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2015 Arctic Cat XR 500 Preview


by Guillaume Rivard ,

Much has been said and written about Arctic Cat's Wildcat series lately, but that doesn't mean we should overlook the rest of the lineup. In fact, the company launched 15 new ATV and side-by-side models for 2015 including a new XR series.

Endowed with a fresh new look, these ATVs benefit from redesigned front and rear racks, a digital sport gauge, new suspension geometry, three different headlights with varying levels of intensity, and dual LED taillights. Furthermore, they're quieter than older Arctic Cat ATVs.

Arctic Cat XR 500 2015
Photo: Arctic Cat

While 541cc (XR 550) and 698cc (XR 700) engines are also available, the entry-level 2015 Arctic Cat XR 500 is built around a liquid-cooled, 443cc, SOHC, 4-stroke, single-cylinder unit that is mated to an automatic CVT with Hi/Lo range, neutral, reverse, and park -- not to mention electronic front differential lock for 2WD/4WD operation. The engine has been mounted further forward in the chassis, which results in 3” of additional foot room.

It's worth noting that Arctic Cat offers Base, XT, and Limited packages with the two larger engine options, but not this one. Alas, power steering is not available, either.

Key specs for the 2015 Arctic Cat XR 500 include a 52” wheelbase (+2”), an overall length of 83.4” and width of 48.5”, along with 10” of suspension travel, 11” of ground clearance, 25” Duro 3 Star Kaden tires, and standard 12” steel wheels (alloy wheels can be specified on XR 550 and XR 700 models with the XT and Limited packages).

Ride quality is ensured by double A-arms paired with Arctic Cat's improved Ride-In suspension. The latter promises to deliver sharper cornering abilities without sacrificing ground clearance or suspension travel.

If you need to haul cargo, thank Arctic Cat for the new SpeedRack II system, which is constructed from high-grade plastic with reinforced steel underneath. The TPE rubber coating keeps objects from sliding around. It can carry up to 100lbs in the front and 200lbs in the back. Need more? There's a 6” rack extension on the list of accessories. Additionally, you'll find a 5.45-litre, water-resistant rear storage compartment, plus a 2” hitch receiver allowing you to attach a trailer and tow a bit more than 1,000lbs.

Available in red or green, the 2015 Arctic Cat XR 500 starts at $8,599.