650 XT A Gluten for Punishment
I’ve made up my mind. I Can-Am, can you?
Just a little while back I made up my mind
on just which ATV I was going to purchase. Of
course, this was after reading every on-line
forum on all of the different ATVs I could find
on the Internet and visiting the showrooms of
all the dealers in this area.
Pictured is my Can-Am ATV before I took it
out in the woods for punishment. Also pictured
is the "basic" safety equipment one should
utilize when riding any ATV.
I settled on the Can-Am Outlander 650 XT from
Bombardier. The closest dealership for the
Can-Am is Bluegrass Cycle Corral in Lexington,
Kentucky. Bluegrass is also very big into
motorcycles, with KTM and Kymco offerings.
Rodney Norris, manager, is everything one
could expect to find in a knowledgeable
salesperson. He knows his product; and I was
convinced after talking to him, that the
Outlander was the one I wanted to nestle my
I tried to weigh all of the advantages and
disadvantages of the machines that were
available locally here in Danville, Kentucky and
It was very difficult for me to pick out just
what I wanted. There were so many choices in
ATVs and so many models of each brand to choose
One factor that weighed on my mind was the
fact that I am not a good “shade tree” mechanic.
All of the subtle differences in throttle bodies
don’t mean a thing to me. So, getting a unit
with few, if any, service problems was a
“Hey, Ray! What kind of an engine is in that
thing?” a friend might ask.
"I don’t know, but it runs when I turn the
key and hit the starter button!”
In all seriousness, I’m not that bad, it’s a
Rotax engine, but I really don’t have a lot of
mechanical knowledge. When friends start getting
into the technical components of an engine, I
really get left behind. I just marvel at their
ability to know what is going on inside an
internal combustion engine.
I had made up my mind that I wanted at least
a 500cc machine so I would have plenty of power
to pull a plow. If I find the right property to
hunt on, I would like to have the wherewithal to
establish a food plot on that property. Access
to a plow has been offered. I hope that offer is
still there if I find the right property. In any
case, I would prefer to have a machine with a
good low range that could take care of this
Independent rear suspension was another
quality I wanted on my machine. Rock climbing
isn’t in my future unless it’s the only way out
of the particular property I might be on at the
time. Comfort from beginning to end was what I
was searching for.
Most independent rear suspensions rotate
outward. The Can-Am’s rear suspension goes
straight up and down. Some folks say that this
feature contributes to body roll. However, it
remains to be seen just how much this would
affect the ride-ability of the Can-Am for this
particular person. Off-camber situations are
something I prefer to avoid if at all possible.
Top-end speed is only important if I happen
to need it. However, having the fastest machine
is not the goal I am trying to attain, although
I know the speed is there if I need it. Most of
the time, if you have the top-end speed, you
have plenty of low-end torque; and this machine
sports the full 650ccs that it advertises.
The Can-Am weighs 649 pounds and is heavier
in weight than most of the machines in this
class, but the power curve is better than all of
them in the 650cc class, or says everything I
read on the forums and advertisements.
Pictured is "Barney's red sled." It consists
of a red S10 truck with a topper, a red Gator
trailer, and a red ATV. I guess that's enough
red, but then again.....
I purchased the ATV in Lexington, and that
could be a disadvantage if I have a lot of
service problems because of the distance I would
have to travel for service. However, the fact
that this ATV has the normal six months of
factory warranty, and also was eligible for
another 36 months of limited warranty weighed
into my decision.
A cheaper interest rate was another factor.
The other machines I looked at had interest
rates that averaged 2% higher. In the grand
scheme of things, 2% can add up to a lot of
money on a vehicle over the period of a loan.
This Can-Am is an XT. It is an electronically
fuel-injected V-twin. It will scoot you back on
the seat when you push the throttle. It also has
aluminum wheels, radial tires, and bumpers front
and rear. Handlebar guards are another added
feature that will make a difference in cold
weather and in wooded or weedy riding areas.
A factory-installed Warn 2.5 winch also was a
plus for this unit.
I owned a Yamaha Kodiak a few years ago and
installed a Warn winch on that machine myself.
The winch came in handy in at least one “hairy”
situation. It was also utilized in the erection
of a tree stand in the deer woods, and in moving
a few logs. Maybe one might not have to use a
winch often, but when you need one, it’s always
best to have a good one available.
I just wouldn’t have one without a winch.
This Can-Am also has the remote winch control
attachment in the front access compartment. You
just plug it in and stand clear of the ATV to do
your thing with the winch.
All of the stuff mentioned above is good, but
one of the main reasons I picked the Can-Am is I
just liked it.
The seat fits my posterior really well and is
Whatever a person picks is his or her
personal preference; and that said, I must say I
really do appreciate the consideration given to
me by our local dealers when I was looking at
all of the different brands and different
The Outlander is the “one to beat,” on the
speed side, if that’s your thing.
I do think that it would be a really good
thing to add a set of skid plates to the
underside of this machine. That option could
probably apply to all of the ATVs on the market.
This ATV is red, red, and red. I have a red
truck, a red trailer, and now a red ATV. Maybe
I’ll call myself, “The Scarlet ATVer.” That
sounds better than “The Scarlet Can-Amer.”
At this point in time, having gotten a chance
to ride my Outlander a little bit, I just love
the thing, and am looking forward to warmer
weather so that I can multiply my chances to
take it out into the hinterland, and in doing so
enhance my riding abilities.
You can climb on this ATV, turn the key on,
hit the starter button, and it immediately
starts. I think it would start even if it were
buried in the snow. The electronic fuel
injection seems to be just that good.
Service after the sale is a consideration in
any purchase whatever it may be. I think I have
made the right decision.
In my opinion, this ATV is a “doozy.”