I am very happy with my XTZ. You may ask, "but why did you modify it so much?" Plain and simple, the XTZ was designed as a dual purpose, trail and utility machine. Yes, they put a big engine in it, but they kept the same utilitarian seating position and chassis layout.
I know, without a doubt, I drive hard. If you give me a steel ball, I'll break it. I am one of those people that can push a machine to it's limits and beyond. And knowing that I'm that way, I know that the XTZ WILL NOT HOLD UP UNDER MY DRIVING STYLE!!! But then again, neither will a RZR XP900 or Canned Ham...My driving style is more suited to a trophy truck than a UTV.
With that all in mind, I proceeded to drive my machine for a few months to find the weaknesses. I found them... then I proceeded with Prowler Build 3.0.
I'm sure, I'll break more parts, burn more belts, and find ways to abuse it, but that is NOT Arctic Cat's fault. They built a good machine. Yes, it has some problems. But you know what, so do Polaris', Can Ams, Yamahas and others.
I the last month, I have seen the follow carnage on the trails:
1. Can Am X with the front spindle that had fallen off.. (the owner put it up for sale that evening, said he had too many problems with it so far).
2. Polaris RZR-S and RZR with dusted engines from improper air cleaner seals.
3. Polaris RZR-4 that went thru the original transmission, then another and now is on tranny #3.
4. RZR XP900 with bent trailing arms...(actually saw many of these at ROTR).
5. Yamaha Rhino that couldn't keep from vibrating apart every 5 miles...it was common to stop and let them tighten this or that..
6. Can Am with problems with the "Throttle-by-wire" system..seems the throttle likes to shut off completely when the machine is jumped hard, causing it to severely nose-dive.
7. Weak front drive diffs and belts in RZRs...those are a dime-a-dozen occurrence.
8. Weak roll cages on RZRs and Teryx's... don't roll or you are F*^%$...
9. Power steering insensitivity and "too electric" feeling on Polaris power steering units. Which in 2 cases that I saw in person, resulted in RZR roll overs in dirt PARKING LOTS, both under 15mph.
10. Bent chassis on RZR's and RZR-S when jumped or hitting ledges in sandwashes. 3 times, each resulting in major damage to the chassis and in one case, totalling it.
Do you want more, it's out there... I could go on and on and on.
It boils down to how you drive and what you do with it. I submit, AC did not plan on their XTZ being run as hard as it is. They built a UTILITY UTV, not a sport machine.
My biggest gripe is that it's taken years for AC to come out with a sport specific machine. But I knew enough of it almost a year ago and you should be glad that AC waited till the RZR XP900 came out to release theirs, doing that enabled them to build a better machine to 1-up the RZR. And now, Polaris will have to spend significant amounts of money and lose profit to out do the AC before Polaris' break-even point on the XP production run (it takes almost 3 years of machine production to break even on tool-up and engineering costs, and major changes prior to that, costs them lots of money).
I don't blame Hollon or anyone else for buying a RZR-XP900, hell, I've admired that machine myself. I do blame anyone for buying a Canned Ham... saw 3 of those break down on the trails at Moab last week. And I'm sure it was quite embarrassing to the Canned Ham owner that Shawny125 smoked at the races that week.
But Hollon and others will be back when the Wildcat comes out and makes it's name. Hope that the cost cutters and accountants don't strangle the performance of the machine, that's what you need to be screaming to AC now...
BUT I LOVE MY XTZ, EVEN IF I HAVEN'T GOTTEN TO DRIVE IT IN A YEAR...cause I know what I have now..an XTZ-DR...
Arctic Cat Prowler Desert Race XTZ: ITP BajaCross tires on ITP Beadlocks, Beard Super TZ Seats, Crowe 5pt harnesses, King Off-Road Racing Shocks, Custom Racing Chassis with 7 inch longer wheelbase, +5 Suspension set at 16 Front and 17 inches Rear inches travel, UTVINC did the tube bending
TEAM PROWLER NATION...