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Can-Am, a new name that takes its origin from a vintage dirt bike that turned heads in the 1970s, is a company dedicated to racing. This direction, though, doesn't stop it from recognizing that the utility market is bigger than the racing one and probably always will be. That’s where the Outlander series of ATVs comes in.

Can-Am's entry-level utility quad is the Outlander 400 EFI. It is powered by a 400cc Rotax V-twin engine, which the company claims is the most powerful in its class. The engine is electronically fuel injected, which means there is no choke and starting is aided by a computer that precisely mixes the right amount of gas and air based on altitude and air temperature. While this system is not particularly unique in and of itself, in the 400cc market it is. In large part this is because Can-Am's engines have to do duty in various chassis styles. Also, the demands of racing are a bit higher than those of the trail rider or sportsman. This bleed-over of technology is a bonus at this end of the price ladder.

For 2009 the base Outlander remains largely unchanged, except for new decals and revised colours. Also, the skid plate is now a high-density polyethylene, which is actually an improvement. As much as I like steel under me I've learned that the polyethylene is tough, weighs less and, oddly, it's slippery – meaning it slides off rocks rather than grates and sticks like steel does.

More: 2009 Can-Am Outlander 400 EFI Review on
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