One of the most popular vehicles ever for customization is the modern Side x Side. Not since the 60’s have people so willingly applied parts and paint to their vehicle, creating machines that reflect their personal taste while increasing functionality, and in some cases ending up with rolling works of modern art. Visit any dune riding area and you’ll quickly see what we mean. It won’t take you long to find an owner who has given their vehicle a name, and to him - or often her - it’s more than a simple sand toy; it’s part of who they are. The customization craze has also been a bonanza for aftermarket shops and whether they fabricate parts or apply custom paint jobs there is somebody who can get you exactly the look you’re after.
While accessory parts used to be the domain of the aftermarket, the OEMS have increasingly been finding sales opportunities there also. What they lack in true customization they make up for in accessibility and part fit. It’s easy to order an accessory from your dealer and it usually fits very well because it was designed by the same people that made the rest of the machine.
Dune riders are especially fond of customization, and when the Arctic Cat Wildcat 1000 was introduced with its high-performance engine and super long suspension it was like Christmas came early to sand lovers. No other vehicle could come close to it in the Holy Grail department for dune and desert lovers – suspension travel. Arctic Cat knew the Wildcat would be a sure thing with accessories, and today they’ve got over 50 parts ready to bolt onto your ‘Cat.
Some riders go all out with every part they can get, some never do anything with their machine other than put fuel in it, but most will add several parts along the way. This is the short list of the most popular items most owners will add to their machine.
1. Give Me Shelter - A New Roof
Arctic Cat is offering two different roofs for the Wildcat. The Bimini Soft top stretches over the existing cage and fastens down tightly with straps. We’ve used this type of roof on the Prowlers and never had a problem with them coming loose, or with wear.
The Hard Top clamps down to the cage structure and gives a very finished look both inside and outside of the vehicle. In fact, the inside is finished and is equipped for the installation of a radio and four speakers! Another cool feature the Hard Top offers is twin, sun roof openings that let in light, but keep you cool with a tinted panel. Whichever roof you choose you’ll be well protected.
Hard Top Part No. 1436-753 $499.95 U.S.
Bimini Top Part No. 1436-731 $129.95 U.S.
2.Arctic Cat Light & Power - New LED Lights
Even if you never turn them on an accessory lighting package looks cool! LED lights have quickly been making their way into the off-road world, and Arctic Cat was quick to offer an aluminum light bar that can be installed either with, or without the hard top roof. A combination cast and extruded aluminum housing holds 12, five watt high intensity LEDs. Protecting each LED is a high impact lens which is fixed atop the roll cage upper bar.
The advantage of multiple LEDs is they don’t draw excessive current from your stator or electrical system, yet they still provide excellent illumination. Install a set of these and NOBODY is going to miss seeing you in the dunes at night!
Aluminum Light Bar Part No. 1436-724, $229.95 U.S.
Light Kit Part No. 1436-615, $399.95 U.S.
3.I Can See Clearly Now - A New Flip Style Windshield
Most riders are quick to install a roof on their Side x Side, but right behind that comes a windshield. The Arctic Cat Wildcat windshield is more than just a clear piece of plastic however – it can be raised.
Constructed of scratch and abrasion resistant polycarbonate, the new Flip-Up Windshield from Arctic Cat offers increased comfort and protection from wind and debris thrown in your direction. While the lower section remains firmly fixed to the roll cage, the upper section can be pivoted to whatever works best for you. Two, gas-assist shocks help with opening and holding its position whether the windshield is fully closed, open part way, or fully open for maximum air flow, even when underway! The system attaches easily to the Wildcat cab via quick-attach clamps, and for extra versatility the fixed lower shield can be used on its own without the upper shield section.
4.Armored Car - Skids, Bumpers & Rock Sliders
The best way to protect your vehicle is to not hit anything on the trail. That strategy usually lasts about an hour, beyond which you’ll need some real protection, and nothing beats quality bumpers, rock sliders, and skid plates. Since the Wildcat 1000 was sure to see a lot of desert action thanks to its enormous suspension travel, Cat was ready with plenty of armor to keep you and your machine fully protected.
Wildcat Rock Sliders aren’t some junior sized burger you would be happy to wolf down; they’re serious protection engineered to prevent mother-nature from giving your machine a beat down. They also double as a handy step. The Aluminum Rock Sliders are constructed from 1.25-in. lightweight aluminum tubing with perforated plate aluminum and are styled to integrate with the accessory Aluminum Front and Rear Bumpers. For increased protection, the Steel Rock Sliders deliver the durability of 1.25-in. tubular steel and perforated plate steel construction. They’re also styled to integrate with the Steel Front Bumper.
Aluminum Rock Sliders Part No. 1436-726 $299.95 U.S.
Steel Rock Sliders Part No. 1436-727 $229.95 U.S.
Arctic Cat offers two different bumpers for the front of the Wildcat 1000. A Steel bumper gives maximum protection thanks to 1.25in diameter steel tubing, and it easily bolts on to the frame but leaves space for the winch. It’s the ultimate in front end protection.
Aluminum bumpers are available for both the front and rear of the Wildcat. Both offer excellent protection, room for the winch, and come with a stylish, brushed aluminum finish.
Aluminum Front Bumper Part No. 1436-718 $349.95 U.S.
Aluminum Rear Bumper Part No. 1436-719 $279.95 U.S.
For serious rock crawling nothing provides better protection than a good set of Aluminum skid plates and A-Arm guards. The Wildcat accessory plates are made from corrosion free, brushed aluminum, but more importantly they provide bumper to bumper maximum protection for the underside of your vehicle. Thankfully they come with maintenance access holes wherever needed as well.
Center Aluminum Skid Plate Part No. 1436-728 $499.95 U.S.
5.The Softer Side - New Soft Side Cab Kit
There have been more than a few morning rides across the desert when we wished for the comforts of a cab. Arctic Cats new Soft Cab Kit keeps you insulated from cold, nasty weather and it’s at home in the snow or the sand. The kit includes the roof, back panel and doors, and all fabrics are highly durable, 9-oz., heavy series Surlast material. A lightweight aluminum frame gives the doors their structure while the door windows and back panel can unzip and be rolled up when desired. The Soft Cab Kit also works in conjunction with the Arctic Cat Full or Flip Up accessory windshields and accessory overhead storage bags (each sold separately). In wet, cold, or snowy climates it easily extends your riding season!
Soft Side Cab Kit Part No. 1436-729 $649.95 U.S.