2024 Arctic Cat RIOT 600 Catalyst – Test



Table des matières

Last February, the Passion Motoneige team had the chance to test the latest Catalyst platform from Arctic Cat. Montana as a backdrop and a lot of snow allowed us to put the RIOT to the test. We can already say that this new chassis is really amazing and stands out by its characteristics. The RIOT is the perfect compromise for trail riding and occasional fun in the powder. With the Arctic Cat RIOT 600 2024, there are three words to remember: agility, balance and versatility.


Catalyst: a brand new platform from Arctic Cat

Very quickly looking at the overall look, we can tell that the Catalyst platform has been redesigned from the ground up. Arctic Cat describes the Catalyst as a step forward to centralize mass and reduce weight. Placed in the middle of the action, the rider enjoys revised ergonomics and a lighter feel.

When you compare the Catalyst with other snowmobiles, you get the impression that its size is greatly reduced. A snowmobile that is three quarters of a “standard” snowmobile in its overall proportions. When you sit on it, the impression is confirmed. On the other hand, this is what we liked, with a feeling of sitting on top of the snowmobile. An improved 360-degree vision and, above all, the apprehension of an outstanding handling (we will come back to this in the riding impressions). The ergonomics are well studied with its thin tank between the thighs and a narrower seat. This contributes greatly to the ease of movement on the machine.

A nose pointing to the sky reminds us of its origins related to the Snowcross racing models. The look does not leave one indifferent and every detail has been designed with a masterful hand. To top it all off, an asymmetrical light signature with powerful LEDs to give it its own identity.

Continuing our tour of the Catalyst, we notice that the manufacturer has made extensive use of composites (plastics). Once again, the objective of reducing the overall weight was maintained. The result is a lightweight snowmobile with improved riding precision.


Motorization offered

To power the RIOT, Arctic Cat offers only the 599cc C-TEC2 two-stroke engine. This engine produces 125 horsepower. The performance is enough to put a smile on your face. Acceleration is relatively brisk and cornering is good. On the other hand, the engine does not offer the same refinement as the competition. Vibrations are more present and throttle response is not as instantaneous as we would like.

Notably, Arctic Cat decided to go with a belt drive instead of a chain case for weight.

To counteract this mechanic, which is a few years old, the reduced weight is a huge advantage. Finally, we have to admit that we are already looking forward to a new 850 class engine and possibly a new generation of 650 class engine.


Driving Impressions

As we travelled our first few kilometers on the trail, we were a bit shaken up. The reduced overall size and the very compact ergonomics give us a different feeling. After a few turns, you feel a lightness that translates into superior handling. The agility of the Catalyst platform is noticeable and the precision of the ride makes us forget the small displacement.


The riding position is excellent. We love how easy it is to move around on the snowmobile thanks to the narrowness of the tank and the bench. This is an advantage for trail riding and even more so when you find a place to leave the trail. With its 146″ track and 1.75″ studs, we can play in the powder. With its slim fairing and narrow running boards, drag in the snow is reduced when driving off-trail. This allows us to conserve our energy throughout the day.

Slaloms are easy with the 39″ ski spread. The RIOT has the stability for the trail and the versatility for deep snow rides without the hassle. The uncoupled CROSS-ACTION rear suspension performs well on all types of terrain giving you enviable freedom.


  • The arrival of a new platform for this manufacturer is certainly a necessary wind of change.
  • The weight reduction and centralization of the masses provide superior handling.
  • The offer of three well-designed models (ZR, RIOT, M) to start efficiently.

Points for improvement

  • Only one engine is available (C-TEC2 600) and we are already looking forward to the next engine in the 800/850 class.
  • Reliability of a new model to be proven.
  • With the abundant use of plastics, we have the right to wonder if there will not be premature wear of certain components.


The Arctic Cat RIOT has always been one of my favorite snowmobiles from the manufacturer. With the arrival of the new Catalyst platform, the fun just got a lot bigger. Although the small displacement offers interesting performances, we are already hoping for a new engine in the 850cc range. It’s a safe bet that we’ll see a new generation of engines next year. In the meantime, if you would like more information on Arctic Cat models, visit the website (put link) or your dealer.