Tuesday, 14 May 2019 11:59

Off-road leader Can-Am adds new farm steed

Written by  Mark Daniel
The HD8 Pro Defender. The HD8 Pro Defender.

The Canadian off-road vehicle maker Can-Am, which claims the top spot in the side-by-side sector with its Defender range, went on tour recently to show its machines NZ-wide.

Can-Am’s Outlander, Maverick, Renegade and Commander ranges are good for sport, adventure and work.

For the 2019 season, the farmer-focused Defender range is extended with the HD8 Pro version powered by a 50hp fuel-injected Rotax twin-cylinder engine. 

The machine has Can-Am’s safety key system which allows operators to select output and power delivery to suit experience, terrain and use. It has learner, work and unlimited modes.

Building on the Defender Base and DPS versions, the Pro models have a glass windscreen with a wash/wipe system, a polycarbonate roof, soft rear cabin screen and a useful “brake-hold” control. The latter ‘locks’ the brake pedal in the depressed position, making stops to open gates or leave the vehicle much safer. Can-Am says the system is ‘part-time’ and advises using the park function of the transmission for lengthy stops.

As for its work capability, the Defender PRO has 1134kg towing capacity via the standard 2-inch receiver and tow-ball, and a load bed capacity of 454kg. 

Its turning capacity is said to be the best in the market, and it has engine braking downhill for greater user safety.

A removeable toolbox is built into the right-hand side of the dashboard and there is seating for three with safety belts, flip-up seats with under seat storage and a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.

Also of interest at Can-Am’s show events was its Outlander 450 Max Limited DPS, good for carrying passengers -- the big ‘no-no’ on conventional quads. 

Powered by a single cylinder Rotax engine pushing out 38hp, the machine has a king-and-queen dual seat set-up that takes a passenger who gets footrests and grab handles for safe riding. The machine has independent rear suspension, stiffened up to carry two people, or it can be converted to single seat use with a larger rear platform. 

The model is also available in 570, 650, 850 and 1000cc engine capacities, with the three larger versions having a two-inch wider wheel track for increased stability.

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