With the collaboration of Pulsion Sports Motorisés in St-Germain de Grantham, near Drummondville, I had the chance to test the Arctic Cat Alterra 700 SE 2021. I heard good comments about the summer tests and winter is a good way to "test the machine" as they say!
I go around my new bike, observing every detail and I find my marks. Small lever, right handle: "mechanical" shift from 2 to 4 wheel drive. The clutch lever, offering a parking brake, is on the left side of the quad and is accessible regardless of the handlebar position, it's a well thought out detail. There are two positions for the key switch: first notch for lights off, second notch for lights on. A simple digital gauge offers interesting information such as the battery voltage and several other useful modes.
I remove the seat and... I am pleasantly surprised! The battery has a plastic cover to reduce the risk of short circuits, the emergency tool kit is there and there is an electric insert to receive your heated handles. There is also a sealed box, super accessible and opening without the use of tools, where the air filter is located, the Holy Grail of all ATV riders! This mechanical part, too often neglected and of a disarming simplicity, can alone make you live many hours of happiness or .... the worst nightmares. Thank you Arctic Cat for serving it to us on a silver platter!
My first contact with the Alterra 700 SE 2021
The trail goes right through the dealership's yard so I set off in the direction of Sorel. All my senses are alert; I listen to the purr of the Arctic Cat Alterra 700 SE 2021's 695 CC single-cylinder engine, a muffled and discreet sound, but I can clearly feel the power. The clutch is really easy to use and the notches are well defined, preventing ambiguity between gears.
The trails in this area cross several fields and the day before, several centimeters had accumulated, which I enjoyed very much. Along with the blowing snow, blades of snow had formed and the depth was considerable. The Arctic Cat Alterra 700 SE 2021's 11 inches of ground clearance, is really appreciated! Some quad riders had passed by before me and since the trail had not yet been paved, I had a blast putting the double a-arm suspension, front and rear, to the test. After about 10 kilometers in these near off-road conditions, I was convinced! The 10 inches of suspension travel, both front and rear, makes for a stable ride and the quad holds its own, no matter what the obstacles.
*Note from my dealer; the standard suspension adjustment of the Alterra 700 SE 2021 is at its softest and this creates a more "plunging" effect on the quad, especially under hard braking. We took it up two notches and the ride was ideal. The transmission offers smooth gear changes and the electronic power steering is remarkable! No effort is required to take a curve and the ease of steering is disarming, in all conditions; it's a real pleasure, making the ride really enjoyable.
The 25" wheels are a good size, but personally, I would have liked a slightly more aggressive tire to provide better traction in the snow.
In summary; The Arctic Cat Alterra 700 SE 2021 is an affordable quad with an entry price of $12,899 (Cnd) but that offers a LOT for your money.