2006 saw the unveiling of the Arctic Cat Prowler 650. With its 12.5-inch ground clearance, best-in-class suspension, and excellent storage, this highly-capable off-road machine was not just another addition to the multitude of UTVs out in the market. In hindsight, the Prowler launch may have set several standards for forthcoming mid-sized four-wheelers.
The Arctic Cat Prowler 650 is a rec-utility vehicle that was produced from 2006 to 2009. This 4×4 featured fully-independent front and rear A-arms, 50-mph top speed, superb hauling capabilities, a high center of gravity, and automatic Duramatic™ transmission, making it the perfect adventure quad.
Although it may initially seem work-inclined, the Prowler 650 is one tried-and-tested sport UTV that offers more comfort and useable power on trails, mud pits, and diverse terrain. Textron’s engineers did right with the vehicle’s functionality and clever design. If you want to discover what makes this four-wheeler exceptional, stick around till the end of this guide.
About the Arctic Cat Prowler 650
The Arctic Cat Prowler 650 is a sport-utility vehicle introduced to the public in 2006 by then Arctic Cat (currently a subsidiary of Textron Inc.). Considered a mid-size class quad, this 641-cm3 four-wheeler rivaled big-bore counterparts in terms of features and functionality.
While the vehicle got marketed as a sport UTV, many riders and owners feel it is much more a utility vehicle than one fit for recreation or racing. But all in all, the Prowler had a largely positive reception from consumers.
As with any other Arctic Cat creation, the Prowler 650 had more to go on over the competition. All Prowler 650 models boasted of an ingenious accessory system that made the vehicle an excellent choice for farming, hunting, and fishing. These four-wheelers were highly agile, with a power mill enclosed in a chassis designed for power, ease of handling, and maneuverability.
Difference Between the Versions
The only main difference between the versions is that the 2006 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 had a Suzuki motor while the others did not. H1 and XT models had different wheel compositions – the former had 14-inch steel rims while the latter had cast aluminum with black accents. The Arctic Cat Prowler 650 XT also had a front locking 4WD differential and a rear anti-sway bar that was not present in H1 trims.
Other than the different engine and suspension components, all Prowlers had 12.5 ground clearance, preload-adjustable shocks, and fully-independent double A-arms. Additionally, every Prowler had similar features like dual bucket seats with seat belts, an open-air cab with a full canopy, numerous dash-mounted, under-seat, and under-hood storage compartments, and a 600-pound capacity tilting bed.
This 4×4 utility vehicle exuded a rugged charm that greatly appealed to off-roaders of all skill levels. It enjoyed a short-lived but very successful 4-year production run before being permanently replaced by the Prowler 700 series.
2007 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 Specs & Features (H1 XT Model)
Power comes from a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine with a bore-stroke ratio of 98 × 85 millimeters (3.85 x 3.35 inches). Engine displacement is 641 cm3 (39 in3). A 36-mm Keihin CVK36 carburetor controls the air-fuel mixture. Rated fuel tank capacity is 8.2 U.S. gallons/31 Liters of regular unleaded gasoline/petrol with a minimum PON rating of 87 (oxygenated) or 89 (non-oxygenated).
The Prowler has an oil capacity of 2.0 US quarts (1.9 Liters) of SAE 5W-50 Arctic Cat ACX All Weather (Synthetic) engine oil. It has an API grade of (at least) SJ that meets JASO MA, MA1, or MA2 standards and contains no anti-friction modifiers or additives. Differential/rear-drive lubricant capacity is 275 ml (9.3 fl. oz)/ 250 ml (8.5 fl. oz) of SAE-approved 80W-90 Hypoid Lubricant.
Never overfill the engine with oil, and ensure that the oil level is higher than the “L” mark but does not exceed the “F” mark. Moreover, use only manufacturer-recommended lubricants to avoid front differential/rear-drive damage.
The vehicle offers on-the-fly selectable 2WD and 4WD driveline modes, activated via a front-drive selector thumb switch found on the right of the steering wheel. Power travels via an automatic dual-range Duramatic™ CVT transmission (with EBS Hi/Lo Range, Neutral & Reverse).
It has a spectacular low-range pull, a gated shifter (with a H/L/N/R gearshift pattern), and a front locking differential that transfers engine torque to the front wheels with push-button ease.
The Prowler 650 uses an electronic CDI ignition with an auxiliary pull-start system and an NGK CR6E spark plug with a gap of 0.028 – 0.032 inches (0.7-0.8 mm). An AC-Magneto alternator powers up electronic accessories and two 12V DC accessory outlets. The wheeler requires a 12V 260-CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) battery with assembled dimensions of 8.11 x 3.58 x 6.45 inches (206 x 91 x 164 mm – L x W x H).
Stock tires consist of Goodyear® 26 x 9-14 front tires and Goodyear® 26 x 11-14 rear tires mounted on aluminum wheels for the XT series and steel wheels for the base models.
Tire pressure should be 34.5 kPa (0.35 kg/cm², 5.0 psi) for both front and back tires. In case of wear or damage, replace stock knobbies with Sedona Rip-Saw 6-Ply Radial Tires (view on Amazon). Its aggressive tread pattern is perfect for serious mudding and drag racing in the dunes.
The 2007 Arctic Cat 650 H1’s linked brake system consists of hand-operated, four-wheel hydraulic service disc brakes with a lever lock. An auxiliary mechanical parking brake provides the quad stopping power.
The Arctic Cat 650 features independent double A-arms for front and rear suspension with five-way adjustable preload shocks that allow 10 inches (254 mm) wheel travel on all fours. The vehicle comes with a rear stabilizer bar (view on Amazon) – a must for aggressive riders requiring improved handling and cornering. 12.5 inches (317.5 mm) of ground clearance enhance bump absorption and handling over technical terrain.
Moreover, aftermarket torsion bars fit a wide range of ATV name brands and are readily available through online resellers and auto parts dealers.
The quad’s overall dimensions are 115 x 61.3 x 77.5 inches (2,921 x 1,557 x 1,968.5 mm – L x W x H). The vehicle wheelbase is 75 inches (1,905 mm). Dry weight is 1,160 lbs (526.2 Kg). The 2-inch receiver hitch with mounting support has a 1,500-lb (680.4-Kg) towing capacity – complemented by a 625-lb (283.5 Kg) payload capacity.
An additional storage compartment is above the engine in front of the seat. The tilting cargo bed is made of polyethylene and has a capacity of 600 lbs (272.2 Kg).
The Prowler 650 has a tubular steel frame and plastic body material in green, red, lime, and silver. All models feature rounded front and rear bumpers, roomy front bucket seats and cockpit, under-seat storage, body-colored ROPS, and a composite cargo bed.
The middle console is where you will find standard digital gauges with red backlighting and a glove box. 27-watt Halogen headlights and brake lights and 8-watt taillights provide the quad superior light distribution.
MultiRack Platform (MRP)
Also referred to as SpeedRacks, this unique accessory system connects to the quad’s front and rear fenders. Its receiver-rack design holds and hauls gear securely and conveniently accepts several Arctic Cat exclusive accessory attachments.
Watch this At Your Leisure video as Rob Lewis gives you a walkaround of an Arctic Cat XT Prowler 650:
Arctic Cat Prowler 650 Price
The MSRP of an Arctic Cat Prowler 650 ranged from $$9,299 to $10,699, depending on the year and trim. These values are exclusive of any special package inclusions that buyers can avail of through dealerships. Retail pricing is between $2,115 and $5,080 – a good price for a 14-year old four-wheeler. There was only one special-edition trim released during the vehicle’s 4-year production run – the 2008 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 (Camouflage):
|Year – Trim|
(** 4×4 – Four-Wheel Drive)
|List Price||Retail/Trade-In Values|
|2007 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 H1||$9,299||$2,440 – $4,390|
|2008 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 H1||$9,499||$2,560 – $4,655|
|2006 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 XT H1||$9,499||$2,115 – $4,130|
|2007 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 XT H1||$9,999||$2,480 – $4,455|
|2008 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 XT H1||$10,199||$2,825 – $4,750|
|2009 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 XT H1||$10,399||$3,230 – $5,080|
|2008 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 4×4 (Camouflage)||$10,699||$2,875 – $3,785|
Auction listings are priced higher compared to retail units sold by dealers. While H1 units range from $400 to $3,997, XT units are sold between $3,793 and $7,291. Secondhand Prowlers valued over $3,500 are typically in good running condition, with a brand-new canvas cover, polycarbonate windshield (view on Amazon), soft cab like a Black QuadGear UTV Cab Enclosure (view on Amazon), front winch, new tires, canvas roof, and mid hours and mileage. Conversely, pre-loved units sold for cheap may have some play in the shift linkage or engine problems.
Arctic Cat Prowler 650 Problems
As expected, the Prowler is not perfect and would have a few hitches. Some of these issues may simply be an unfortunate case of getting a lemon. Others seem to have been inherited from earlier Prowlers, if not prevalent only for specific year models. Here are some Arctic Cat Prowler 650 problems that are quite common with 2006 to 2008 versions:
2007 Arctic Cat Prowler Problems
According to Arctic Cat forums, the 2007 model’s oil-pump-driven gear was prone to failure, and the quad’s teeth would break off the gear and cook the top end.
This model year, in particular, was known for having lots of engine problems mated with engine noise. Many owners speculate that the noise could be coming from the vehicle’s one-way bearing. However, it turned out that it was not the problem source every time. Isolation is key – so, it is best to check if the piston, tie rod, or the oil pump is shot. Then do the needful and go from there.
This problem seems to persist across most mid-sized Prowler models. For newbies, this may be their biggest puzzle yet. But for experienced mechanics, correctly narrowing down the issue to either being actuator versus electrical already half-solves the problem.
Doing fundamental tests for the fuse, power, switch, and ignition, following the lead of experienced owners, and referring to your service manual for first-line troubleshooting tremendously help resolve this dilemma. Otherwise, you may conclude having a faulty actuator that needing to be replaced.
These small challenges may be random but can still cause a hassle. Examples of reliability problems include flimsy Arctic Cat Prowler 650 parts like front axle and tie rods, loud braking noise that can scare away game, odors from belt slippage, and starting problems.
Consequently, Prowler owners do frequent maintenance of their quads, particularly intake and exhaust valve clearance settings, to avoid recurrence of any of these issues.
Part of the 2007 Arctic Cat Prowler 650 problems is restricted acceleration or top-end accompanied by a loud engine noise. With this dilemma, cleaning the carb and replacing the old spark plug with a new one is not enough. Clean your clutches, too, as belt dust and moisture can gum up the rollers and cause significant power loss. The air filter should also be inspected and cleaned.
Be extra cautious when putting the carb back together after cleaning. Ascertain that the diaphragm is placed correctly and the plastic needle holder is not covering the small hole in the carb slide.
Sometimes, these steps do not suffice in fixing the problem. Have someone ride behind to see if your quad is putting out a lot of black smoke – an indication of running too rich. You may also want to try taking the air filter out to see if there is a change in engine performance. If there is, then you may have too much oil in the filter, causing it to suffocate for air. Otherwise, your final resort is to do a full carb rebuild, ensuring that you do not have a clogged carb jet or passage.
2008 Arctic Cat 650 Prowler Carburetor
Watch this video that shows how to clean, inspect, and rebuild a carburetor on a 2008 Arctic Cat 650 Prowler XT H1. In the first 5:45 minutes of the video, the presenter talks a little about the parts of the carb and what he uses to do a thorough carb clean (great for beginner owners!):
In rare cases, rockers that push on the valves having a lot of play would be the culprit. When Prowler owners brought this to their local dealers’ attention, they were told there was a part number change on the cam and a couple of part number changes on the rockers, pointing to a potential known issue. While Arctic Cat has not officially confirmed this information, it is still worth looking into – especially if all other components of your vehicle check out.
Textron Inc. is Arctic Cat Inc.’s parent company from Rhode Island and is well known for its snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. It is also the parent company of Cushman industrial vehicles, Cessna aircraft, Bell helicopters, E-Z-GO, TUG, McDonald Douglas, Bad Boy Buggies, Greenlee tools, and the maker of the Arctic Cat Prowler 650. Since its founding as Special Yarns Corporation in 1923, Textron has unwaveringly continued its efforts to strengthen its product line, earning itself a spot as one of the Fortune 500 companies. Today, the American company’s offerings range from gas-fed to electric- and hybrid-powered off-road vehicles.
Conclusion – Arctic Cat Prowler 650 Review
The Arctic Cat Prowler 650 may seem like any other utility, but there is a lot to love about this wheeler. It is quick to accelerate, jumps over hills (or any obstacle for that matter!) with ease, and runs through ditches seamlessly. Its remarkable ground clearance and suspension system make it very efficient off-pavement.
Plus, its spacious cabin, cargo bed capacity, and storage compartments will make long trails a joy to ride, as you are guaranteed to have space for everything you need for the trip.
More aggressive riders may opt for an ATV with a straddle seat. But for those who want to experience comfort as they venture into the wild, then this is the perfect vehicle for you!