FIRST RIDE: 2015 Can-Am Outlander L 500 DPS
With just about every post we make of big bore hyper power side-x-sides or ATVs, amongst the throngs of comments it is evident that a lot of offroad enthusiasts are put off by the escalating price of new units.
Let's be serious here for a moment, we all know that as the horsepower grows and the option list gets longer and longer (all things a big portion of the market desires) the price will inevitably go up, but with that, there's a very under-serviced segment of the market that wants all the benefits of a quality ATV, without perhaps everything but the kitchen sink and it is in this segment that Can-Am has parked its Outlander L.
Since the release of the 2015 Outlander L 500, we've been dying to get our hands on one. This value line looks a bit more stripped down than the XT with fewer premium features but the most important element is that it hasn't sacrificed build quality nor has it affected ride quality.
Its feature list may not be premium, but it is still decent. There's a smaller rear storage compartment, no DSS, instead opting for a standard key ignition, plus instead of composite racks, its steel racks adapt to BRP's LINQ system and base shocks at all four corners provide supple plushness and soak up trail chatter. Combined with improved anti-dive geometry the L corners excellent even at speed.
Speaking of speed, under the seat the 499.6cc single overhead cam V-twin churns out a solid 46 horses. We found the L a bit soft off initial squeeze of the throttle, but it builds to a strong mid-range and carries that momentum to pleasingly ample power for aggressive trail roosts. Honestly, this could be the best 500cc engine in this class and was plenty to keep us entertained.
The Outlander L is available in its base trim with steel wheels and all the aforementioned goodness, throw down a few extra dollars and you can add Tri-Mode DPS and some very sweet looking wheels while still keeping your budget in line.
If you're in the market for a fully jammed ATV and have the cash to throw down, our hats off to you. However, if you're on a budget and still want a great ride, Can-Am's Outlander L gives ATVers exactly what they're looking for at a price that's worth looking closer at.
Base Outlander L 500 = $6,999 US
Outlander L 500 DPS = $7,899 US
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