The Arctic Cat ZR 120 is a cute kid snowmobile that made its debut in 2000. Like its twin brother, the Yamaha SRX 120R, this little Cat instantly became popular among the smallest sledders.
If you are looking for an Arctic Cat ZR 120 review, this post is for you. We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know about this sled under one roof!
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Review
The history of the Arctic Cat 120 series started in 1971 when the company revealed the iconic Kitty Cat.
This tiny 2-stroke sled remained in production until 2000, when it was discontinued to make room for the larger and more advanced Arctic Cat Z 120. As the name implies, this sled came powered by a 120cc, 4-stroke engine.
By 2003, the sled was renamed the ZR 120 to fit in Arctic Cat’s new lineup. (Did you know that ZR means “Zulawski Racing?”)
Over the years, this mini snowmobile was marketed under different model names without any significant changes, like Arctic Cat F 120 and Sno Pro 120. Finally, in 2014 it was renamed again as the ZR 120.
The Arctic Cat ZR120 looks like a cute tiny sled, but it’s good to know that this machine is not at all a toy!
Instead, it’s a miniaturized Arctic Cat sled that offers the same handling as any full-sized Cat.
However, thanks to its moderate performance, the ZR 120 is a perfect choice for small children. Keeping safety in mind, the manufacturer only recommends this machine for kids who are at least 6 years old. Besides the age limitation, kids must be under the supervision of an adult when operating this machine.
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 engine is an air-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder power source engineered and manufactured by Yamaha.
Like its smooth-running engine, the features of this little Cat are designed with easy operation in mind.
For maximum comfort, the machine utilizes a double-wishbone front suspension system with hydraulic shocks. In addition, the torsion spring rear suspension is adjustable in three different positions, allowing the sled to “grow” with the kids.
The ZR 120 is propelled by a 10” x 67” x 0.69” Camso Cobra track that offers a perfect bite. To avoid excessive counter-steering and increased traction, this track has a custom lug design.
Surprisingly, the little but comfortable seat features rear storage. Just like the handlebar arrangement, the seating position is also designed for easy handling.
Regarding design, the ZR 120 received the race-inspired Team Arctic black and the green color scheme borrowed from Sno Pro racing.
Standard features include an orange visibility flag, low-profile windshield, padded handlebar, head and taillights, grip and thumb warmers, and an automatic drive chain tensioner.
For safety considerations, the machine is also equipped with a tether switch and a “speed governor” that cuts the engine’s performance.
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Specs Charts
For your convenience, we’ve compiled all the Arctic Cat ZR 120 specifications into these charts:
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Engine Specs
|Engine type||Forced air cooled/4-cycle|
|Cooling system||Forced air|
|Bore x Stroke (“)||2.2 x 1.97 in. (56 x 50 mm)|
|Starting system||Pull start|
|Gasoline (Recommended)||87 Minimum octane regular unleaded|
|Engine oil (Recommended)||Synthetic 0W-40|
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Dimensions
|Ski stance (“)||30.5|
|Fuel tank capacity (gal.)||0.45|
|Crankcase oil capacity||20.3 oz.|
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Track Features
|Track style||Camso Cobra|
|Track width||10 in.|
|Track length||69 in.|
|Lug height||.69 in.|
|Track tension (Range)||1/4-3/8 in. (6.4-9.5 mm)|
|Suspension type||Slide rail suspension|
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Electric Features
|Spark plug type||NGK BPR4ES|
|Spark plug gap||0.028-0.031 in. (0.7-0.8 mm)|
|Ignition timing||24° BTDC @ 3600 RPM|
|Headlight bulb (p/n)||0609-991|
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Features and Accessories
|Brake system||Adjustable band|
|Headlight||Halogen with hi/low beam|
|Drive chain tensioner||Automatic|
|Air cleaner||Semi-Dry Polyurethane Foam Element|
|High Visibility Whip Flag||Standard|
|Padded Handle Bar||Standard|
|Vibration – Hand/Arm||< 2.5 m/s2|
|Vibration – Seat||< 0.5 m/s2|
These charts are for informational purposes only! For exact specifications, please refer to the factory manual.
How Fast Does an Arctic Cat ZR 120 go?
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 can reach a (limited) top speed of 8 mph, but by bypassing the speed governor you can increase the top speed to about 13-15 mph.
How Much Does an Arctic Cat ZR 120 Weigh?
The dry weight of the Arctic Cat ZR 120 is only 167 pounds (75 kg).
How Much is an Arctic Cat ZR 120?
The MSRP of the Arctic Cat ZR 120 is as little as $3,305.
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Governor Bypass
Performance-minded parents usually want to surprise their children with some extra engine power, so they bypass the speed governor on these kid sleds. In most cases, this bypass only requires mounting a zip tie on the spring of the throttle cable. But as reported by MidWestMini, this is a terrible idea! Why?
Let’s face it, the speed governor is a safety feature that is on the sled for a reason. Small children are prone to being irresponsible, so doubling the speed of this mini sled can be dangerous in many ways.
Besides, the gearing and the chain of this sled are designed for lower performance, so it can’t handle high engine RPMs in the long run.
The speed governor is intended to keep the engine speed at about 3,000 RPM, so running it at higher speeds can lead to excessive engine damage.
Arctic Cat ZR 120 Wheel Kit
Surprisingly, some aftermarket manufacturers offer wheel kits for Arctic Cat ZR 120 snowmobiles. These kits typically contain two 8-inch wheels and mounting hardware like axles, screws, nuts, and washers.
Installing wheels on a snowmobile seems like a crazy idea, but it can virtually extend the season to the whole year for kids!
On the other hand, keep in mind that the lack of snow leaves the track without any lubrication. Because of this, the manufacturer recommends installing a set of extra idler wheels on the skid to avoid damaging the track.
The only drawback of this wheel kit is that it raises the sled in front, which causes the snow flap to drag on the ground.
Arctic Cat ZR 120 for Sale
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 is available off-the-shelf to the greatest delight of the smallest riders.
So, if you are looking for a new one, it’s recommended that you visit one of the closest Arctic Cat dealerships.
But if you’re considering buying a used machine, you can find a lot of great Arctic Cat ZR 120s for sale on Craigslist, Snowmobilesoup, Snowmobiletrader, Sledswap, and other dedicated snowmobile ad sites.
Also, you may want to visit some Arctic Cat snowmobile forums and Facebook groups!
Takeaways – FAQs About the Arctic Cat ZR 120
What year did the Arctic Cat ZR 120 come out?
The predecessor Arctic Cat Z 120 made its debut in 2000, but the sled was renamed as ZR 120 in 2003.
What size is an Arctic Cat ZR 120?
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 is 73 inches long, 36 inches wide, and 34 inches high, while its ski stance is only 30.5 inches.
What is the track size of the Arctic Cat ZR 120?
The stock track size of the Arctic Cat ZR 120 is 10” x 67” x 0.69”.
How much does an Arctic Cat ZR 120 weigh?
The dry weight of the Arctic Cat ZR 120 is as low as 167 pounds.
What kind of engine is in an Arctic Cat ZR 120?
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 engine is an air-cooled, 123cc, 4-stroke, single-cylinder power source manufactured by Yamaha.
What kind of carburetor does the Arctic Cat ZR 120 have?
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 features one Mikuni BV18-11-84Z1 carburetor.
How fast does an Arctic Cat ZR 120 go?
The Arctic Cat ZR 120 can reach a top speed of 8 mph in stock condition, but it tops out at about 13-15 mph with a bypassed speed governor.
What age is an Arctic Cat ZR 120 snowmobile recommended for?
Arctic Cat recommends the ZR 120 for children who are at least 6 years old.