Tested: Can-Am Outlander DPS 500 ATV

By: Barry Ashenhurst

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NFM resident ATV aficionado Barry Ashenhurst got his hands on a Can-Am Outlander 500 DPS to test for the magazine's Christmas issue.

Tested: Can-Am Outlander DPS 500 ATV
Can-Am Outlander 500 DPS: the all-round off roader

Anyone looking to buy a well-rounded, mid-size 4x4 ATV might like to visit a Can-Am dealer, if only to check out the specs on the latest Outlander 500DPS.

The machine has everything we’ve come to expect from Can-Am and in this case the attractions include three-stage power-steering and a retail price of $12,000.

In some respects this is a budget model, given that Outlanders are often specced with winches, cargo boxes, competition-grade shock absorbers, beadlock wheels and lots of bling, but the  manufacturer has kept the price down on this model by deleting a few of the niceties, such as the front bumper and alloy body armour.

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At $11,990 the 500DPS is $2,000 dearer than the TGB 550AR but comes with power-steering, more refined suspension and better ride characteristics. The Outlander has a swag of updates for 2013 too.

The most significant is the switch from McPherson Strut to dual A-arm suspension up front.

Additionally, the SST chassis has been improved by making it lighter and stronger.

And the power-steering set-up offers three assistance levels to suit different iding speeds and conditions.

Finally, fuel tank capacity has been upped to 20.5 litres.

The transmission is what we’ve come to expect from most manufacturers: a belt-driven, constantly variable auto box with high and low range. During our test for NewFarmMachinery we found shifting to be smooth and positive.

Performance cross-country is impressive too, not least because the Outlander is easy to operate and asks for almost no physical input from the rider. Whether or not you think power-steering frivolous, it certainly makes life easier. In our opinion it also makes any ATV safer.

Even with a conservative 499cc to manufacture it, the Outlander has powerful engine braking too, although to make the most of it – despite what your colleagues might tell you - it’s imperative to tackle any steep descent in low range four-wheel drive. It’s also a good idea to stop the machine completely before engaging all-wheel drive.

This Outlander’s stand-out feature is ease of operation. Men will like its turn of speed and off-road ability; women will appreciate the light controls and cushy ride. From any angle, this one’s tough to beat.

To read the full review see Issue 5 of NewFarmMachinery, on sale December 23. Subscribe to the magazine and guarantee delivery for 12 months.

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