❏ In last month’s issue we compared
a trio of all-new 500-class 4x4s from
Honda, Can-Am and Polaris. We
explained how the manufacturers
are concentrating heavily on the
class lately. That statement still holds
true, as Arctic Cat has also recently
developed a brand-new machine for
the class. Although we have yet to
ride this machine back to back with
its competition, we did get to throw
a leg over the XR 550 at Moab this
month, and this is how the trail ride
Arctic Cat’s new XR 550 is equipped
with a 545cc, single-overhead-cam,
four-valve, liquid-cooled (with fan),
electronic fuel-injected single cylinder. The power displacement is very
usable, with a good feel from the
bottom end all the way up to the top.
Transferring the power to the wheels
is an automatic CVT with EBS high/
low range, neutral, reverse and park.
It weighs in at 750 pounds dry, with
a 51/49-percent weight split between
the front and rear.
Getting the new XR 550 sideways in a
turn is a blast. Here you can see our
test rider sliding around on a gravel
road with ease.
At the front you will find dual A-arms
providing 10 inches of travel. To help
bring you to a smooth and quick stop,
you have hydraulic disc brakes at each
The 545cc, SOHC, four-valve, four-stroke engine puts out even power to
get you where you need to go fairly
quickly. To help keep the engine temps
down, you will find a radiator and electric fan.