Bombardier ATV 2006 Outlander 800 Preview by Off-Road.com
Yes, the Rumors are True!
Despite Top-Secret seals on the media invitation and travel arrangements that took us over four states in two days - traveling covertly by commercial airline, twin engine private planes, Sea Doo boats and personal watercraft, chartered bus, utility ATVs and SkiDoo sleds - we were somehow discovered. The news leaked out by someone somewhere (wasn't us at ORC!) and rumors have been flying for a couple weeks - but now we can confirm it.
Bombardier's 2006 ATV line-up will include the Outlander 800 High-Output Electronic Fuel Injected V-Twin, and a Max (two-person) version of the same.
Look for a new electronic fuel-injected V-twin, promissing the most power and torque in it's class - and in the industry. In fact, 62 HP and 52 ft lbs of torque. How can they deliver on that promise? With a full 800cc power plant that is liquid-cooled, 4 valves per cylinder, SOHC, two VDO Siemens injectors, downdrafted 46mm throttle body with non-linear progression system. To harness the power, the Outlander 800 has been outfitted with stronger drive clutch components and a transmission that's sealed from the engine.
The new Outlander is equipped with a double A-arm front suspension, TTI rear suspension, and the same Visco Lok auto locking front diff we have all come to love on the Bombardiers.
As expected with an Outlander, the comfort and ride-ability is top notch - except now, it can kick some serious big-boy ass.
Having had a 2005 Outlander Max for almost a year, we never felt it was lacking. We worked it hard, we rode it hard. But in the battle of the Biggest, Bombardier ATV has taken it where no one has yet gone.
The Kawasaki V-Force 700 was huge news when it was announced for 2004 and gained a loyal following, even at $6,499 retail price. It just isn't winning over the sport segment like they (or even we) had anticipated. Bombardier actually compares the new Outlander to the more-utility-focussed Polaris Sportsman (the only other stated-800 currently on the market) the Kawasaki Brute Force 750, and the Suzuki King Quad 700 (our personal favorite of those three). How do they stack up in what their engines will spit out?
|Brute Force 750||
If it's all about the numbers to you, there ya go. If you're looking to translate that to pure speed, BRP claims the Outlander 800 has 28% more rear wheel speed (as measured by Matech Technologie Inc rear wheel dyno) than the Polaris, 25% more than the BruteForce, and 54% more than the King Quad. We find that claim interesting, considering the Outlander is almost certainly heavier... We will have both the Outlander and the King Quad on-hand this fall, and I'm sure we'll test that claim out for ourselves. Any volunteers for some serious drag runs? Besides the obvious big news under the plastic, an interesting new feature on the Outlander is the multi-function guage. Look for a cool analog/digital face, with speedometer, tach, odometer, gear indicator, trip and engine hour meter, temp and engine lights, electronic fuel guage and Low Fuel light, high/low beam indicator. Need more gadgets? How about the first standard Anti-Theft device in the industry? The new Digital Encoded Security System ensures that the motor will not start without a key - the original key, transmitted at your dealer when you buy it. If you need to have a new one made, you can take it back and the computer will download that info - but if it's been stolen and the thief wants to have a new key made, the computer will know that too!
Get lonely on the trail? The Outlander's diagnostic center will even greet you with a welcome message at start-up.
The DESS may not stop someone from vandalizing or TRYING to take your ride, but as word of the DESS gets around, that sticker on your dash may save your investment, as the slime moves on to an easier target.
And if all that makes you pass-out with joy, the Auto Shut Off sensor will kill the motor if it's left idling for more than 15 minutes. In front, you'll notice an obvious facelift for the 2006 Outlanders, including improved headlight reflector design for 35% brighter light. The plastic racks are gone (hurrah!). Look for a more-traditional steel rack system, with 100 lb capacity in front and 200 lb capacity in the rear. The XT Package comes standard with Carlisle ACT radial tires, a 2,500 lb Warn winch with handlebar-mounted control, heavy duty front and rear bumpers, and handlebar guards.
For 2006, the passenger's seat has new foam and a slightly adjusted backrest angle. The driver even benefits from slight lower back support.
In the Max version, surprisingly, significant time was spent in upgrading the rear seat. I thought it was awesome as-was. It's even better now. The seat is slightly taller, more padded, more bucket-style. There is a pronounced lip, almost a backrest for the driver. Come to think of it, having ridden the Max as both a passenger and a driver, I will attest THAT was needed. The passenger had a tendency to slide forward, especially on downhill sections. Once crammed up against the driver, it's usually only a few seconds before the helmet banging began.
After you accept the effects of gravity, the passenger can brace themselves if they see the trail dropping ahead, but those surprise terrain-changes can be exciting! Hand grips for the passenger are slightly re-positioned, raising them and giving multiple grab points.
Bombardier ATV engineers also designed a new convertable piece that replaces the rear seat for additional flat storage, which is easily removable as a carry-along storage box. Perfect for tools, lunch or fishing tackle. Pretty ingenious. Latches are easier to access now as well.
We could go on and on, and probably will in the coming weeks as more information is available. Since everything we saw in May was a Prototype unit, we wouldn't expect them to start shipping to dealers until mid-Fall, but we should know more on that soon. Pricing and more details will be out on Monday, June 6, when the info is rolled out directly to Dealers. We'll be bringing you more info on the entire 2006 Bombardier ATV lineup, including the Outlander 400 (really fun on sand!) and Outlander 400 Max, DS650 X Sport, Rally 200, DS 90, DS90 Four-stroke, and DS50. *Nope, you won't find any Quest or Traxter going forward, as Bombardier ATV moves to represent a higher level of handling, power and performance. As with the SeaDoo and SkiDoo lines, they strive to have the fun-factor of "Yellow Blood." !In the meantime, enjoy a first-look and pass the word!
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