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 Arctic Cat 550 Hemi

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CATVR Junkie

Joined : 2008-07-03
Posts : 2801
Age : 67
Location : Monticello,Ky

PostSubject: Arctic Cat 550 Hemi   Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:40 am

550 Power

The 550 H1 serves as the backbone of the cruiser version. For solo riding the TRV 550 has a passenger pillion that can be readily removed simply by pulling two pins and adding an optional Speedrack. The secret to 550 H1 performance is its ‘hemi’ head, which helps maximize internal combustion via its unique hemispherical design. Add in precise fuel metering you get with electronic fuel injection and the smooth drivability of Arctic Cat’s Duramatic continuously variable transmission, which shifts ratios seamlessly for maximum power. With more than 40 years of experience with CVT drives in both snowmobiles and ATVs, Arctic Cat knows a lot about getting power to the terrain.

At Arctic Cat’s 2008 introduction of the Thundercat, we found ourselves on the company’s lesser displacement models like the 700 and 650. We had a difficult time understanding why a company would offer two engine series with only 50cc difference. Frankly, we were under-impressed with the 650. After enjoying our romps on Cats powered by the new 550cc single, we are even more unimpressed with the 650 this season. The “feel” of the 550 is as impressive in its way as the V-Twin Thundercat motor.

The 550 may be a bit down in top end compared to the 650, but it’s every bit its equal — if not more — from low end to upper midrange. Whether you ride the 550-powered TRV cruiser version or the non-dresser 550, you’ll come away impressed. It has the seat-of-the-pants kick of Yamaha’s old 660 single. Having test-ridden both, we’d be hard-pressed to pick a winner between the new Cat 550 and Polaris’ redesigned 550. Our sense is that the Cat 550 has the edge, but we’ll just have to do a side-by-side test to be certain. Either way, the 550 category is alive and kicking with ample foot-pounds of torque.

The new 550 H1 is claimed to have 10 percent more power at low end with a 25% increase in torque versus the previous 500cc single used in previous Cat ATVs.

Lighter Steering

As with all of the new 2009 Arctic Cat ATVs you’ll find great attention was paid to steering effort. Faced with competition offering electric power steering, Cat’s engineers feel strongly that the changes they made to the 2009 models works better and saves on complexity as well as weight. The engineers increased wheel offset, changed the caster, and developed a new tire specification. Moving the kingpin mount a mere 6 millimeters changed the inward angle of the tire. Taken as a whole, the result is easier steering with positive feedback without wrist-battering kick back.
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