sold it to the girlfriend, and ordered a 500 Firecat.... The ONLY problem I had with the sled was the gas mileage..... if you ride somewhat hard (moderate), expect around 8 mpg..... I never touched the jetting until this past season, since she's gonna be riding the sled and she putts around...... I threw in two sizes smaller jets, and WHAMMO!!! 12 mpg..... but thats also with her riding slow and easy on the LOUD handle...  


Other than that, been a great sled, reliable as heck....great ride.... good handling.....

Oh, one other downside to the 500 was the somewhat loud pipe compared to other brands, but if you can get over that, then go for it....
 

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IndyWild... I see you are near Utica NY..... where abouts are you located? Out by Ilion or Mohawk?  A great place to call about leftover 500's if you are interested is John S. at Sun & Snow recreation.... good friends of mine.... between my dad and I we bought like **counts on hands** 5 or 6 sleds so far..... all great, great service, and great prices too....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
SteveCZ , your close im located in Little Falls. I've been in sun & snow a few times looking and John is part of the reason that i'm concidering a cat. He's the model all dealers should follow ,one heck of a good guy. Just heard the other day that Zambri outdoor sports will be taking on the arctic cat line this fall, first ATV's then mid season sled releases the take orders in the spring for  04's.   Steve where abouts are you located that you know the valley so well.  Do you ride tug hill or  stay in the valley. I do most of my riding in the Salisbury area (Ridgerunners).  Thanks everyone for the in put it's appreciated.
 

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I have a ZL-5 '98 that I rode for a number of years and One of the other posts described my experience to a tee. Steve CZ I think was the name. I never had a 550 but what I hear was that it doesn't compare to the case reed 500 very well. My thought would be to stay away from a 550 unless the price was too good to pass up. My 500 was and still is an excelent trail sled. Just don't think you're getting more motor with the extra 50 cc


live free. have fun
 

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jrd66 I definetly agree with you.  Having owned and ridden both a 550 and a 500.  I considered moving from my 550 to my 500 an increase in power.  There is really no comparison between the two motors.
 

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Just bought a used 2000 zl500efi at the end of the season when my 580 blew the lower motor seal. I was able to put 4oo miles on it before putting it away for the season.  To say the least I fell in love with the way it handles.  I ride with zr600 sleds that like to push the outer extremes at times. I had no problem staying right with them.  Granted I'm small and light which helps alot.  I set the suspension up for aggressive riding which did the trick. And that motor, well it is real responsive.  My stock 500 stays right with the 600's.  and gets 11 miles to the gallon pushing it. Have seen 13 miles on long steady trail rides. Not bad I'd say. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.
 

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boondockit, where are you getting your info from???  Whoever told you the 550 was fan cooled, was smoking his socks.  That motor has been liquid cooled since it was brought into the line up.  Better find a better source for your info!!!!!
 

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The 570 which is new is the largest fan cooled engine in the AC lineup.  The 550 has always been a liquid cooled like catrules2000 said.
 
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