WINNER: Can-Am Outlander Max 800 G2
2012 is a big year for Can-Am. Here’s why: It’s arguable Can-Am invented the 2-up ATV and its undeniable Can-Am has been the dominant player in this growing segment.
The past few years other OEMs have been getting in on the action and building some very good 2-passenger ATVs. For 2013 Can-am has completely re-invented its Max chassis, suspension and geometry (with the exception of the 400 Max).
The new G2 Max presents radically altered twin trailing arm geometry producing a substantially more plush rear suspension and freedom from the former platform’s rear wheel hop on deceleration and on downhills.
The Max benefits from its extended wheelbase to get the passenger’s weight in front of the rear wheels’ centerline. Plushness is so impressive we were completely shocked how well the Can-Am G2 Max handles terrain.
Good ride is paramount when talking about a 2-upper, however there’s more. Handling afforded by the all-new anti-dive dual A-arm IFS up front is superb.
Surprisingly, we could ride trails as fast, in more comfort, on a G2 Max than we could on the single passenger G2!
Although the 1000 rocks like nothing on Earth, we found the smooth and linear 800 to have as much power as any sane rider could ever need.
RUNNERS-UP: Polaris Sportsman XP 850HO Touring & Arctic Cat TRV 700 XT
A couple of years ago Polaris re-invented its Sportsman Touring and made it into the Sportsman XP Touring. We appropriately anointed this new platform as Best In Class in this important segment.
The 850’s longitudinal engine placement makes the riders perch incredibly narrow providing a measure of improved comfort that cannot be ignored.
Polaris totally aces the ergonomics factor with its narrow rider and passenger footrests and amps up comfort with a fully suspended passenger seat. It is a superb riding and handling ATV with unequalled 2-up ergonomics.
Arctic Cat’s TRV offers exactly what 2-up riders like. The lighter but way-torquey 700 EFI single is our preference for two and the TRV’s 4-wheel drive system is easy to operate and very effective.
Great ground clearance assists with traction. The XT is nicely equipped with great looking aluminum wheels, plush accommodation and the passenger seat is removable to afford more carrying space for single passenger riding.