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Thread: Just bought a new 500 Artic cat!

  1. #1
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    Default Just bought a new 500 Artic cat!

    After years of faithful service my 97 Artic cat 454 finally got replaced. I picked up a brand new 500 last friday. The machine was very similar to my old 97 but taller and could switch between 2/4 WD.

    First things I noticed, its much more top heavy than my old machine, its really taking some getting used to. I also noticed that the stock tires SUCK. They did ok for trail riding and floated over mud pretty good but when climbing or side hilling they seemed to want to slide sideways much too easy.

    I took it up to pinockle trail this week along with a few other places and while it did pretty good I was kind of dissapointed with how it handled when things got steep. Are there any tricks to make this machine a little more stable? Also what are the best tires out there for climbing and mud. Something with lots of bite that won't want to slide sideways or roll. I don't think I really want to go any bigger than the stock 25s because this machine is already very tall.

    Any advice appreciated!

    My buddy picked up a new Can-Am 400, it was a really nice machine with much nicer tires. It seemed to climb great, and chewed thru the mud pretty well but didn't like getting wet and I didn't think the automatic transmision was that smooth, and kind of loud when using the engine brake. AFter a few river crossings and having to wait until his belt dried out to get going again I grew to appreciate my manual machine with no belts to contend with.

  2. #2

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    I know exactly what you are talking about and it is the main reason I didn't get an Arctic Cat, though I was strongly considering one in teh beginning of my quest. They sit very high up and have a very stiff suspension which makes em feel very top heavy. I would definately say that some good tires would help you get a little more bite, as Alaska is no place for stock tires unless you stick to gravel roads. But I think your gonna have to get used to the ride and feel for your Arctic Cat and determine what you do and dont feel comfortable climbing with it as you get more comfortable with it. Hope this doesn't sound bad, as I am sure you are pumped with your new quad and congrats.

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    With the arctic cat they do have a top heavy feel though I think once you get used to it you will get a better feel of when it is actually going to tip... I will warn that they have great balance which is a positive in many ways but can be a negative when climbing. Make sure you keep your weight forward on the steep sections with the tank and the engine so far back they are a bit more prone to comming over backwards than some others. The flip side is that if you need to get the front end up to get over an obstacle there is likely no better machine for it! It is all a trade off the AC is a great machine you just need the saddle time to get used to it. I am leaning toward the 650 AC for me and probably one of the smaller framed yami's for the wife.

  4. #4
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I don't know if the '08's are any taller than my '06, but I don't find mine top heavy at all. If you want long travel suspension and ground clearance it comes at a price. I run MudBugs on my AC500 and I think they are a fantastic tire. However, they are a pure mud tire and they vibrate at slow speeds. They also grab pretty hard in the ruts. If you spend a lot of time in mud and rocks they are a great tire.

  5. #5
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    I did notice that the back end was much heavier than my older machine. When the tank was mounted up front it kept the front tires down pretty good. The front tires were losing grip when climbing this week until I strapped a 6 gallon gas can on the front. It made it a little more top heavy but kept traction on the front tires while climbing. It got me everywhere I wanted to go and I'm sure it will do better as I get the feel for it.

  6. #6
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thebear_78 View Post
    I did notice that the back end was much heavier than my older machine. When the tank was mounted up front it kept the front tires down pretty good. The front tires were losing grip when climbing this week until I strapped a 6 gallon gas can on the front. It made it a little more top heavy but kept traction on the front tires while climbing. It got me everywhere I wanted to go and I'm sure it will do better as I get the feel for it.
    My cousin found the same thing using a gas can on the front rack. He is planning on putting a 4 gallon kolpin flat can on the front rack permanently. It will add ~30lbs to the front end and should make a big difference in the handeling. Of course the best thing for the handleing of his quad would be for me to get my own... Aparently have an extra 300lbs on the back makes it tough to turn (he's kind of a wus)
    Last edited by LuJon; 09-07-2008 at 11:53. Reason: T key wasn't working...

  7. #7
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    Default Ac 500

    Congrates on your new machine. We have a pair of 06 AC 500 auto's and really like them. The FIRST thing that we did was to change out the stock tires and put ITC 589 Titan's on them all the way around. We did not increase size just a better tire. The thing about these tires is that they extend past the rim to protect it. Yes the tires have a vibration at slow speeds on hard pack, but otherwise they are great. Just do NOT spin them in soft stuff or they will bury you. One thing that we did learn was that we tend to use low range more then we did with the manual tranys we had before. As far as being stable, we have not had any issues and we tend to get in some places that we might not should be there.
    Change the tires out and have fun learning the 'new' feel.

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