First-ride impressions on the 2019 Arctic Cat M8000 Mountain Cat Alpha One

by Kirsten Armleder

The 2019 M8000 Mountain Cat Alpha One is a spring-order only. Arctic Cat photo

Arctic Cat lit up the forums and social media world when the Alpha One, a revolutionary single-beam rear-suspension for the 2019 Mountain Cat, was unveiled. As with all new and different technology, there are the naysayers, claiming it’s just a gimmick. Before jumping to any conclusions, however, listen to what those who’ve actually ridden it have to report:

“The monorail makes the sled more predictable, nimble, easy to get on edge and hold a line through the trees,” said Jamie Pukas, who is a professional hillclimb racer and backcountry rider from Calgary, Alberta. “The way the new track flexes I find myself able to ride through the trees faster and more aggressively.”

Riders who struggle with wrong foot forward or “the dangle” may also appreciate the Alpha One’s natural agility.

“I could easily stay in a neutral position and the sled would do the work for me,” said Pukas. “This is going to be a huge advantage to both novice and advanced riders. It will give you the confidence to hold steeper lines longer and faster without having to move your body from side to side.”

Arctic Cat spent six years working on this new suspension, which, along with the new Powder Claw track, shaves 11 pounds of weight off the sled. Replacing the traditional two-rail system with a single-beam also eliminates snow build-up in the skid. The track is available in 154 and 165 options with three-inch lugs and 3.5-inch pitch. Up front, there are new G2 ProClimb 7 skis for improved flotation and easier steering.

Paired with the Ascender Platform and 8000 CTec2 engine, the Alpha One could set a new precedent for the highly competitive mountain segment.

For more information, see the website.

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