Ever since I started at ATVR I've been given the great opportunity to travel all across the country and test the latest and greatest machines that companies have to offer. In early spring of this year, we were sent an invitation from Can-Am to attend its 2011 product launch up in Montebello, Quebec, Canada. No sooner had I read over the invite that Thad forwarded to me, than I was ready to pack my bags and head up north. This trip had me excited for two different reasons: The first was because it would be my first time traveling out of the country (Mexico excluded), and the second was because there was quite a bit of hype about a potential SxS release. For the past two years, at the Can-Am intros we've been foaming at the mouth for this machine only to leave in disappointment, but something told me this trip would be different.
With passport in hand, I was ready to fly up north and see just what kind of machines the big C had in store for us. As all of the editors met in the lobby of the Fairmont Château in Montebello, we were joined by quite a few Can-Am engineers as well as President and CEO of Can-Am, Jose Boisjoli. Sure, at many other intros we meet a fair number of corporate employees, but to see the president made me believe there was something special about this event. As the BRP media and public relations manager, Chaz Rice, stepped on the stage after dinner the room fell silent as he went over the various 2011 models.
New For 2011
While many of the models remained the same with small but subtle upgrades or changes, there were two brand-new versions of the Outlander 800. The first was the $12,449 Outlander 800R EFI X XC, which is basically the tried-and-true machine outfitted with everything you'd need to race a GNCC and be competitive. The X XC comes standard with 12-inch aluminum beadlock wheels, 25-inch ITP Holeshot ATR tires, a KYB high-performance suspension package, Can-Am dual-mode dynamic power steering package, 1/2-inch-diameter front sway bar, prerunner front bumper, aluminum skid plates and Outlander X XC specific graphics.
The next new addition to the line was the $13,099 Outlander 800R EFI X MR, which was specifically designed for people who love to ride in the mud. To make the X MR the ultimate mud machine, Can-Am engineers teamed up with the mud experts at Gorilla Axle to figure out what kind of modifications would be required to handle treacherous mud conditions. To start off, the X MR utilizes the lengthened Outlander MAX chassis and is outfitted with Can-Am's front and rear Air Control Suspension (ACS) system that allows the rider to adjust the Fox Racing Shox with six presets. With this system the rider can increase the machine's ride height to its maximum level for deep mud riding then adjust down the air pressure/preload for trail-riding comfort. This system also has an added feature of an on-board air hose for trailside airing up of tires.