TIE: Polaris Sportsman 850 HO and Can-Am G-2 Outlander 1000
This is a very rare occurrence for the opinionated staff at DirtTrax mag. 99 percent of the time, we conclude comparisons and shootouts with a clear winner. In this year’s testing of these two enormously powerful Big Bore ATVs we were confounded.
Here’s why it’s so interesting these two vehicles would score a dead heat in our annual face-off: They each are strongest in completely different categories we appropriately weighted to determine a winner.
Clearly, when power is discussed, the Can-Am has no equal in the ATV industry. The Outlander 1000 is powered by a truly amazing product of the slightly warped minds at Can-Am’s Austrian engine subsidiary, Rotax.
The power Rotax has pulled from this 80-degree V-twin is formidable and sometimes downright scary when the loud handle is whacked. Case closed. Fastest Big Bore Sport Ute ATV On Earth award goes to the Outlander 1000.
So what does the Sportsman offer that is equally dominant in its cache of features? Simply put, revolutionary ergonomics and an unequalled seamless, integrated feel from the driver’s seat.
Yes, the Sportsman 850 HO is fast; 77-horsepower fast, in fact. However, what makes it truly notable is its amazingly narrow profile due to its longitudinal engine placement, producing what can only be referred to as a “dirt bike” riding position.
The Sportsman is incredibly comfortable to ride, sitting or standing. This, a silky smooth driveline with primary and secondary clutches “tied” into a solid unit, combined with a predictable, linear powerband, propels it to a lofty spot next to the powerful Can-Am 1000.
It’s notable the Can-Am 1000 G2 chassis is all-new in MY2012 and has taken Can-Am to the next level in ATV handling and ride compliance.
There’s a huge improvement here over the original Outlander platform that makes management of the 1000’s formidable power more controllable and civilized. Hmm, those words may be out of context when used in the same sentence describing the 1000’s power delivery.
This year we’re convinced there are two Big Bore Sport-Utes at the pinnacle of the DirtTrax BIC chart. The Can-Am Outlander G-2 1000 and the Polaris Sportsman 850 HO are the best in this class.