Traction Control: 1966 Arctic Cat Cub 2×2

This ultra-rare machine may be lost on a few of you, but if you’re like me – and your family and friends hope that you are nothing like me – you love these unusual two-wheelers! This is a 1966 Arctic Cat Cub 2×2 and it can be found here on eBay in Ripley, New York. There is an unmet $999 opening bid. Let’s check out this rugged ride.

I have been looking for one of these things for years, literally. David Frank wrote about one here on Barn Finds a hair over two years ago and I still have nightmares about that one. Or, about being the high bidder at somewhere north of $2,500, at least until literally 5 seconds before the auction ended and then some rapscallion threw down another $50 bid and I couldn’t fumble fast enough to do the same. I still have nightmares about missing that one, it was in much better condition than this example is in.

You can see that this Cub is missing the engine, ouch. Early models had a 6-1/4-hp engine but this one would have had an 8-hp Kohler, not really the hardest thing to track down. It’s basically the same 4-cycle 8-hp engine that we had in our 1966 Arctic Cat 140D snowmobile like this one. It’s even red! Like the Polaris Trail Tractor that we saw here a month ago, made by Polaris, Arctic Cat also had to come up with a way to augment their coffers during non-winter months and keep cash flow… flowing. Hence, the Cub 2×2.

There were between 60 and 80 Cubs made by Arctic Cat between the years 1964 to 1966 and then they were discontinued. You can see the sprocket on the front wheel in the photo above, that ran to what is another missing sprocket in the square hole to the right of the handlebars, like this, and then a shaft ran across to the other side to another sprocket and chain which ran back, etc., etc. The Arctic Cat Cub would have kept both Spacely’s Space Sprockets and Cogswell Cogs in furs and caviar for decades if they could have sold enough of them. And, if they were made in 2062 when the cartoon The Jetsons was set in time rather than 1966 when this Cub was made.

The complicated cockpit of this Cub consists of, well, two switches, oddly both in the on position. The one on the right an on/off ignition switch and the other is for the light. Unless it’s been modified. Here is one in action on a YouTube video. “In action” is maybe not the best choice of words for a 25-mph 2WD motorbike, but you know what I mean.

Hey, it has a CVT like your new car does! Or, more likely, your old snowmobile. Thankfully, there was a white metal shield around most of those finger-crushing-and-pants-material-grabbing spinning death gears. I wouldn’t blink to pay $4,000 for a nice example of an Arctic Cat Cub but trying to put this one back together again and have it be as close to original spec as possible would be a hair-puller for me, I have enough projects half torn apart in the garage as it is. Have any of you seen an Arctic Cat Cub?

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    Hmm, I didn’t know the Jetsons took place in 2062, that tidbit alone makes this post worthwhile. Lot of hardware missing here, like they didn’t like the both wheel drive quirks, I’d have to imagine, that would be a handful. Great parts bike, or just a rear drive, but too far gone for original, if you could even find the parts.

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  2. Brakeservo

    Sorta like a Rokon isn’t it?

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  3. Angel Member

    So happy to have found this site. Feel like I’m right where I belong. Nice write up, as usual, and so much of what you write resonates with me. In this case, your featured bike reminds me of my recently acquired late 60s/early 70s Heathkit Bonnie Bike. Mine came with an optional, and pretty sturdy, front ski and is even equipped with a sissy bar (not sure how original that feature is). It was featured in a 1969 edition of popular mechanics magazine (February I think). So well built, yet so simple. 5hp motor powers the thing, well, whenever it decides to start. Think it was amongst the first types of pocket bikes made (I think). It was built for kids ranging from about 10 – 80 or so. If it makes you feel any better, Im further behind on mine as Im yet to begin the teardown. Its old, shows its age, and I just love looking at that old thing (the bike too). One day, I may actually reach out and touch it, hopefully, before I turn 80! Thanks for sharing that cool cat with us!

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  4. Ted

    This needs a Rotax 440 transplant just driving the back wheel. Close your eyes, imagine the rasp of one of the bestest engines ever developed, and then wick it up and spool that poor CVT to the moon and imagine how much childlike fun that would be.

    Until you had to stop.

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  5. philippe

    I must be one like you since I have one going under short final restoration … cant wait to seeit running.

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  6. canadainmarkseh Member

    For a guy that grew up riding TRIALS bikes not trail bike my only thought seeing any of these is what a pc of $h!t. This think is heavy has no suspension underpowered and would handle like a cinder block with handle bars. I guess when you’ve been on a bike that will go over anything you sure wouldn’t want to be on a bike that will go over nothing. This was clearly designed by someone with”0″ off-road experience. I have to wonder do you need a crane to follow you around to stand it back up when it falls over.

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    • Howard A

      Now, now, don’t be so harsh, for many, a real motorcycle was not in the cards, but Uncle Fred can glue something together, and we’ll get you out on the dirt. For many, this was their 1st taste of motorcycling, and for most, like me, lasted a lifetime.

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  7. Rob
  8. Ted

    I’m laughing so hard after going to Rob’s post about the resto I figured I was going to crack my ribs………that first pic with the foam on the frame started the laughing and it only intensified. Talk about prostate massage………

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