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Thread: What is the Can Am brand like as a ATV

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    Member Micky_Ireland's Avatar
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    Default What is the Can Am brand like as a ATV

    I am hoping to move to Alaska in the next year or so with my wife and kids. We would like to purchase some ATV'S for our own personnel use. The Can Am brand of quads looks fantastic but are they capable ATV'S. My expectations for our own purchase would for just recreational use on gravel roads or maybe the beach...... Thank you so much for your help

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    They are very capable and very expensive. I would say their downside however is because they have SO many bells and whistles, there's a lot of stuff to break or not work of you roll it in a creek, etc.

    But for ATVs, they don't get much fancier.

    At this point, I would recommend a Yamaha Grizzly or Polaris XP.

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    They're very very heavy. I pulled one 10 miles back to the trailhead once with my Grizzly 700, after the can am had taken a bath in the river.

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    I am very disappointed with our Polaris 550, first and last 4 Polaris 4 wheeler. Go with Yamaha or CanAm as that is my next purchase.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    In my group of friends we have cats, yamahas and Polaris. The Polaris is the smoothest ride of all of them and the rack system is sweet! The yamaha's are all solid runners. The cats drain batteries but are solid machines. Pulling the 30 amp fuse when it's parked cures that but it's a little annoying. Another thing with cats is that you cannot charge or jump the battery with the 30 amp fuse installed, doing that will kill the LCD display.

    I won't own a can-am because they are so expensive. Every time I see a trailer full of yellow and black rolling down the road I figure they have more $$$ than sense.

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    I have an 05 Arctic Cat 500 And a 09 Can Am 400.

    The Arctic Cat has been a rock solid machine and over the last 8 Years I have had little to no problems with it.

    The Can Am has nowhere the use on it as the old Arctic Cat but still appears solid.

    For the money the Cat is probably a a more practical buy... However personally i think of it the same way as I do trucks. a 69 chevy will get the Job done....but I personally like the bells whistles, power steering and air conditioning on my 08 model.

    A Can Am is a very Capable reliable machine...and IMO comparing them to an Arctic Cat is like comparing a Chevy to a Caddy..
    The Arctic Cat gets it done buts its Farm Boy Technology, In Comparison to the more refined BRP. This little extra come with a bigger price tag

    Ultimately Look in your Wallet and ask yourself which is a best fit ....for your needs.

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    I've owned three of them, all rock solid and extremely dependable (I keep upgrading). They accelerate and handle much better than any other ATV I've ridden. Yes, they are expensive but are extremely capable, worth the little extra in my book. My buddy and I have converted several people to them here in Alaska. The Max is very stable and gives you a ton of room, drive them before you decide.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    If you're just looking for a machine for gravel roads or the beach you can own about anything and be happy.

    Rock strewn trails and muddy slop will require something with a little more oomph.

    I've got a Can Am MAX XT and like it pretty well... a lot of technology which is of questionable value depending on your point of view but it runs strong, climbs like a billy goat and rides smooth.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
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    I have 2012 CanAM 800 and 11 Yamaha Rhino, rode polaris before that...When we take guests out we ride the CanAm and let them DRIVE the Rhino...comfortable for all day for both groups...with my wife on the back I hardly know she is riding with me...That being said...I do think it comes down to service after the sale...won't buy another yamy anything...where you are going to be riding any brand will do the job...but if you like to keep toys for a long time...check the service department as part of your pre buy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by IndyCzar View Post
    I have 2012 CanAM 800 and 11 Yamaha Rhino, rode polaris before that...When we take guests out we ride the CanAm and let them DRIVE the Rhino...comfortable for all day for both groups...with my wife on the back I hardly know she is riding with me...That being said...I do think it comes down to service after the sale...won't buy another yamy anything...where you are going to be riding any brand will do the job...but if you like to keep toys for a long time...check the service department as part of your pre buy...
    You got that right....This is exactly why I switched Over to Can Am in the first place.....I have two Ski Doo Snowmachines and 1 Wheeler now.

    Time will ultimately tell if I made the right call...on the service.

    Seems like I'm disappointed in most service departments involving ATV's nowadays. with some of these things costing upwards of 13k you would expect better then a 1 year warranty and a kick in the ass out the door.

    I took a 1 month old .... 13k dollar sled for service at Team CC in eagle river.
    one of the little windshield fastners had busted loose... no fault of mine just one of those little things.
    it was a 4 dollar part and I got a run around from the kid behind the service counter about how the warranty didnt cover cosmetics.

    all I could thank about in the back of my mind was...You have to be kidding me. its the little stuff like that...that forms your opinion about a company in the long run.
    Maybe it was just a dumb kid making minimum wage. We will see how they treat me in the future.

    The problem is when you buy something and you deal with The sales department and you never know how a service department is going to handle things until your the proud owner of their product. and by then you have no recourse.

    However as expensive as these machines are getting I don't think it will be far in the future before laws like lemon laws and other warranty Laws go into effect. The days of the 4k dollar Atvs are over. nowadays your paying the same price as a car. and getting less in Service Time, Quality control and warrenty guarantees.

    if I can sell you a new product for 13k and only warranty That product for a year..at the same time not ever seem to have the ability for accurate Diagnostic's (and with whatever Turn around time I'm in the mood for) all with no real financial liability at stake

    .......Where do I sign up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    The cats drain batteries but are solid machines. Pulling the 30 amp fuse when it's parked cures that but it's a little annoying. Another thing with cats is that you cannot charge or jump the battery with the 30 amp fuse installed, doing that will kill the LCD display.
    Interesting you can start the Arctic Cat with the 30 amp removed. Wouldn’t it be easier to add a switch to turn off the display?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    A little off-topic, but we shot some Can Am footage on a ride from the road system to Saltery River last summer on Kodiak Island. You have to scroll through part of the video to see it, but here it is:



    -Mike
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    Interesting you can start the Arctic Cat with the 30 amp removed. Wouldn’t it be easier to add a switch to turn off the display?
    No you can't start it without the 30 amp
    Fuse installed. If I need to jump it I just pull the fuse and hook up the cables for 15 minutes till I have enough juice to start her up stored in the battery. Probably less of an issue if jumping from another ATV. Jumping from a truck with it running or from an AC battery charger is a sure way to kill the display. Trickle chargers will also murder the display if you leave that fuse in. Solid machines if you know these quirks. FYI the LCD instrument panel runs north of $300! I replaced the plastic push retainers with ones from lowes that have a center piece that can be screwed in and out.

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    I was just perusing the forum and stumbled upon this thread which spawned a question for me ? Why no mention of Honda ? are they not up to the task of Alaska ? some years ago when I was fairly new to ATV's I asked several ranchhands in Montana where we were shooting PD's which was better and they all said in unison that the Hondas were to only ones they couldn't "tear up" - I am riding a Rubicon for the past 2 1/2 years and I am very happy with it (except sometimes it can be a "little" hard to start cold - A lot of good technology out there, I am ALWAYS looking for solid feedback because who knows ? service IS a very important point !

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    I was just perusing the forum and stumbled upon this thread which spawned a question for me ? Why no mention of Honda ? are they not up to the task of Alaska ? some years ago when I was fairly new to ATV's I asked several ranchhands in Montana where we were shooting PD's which was better and they all said in unison that the Hondas were to only ones they couldn't "tear up" - I am riding a Rubicon for the past 2 1/2 years and I am very happy with it (except sometimes it can be a "little" hard to start cold - A lot of good technology out there, I am ALWAYS looking for solid feedback because who knows ? service IS a very important point !

    I've had 3 Honda Ranchers.... great machines. I picked a Can AM last time and I don't like it as well as the Honda but wanted 2-up for my son to go with me. If Honda had a 2-up I'd be all over it.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    thank you Hodgeman - I had a Rancher 400 for a while and it seemed to be a darn good machine - I rode my buddy's Rubicon and was thoroughly impressed, enough to want one really bad now - that said, I have a Kawasaki Prairie 400 I bought new in '99 that has been a very dependable and capable machine

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Honda makes dependable machines. They seem to ignore the demand for a true 4x4 with locking differentials. The three wheel drive doesn't do very well with a big load in the mud. They also seem to be more focused on smaller/lighte machines which is great in most instances but miserable if your load is able to push you around.

    The Honda quads are enormously popular in the bush because the engine tends to run forever with minimal maintenance. They also fit in smaller crates and can be shoved into smaller planes for less money.

    Everything is a trade off.

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    What would it take to make the differential lock-up ?

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    You would have to install a locker in the front differential which isn't a very big deal to do. You basically would have two choices....a spool locker or a Detroit Gearless Locker. The spool locker would be cheaper but would cause more effort in slow speed turning than the other as both left and right tires would always be turning at the same speed.
    The DGL is an internal clutch pack system that changes the tire turning ratio slightly in a turn to allow easier steering effort but is locked rigid in a straight under power spin.
    I've had a DGL in my foreman for many years without a hiccup as yet....probably 8 years now and over 2000 miles on that locker. In my opinion its the single best mod to a Honda,even over tires.
    Don't get me wrong you still feel the added effort it takes in steering but it doesn't bother me and mine has a 2" lift,spacers and Outlaw tires that don't help the cause either. This has been my hunting transportation since 02' and has never let me down......my partner uses a 97' foreman 400 with never a problem as well set up like mine. There hard to beat but I have done alot of changes to mine over the years so its not stock but I can say they can take the abuse and keep on going.
    Bought a 13' Big Boss 6x6 this winter but the Honda won't be leaving my grip, we'll see how the Polaris holds up this year. My partner just pats the seat on my Foreman when he's over and says "don't worry he'll be back next year".

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    I had a Big Boss "6" from '97 til the "ex" STOLE her from me in '2000 - big and heavy but the best darn machine I've ever ridden - the guys named her "The Mother Ship" (always had a cooler of cold ones in the back) Gave a BIG buddy a ride up a steep hill one day on a shoot - I didn't realize he did not know what he had ahold of was the bed tilt release ...... oooops

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