Features

RIDING THE OUTLANDER 650 MOSSY OAK EDITION

Story and Photos By: Mike Lester
8/10/2020

I got out on such a good rip on Can-Am's Outlander 650 Mossy Oak Edition this past week! I was gone for a couple hours by myself, just focusing on its details and enjoying some solitude as I cleared my head.

I feel like I got a solid impression of this vehicle after experiencing a wide range of terrain including gnarly, rocky hillclimbs, big soupy mud holes after a good storm and some higher speed straightaways. I'll break out my summary in three sections here but first, let's just take a look at the details.

First off, what sets this model apart from an XT and XT-P is a bit more than the camo makeup. Yup, it's the Mossy Oak Edition complete with a licensed pattern that looks really nice. I personally don't think you need to be a hunter to appreciate this look on your ride.

It also features nice wheels, heavy duty front and rear bumpers, an aluminum skid plate, a 3,500 pound winch, DESS and the biggie: heated grips and thumb warmers whose controls look curiously similar to those found on a Ski-Doo snowmobile. All of this powered by a Rotax 649.6cc EFI V-Twin. It's pretty loaded up.

Let's break things out...

RIDE



The Outlander MOE features arched double front A-arms with a sway bar delivering 9.2 inches of travel and out back uses Can-Am’s Torsional Trailing-Arm Independent (TTI) suspension providing 9.9 inches of travel. Its Carlisle ACT HD tires help deliver about 12 inches of ground clearance. That’s decent ground clearance for a big bore, however, I did hit a couple of big rocks as I navigated the trail. Luckily, the aluminum skid plate absorbed the impact.

I'm not sure why this edition uses these tires when big bore editions of the Outlander in models like the XT, XTP and XXC all use ITP TerraCross meats. It might be due to the deeper lug possibly intended for riding into swampy areas when hunting. I'm personally not a huge fan of mud tires and would've preferred the Terracross rubber to these.

Truthfully, if this was my own ATV, the rubber would be the first thing I’d upgrade. That said, these tires didn't significantly impact ride quality and the suspension felt balanced providing a comfortable ride across a wide variety of terrain. The shocks are set up nicely for an average sized rider and ergonomics while standing or sitting felt just about as right as you'd want them to be.

HANDLING



Tri-Mode DPS works so well on the Outlander and I was sure to test it out at each of the three levels. Input is the right amount and made front end handling predictable and comfortable with little feedback up through the bars. I started off down the road to the trailhead in MIN setting, which I again used on higher speed rail trails.

As I turned onto the trail and things started getting a bit rougher, I moved up to MED setting, which was sufficient for the majority of my trail riding. Recent storms had washed away dirt and exposed a complicated labyrinth of river rock. I don't often use the HIGH setting on DPS, however it was advantageous this time out as the trail got significantly more aggressive.

I actually only got hung up or stuck in one of about a dozen mud holes. The line I chose was apparently the most popular one and had two deep tire ruts and I mostly got high-centered. The cool thing was I had enough traction to back out and take another run at it. Same thing happened on three tries before I learned I should pick another line, but I thought it was cool that I actually didn't even need the winch, although it was there if I did.

POWER



It's been a long time since we had a 650 in our fleet and I love the power this 62-horsepower V-twin produces. On our closed course straightaway we got the Outlander up to 69 miles per hour. That's serious jam from an ATV!

Even low and mid-range performance were admirable and clutching is right on the money. Truthfully, we love the power produced by the 78-horsepower Rotax 850 and 91 horse 1000R, but this 650 is really the sweet spot of the Can-Am ATV lineup.

Can-Am does a good job of offering value to its special edition models for the investment. The Outlander 650 Mossy Oak Edition is loaded with cool features to set it apart enough from the XT and the XTP and delivers ride and power we can appreciate and at $11,149 US ($13,399 CDN) is priced just about on par with a Grizzly XTR while offering a lot of enticing features to really make it special.




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UPCOMING DIRTTRAX AIRTIMES

  • The next episode of DirtTrax airs September 30 at 8:00 AM EST on OLN across Canada.

  • The next episode of DirtTrax airs October 2 at 5:30 PM EST on WILD TV in Canada.

  • The next episode of DirtTrax airs October 2 at 7:30 AM EST on Outdoor Channel (USA).


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