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Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000
2008 Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 4x4 Utility ATV
Press Intro - Test Ride / ATV Review

Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 Links
Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 H2
Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 H2
Grand Rapids, MN - In recent years, the utility ATV market has seen many manufacturers consistently introducing machines with increased engine size ranging anywhere from a 700cc to 800cc engine. Refusing to be just another competitor in the 800cc market, Arctic Cat decided to raise the bar in the performance utility market. The introduction of their new Thundercat 1000 boasts a whopping 950cc engine, the largest engine displacement of any stock ATV on the market.

Development of the Arctic Cat V-Twin 950 H2 EFI power plant for the Thunder Cat began about three years ago and was actually manufactured in the United States at Arctic Cat’s new factory. The facility, located in St. Cloud, MN opened about 1.5 years ago and is a big part of the companies new philosophy of, as Arctic Cat’s Product Manager, Craig Kennedy puts it, “taking control of our own destiny.” The company plans to eventually make all of their engines there instead of outsourcing them and relying on other manufacturers.

When ATVriders.com was invited out to the Jig Rock Ranch in northern Minnesota to test ride the Thundercat, we were very excited to see what this new beast of a quad had to offer, especially after hearing how much time and thought had gone into the design of this performance utility ATV. We were also very curious about the location chosen to put this quad to the test, but as soon as we arrived at our destination, the reason for the location became very clear.

Jig Rock Ranch test ride  thundercat 1000 atv
Jig Rock Ranch test ride  thundercat 1000 atv
The Jig Rock Ranch test ride location provided a perfect mixture of terrain for testing the Thundercat 1000, and the breath taking views and trails leading to local restaurants for lunch were just an added bonus

The Jig Rock Ranch is 450 acres of rolling hills, woods, creeks, ponds and mowed trails that are nestled in the Mesabi Iron Range. The scenic trail system winds past old abandoned iron mines, ponds, and mountains of jig rock. “Jig rock” is a slang mining term that is used to describe taconite or “lean ore” that has been crushed into small rocks. There are piles of jig rock throughout the area that are left over from the extensive mining efforts of the past, hence the name, “Jig Rock Ranch”.

Yamaha 50th Anniversary Banshee ATV mounted on the wall
Yamaha 50th Anniversary Banshee ATV mounted on the wall
The facility is owned and operated by ATV enthusiast, Randy Vannet. Upon entering the main building at the ranch, Mr. Vannet’s love of ATV’s really shows, in fact, it’s quite hard to miss, especially since Randy’s décor consists of a real Yamaha Banshee mounted right on the wall. Despite the interesting sites that were indoors, we decided it was time to suit up and take the Thundercat 1000 out for a spin.

We were anxious to see how much more powerful this monster quad was compared to its 700cc sibling, and the difference was huge. The power of this machine is simply incredible. With that said, we also have to say that this ATV is not for the novice rider, nor the faint of heart. Even our test rider Adam Stultz was a little intimidated by all the power. “The initial ride was a little scary at first. There’s an enormous amount of power behind the bike and until you learn how to handle it, it’s a bit intimidating.” He said.

Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 H2
Arctic Cat Thundercat 1000 H2
The Thundercat 1000 is right at home on wide open trails where you can unleash the beast and grab a handful of throttle
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