Best ATV 2012: Can-Am Outlander 1000 XT

December 27, 2012
By Motorcycle USA Staff
Thundering from underneath revised bodywork and a new chassis is the 91mm x 75mm bore and stroke V-Twin engine.
What do you get when you build an ATV around a superbike-derived 1000cc V-Twin engine? The answer is: A Handful. While we totally love the Can-Am Outlander 1000 XT for all of its merits this is no toy.

Are you looking for the biggest, baddest most technologically advanced multi-purpose ATV of all time? Well then step right up and don’t be shy ladies and gentlemen because the folks from Can-Am have brought us the Outlander 1000 XT. This ATV is built around a fuel-injected 976cc V-Twin tucked inside a state of the art chassis and wrapped in ultra-trick angular body work.

We used and abused our XT for three months, effectively smashing every piece of it in some way, shape or form and using it to do things that no 900-pound ATV should ever be subjected to. We climbed insane hills, rolled it on insane hills, navigated gnarly off-camber ruts and trails, dragged fallen timber (not logs but full blown trees) off trails. We even subjected the 1000 XT to a little endurocross just to say we did it.

Through it all we kept looking at this bad-ass ATV and asking ourselves what more can it do? The answer seemed to be anything we want. It has a 1300-pound towing capacity and the XT comes equipped with a 3000-pound Warn winch. It is one of the most well-equipped working man do-it-all ATVs we have ever seen. The high-end XT package comes with Can-Am’s composite construction LinQ rack system which allows for easy installation of OEM LinQ accessory luggage, additional racks, seats and whatever else you can source from the extensive Can-Am catalog. It has a beefed up electrical system to support all its accessories, plus brush guards front and rear, hand guards, trick wheels, Carlisle tires, excellent water protection, bright LED lights and an array of controls that are well laid out on its high-tech cockpit. Plus it has a standard trunk compartment that is capable of holding a lot of stuff necessary to survive a hard day at work or play.

Suspension components on the Outlander are unique. Torsional Trailing arm Independent rear suspension  TTI  is similar to the components found on the Commander
At 900-pounds and 90 horsepower this is a serious machine that can do anything you ask of it but it requires a degree of self-control and a little respect.

The Outlander 1000 XT is the flagship of the Can-AM ATV line-up for good reason. It’s fast, fun and offers something for everyone. Sure, we would like it to have a right-side brake lever, because only having one on the left is weird by our standards. Sure, it could not weigh almost 900 pounds but it does. And does anyone need a 90-horsepower utility ATV? Who cares? We had so much fun riding this thing that we’re just glad Canada is on board with the bigger is better plan. The Outlander XT is a load of fun and is an easy selection for ATV of the year because it sets the bar so high. The only way the competition beats this beast is to incorporate Transformer-like technology that will allow it to morph into a snowmobile or Jet Ski. Like we said at the beginning, if you are looking for the most multi-purpose, over the top ATV on the market today then look no further than the Can-Am Outlander 1000 XT.