26.5x9x14 Pit Bulls mount to Hyper 14x7-inch dual beadlock wheels.
Author: Rick "Wallyworld" Wallace Photos: RCH Designs
As we speak, the UTV industry is growing by leaps and bounds. It seems like only yesterday that the Yamaha Rhino was your only choice. If you haven’t noticed yet, Arctic Cat, Polaris and Can-Am, to name a few, have been producing high-output, long-travel vehicles with amazing performance straight from the factory. The performance segment of the market has definitely grown, and now almost every manufacturer has an extremely capable UTV positioned at the top of their product line.
Not one to be left out, Arctic Cat introduced its Wildcat 1000 back in January of 2012. Sporting a 1000cc fuel-injected, V-twin engine, the Wildcat puts out somewhere in the neighborhood of 80-90 HP, allowing it to reach an honest 80-85 mph. Its stock suspension boasts 17 inches of wheel travel up front, coupled with 18 inches in the rear. The impressive stats make it a serious machine right out of the box, one that can handle almost anything thrown at it during a weekend of play or racing.
With all of this readily accessible performance, it is no surprise that UTVs are increasingly gaining a competitive spot in racing. When rock crawler and racer Dean Bulloch decided to get into UTV racing as well, it is no surprise either that he chose the Arctic Cat Wildcat as the foundation for his new race vehicle. The move was an obvious one since he owns an Arctic Cat dealership in Cedar City, Utah.
No stranger to the Dirt Sports Nation, Bulloch’s career actually began way before he hit the rocks. He has an amazing 169 wins over the years, to go along with an untold number of second- and third-place finishes. He has raced NHRA, drag bikes, snowmobiles, motocross, trials and, of course, rock crawling from its earliest days as well as every King of the Hammers except one (the inaugural race where the “Original 13” was conceived).
In 1978 Dean decided to open the doors on a high-performance snowmobile shop in Cedar City. Bulloch was very successful at helping promote snowmobile racing all over the great state of Utah with Arctic Cat snowmobiles a part of that success. With the birth of the Wildcat came his second business, Wildcat Willys. The new venture produces many of the aftermarket parts shown throughout this article, with custom race cages for the Wildcat its specialty. One of his Wildcat builds, driven by Todd Stephenson, showed up at King of the Hammers this year and took home the first-place trophy.
For this InStudio, we decided to take a look at the Bulloch’s latest racer that he will be personally campaigning. Built as a true multi-purpose UTV, the Wildcat will see action in everything from the deserts to the rocks. As this article goes to print we would like to wish Dean a speedy recovery from a leg injury sustained while racing. We know he will be back soon and racing harder than ever.
EXTERIOR As we can see, the Wildcat was a complete teardown with much gusseting and strengthening done to prep it for serious race use. Some of the nice features on this 994cc fire breather are SSS OffRoad UHMW skidplates that run the length of the car’s underbelly. Also clear lexan doors make it easy for the driver and passenger to see in slow-speed terrain while the Warn winch mount kit was built by Wildcat Willys for easy extractions. The BITD legal cage was also built in house, and the rear light bar is UTV-specific (all other competitors are not allowed to nerf this car to pass). The safety nets are from Mastercraft Safety, while the front bumper was done in house along with the aluminum roof. Lighting is stock with front and rear LEDs being utilized.
Dean decided to use King dual-rate piggybacks with crossover rings. The custom front bumper was made by Wildcat Willys.
FRONT SUSPENSION The front of the Wildcat has been re-suspended with the King 2.0 coilover, dual-rate piggyback shocks with 11.5-inches of stroke giving a whooping 18 inches of wheel travel. All of the tie rods have been replaced with 4130 chromoly as well as upgraded rod ends. Having this kind of travel makes for some tight angles that the new rod ends can handle easily. Wildcats come stock with power steering, which was retained for the racer.
The use of 4130 chromoly links help keep the car going in a forward direction.
UHMW skidplates are a must for rock sliding since aluminum skids can hang up when crawling over rocks.
REAR SUSPENSION In the rear of the race Wildcat you notice a five-link suspension. While this is the stock configuration, the boys replaced all the control arms with 4130 chromoly units and new rod ends. Rear shocks are also King 2.5 coilovers, dual-rate piggyback units with 19 inches of wheel travel. The brakes, CV joints and trailing arms are stock units straight from Arctic Cat. All the wheel hubs have been drilled for ½-inch studs, while limiting straps are being used to control all that droop.
The Muzzy dual exhaust helps scavenge the spent gases using 2-1-2 pipes.
ENGINE The bulk of the engine parts were supplied by Muzzy Performance. They consist of a 994cc big-bore kit with Muzzy’s fuel control system. To let out the exhaust gases, a complete Muzzy Pro Pipe system with that familiar 2-into-1-into-2 sound was installed. Air cleaning is handled by a K&N Filter, while the engine was built by D&P Performance. After a dyno session, it is able to squeeze out a respectable 109 hp and 99 lb-ft. of torque, just what you need to race competitively. And, of course, we can’t reveal all their secrets
A Lowrance GPS unit is mounted for the co-pilot to see and relay directions.
Having heated MasterCraft seats in an environment of snow and 6,000 feet altitudes is a no-brainer.
DATA LOGGER Vehicle: 2011 Arctic Cat Wildcat Owner: DEAN BULLOCH Builder: WILDCAT WILLYS/D&P PERFORMANCE Purpose: DESERT RACING/KING OF THE HAMMERS Significance: UTVs finding their place in racing