What a nice surprise when I was told that we had a chance to get a Renegade XMR 1000R for a few days! We quickly got on the phone to find a place suitable for testing a machine like this. For those of you less used to it, Can-Am’s Outlander XMR 1000R 2022 version is designed to play in the mud, and this vehicle has its own characteristics that we will discuss later. First thing first, it is not so easy to find a place where we can have fun in the mud without coming into conflict with any provincial or municipal regulation. Fortunately, after a few phone calls, the people at the Off-Road Festival in Ste-Béatrix, Québec, offered us the opportunity to go to their property to take some pictures and videos. Why them? They have a mud trench about 200 feet long by 25 feet wide that was dug specifically to accommodate a massive amount of mud they use in their competition!
We must admit that the XMR has a look that turns heads. Two colors are available for 2022, Desert Beige or Liquid Titanium and Red Magma. Please note that the production models will be slightly different from our test version, which was Liquid Titanium and Magma Red. The front and rear bumpers will be black and not red.
Let’s get to the heart of the matter: the XMR range includes elements typically designed for higher traction, which is essential in such extreme conditions. It allows the vehicle to be almost completely submerged in water or mud. So first, on the tire side, the engineers opted for the 30-inch ITP Cryptid tires with beautiful black 14-inch aluminum rims. We can quickly notice the very aggressive tire lugs configuration, which is a wise choice to get lots of traction. The second factor, we have to keep the air intake and the radiator out of the water to maintain their efficiency. For this reason, the radiator is on top of the front hood, as well as the engine air intake which is at the highest point of the vehicle. The designers have taken care to add a hydrophobic FrogZSkin-style filter, which blocks water and other substances but allows air to pass very effectively. In this way, the engine remains protected if you ever push the audacity a little too much …
Another point unique to the XMR range is the running boards. The composite frame that serves as the footrest is identical to the more specific two-passenger trail versions; however, the engineers have added a forward-sloping footrest on the raised part to allow a more comfortable position with better adhesion when the front of the vehicle is raised.
A well-known engine for several years, the 1000R is still to this day the most powerful ever produced for an ATV. This Rotax V-Twin with electronic fuel injection and smart throttle develops nothing less than 91 horsepower, more than enough to have fun. All that power is delivered to the wheels via a variable CVT transmission, with the usual transmission choices of 2×4, 4×4, and 4×4 with Visco-4Lok. And we top it off with the DPS three-mode dynamic power steering system.
Upon receiving the XMR, I was surprised to find that it was completely new, with no kilometers on the clock, so it was a good idea to ride a few kilometers on the trail to do a little break-in before pushing it hard. It should be mentioned that the XMR is not a trail machine per se, due to its configuration and its tires. When it leaves the factory, the quad has very stiff suspension settings to provide better performance in the conditions it was developed for. We, therefore, expect to be a little shaken on the track. The same goes for the tires, which are perfectly designed for use in the mud, but which do not offer good comfort on the trail. I have to admit that I shook myself up a bit during that day.
We have now arrived at our famous test day at the facilities of the Off-Road Festival in Ste-Béatrix. First, we had some fun on the jumps and obstacles course to take some pictures. The Outlander XMR is a relatively heavy vehicle with a dry weight of 460 kg (1014 lbs), which becomes a drawback when pushing it a bit more on very rough terrain. The very rigid suspension makes the vehicle slightly unstable and particularly hard on the back when landing after the jumps. But we managed to have a little fun.
After this good warm-up, I put on my mud pants and go. I made a first pass in this totally unknown mud pit, both in terms of depth and type of ground. It should also be mentioned that the site had not received a visitor for some time, given the Covid.
I was surprised and, at the same time, worried during the first pass, as the more I advanced and the more the vehicle sank. Stopping or slowing down was out of the question, so I held the throttle to the floor and let it go! Slowly the tires did their job, and the machine moved steadily. And there you go !! A first pass was made.
After that, to fill the photo and video albums appropriately, I proceeded to more than ten passes at different speeds, which allowed me to test the machine’s capacities.
In conclusion, after more than ten passes, the Outlander XMR has shown no signs of fatigue. No CVT belt slippage, which means that the clutch compartment and air intake duct to the engine are perfectly sealed and fully waterproof. Definitely better than my pants.
In short, for an enthusiast who does not want to invest several thousand additional dollars to modify a quad to become efficient in this type of situation, there is no hesitation: the XMR versions are ready and have been developed for this purpose! All you have to do is enjoy it and have fun!
Once again, thank you to the Off-Road Festival team of Ste-Béatrix, and more precisely Edith Loyer, who allowed us to use the site!!