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2021 850 Max.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ordered in March for May delivery - arrived in August.
Thought I'd share a few thoughts for others doing research.
I'm coming from a 2008 Outlander 500.
I run mostly roads/trails with some mud; about 400miles/700kms at this point.

Engine: the 850 is marvelous. Loads of power. Didn't know I needed it till now, but it makes a huge difference. Sport mode is fantastic.
I may be mistaken, but my sense is overall the RPMs run about 2000 lower on this unit compared to my 500, which = a quieter ride.

Power Steering: I'll never own another ATV without it. A game changer.

Ground clearance: the 2021 actually seems to have less than my 2008. Especially in the front. I've read elsewhere about the front diving on these, and it's no joke. In my first 300 kms, I probably bottomed out the front 5x. Rather than tapering smoothly underneath up front, the newer models have an edge which strikes at every opportunity.(see pic) Not so happy with this.

Appearance: I have the grey/octane blue combo, as none other were available in this area. The blue appears really only on the springs and stickers. Unlike other years, the bumpers remain black. I added some blue to the back using Oasis Blue spray paint as I've read here and elsewhere. I also may get my side panels painted to match the lovely black metallic paint that they put only on the plastic directly under the front rack. I prefer a metallic paint but they used it very sparingly on this combination.

Ride quality: I read before purchase that the suspension had an upgrade around 2019, but I have to repeat what others have said: stock shocks are garbage. Yes, it tends to ride more smoothly over very minor stuff, but any major potholes etc, and it hits real hard. Running about 5lbs in all tires, springs at the third setting in terms of height. I see Elkas in my future.

Tires: Part of the reason for marginal ride quality I imagine is that Can Am went from the 3-ply Carlisles on a 12" rim, to 6-ply Terracross on a 14" rim. So, less rubber and stiffer tire simultaneously. Am I correct about this? Also got a flat in the rear on my third ride; I haven't had a flat in years on the old bike.

4x4: the 4x4 engages more quickly on this model. I believe I've read that it's an updated Visco-lok system, and I like it.

Passenger accommodations: the new rear seat is improved, and the Mrs reports a more comfortable experience.

Storage: the rear storage compartment is very useful and easy to access. I wish they'd made it watertight; has anyone attempted this?

Linq: the accessories are OK, but have the sense of being a bit cheap and poorly made. Also worth noting that though everything is branded as linq, the gas cans, or sport bag, for example from the Skidoo line, will not fit the Can Ams without adapters etc. So I bought the $80 adapters, and discovered that due to the placement of the holes in the front rack, for example, the gas can cannot be secured the same time as the rack extension. I ended up mounting extra linq brackets directly to the front rack.

Further, the small storage box that mounts in place of the rear seat when removed for one-up riding used to be included; no longer. Strangely, though the XT comes with fender flares, they stop near the rear of the bike on the sides; the rear flaps now must be purchased separately. Minor annoyance, that costs $.

Overall, I really like the bike, and it's a massive upgrade in most respects from the G1 I had. But I'm going to have to spend some $ to bring out the potential.
 

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2016 Can-Am Outlander Max XT 650
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1,086 Posts
Welcome to the forums and congratulations are in order! Very nice machine you got there and super helpful and insightful review you got there especially for people shopping for similar machines.

Regarding ground clearance, many riders end up adding 2" spacers to lift things up so you can research that here and decide for yourself.

The upgrades we recommend first here are full aluminum skid plates to protect your investment and the upgraded foot pegs from BRP for added rider grip and handling.
 

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+1 on skid plate upgrade out of the gate! I added 2” spacers to my springs; cost was about $75 US for the spacers and OEM Tools spring compressor tool.

with the spacers I run my stock shocks at 1 in the front and 3 in the rear because I carry a lot with me. It definitely helped to stiffen things up a little.

regarding ground clearance, the spring spacers helped a lot if you carry weight. Also I’m no expert on tires, but I believe radials are supposed to be run at a higher psi. Some of your ground clearance issue is surely the lower air pressure on those terracross tires. The flat is also likely a symptom of lower tire pressure since the radial tires have a weaker sidewall than bias ply. I run the same tires at 9psi (label on the machine says 10). It rides rough on hard pack trails with surge grade rock (3 to 6 inch rock).
If you have cash flow and do the spring spacers I would buy garage product bushings and do them at the same time so you only need to take it apart the once…because you will definitely be replacing those soon.

Also check your brakes because they are likely about at the end of their life already! 🤬

congratulations on the new rig !
 

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2021 850 Max.
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, both. I'll check out the skid plate.

The challenge with both the spring spacers and higher PSI is that they'll fix some of the diving but make the ride even worse.

The tire puncture was almost dead centre; seems to me that higher PSI would be better for preventing sidewall puncture, but worse for the main tread area, no?

I can't seem to find the OEM spring compression tool. Is there a link?
 

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+1 on skid plate upgrade out of the gate! I added 2” spacers to my springs; cost was about $75 US for the spacers and OEM Tools spring compressor tool.

with the spacers I run my stock shocks at 1 in the front and 3 in the rear because I carry a lot with me. It definitely helped to stiffen things up a little.

regarding ground clearance, the spring spacers helped a lot if you carry weight. Also I’m no expert on tires, but I believe radials are supposed to be run at a higher psi. Some of your ground clearance issue is surely the lower air pressure on those terracross tires. The flat is also likely a symptom of lower tire pressure since the radial tires have a weaker sidewall than bias ply. I run the same tires at 9psi (label on the machine says 10). It rides rough on hard pack trails with surge grade rock (3 to 6 inch rock).
If you have cash flow and do the spring spacers I would buy garage product bushings and do them at the same time so you only need to take it apart the once…because you will definitely be replacing those soon.

Also check your brakes because they are likely about at the end of their life already! 🤬

congratulations on the new rig !
your theory on tire pressure is wrong... Running a lower tire pressure will help stop tire punctures as the tire now can flex instead of staying hard and allowing the object to puncture the tire
 

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The tire puncture was almost dead centre; seems to me that higher PSI would be better for preventing sidewall puncture, but worse for the main tread area, no?

I can't seem to find the OEM spring compression tool. Is there a link?
Seen; I misread, didn’t realize it was a puncture, I assumed you too much flex and broke the bead.

I got this; in the clamshell box. Worked well; but I had to be careful to not scratch the paint on the shock. I used a hand ratchet instead of the air tools and other impact wrenches you see on you tube


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OEMTOOLS 27036 Strut Spring... STRUT Spring Compress/BX : Amazon.ca: Tools & Home Improvement
 
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