2016 Can-Am Defender HD8 & HD10 DPS UTV Review

Known for their faster machines in the SXS industry Can-Am has a reputation for quality and durability in those harsh conditions but the full-on working side of the coin was left primarily untouched until now. The 2016 Can-Am Defender HD8 and HD10 with DPS and 4×4 gives this manufacturer a little more to offer its working class consumers. We know the Can-Am Commander has a dumping bed and can be used for light duty work yet the newest machine from Can-Am is focused as a hardcore working machine. During a recent visit to the Harpole’s Heartland Lodge in Nebo, Illinois we had our chance to drive and test this new Defender by Can-Am, available in both a 50HP HD8 and 72HP HD10 configuration.

After looking the machines specs over it was clear to us that the Rotax power was not going disappoint in the Defender. The 2016 Can-Am Defender is equipped with either a 799cc or 999cc engine coupled to the new belt driven Pro-Torq transmission. This powerful v-twin is fuel injected and has proven itself time and again in many other vehicles offered by Can-Am. With 50hp or 72hp at our disposal the trails would be no match and the loads of cargo would be just another workday for the power plant. Getting the big v-twin fired up was a cinch and we immediately headed off to the proving grounds where Can-Am had set up some large bags of corn to test the cargo bed. After loading approximately 1000 pounds into the bed of the Defender we headed off across the field to feel out the strain on the chassis. The suspension needed just a little tweaking to add more preload to the springs in order to keep the shocks from bottoming but after that our Defender seemed to handle itself well. Obviously driving this machine loaded is not something you want to do at a high rate of speed. The chassis roll under load was manageable and never made us feel uncomfortable in the cab.

After the cargo bed had proven itself we hitched up a trailer with approximately 500 pounds to the 2-inch receiver just to see how pulling this kind of weight affected the machine. We were happy to see the Can-Am Defender prove its worth in both tests. The brakes on the Defender had ample stopping power under load, which will only build confidence in the driver. The tow rating is an incredible 2000 pounds and it was clear to us that 2016 Can-Am Defender could handle the load.

One thing that most new customers seem to want is a comfortable cab when it comes to working a machine like the 2016Can-Am Defender. The Defender’s cab has 40/20/40 bench style seat that will allow three to sit together safely. Once positioned in the drivers seat the steering wheel can be tilted to fit most all drivers as well. The seating is sculpted in a way that allows easy egress into the cab. This was important to Can-Am as they want a hard working machine to be able to pull its weight without causing distracting issues as its being used. The tapered edges on the seat bottom keep the entry smooth for everyday in and out.

Looking around the cab we noticed the massive amounts of storage. The first item we spotted was the custom removable glove box. This trick little storage unit can hold all of your work day needs but if you want to have it double as a tool box or tackle box it does that well also. The handle on the top of the box acts as a locking mechanism to hold the box in place when sitting on the dash but simply pulling the handle up releases the glove box for on the job use away from the machine. That wasn’t the only hidden compartment though as the passenger seat has another great storage box under it that is not only removable but is water proof for those more sensitive items. Storage inside the cab is not an issue here.

We were able to drive the new 2016 Can-Am Defender in the woods surrounding the Harpole Heartland lodge. Our ride time was not only pleasant in the machine but we even found a couple of really sketchy mud holes to test the pulling power of the Maxxis Bighorn tires that were mounted on 14-inch wheels. With this set up we had 11-inches of ground clearance to get us through the muck. The ride was very comfortable and it seems to be set perfectly for that owner who wants to work all day and cruise the fence lines as the sun fades away.

Seats Three Comfortably
Power Steering (as tested)
Large dump bed for hauling up to 1000lbs
Upper Seat bolstering
Single mode DPS
Price: Starting at $10,999.00
Type: 799cc/999cc V-Twin
Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection
Starting system: Electric
Drive system: Shaft; Selectable 2×4 / 4×4; Diff-Lock; Turf Mode
Transmission: Continuously Variable (CVT)
Suspension (Type/Travel)
Front: Double A-arm / 10 in. (25.4 cm) travel
Rear: TTA-HD with external sway bar / 10 in. (25.4 cm) travel
Front: Maxxis Bighorn 2.0† 27 x 9 x 14 in.
Rear: Maxxis Bighorn 2.0† 27 x 11 x 14 in.
Front: Dual Hydraulic Disc
Rear: Hydraulic Disc
Wheelbase: 83 inches
Claimed dry weight: 1550 lbs
Ground clearance: 11in
Length x width x height: 120 x 62 x 78
Fuel capacity: 10.6 Gal
Load Capacity
Towing capacity: 2000 lbs
Payload capacity: 1500 lbs
Lighting: 140-W lighting output from four 35-W reflectors ensuring a wide visiblity, plus LED tail lights with halo glow effect
Instrumentation: Multifunction analog / digital: Speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel, gear position, ECO™ / Normal / Work modes, seat belt and 4 x 4 indicator, diagnostics, clock, auto shut off
Colors: Intense Red, Pure Magnesium Metallic, Mossy Oak Break-up Country Camo Water Dipped


Credit: UTVDriver.com

For more information about the best powersports available in the Midwest, tons of the best OEM brands, motorcycles, personal watercrafts, atvs, utvs, scooters, parts, accessories, full-service and repair, winterization, storage options, seasonal-prep, or maintenance tips please visit our website at www.villagemotorsports.net .

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