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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm new to quads, but I have narrowed my choices down to either the 2015 Outlander XT 500 or the new 2015 Honda Foreman Rubicon (DCT, Power Steering). I'm having a really hard time making up my mind on this one. This will be strictly for trail riding. I'm not into racing fast, deep mud or abusing the crap out of equipment. Not pulling loads.

I test drove both today and I will say that without a doubt the Outlander was a MUCH better ride. Smoother shifting, better handling, softer ride, higher off the ground and just plain looks more bad-ass than the Honda. It comes with a winch and front/rear guards which is a GREAT selling point. Just seems that overall you get more for your money with the Outlander. However, what concerns me the most about the Outlander is the belt in the CVT and overall engine quality versus the Honda.

I picked the brain of the head technician at the dealership that services both Honda and Can-Am and he said he sees more Can-Ams with belt related issues in their CVT than the transmissions of the Hondas which kinda concerns me. However, I forgot to ask him if he was speaking of Honda manual transmissions or the newer dual clutch (DCT) version. In my research I have been reading of some problems with the auto feature of the Honda DCT trying to find the "right" gear (hard, inconsistent shifts). Some folks say it's just a break-in issue that works itself out. Others say the grease in the DCT is too thick from the factory.

As far as engines go, can anyone give me an unbiased opinion between the two? I know many of you who have owned or own both. I know Honda sets the "Gold Standard" when it comes to small engine manufactures. I really don't care about power as both 500cc were plenty for me.

Both quads were about the same in price which brings up another question. Am I getting a good deal. I was quoted $10,100 out the door (including tax and everything) for the 2015 Outlander XT in Camo. Yellow version was $9,700 out the door. Honda was similar.

Thank you for your time.
 

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Get the Honda. As others have said, the CVT grease is a big factor on the Can Am.....
 

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The only grease in a can am clutch is in the one way clutch on the primary clutch. I don't consider it to be an issue. It just requires maintainance to clean and regrease so u are able to shift from forward to reverse etc easily. It is easy to do and not even necessary inmo on a reg basis. I do it once a year or so. The engines are very good and are reliable. Others can chime in but the cvt on the outlanders don't have many issues esp on the smaller engines.
 

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Both my wife and I have 2014 Can Am's. 650 XT for me, and a 500 XT Max for her and our 4 year old.

Neighbor has a Honda Rubicon and comes up north with us on summer weekends often.

Both are great machines that will handle trail riding just fine for a longtime if you maintenance the machines @ the proper intervals.
 

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Personally I'd be getting the can am. The 500 is a awesome little bike. Actually competes with the 700. Grizzly and the like. Can am is very reliable when serviced and treated right. I have a 07 with 17,200 Kms on it. I won't say it has been problem free but its never left me anywhere either. Honda has been very set in their way. They have a tried a d true design and they just stick to it. Brp and its mfgs do push the limits a little more and as a result things do go wrong on occasion. Belts and clutch problems are none existent as far as I'm concerned. I had 12,500 Kms on the first belt and it was still within spec. I clean my clutches annually and have yet to spend a dime on them. I'd say they're charging you a but much for them. 500 outlander is around 9,000 and a rubicon is 78-8500. Plus tax that is.
 

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Get the Honda. As others have said, the CVT grease is a big factor on the Can Am.....
"others have said"? Which others? And what is CVT grease?
 

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I'm assuming someone's phone was auto correcting for something they had spelt wrong. I don't know. As others just said there is no grease aside from the one way bearing.
 

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I'm thinking DaveB is referring to is the slip and grab type clutch.

Honda has probably the best record for reliability. But every time I see a Honda rider they just look so bored. Go for the Can Am and have some fun.
 

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DaveB likes making smart azz comments, cvt systems are used in basically ever ATV now and have been proven to be reliable as well as the rotax engines.
Maybe consider the outlander L 500 as it's cheaper and comes with a 5year warranty
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DaveB likes making smart azz comments, cvt systems are used in basically ever ATV now and have been proven to be reliable as well as the rotax engines.
Maybe consider the outlander L 500 as it's cheaper and comes with a 5year warranty
I was looking at the L model as well, but wasn't as impressed....but that 5 year warranty is VERY nice. Why would Can-Am give the L model a 5 year warranty but not the regular Outlander?

What are the main differences between the two?
 

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Get the can am...rotax motor is one of the best motor out there....and the cvt won't be an issue if you use low when pulling a load or riding under 20mph, other than that use high and you will be fine...
 

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Options would be the main difference and they put the 5year warranty for purchase incentive on a lower priced atv, basically to compete with lower priced atv market.
You have the option of purchasing more warranty on the regular outlander
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Get the can am...rotax motor is one of the best motor out there....and the cvt won't be an issue if you use low when pulling a load or riding under 20mph, other than that use high and you will be fine...
That's funny you mention that. The tech said problems happen when folks use high gear at low speeds. Why is this a problem?
 

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DaveB likes making smart azz comments, cvt systems are used in basically ever ATV now and have been proven to be reliable as well as the rotax engines.
Maybe consider the outlander L 500 as it's cheaper and comes with a 5year warranty
His original post, now edited, said that he was told the Can Am thick CVT grease was a problem....

My real opinion: the Can Am is twice the machine the Honda is. A person who knows zip about quads may be happier on a low speed, low maintenance machine such as the Honda tho....
 

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The 500L and 500XT are both a better machine, with that said I did recently purchase a new 500 Rubicon. Only because I wanted a 5 speed footshift with IRS, I did not opt for the "likely to be problematic" DCT. This is a machine I use for work everyday, this is not a weekend warrior. If I wanted to have any kind of fun at all I would buy something else. lol

 
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Let me tell you a story about a man named Jed..... But seriously, I currently have a '07 Rubicon with 16000KM and a '13 Canam 650 XT Max with 6000KM. I started on dirt bikes then went to an old worn out Yamaha 3 wheeler then to an old (1985) Honda 2x4 250. I used them primarily for hunting and fishing. Never put a lot of miles on the older machines, 50-60 KMs, seats were to uncomfortable for long trips.

In '08, the old Honda 250 required a new front hub which was no longer available so I decided since Honda was offering some pretty good deals to go see what I could find. Ended up with a slightly used '07 Rubicon. 147 Kms, full bumpers, ITP wheels with crappy stock tires.

Put the passenger seat and winch on it, loaded up the wife and I went from using a quad strictly as a utility vehicle to a recreational rider. That first summer seen 6000 KM. I average about 2500 kms a year now a days.

One day, while out riding with friends we encountered a steep hill but with no room to turn around we had to climb it. I had the wife scoot up to where a was sitting and then i sat on her lap. First time I was ever concerned we might flip over backwards.

Time for a 2up, to me the only realistic choice was Canam. So next came the Canam and I couldn't be happier, rides better, 2x the power, more clearance, way better lights, more comfy seats.

I rarely ride the Rubicon these days, just seems so small and sluggish. I kept it for my kids and friends to ride with us.

Now when it comes to maintenance, the Honda requires a lot lot less. But I justify that with the fact that the Canam is worth it just for the dramatically increased riding experience. My only regret is that I let the dealer talk me outa the XT-P model.

I took a look at the new Rubicons and if I were to get one with the automatic IRS, it's more expensive then the 500L around here.

Guess botton line is, don't assume you'll just use it one certain way, as I discovered, a great riding quad can easily lead to a lot more riding then you first thought you would. Kinda addictive.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Was reading another post that a guy's Outlander, when idling, will auto shut down after 10 minutes. Is this true and a safety feature to prevent damage? Is idling bad?

Also, how is the maintenance compared to a Honda?
 

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This is the maintenance schedule from a 2012 service manual


From my '07 hinda service manual



Keep in mind this is 2007 compared to 2012, Maybe Honda has upped the maintenance on their newer machines, you would have to look at the user manual and see if it lists the maintenance required.
 
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I went through similar decision last fall. I liked Honda's reputation for reliability, but after test driving a new 2015 Rubicon, I wasn't that impressed. The shifting on the auto version was particularly harsh.

I found a Can Am dealer with a gray leftover 2014 650 Outlander XT for basically the same price as the Honda, so I bought the 650 Outlander. I've been very happy with it. As you mention, it has a winch, great lighting, good OEM wheels/tires, and handguards. The only thing that I added was skidplates.
 
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