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Thread: Brian M Why the BearCat?

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    Member polardds's Avatar
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    Default Brian M Why the BearCat?

    I didn't want to hijak another thread so I wanted to ask Brian M the moderator why he went with the BearCat? I am looking for a utility sled and have looked them over. I thought this was a better discussion in the open rather than a private message as I am sure many here are curious too???

    Thanx for Chiming in Brian

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    Member akriverunner's Avatar
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    I have owned both a 570 Bearcat XT and a fourstroke Bearcat XT. I loved the Fourstroke, had plenty of power to pull anything needed and one could go play on it also. Ofcourse it's a heavy sled like any widetrack but it has enough power you can throw it around too


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    I have the 2012 Bearcat 570 standard and use it every weekend to go to the cabin and 40 mile ROUGH trapline. Love the machine. Very simple, very reliable, and I have no problem throwing it around. Bought it new and now have 3700 miles. Only issue I have had is starter issues when it was new but had it fixed and no problems since. The only other thing which is strange is that 2 weekends in a row I let 2 different people ride it and both times they broke the choke lever off flush. I am thinking either their knees somehow hit it or maybe while hoping off sliding their feet across might have knocked it off. I personally have never knocked it off. Brian, make sure to get the extra high windsheild. You WILL thank me later. Happy riding!!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Will have to get back to this later when I'm not on my phone, but the short answer is that it was the ideal family/hunting compromise machine for me. If it was solely for my use, I might have done something different - maybe - but with my boys at the age where it's time to come along in the winter, it made a lot of sense. Also got a great deal. Will write more later.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I went with the standard Bearcat 570 - not the widetrack XT or the one with the larger engine.

    As I noted before, this choice was something of a compromise. If it were just for me, I might have ended up with the Polaris Voyager instead. The Voyager is lighter and would probably perform a bit better in deep snow, but in talking to a number of Bearcat owners I came to believe that the Bearcat was a better 2up machine. In the coming years a lot of my riding will be done with one of my sons on the back, so comfort and stability came into play. Even apart from riding with a passenger, the reality is that the vast majority of my riding is done at relatively low speeds while looking for tracks/etc. and is simply a means of getting somewhere. I rarely (if ever) ride just to ride, but rather as a part of going hunting, skiing, etc. For that, the Bearcat seemed like a good option. Great suspension, solid reputation for reliability with few issues, simple engine to work on when needed, etc.

    I also considered the Tundra, but again stability came into play. It's not that I was concerned about stability when I alone was riding it, but within a few years my boys will be riding it on their own and my wife will use it some as well, so I liked the fact that the Bearcat offers a more stable platform.

    What really sold me was talking to a number of other Bearcat owners. In talking to people who ride them a lot, I heard a lot of reports like Steve's above - they may be a bit heavier than other machines, but they move cross country just fine and can perform in deep snow quite well. It's not a mountain sled, of course, but it's a far more capable machine than some who haven't spent time on them give it credit for. I don't think I heard one negative report in talking to five or six current owners, and all enthusiastically recommended that I go this route for the type of riding I do.

    Lastly, the price was right. If the price was the same or close on the Voyager, I might have gone that way. That said, Eagle River has the 2014 Bearcat 570 for $6,400 right now. A Voyager with the added 2up seat is $8,400. It looks like a nice sled, but for my uses, it's not $2k nicer.

    We shall see, but for now I'm pretty pleased with my choice and the price.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailblazersteve View Post
    Brian, make sure to get the extra high windsheild. You WILL thank me later. Happy riding!!
    Ha! Yeah, I was thinking about adding that. The standard windshield is already twice the size of those jokes that come on most sleds, but I do like having that wind barrier. Good advice. Do you have the wide ski skins? That was another option that I've been thinking on but didn't add right away.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'd hold tight on the wide skis. They severely limit handling in my opinion. Even with my big heavy four stroke up front I have never had an issue with the stock skis causing a stuck.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Good to know, Doug. Thanks. Perhaps I'll pick up a set for spring bear hunting in the melting slop, but otherwise I'll steer clear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    It's not a mountain sled, of course, but it's a far more capable machine than some who haven't spent time on them give it credit for.
    You haven't seen AKDoug on his. We call it the AirCat.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    You haven't seen AKDoug on his. We call it the AirCat.
    Ha! So I've heard. Doug was among those recommending the Bearcat to me. Knowing how he rides it, perhaps I should have taken that with a grain of salt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Ha! Yeah, I was thinking about adding that. The standard windshield is already twice the size of those jokes that come on most sleds, but I do like having that wind barrier. Good advice. Do you have the wide ski skins? That was another option that I've been thinking on but didn't add right away.
    Mine came with the wide ski's. I bought my wife the T570 at the same time which is basically the same exact machine just 144" instead of the 156" and hers came with the standard skis. I like my skis MUCH better as they really lift the machine up on top of deep stuff, especially deep sugar snow that I deal with. The only adder I did besides the tall windsheild was I had the shop put on a different helix on the clutch. It REALLY helps with my constant stop and go on the trapline and saves on the belt. After typing this I can think of two complaints, one which is a biggy is there is absolutely no storage on his machine. I mean you can't even stuff a lighter anywhere. At the time there wasn't much you could order to put on the machine for extra storage, might have changed by now. The other MAJOR complaint that I forgot about is the front shocks. PLEASE Brian, if you do any boon docking in rough areas, buy and keep on you at all times the round steel retainer collar that holds and compresses the front springs on the shock. If you look closely, all that holds the collar is two little bumps on the shock. Twice, and both times were bad situations, I have lost that collar. If this happens your machine will colapse on that side, the spring will bind up high on the shock and you will be limited on steering. Now I am pretty hard on my machine but the two times it has happened was when I was wolverine trapping down in a rocky gorge and hit a rock under the snow. Right where the rock hit the spring, it forced it up and over the 2 little bumps on the shock, now making to much slop and the collar just fell out. The second time was the exact same way except this time while bear hunting and bush wacking a good size stick that was sticking up out of the ground did the same thing. I wish the shock was threaded with a lock ring like most are instead of the 2 little bumps. Anyway I don't leave home with out a spare collar and a ratchet strap. If you happen to loose one and don't have a spare collar, its a pain but if you get creative with a ratchet strap and can limp out of MOST situations. As far as a shop, I will never take my machines to the shop in ER again. They were the ones that set up the machines and on our first ride both machines darted badly and we found loose bolts and nuts in several places. After taking them back in ( a pain ) they SAID they fixed the problem but after taking them out again they were worse with darting. I took them to Anchorage Suzuki and they where very pleasent to deal with even know I didn't buy the machines from them ( they were out of stock at the time ) they went thru and found that they were WAY out of alignment and my clutch was loose. We got them back and have not had an issue since. I didn't care for the attitude at the ER shop nor the way they couldn't take care of a customer that had just spent $16,000.00 cash. The Anchorage guys run a great shop!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'll have to look at mine. I wonder if the 4-Stroke is the same front shocks? I cannot fathom a single individual that is harder on a Bearcat than I am I second the tall windshield recommendation along with the brace they come with. Makes life super nice and I'm still on my original one that I started with 5000 miles ago, and yes the Bearcat has been upside down several times.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member bearqst's Avatar
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    Logged on looking to see if anyone has been down the Tanana yet this year from Fairbanks, but I have to put my 2c in on this one. I have the 2011 4 stroke Z1 XT and love it. 8000 miles on it with 1/4 of that hauling materials and supplies to cabin near Hurricane Gulch. Have pulled 2000 lbs loads and wouldn't even know they were there once I got moving.

    It is heavy and I always carry 100' 5/8 rope and come-a-long with me, no way am I going to lift it up if its really stuck. However, I've also gotten it stuck on the side of a mountain with no trees, dug a runway (up hill) as it were in front and as soon as I got traction she drove right out.

    I have thought about going with the 570 simple to cut down on the weight, but I'll wait until she needs a engine rebuild before I do. Being a 4 stroke I'm looking to get 20,000 mile out of her

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