so it snakes through tight woods trails,
and the LTD’s variable-assist EPS
makes flicking it effortless. With an
84.6-inch wheelbase, the Trail Cat has
5. 6 inches more than the new Polaris
RZR 900 Trail, so it’s a bit more mellow
in turns and more stable at speed. The
Trail Cat doesn’t have the torque of
the RZR 900, so it’s easier to maintain
traction in the slick stuff. It also has a
much lower seating position for a lower
center of gravity in corners.
HOW IS THE 50-INCH’S SUSPENSION?
It’s tuned well. Fox gas shocks have
IS IT A ROCKER AND A MUDDER?
good damping and spring rates for
most trail conditions. Front travel is 10
inches and rear travel is 10. 5 inches,
so it doesn’t gobble big sand whoops
like the Sport Cat or Wildcat 1000, but
the shocks do a good job of soaking
up trail junk and resisting bottoming on
water bars. The shocks are only preload
adjustable, unlike the Sport’s JRi ECX-1
70-position compression adjustments,
but Arctic Cat has accessory upgrades.
It’s more of a rocker than a mudder,
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
as the low, 10-inch ground clearance
makes it easier to get high-centered
in deep mud ruts. Its CVT and airbox
ducts draw air from about armpit level,
so it’s good in deep creek crossings,
but the Sport is a couple of inches
higher for mud and extreme rock
crawling. On our Zion ride with the
Sport, the Trail clawed its way over
fallen logs like the taller Sport with
no problems. The excellent throttle
control and response, combined with
the excellent CVT clutching, make it
excellent in delicate crawling.
It’s excellent. The bucket seats
are comfortable and provide a lot
of support, and the shoulder belts
are easy to adjust and latch. The tilt
steering wheel is well-padded, and EPS
has a lot of assist at slower speeds and
just the right amount at higher speeds.
A torque sensor measures driver and
terrain inputs and fights bump-steer,
making for a more comfortable ride in
rough terrain. Quarter doors provide
elbow and knee bracing without
Arctic Cat upgrades the Wildcat Trail 700 with the new-for-2015 Limited package, which adds
13 pounds for the EPS unit over the Standard/XT weight of 990 pounds. The 60-horsepower
twin gives the Trail 700 the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, and front and rear torsion
bars help put it all to the ground.
Here’s a cutaway of the Wildcat 700
engine that powers the Trail and Sport.
Two 76.9mm pistons ride on a crank with
75.3mm stroke, and a 40mm EFI throttle
body feeds the four-valve combustion
chambers. The alternator cranks out 36
amps of power for powering accessories.
The LTD’s EPS unit rides under the dash and in front of the
tilt steering linkage, and the steering wheel is well-padded and
comfortable. The floor has traction ribs built into the dead pedals and
a raised platform under the brake and gas pedals serves as a solid
heel rest in rough terrain. No throttle flutter here!
Independent rear suspension yields 10. 5 inches of rear travel, and the
upper arms are I-beam for clearance with extra-long shocks. Team
Rapid Response clutching is excellent, as are the high- and low-range