The Arctic Cat Dirt Bike

The powersports giant Arctic Cat Inc., located in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, has its hand in almost everything in the off-road vehicle market, but do they have any intention on manufacturing Arctic Cat dirt bikes?

The Arctic Cat dirt bike is a concept that many Cat enthusiasts fantasize about. Is is a possibility for a two wheel Cat to surface?

Arctic Enterprises, better know as Arctic Cat, brings snow and arctic temperatures to mind because of their eternal presence in the snowmobile industry. The company first got their start back in the early 1960's initially known as Polar Manufacturing. Their primary product was the gasoline powered sled, or snowmobile. The name later changes again following bankruptcy proceedings but emerges once again as Arctco until the mid 1980's when the name finally settles at Arctic Cat inc.

Aside from the snowmobiles that made the brand famous, there were the personal watercraft. In 1993 Arctic Cat, still Arctco at the time, introduced a line of personal watercraft, or jet skis as they are known in pop culture. They select the name Tigershark and begin to mass produce high quality watercraft to the public.

The brand couldn't compete with the likes of Kawasaki, Seadoo, Polaris, and Yamaha. Eventually it would see slumping sales most likely due to increased competition in the watercraf market. The Tigershark name was discontinued in 1999 and Arctic Cat never looked back. They began manufacturing ATV's in 1996. The first Arctic Cat was named the Bearcat, a fitting moniker for a strong brand.

Their atv line eventually consisted of both the 4x4 atv and 2wd sport models. They later added youth sized atv's to their already strong lineup. Their ATV's are popular partly because of the economical price, but mainly due to quality.

There's one more off-road avenue left, however. Fans of the Arctic Cat brand name sometimes wonder if an Arctic Cat dirt bike will ever see the light of day. After all, they produce vehicles for snow, they've tried their hand in the personal watercraft industry, and they've managed to build brand recognition for their lineup of ATV's. Is there a dirt bike on the drawing board at Arctic Cat?

Insiders say no... Executives at Arctic Cat insist the brand would rather remain focused on snowmobiles and 4 wheelers. Hardcore Arctic Cat historians are quick to point out that Arctic Cat did produce a dirt bike at one time. The mini bike, as it was commonly called in that era, was manufactured back in the early 1970's.

The production run was limited and survivors are scarce these days. Model names include the Ssscat, the Climber, the Whisker, and the Mini Prowler. It was probably best known for its leopard seat more than anything else. As the old saying goes, if you're waiting for the release of a new Arctic Cat dirt bike, you better not hold your breath.

Incidently, if you have possession of a vintage Arctic Cat dirt bike / mini bike or any pertinent information regarding these collectible dirt bikes, we'd appreciate any info and pics here at Please submit photos to our ATV gallery and any information can be emailed here or posted on our message boards.

Arctic ATV

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