Can Am Outlander 1000R ATV review, hunting
(Photo by Andy Grossman)
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One of the most overlooked and underrated tools in an outdoorsman’s arsenal is not his guns, knives or hunting equipment. It is actually the way he gets around the woods—the tool he uses to haul his harvest out of the woods and work around the property. An ATV is something that many outdoorsmen have, but few realize how important they actually are on a daily basis.  The Can Am Outlander sets the standard, but we’ll get there.

I have always had sports quads since I was a kid. I loved the sound, the speed and the fun of my sport ATV. As I grew older and started hunting and helping friends work on their hunting properties, I started to realize the need for a utility ATV. I beat myself up over getting one, though.

I have that need for speed and fun, but utility ATVs have always seemed slow and kind of “gumpy,” if I’m being honest. To me, they were heavy machines that did well for working but had no ability to play. I needed a fast, fun, agile machine that could also work just as hard out in the woods, go through absolutely anything and haul whatever I needed.

In my search I came across the new Can Am Outlander Mossy Oak Hunting Edition models. They didn’t only look the part decked out in Mossy Oak Camo, but offered a 1000R option that gave me 91 horsepower. That’s plenty of horsepower to make it feel sportier for my adrenaline rush needs. It also has plenty of torque for any work load I decided to throw at it. 

Why the Can Am Outlander Is the New Standard

The Outlander’s feature options make it an excellent choice for those looking to utilize their ATVs for hunting and working out in the wilderness. Can-Am’s new electronic fuel injection Intelligent Throttle Control, or iTC system, gives you crisp, precise throttle response. In addition, iTC allows the rider to change between three different drive modes on the fly.

Can Am Outlander 1000R ATV review, pistol
(Photo by Andy Grossman)

The throttle housing holds a switch that lets you change between Work, Standard and Sport modes. You can also go from two-wheel drive to 4×4 with just the simple push of a button.

It has a water-resistant large storage bin in the rear. However, the latching system for it doesn’t seem to like really rough terrain, so I wouldn’t trust it to store anything that you really want to keep dry. Above the rear storage behind the seat sits a 200-pound-capacity cargo rack that utilizes Can-Am’s patented LinQ attachment points for accessories. It comes with a small rack to keep gear from falling off. There is also a 100-pound capacity front cargo rack with the same rack to help you tie gear down and prevent things from shifting too much.

The Features Keep Coming

The Can-Am Outlander Mossy Oak Edition comes standard with a Kolpin 6.0 Impact gun boot, which easily accommodates rifles or shotguns up to 51 inches long. And the Kolpin gun boot takes only seconds to remove if you don’t need it.

One of my favorite standard options is the heated grips and thumb throttle. It also comes with handlebar wind deflectors. This combination made me the envy of all my friends on our trail rides when it was a little chilly. Everyone else’s hands were freezing, but mine stayed nice and warm. In fact, when we would stop for a little break, everyone would take turns putting their hands on the Can-Am handle grips to warm up. 

You also get heavy-duty front and rear bumpers as well as full-length, crazy thick aluminum skid plates to help protect the Outlander from stumps and rocks on the trails. The Carlisle ACT HD tires mounted on 12-inch blacked out wheels will handle any terrain with ease. A word of advice to anyone following you: Stay back at least 50 feet, as these tires combined with insane power will throw debris the second that throttle is hit.

atv snow, tent, outdoors
(Photo by Andy Grossman)

When the going gets incredibly tough, and I mean tough, the 3,000-pound Warn winch mounted up front should be able to get you moving. Although it has the winch, I still have never had to use it to get me out of a tough situation. I have only used it to pull other people out of situations or for doing work moving logs in the woods. I have tried, but I cannot get this thing stuck. The actual trailer hitch receiver in the back is a great addition. With a 1,650-pound towing capacity, I was able to tow trailers, haul out logs and drag deer out of the woods with ease. The water-dipped Mossy Oak Break-Up Country camo finish looks great too. It has also proven to be extremely durable over the past year of beating the crap out of the vehicle.

Adrenaline Packed Monster

The 1000R model really got me excited. At 91 horsepower, this engine is the most powerful production engine ever offered in an ATV. As I said before, I have a need for speed and fun. The first time I jumped on this Outlander 1000R I actually pulled the front wheels off the ground just taking off. This thing has the power I crave and can literally do anything. Trust me, I put that to the test. 

The Mossy Oak Edition Outlander weighs in at 826 pounds. However, it feels light and nimble due to the power and new suspension setup. The suspension has nearly 10 inches of travel and keeps the machine level and smooth. On smooth, flat trails I could easily achieve speeds more than 70 mph and stay flat and feel very stable in Sport mode.

I also became the test subject for any large puddles or muddy sections on the trails with my friends. I don’t think you can get the Can-Am stuck. It tackles sand, mud, water, rocks, snow and everything in between with ease. I once drove through a small lake just to see if I could get the thing stuck. Nope, it went right through while creating a giant wave of muddy water in front of it.

Power and More Power

With the gray key inserted, the Outlander has endless amounts of power and torque. If you are a little less experienced rider, the green key will tone it down a bit. It limits speeds to 45 mph and a little less torque. Not that you need it very often, but the 4-wheel drive system is simple to engage with just the flip of a switch.

Can Am Outlander 1000R ATV review, mud
(Photo by Andy Grossman)

In 4×4 mode, the Outlander is absolutely unstoppable. I was towing an 800-pound trailer loaded with probably 1,500 pounds of logs and stumps down a seasonal, bumpy, sandy road with ease in 4×4 and Work mode engaged. That’s well over the towing capacity, but I wanted to see how it would handle it. 

On the Trail in Michigan

I stated before that I really like sport-style ATVs. It didn’t take me very long to forget about them after the first real trail ride on the Outlander 1000R on a cold spring day in Michigan. This thing does everything and has everything. It is fast, fun and unstoppable. Plus, it can do things that my old racing quads couldn’t dream of doing. My goal was to really put it to the test in every season Michigan has to offer.

I started off beating the hell out of it on trail rides with friends up north. We hit everything from sand and rocks to mud and water. We even got stuck in a thunderstorm for about two straight hours on one trip. It was the hardest rain I have ever seen, of course. I never got stuck, never had any problems and never had a complaint. The wet spring turned to the dry and hot summer months. We did a lot of trail riding as well, but also started putting the Outlander to work a bit more out on some of my friends’ hunting properties. That involved moving downed trees, hauling material out to build new blinds, clear debris and haul wood. The Can-Am proved itself time and time again; it didn’t matter what I threw at it. 

On the Hunt

Moving into fall, it was time to get ready for deer hunting. The Outlander’s full-size hitch and weight came in handy when we wanted to tear up some fields to plant food plots to bring more deer onto the property. My friend’s ATV was having a little trouble handling the abuse the Groundhog Max rake was putting on it so we thought maybe the extra power of the Can-Am would help and it definitely did. In Work mode with 4×4 engaged, the 1000R powered through the entire field in just under an hour. I never got stuck or felt like it was bogging down. It acted as though it was just any other day playing. 

Hunting season came and my friend got her first deer. Of course, she was extremely deep in the woods and someone had taken the sled, which made things a little tricky to get the deer out of the woods. It was getting dark, and there were a few inches of fresh snow on the ground; this made it very difficult to drag the deer without a sled, so I ran back and grabbed the Outlander. My friend and I slung the deer on the back rack, tied it down and drove him right out of the woods with ease.

Can Am Outlander 1000R ATV review, brush
(Photo by Andy Grossman)

Winter came and the Can-Am handled the snow and ice like a champ, as well. Out on the frozen lakes, I experienced very little tire slippage in 4×4. I was actually able to throw it in two-wheel drive and have a little fun on an ice racing track some people made on a local lake. Everyone laughed at first when I pulled out there and lined up with a few racing quads and dirt bikes, until the Outlander actually kept up. They all had studded tires and I didn’t. So it took a bit more driving to keep up, but the Can-Am proved itself.

Final Thoughts on the Can Am Outlander 1000R

The Can-Am Outlander 1000R Mossy Oak Edition proved itself to be an absolutely incredible machine that is pretty much capable of anything and everything. From mud to snow and play to work, this machine can do it all. It is a comfortable, easy-to-ride machine for any skill level with plenty of power to get the job done. The 2019 Can-Am Outlander 1000R Mossy Oak Edition has an MSRP of $13,649, which is at the higher end of the class. But for a machine that stands apart from the rest and rides like a Cadillac, I’d say it’s worth it. For more information, visit can-am.brp.com.

2019 Can Am Outlander 1000R Mossy Oak Hunting Edition Specs

  • Color: Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo
  • Model Type: Utility
  • Engine Type: V Twin
  • Cylinders: 2
  • Displacement: 976cc
  • Carburetion Type: Fuel-injected
  • Front Tires: Carlisle ACT 26 X 8-12
  • Rear Tires: Carlisle ACT 26 X 10-12
  • Wheelbase: 51 inches
  • Dry Weight: 826 pounds
  • Fuel Capacity: 5.4 gallons
  • Driveline Type: 4×2, 4×4 (selectable)
  • MSRP: $13,649 (1000R)

This article is from the Oct/Nov 2020 issue of Ballistic Magazine. Grab a print or digital subscription at OutdoorGroupStore.com.

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