Best Open Class Utility ATV of 2011

Best Open Class Utility ATV of 2011

2011.can-am.outlander1000.yellow.front-left.riding.wheelie_0.jpgNobody has ever come back after riding a CAN-AM complaining the motor was weak, and that’s not about to change. What they built for 2012 are all new machines from the ground up, and they started with the top models in the lineup.

CAN-AM has given the new Outlander models a second generation SST chassis that harnesses the strengths of both the traditional SST frame and a perimeter tube chassis. The result is added rigidity, twice the strength, and tighter suspension pivot spacing. A new TTi rear suspension offers beefy round tubes for increased strength, less flex, and more suspension travel. The pivot location has been relocated so that when you crack the throttle the rear end squats, digs in, and launches forward, and make no mistake, short of something built by NASA, it will be a launch.

The engine on the 1000 is a 976cc, liquid cooled, fuel injected, SOHC V-twin driving a high performance CVT transmission; while the 800R is 800cc’s. Thankfully, CAN-AM gave the CVT cover a better seal and an actual drain plug, and the CVT air intake was located higher in the chassis for better protection from anything entering the CVT in the first place.2011.can-am.outlander800r.red_.front-left.riding.down-hill.jpg

The new engine easily lifts the front wheels with a little help from the throttle. During our first ride, we discovered the new Outlander 1000 is definitely a beast, but it also has manners and can be tamed. There is less flex from the frame, the steering responds more precisely, thanks to a more rigid chassis, and the suspension handles choppy bumps with ease. She’s got it where it counts though and at any time the engine is ready to deliver a shot of adrenaline to your spine.

We like the new bodywork styling on the Outlander 800R and 1000 which is designed for function but also for comfort. From the rider’s seat, the bodywork has you well protected from mud, water, or anything else, and the relationship from seat, to foot pegs, to handlebars is very comfortable even for riders well over 6ft. We especially like how the area between your knees has been sculpted for better feel, and the seat is very plush. Thankfully, there is a huge, sealed, storage compartment between the two rear tail lights also.

CAN-AM’s second generation chassis, new bodywork, and new suspension have completely changed the ride of the Outlander 800R and Outlander 1000. Performance is beyond the skills of some but for an experienced rider, it is nothing short of stunning.

January 8, 2012

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