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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was able to test ride the new Blast LT last week. I've spend almost all my time on an 06 Tundra that has been gradually modded over the years so will use that as a comparison. I spent about 45 minutes on it but the test area was limited to the ditch running along the road by the dealer. I did get off the track into the snow, but it wasn't deep and there was little in the way of hills.

The sled is set up pretty well. Gauge shows water and exhaust temp, fuel, and speed. The rep said it will alarm if overheated and will take corrective action to lower engine temps.
The only controls on the bars is throttle and kill switch. The reverse, grip heater, and headlight switches are on the dash. The one position heated grips were very hot and the rep said that should be taken care of before the production run.
It does have a pull start along with electric.
The side panels come off easily and it seems like there is decent access. We didn't take the hood off, but I believe it is one screw and a couple of levers.
The battery isn't buried to bad and is set low along with the engine which should keep the center of gravity lower.
The rep also said that the clutch is self-adjusting to keep the belt up high on the secondary.
There is about the same amount of suspension adjustment as on the Tundra. Mainly the rear torsion spring. The rep is hoping for stepped adjustment on the front but isn't sure that will happen.
The track is a 146x15x1.6 with a lockable articulating skid. There isn't room for a 16" wide track but there is room for at least 2" paddles.
The skis are the same as on the ZR which is the trail version of the sled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
On the sled
The rider position is good sitting and standing (I'm 5'8" and 155 lbs). The sled does not feel small to me. With the wider 37.5"-38.5" ski stance (tested in 38.5) it doesn't come up on one ski as easily as the tundra. You can tell there is more travel. Compared to the seat on my sled, this one is nicer and more compact for maneuvering around the sled. There is an optional 2-up seat attachment. The gas tank under the seat appears to be tucked toward the front more (The Tundra feels like all the gas is over the back end when I get stuck in a climb and want to lift the back up).

The Ride
Saying the 400 is quieter and smoother than the 277 is an understatement.
The Blast hit 45 mph (GPS) from a stop in 300'. That's in the ditch along the road. My modded sled will hit 42 mph max in a 300' run on a groomed trial with good traction. Not a real good comparison with the gearing and engine changes though.
I got it up to 50 mph before having to shut it down. Again that wasn't on a groomed trail. If I were to guess, I would say it would hit 60 on the trail. The rep said it was geared lower than the Blast ZR trail sled though the web site shows them geared the same. At any rate, it clearly has more power.
The clutching was pretty responsive though the engagement might not be smooth enough for some.
Suspension was hands down better than the stock 06-09 Tundra. Between that and the wider ski stance, a few minutes on it and I was comfortable opening it up in the slightly uneven terrain.
In the powder (such that it was), the skis pushed more than my Tundra with the 146" track and stock skis. This was with the articulating skid unlocked.
This was my first time on a sled with an articulating skid. My Tundra with the 146" track and bigger rear idlers reverses better than stock, and this was noticeably better.

My Thoughts
There was little side hilling opportunity though I was able to get enough in to come away with an impression. Obviously it is harder to get it over with the wider ski stance, but not as much as you would think. With the added power, the throttle was a little more useful getting the sled over on its side and once over, I was able to hold it pretty well. I think the throttle response (track spin) helped with this as well, making the ski stance more palatable. Spending as much time on my Tundra as I have, and doing a little riding with the mountain guys, I realized ski stance isn't the only thing effecting side hilling. My Tundra's hull almost sticks out past the skis and the wide/long running boards don't help much either when running the side of a hill. The wider ski stance of the Blast was nice other places, making the sled feel more stable. I would have like to see the ski stance somewhere between the 2 though.
I wish I would have been able to get into some deeper snow and get a good climb in to test the track and trail skis better. From what I could tell, the track seemed to have less bite then my 146x16x1.7. Some of that might have been the snow conditions and the unlocked skid.

The new 2021 Tundra sport got closer with the longer track and the 600 EFI. The running boards look nice too. However, I can't bring myself to even consider it at the new wt of 485 lbs. That's just too much wt for me to manhandle when I get er stuck in a tight spot.
If the Blast ends up being closer to 400 lbs, it will be on my short list for sure. In fact, I almost wish I hadn't gotten on it. As after 14 years on the Tundra the Blast is haunting my dreams…. At $8,500 (with bumper and hitch), it isn't as cheap as I would like, but it is quite a bit more sled then I bought 14 years ago for $4,800 too. If I were to buy it today, I would have the track swapped for a 2" and the skis for their mountain skis. I would see how it ran with the 2" track and gear it down if needed. I would like to see it out for a season to see if there are any bugs that need to be worked out and also give Doo one more chance to come out with something.

Steve
 

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Thanks for the eval and the pictures. Did you notice much vibration with the thumper mill? How did it compare to your Tundar weight wise when lifting the front or rear of the sled, if you had that opportunity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Idling vibrations was definitely smoother than the Tundra and a non-issue.
Seemed compatible to the tundra weight wise when lifting the front or back and it had a full tank of gas. I had planned on immediately going home and comparing it to my sled, but it didn't happen. I will be getting the Tundra out tomorrow.
 

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Had a few Arctic Cats over the years that had the one setting for the handwarmers. The heating elements were inside the bars and they took a long time to heat up, then were almost always too hot. Always cycling them on and off, which would be even more annoying if the switch wasn't on the handlebars. Replaced them with grips with the high/low resistor. Not a place to be cutting corners IMHO.
 

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Agreed; one position hand warmers are a PIA. Hands get hot, then they sweat and will freeze. IMO, need variable heat range warmers. It doesn’t sound like a big deal but it is aggravating to have to keep messing around with hand warmer switches. I like my Doo, set them and most of the time they are perfect, if not adjust until they are.
 

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Had a few Arctic Cats over the years that had the one setting for the handwarmers. The heating elements were inside the bars and they took a long time to heat up, then were almost always too hot. Always cycling them on and off, which would be even more annoying if the switch wasn't on the handlebars. Replaced them with grips with the high/low resistor. Not a place to be cutting corners IMHO.
2020 cats have 5 position hand and thumb warmers.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

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2020 cats have 5 position hand and thumb warmers.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
Are you sure the 21' Blast is going to have 5 position? I highly doubt it. While that Blast may be something specific buyers gravitate toward I cannot help but think it really looks cheap. Those plastics are a joke in today's world and I would frankly expect more for something that costs $8K. And not even a front bumper as standard equipment on a utility sled? If BRP put Doo on the side of something like this and tried to charge eight grand the complaint list would be endless but somehow Cat is getting a pass. Cat also says its "around 400lbs". What the heck does that even mean? Per usual they can't put one on a scale and be upfront to potential buyers as to how much it actually weights?

The Sports are all new models for Doo this season. They not only specify an actual HP rating for the all new motor but also a weight for the machine on the spec sheet. Cat somehow just keep's ignoring what are important specs for potential buyers trying to make a decision.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jd

Doo makes good machines for sure. Their utility sleds are nice sleds and sell well, which is a testament that weight is not as high a priority for them nor most that are buying them.

No one said the Blast was getting a 5 position grip heater and hp is posted on their website and quite a few other places. It's 65. The Blast is the only sled I saw on their site that didn't have a weight listed and I suspect it's to new.

I do agree that the bumper should be standard. You know Doo is headed down the same path in regards to standard equipment or you haven't been reading some of the topics in the general forum. Which I would find odd as your post would fit right in and is why I posted here where it is more likely the merits and usefulness of the machine will get discussed.

To me it is unfortunate that Doo doesn't want to build a light sled with a nice little power plant. Some of us have been asking for for years. The Blast isn't perfect, but it looks like it fits what I find important anyway. We will see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Steve. Even though it was pre-production could you get a sense of the build quality?
I didn't look real close, but it looked alright to me. It rides like it is well thought out as well, but then I'm coming off an 06 Tundra.

I took the Tundra for a cruise on the trail today and was wishing I had been able to get the Blast out on the trail for a rip to see how it handled the corners
 

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Steve,

Nice review. The Arctic Cat Blast LT will obviously be of no interest to most people, but there is probably a small group of people for which the sled may have great appeal.

My '07 single cylinder, fan cooled, no gauges, single A-arm snowmobile was very low tech/old tech when it sold new in '07. The '06 through '09 series Tundra was hardly the light weight that it should have been, but BRP had the name 'Tundra' on it, and it sold well then and it still sells very well on the used market today. Heck, there are folks that are happy to be getting their hands on a Tundra that is 30 years old because it is all they are able to find in a light weight utility sled.

I don't know if the Blast has what it takes to be a success in the light weight market, but I commend Arctic Cat for giving it a shot. Who knows, maybe Arctic Cat is eyeing some other unknown to me segment of the market.

I enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for the post and the pictures. Good job.
 

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ToesRfroze
I checked out the Tundra yesterday. Hard to tell for sure as it is a week after I tested the Blast, but I would say lifting the back is about the same given i only had half a tank of gas. The front is a little harder to compare as there wasn't much to grab onto on the Blast without the bumper. Lifting a ski seemed a little easier on the Tundra.
If it means anything, just sitting there it is easier to rock the tundra up on one ski. I'm assuming it is mostly do to the narrower ski stance on the Tundra and the Blast feels like it's center of gravity is lower as well.

One concern of mine is with the wider ski stance, the A arms will be more exposed. Especially with the narrow nose. Of course, I can remember reading all the concerns about the Tundras A arms and in 14 years, I've never bent one. Hit plenty of trees and even replaced the bumper it got so bent up bit never an A arm. Could be luck.

Thanks Hardwoods
Ya, even at 380 lbs mine's felt like a tank before. With the solo riding I do, that's kind of important to me. Once I had mine for a little while and had done more research, I realized it wasn't near the Tundra of old. A much nicer ride and quite a bit more funner though.

I expect the Blast Zr will be the lightest and near 400 lbs while the Lt with the articulating skid will be the heaviest. I can't wait for an official weight to come out.

Having never owned a sled with any hp to speak of, the hp of the Blast is probably just about right for me. I can remember coming home from a ride were I had been a little bit reckless and telling the wife to never let me get a sled with more than one cylinder. Then Doo stopped making the 300. Lol.

I'm not sure there is much of a market but I sure hope the Blast makes it.
 

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looks like a great sled, and that pipe is way bigger than I was expecting.

I would love to pick up a used on in a few years for the kids to ride.
 

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Thanks for sharing the review Steve. It will be interesting to learn more about the Blast - especially the motor. Also, you said it backed up well and that is important. I say that because I just finished watching a few of B550's latest videos. I have never seen anything back up as well as his machine which makes it difficult to get stuck. I would say that ski stance on the blast looks too wide for my taste.

Your review is very useful but I have found that you never really know how two machines compare until you get them in the field side x side in the right snow conditions.

Dan
 

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Thanks for the vid Dave.
When I tested one, the rep said they were set up soft as you can see in the video. He said you can get different springs but didn't say whether the ones on the test sleds were standard.

Here is a vid of the. Last M in the powder.


Dan, you are absolutely right. It would be better compared side by side. I would like to test an articulating skid further.
 

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On the Blast LT...or any of them for that matter...what type of heat exchanger is there? Just a front bulkhead? Anything in the tunnel at all? Starting to look at these for a potential kids sled, but worried about overheating and them not being aware of possible damage due to the inability to pay attention.
 
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