“Is it time to ride again my dear?” is the question we wish our wife or husband asks us. Instead, most true enthusiasts must convince the better half that it’s all really fun and the expense of a new ATV isn’t a bad thing. The hard part is trying to make the purchase expense-friendly for you both. In model year 2012 Can-Am introduced a sporty version of its Max line and called it the Outlander Max XT-P. This machine was directed at the go-fast guy or gal and their better half. We at ATV Rider Magazine have had this very machine for the past few months and are ready to fill you in on all the details and let you know if Can-Am’s plan worked. Let’s first get a little background on the machine and its capabilities.
The 2012 Outlander Max 800R XT-P is a two-seat version of the Outlander ATV. This machine incorporates the V-twin Rotax power found in many of Can-Am’s Outlander utility ATVs and its Commander side-by-side lineup. The Rotax engine is 799cc in displacement and produces a powerful 71 horsepower. Driving the power from the crankshaft to the rear end of the machine is a belt-engaged continuously variable transmission.
As with other Outlander and Outlander Max vehicles, Can-Am’s own Visco-Lok four-wheel-drive system keeps the power delivery going even in the most nonideal situations. On the Max 800R XT-P, which is equipped with power steering, you will find the patented Visco-Lok QE front differential. This differential maintains a traction delivery by adding power from the slipping wheel to the wheel with the most grip, and is completely transparent to the driver. This keeps you moving forward in many types of terrain.
The traditional Can-Am SST frame in the Max offers a bit longer wheelbase and allows for the proper weight distribution of the second rider. This configuration puts the rear-seated passenger just in front of the rear wheels. The Max XT-P also gets ACS (or air-controlled suspension) on the rear of the machine, which utilizes Fox air shocks, to allow the rider to control his or her ride comfort on six levels. As a second rider jumps aboard the shocks can be filled with a bit more air to help with the added weight. The ACS also has attachments so, should the need arise, you can actually fill a tire out on the trail. ACS should be on every Can-Am machine in my opinion, but I understand the price would reflect it as well.
Assisting in the control of our Outlander Max 800R XT-P’s steering is the DPS, or Dynamic Power Steering. For the 2012 line of power-steering-equipped models the new tri-mode DPS was introduced. A progressive power steering, it has three levels of control so the rider can adjust the amount of assist with a few impressions on handlebar-mounted buttons. The three levels that Can-Am engineers have developed are minimum, medium and maximum.
So with some of the most recognizable features covered, let’s look at the durability, ride quality and feature benefits that we here at ATV Rider Magazine have found to be most useful on this wonderful machine. It can be hard to resist the aggressive good looks of this Can-Am, and when we loaded up the jewel from our local dealer the destinations began piling up on our dream ride bucket list. The versatility allows the proud owner the ability to have a classy-looking ride with all the raging sport rider capabilities.
Immediately after getting home I just had to sit on the rear seat to see what it would feel like to ride there. Remember, I’m still trying to convince my wife it’s a good idea for her to ride on back! With the very comfortable seating and passenger handholds, that position wasn’t bad at all. The seat has a simple lip on the front that kind of holds the rider in position, and it does feel like it would keep me from sliding forward into the driver. A large backrest also provided ample support for my back. The seat position feels as if it is kicked back just a bit as well, a big plus under steep descents and quick stops. Placing my feet in the passenger footwells gave up just enough height to make me feel comfortable, and it did allow my legs to settle enough for a long ride. I’m just a bit bigger than the average rider, but it was still comfortable no doubt. The passenger handholds are made of a rubber that provides great grip, which translates to even more confidence to the passenger. If I’m not mistaken, you can get these grips in a heated format for the coldest days of riding!
There is never a doubt in my mind that the engineers at Can-Am spend hours thinking of things to make the ride better, and the ACS is one more spot of proof. Getting out on the trail with the rear seat empty I was able to lower the pressure in the rear shocks just a bit to make the type of sporty riding that I like more controllable. The longer SST frame under the Max’s classy exterior seems to allow for better overall handling. There is the added weight, but the chassis really responds well to trail riding and crossing uneven terrain. I do dare say it, but the Max family of the Outlander seemed to be a better-handling machine when compared to my standard Outlander. The ACS feature is also easily adjusted on the handlebar, as you need it. When including a passenger you can tell the manner of the Outlander Max XT-P does change a bit. The added weight makes the machine a bit slower to react to the inputs of the driver, but that may be just a little nitpicky to most.
One more attraction for me on the convincing end of the “to buy or not to buy” spectrum is the awesome good looks that incorporate race styling and rugged reliability. The yellow and black hand guards helped in keeping the brush off this driver’s digits, which helped me stay in control of the machine. Sitting on the Outlander Max is outstanding, and even though the seating seems a bit wide in the driver’s position it rides well hour after hour. Riding through rocky, rutted terrain with my passenger was confidence-inspiring as well. Sometimes you may think that with a passenger you would be a bit more cautious, but the 800R XT-P allows you to be comfortable in every trail situation.
With the trail time on our Can-Am Outlander Max 800R XT-P behind us the verdict is in. This machine speaks for itself when it comes to reliability and toughness. The time-tested Outlander Max platform gives many different riders a choice when it comes to bringing a friend or loved one along. The great looks and color combination make the classy body lines really shine on this ride. Our opinion is that the Max XT-P is a convincing sales tool that should make even the most skeptical value-minded enthusiast look twice. ATVR
|PROS / CONS||2012 CAN-AM OUTLANDER MAX 800R XT-P|
|+||Big power, supreme comfort and sharp looks|
|-||High price can make potential buyers hesitant|
|=||A great machine to have when you want to share the excitement with someone|
2012 Can-Am Outlander Max 800R XT-P
Type: 4-stroke, 8-valve, SOHC V-twin
Bore x stroke: 91x62mm
Fuel delivery: EFI with twin 46mm throttle bodies, two Siemens VDO injectors
Starting system: Electric
Drive system: Shaft, selectable 2x4/4x4 with Visco-Lok front differential
Transmission: CVT with high/low range, reverse, engine-braking
Front: Dual A-arms with Air Control Suspension with Fox Racing Shox/8.0 in.
Rear: Torsional trailing arm independent (TTI) with HPG Fox Racing Shox/9.0 in.
Front: 26x8-12/cast aluminum beadlock
Rear: 26x10-12/cast aluminum beadlock
Front: Dual inboard hydraulic discs
Rear: Single inboard hydraulic disc
Wheelbase: 59.0 in.
Claimed dry weight: 719 lb
Ground clearance: 12.0 in.
Length/width/height: 94.0/46.0/45.0 in.
Seat height: 34.5 in.
Fuel capacity: 4.3 gal.
Front/rear rack: 100/200 lb
Towing capacity: 1,300 lb
Lighting: Two fender-mounted 35-watt headlamps with tail/brake light
Instrumentation: Multi-function digital LCD gauge with speedometer, tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, hourmeter, diagnostic center, gear position, engine hourmeter; 4x4 indicator, temperature and engine lights, fuel gauge, clock, auto shut-off after 15 minutes
Special Package offerings: XT-P package offers all the standard Outlander Max 800R EFI features plus black with yellow accents, convertible rack/rear seat system, tri-mode Dynamic Power Steering, aluminum handlebar, wind deflectors