We first tested the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 XX in the May 2018 issue, and we were impressed with the ride quality on the XX and its Fox Podium 2.5 QS3 shocks for general trail riding and rock crawling. We shot the Wildcat out against a RZR XP1K in the September 2018 issue, and the XX beat the XP. However, we never took the XX to the dunes or subjected it to the Trophy Ttruck-sized whoops in Baja. The guys at Shock Therapy did both, and they concluded that 70–80 percent of their customers would find the Wildcat suspension too soft. With the QS3 shocks on full soft, the XX would drag the rear end on all hits and bury the skid plate. On Medium, ST found the shocks would still bottom, but the setting was good for mountain trails. On full Stiff, ride quality was lost. In Baja, two people, spares and tools taxed the stock suspension, and ST tore the skid plate off. They then set out to fix the XX; here’s what they’ve done.
SHOCK THERAPY FOR THE XX
Robby Gordon designed the Wildcat XX, and he patented the six-point cage, trailing arms and A-arms. So, nobody could build long-travel kits for the Wildcat. Shock Therapy has developed its dual-rate spring (DRS, $599.60) kit for the XX using stiffer rear-spring rates. The XX DRS kit raises ride height 2 inches and greatly increases bottoming resistance, while still delivering a plush ride quality on chop. It also reduces bucking and eliminates rear-end dragging. ST tailors the spring rates to driver, passenger and accessories weights.
Shock Therapy also developed its Ride Improvement System (RIS, $749.95) for the XX. RIS modifies the QS3 Podium pistons, shafts, bump stops, compression adjusters, bypass tubes, extension spring sliders and especially the valving. With RIS mods, the XX retains the great ride quality on chop while greatly increasing bottoming resistance and reducing bucking. Sand Highway whoops are flattened out, and dune G-outs no longer bottom the shocks.
Shock Therapy can also swap out the super-simple QS3 adjusters for 24-click LSC adjusters like those on the Teryx KRX, dual-speed compression adjusters like those on high-end X3s or the iQS electronic adjusters (see the iQS product evaluation in this issue).
COMPLETING THE XX BUILD
The ST Wildcat XX is undergoing long-term testing for adjustable torsion bars ($295 each), bar links ($150), limit-strap kits ($275 per pair) and possibly a rack-and-pinion, so they built the Wildcat for dunes and desert. We checked it out at Camp RZR, and the ST XX was shod with Sand Tires Unlimited’s SR31x15 Blackbird rear ($399.99 each) and Tribute (Sgt. Clinton K Ruiz) front ($203.09 each) sand paddles on DWT polished-aluminum Sport Red Label .190 wheels ($188.99 each).
PRP provided the custom GT3 seats with Shocky logos (starting at $1,098 a pair) and 5.2 four-point harnesses ($129 each). Behind the PRP seat, Rugged’s new M3 carbon fiber air pumper with hoses and variable-speed control ($486) provide fresh, clean air to two helmets. PCI’s Comlink X Elite ($699.95) and Kenwood TK-7360HK radio ($499.95) provide in-car and car-to-car communications. PCI also sells the Lowrance HDS-7 Baja GPS unit (starting at $1,099.99) with Baja GPS antenna.
For power, ST called on Evolution Powersports for an XX Magnum Slip-on exhaust ($499-$799) and ECU flash ($499). ST fabricated the cage, roof and aluminum rear skid plate, and Wolf Designs finished off the build with an custom ST wrap with “Shocky” logos. As you can see, the ST/Evo Wildcat XX rips in the dunes, and ride quality and performance are vastly improved.
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