Headline News
KFX450 Owner’s Report (April 19, 2015 8:00 am)
Fly Kinetic Gear (April 18, 2015 8:00 am)
2015 Honda Rancher 420 4×4 (April 17, 2015 9:27 am)

Polaris RZR 900 S vs. Arctic Cat Wild Cat Sport 700

SHOOTOUT-4-DSC_0541
April 15, 2015
Comments off
475 Views

DW_internal_sub_ad728x90https://hi-torque.com/product/subscribe-to-dirt-wheels/

Sport model UTVs that measure 60 inches wide are coming with better suspension and motor technology each year. Even though their numbers are not as impressive as the unlimited 1000s, the smaller sport class is gaining in popularity among enthusiasts. The capabilities of these machines are still substantial in the market, and many owners prefer them over the big-gun UTVs, mainly because their riding areas feature tight terrain. Arctic Cat and Polaris built two very impressive sport machines, and they both believe theirs is better, so, of course, we had to put them to the test.

SHOOTOUT-3-DSC_0528

ARCTIC CAT WILDCAT SPORT LIMITED—$15,699
Arctic Cat equips their new 60-plus-horsepower 700cc engine with a Rapid Response clutch. This powerplant is very well suited for the chassis of the Wildcat Sport. It sits low and has a long wheelbase that’s paired with 12 inches of wheel travel front and rear that works well in every terrain—from smooth to extremely rough. Power is provided by an inline twin four-stroke with EFI engine. It is the smallest engine in any 60-inch-wide model, but don’t let the smaller engine fool you. Arctic Cat mounted the radiator up front behind the grill to help keep the powerplant cool, just as you would see in your normal truck or SUV.

The Wildcat Sport pushes the limit of how well the suspension can cycle. Up front, dual A-arms provide 12.2 inches of travel through an Elka Stage 5 coil-over shock, with high- and low-speed compression, rebound and preload adjustment on this limited model. JRi ECX-1 shocks are available on the XT Wildcat. Out back, double A-arms yield 12.6 inches of travel controlled by an Elka Stage 5 dual-rate, coil-over shock featuring rebound, high- and low-speed compression and preload adjustment. The 84.6-inch wheelbase on the 800.

SHOOTOUT-11-DSC_6223

Powering the S 900 is a Pro Star, inline, twin-cylinder, DOHC, four-stroke EFI engine with 875cc. A single automobile-style exhaust is found out back. A single ATV-style exhaust is found on the back end of the Arctic Cat. Polaris claims the S 900 has an output of 75 horsepower.

Polaris has a very impressive suspension system for the RZR. This machine uses dual A-arms at the front end, with 12.25 inches of travel from a Fox 2.0 Podium coil-over shock with compression, rebound and preload adjustment. Out back you will find dual-rate Fox 2.0 Podium coil-overs sitting between dual A-arms providing 13.2 inches of travel. These shocks are preload, rebound and compression adjustable. Getting all the traction are 27-inch GBC Dirt Commander tires mounted on 12-inch cast-aluminum wheels, helping provide the 12.5 inches of ground clearance.

SHOOTOUT-8B-DSC_0509

Polaris installed the same cab features in the S 900 from the XP1K, such as bolstered high-back seats on sliders, a better floorboard and multiple storage opportunities. The passenger gets an adjustable T-shaped grab handle and the new plastic V-shaped doors. Also new to the cockpit is an electronic bay where you can store and view your smartphone or GPS unit.

Size-wise, the RZR sits a tad taller than the Wildcat Sport at 71.5 inches tall, and is 106 inches long and 60 inches wide with a 79-inch wheelbase.
Polaris claims the S 900 weighs in at 1,228 pounds dry, and has a cargo limit of 300 pounds.

SHOOTOUT-6-DSC_0553

TOP SPEED
At our testing facility, situated at 3000 feet above sea level, the RZR S 900 had the highest top speed of 71 mph. The Wildcat Sport wasn’t that far behind with 66 mph and having 200cc smaller displacement than the RZR. The speeds were averaged off of two runs on a flat dirt road. Getting to those numbers, the results were a bit different. The Wildcat Sport would jump off the line, but the power would flatten out around 63 mph when it would slowly increase its speed. If we had a longer run, we could push more out of the top speed for the Wildcat Sport. The RZR would jump off the line a tad quicker than that of the Wildcat and keep pulling very strong throughout the whole powerband.

The Wildcat felt very well-planted at high speeds from the help of its low center of gravity. The RZR would tend to wander and float at the higher speeds. The RZR had a Pure Polaris aluminum roof installed. To get a consistent reading on suspension action, we ran the same trail a few times in each machine, with a mixture of whoops and off-camber roads. The Wildcat felt to have the smoothest ride and was the most controllable. The RZR felt a tad on the stiff side of things with its shorter wheelbase. They both have the same amount of suspension travel, so it really came down to shock setup.

DW_internal_sub_ad728x90SHOOTOUT-12-DSC_6218

LAP TIMES
We have a test track we use year after year in the middle of the desert that is about five miles long with a perfect mixture of kicker bumps, whoops, turns, sand and rocks to really show differences between all machines. For our testing of lap times and high-speed runs, each vehicle has a driver and passenger on board. The Polaris RZR S 900 turned a fast lap of 8:26.4. The RZR could carry more speed with the help of its bigger engine, which helped it accelerate out of corners quicker. Our test driver had all the confidence he needed to keep the skinny pedal to the floor. This machine has a bit more body roll than the Wildcat Sport, but when it stops swaying and sets up, it rails just as well as its bigger brother, the XP1K.

The Wildcat Sport turned a lap time of 8:57.7—that’s not a bad lap time for being a 700. The Wildcat felt a tad tippy in rutted turns when it couldn’t slide around them, but was still planted on the ground. This machine felt very comfortable going around our test track. You only had to let off, slightly tap the brakes, and point the steering wheel to zigzag through the turns. It soaked up every whoop and bump that was put in its path and kept charging hard.

SHOOTOUT-8A-DSC_0507

CREATURE COMFORTS
When it comes to comparing the cockpit area of both machines, it is a toss-up between which one is nicer. The Polaris RZR S 900 has comfortable seats, and they are adjustable for those tall and short drivers and passengers, has a adjustable grab bar and tilt steering, and plastic V-shaped doors come stock. But at the time of our test, we had a set of Modquad doors already installed. Multiple storage pockets are also found inside, along with a shoebox-sized glove box with closing door. Holding you in the seats are automotive-style belts. The steering wheel on the RZR is a hard plastic but feels a bit thin in diameter.

The Wildcat Sport has a comfortable, one-size-fits-all, no-adjustment seat, with automotive-style belts, two grab handles for the passenger, tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a shoebox-sized glove box with mesh keeper, and two drink holders that work pretty well. The steering wheel has a great feel to it just as if you upgraded to a racing-style wheel. Full-aluminum doors come standard on the Wildcat and V-shaped plastic doors come standard on the XT. A rear storage area can hold up to 300 pounds, which is perfect to load camping supplies or other items you might bring on a trail ride.

SHOOTOUT-10-DSC_0547

CONCLUSION
Arctic Cat and Polaris both are great machines in every form and function. Handling for both machines is almost identical with minor differences coming from wheelbase and height. The Arctic Cat handles very well in the rough with its longer wheelbase and lower seat height compared to the RZR. The Elka Stage 5 shocks work great over the rough terrain, and with all its adjustability, you can really dial the shocks in for your driving style and needs. In the rough, the RZR handles considerably well, but lacks in the shock tuning department.

Polaris takes the top honor in the power department, but the Sport isn’t far behind. Both four-wheel-drive systems work very well, but the Arctic Cat comes out on top with its diff-lock option, which we found you only really need when in very technical situations. With the Polaris only being $800 more than that of the Arctic Cat, you really have to ask yourself what is your main purpose for the machine you’re looking to buy: do you want to be the guy on the trail with the biggest engine or the guy with an equally good machine with less motor?

SHOOTOUT-DSC_0501

2015 ARCTIC CAT 2015 POLARIS WILDCAT SPORT LTD RZR S 900
Engine type………………Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke,……….Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke twin cylinder DOHC twin cylinder
Displacement……………700cc…………………………………….875cc
Bore x stroke……………..76.9mm x 75.3mm…………………93mm x 64.4mm
Fuel system……………….EFI………………………………………..EFI
Fuel capacity……………7.4 gal…………………………………..9.5 gal
Starting system…………Electric…………………………………Electric
Final drive………………..Rapid Response clutch………..Automatic CVT
P/R/N/H/L P/R/N/L/H
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front………………………..Double A-arm/ 12.2”…………….Double A-arm/ 12.25”
Rear………………………..Double A-arm/12.6”……………..Double A-arm/13.2”
Tires:
Front………………………..26×8-12………………………………….27×9-12
Rear………………………..26×10-12………………………………..27×11-12
Brakes:
Front………………………..Hydraulic disc/…………………….Hydraulic disc w/ dual-piston caliper dual-bore calipers
Rear………………………..Hydraulic disc/…………………….Hydraulic disc
dual-piston caliper
Wheelbase………………..84.6”……………………………………..79”
Length/width/height…110.5”/60”/64.3”……………………..106”/60”/71.5”
Ground clearance…….13”………………………………………..12.5”
Total rack capacity…..300 lb……………………………………300 lb.
Towing capacity……….1500 lb………………………………….1500 lb.
Curb weight……………..1074 lb………………………………….1228 lb.
Colors………………………..White metallic, matte black…Havasu Red Pearl, Black Pearl, Titanium matte metallic
MSRP………………………..$15,699………………………………….$16,499

DW_internal_sub_ad728x90https://hi-torque.com/product/subscribe-to-dirt-wheels/

Comments are closed.