Posts Tagged ‘Can-Am’

BRP’s New SxS Aims at Polaris’ RZR

June 7, 2010

Can-Am Commanders Feature Power, Performance, Utility

The Can-Am Commander 1000 X tops 72 mph with its 85 hp Rotax EFI V-twin.

BRP’s Can-Am Commander, the high powered 1000cc side-by-side vehicle that has had the market buzzing for weeks, finally was rolled out at the BRP dealer meeting in Reno last night.

There will be five models: the Commander 800R and 800XT and the Commander 1000, 100XT and 1000X. The X model gets the high performance package and special graphics.

So, what’s to add after all the Internet talk and spy photos? Some facts, a bit of perspective and a forecast, perhaps. I recently spoke at length with Yves Leduc, vice president and general manager for BRP’s North America Division, and others at the company and throughout the industry about the machine and its impact on this very important industry segment. Here’s what I found out and what I think the impact of this machine will have on the segment.

Yves Leduc

First of all, the folks in Valcourt are taking dead aim at their neighbors in Minnesota, and it sounds like they have the ammunition to make life difficult for Polaris, the makers of this year’s oh, so hot RZR.

Make no mistake, when BRP executives use the term, “no compromise” in describing the new Commander SxS family, they mean it’s going to outperform Polaris in every way possible. And from what I can gather—without having ridden or even seen the Commander first hand— they may have done just that.

Yamaha’s Rhino, the machine that launched the Rec-UT category, isn’t much of a player at this time, given consumer reluctance to get too close to the lawsuit-prone vehicle. And Yamaha hasn’t made any significant changes since the 2009 model year. So, it really comes down to BRP’s Commander against the Polaris RZR lineup.

One experienced off-road rider, who is very close to Polaris, says the Commander is a better performer, is better engineered and has better fit and finish. At about the same MSRP, that’s going to make a show floor buying decision pretty easy, even for die-hard Polaris fans.

Here’s just one pre-launch quote I pulled from a Polaris forum: “If they put a 900 Rotax in (the Commander), I would be tempted (to buy it).” Well, hello. The Commander 1000 comes with a 1000cc, EFI V-Twin Rotax. There you go.

And the Commander 1000X performance package carries an MSRP of $14,699 vs Ranger RZR S at $13,999 with only a 760cc EFI V-twin, generating 55 hp and a top speed of 63 mph. It has a carrying capacity of 300 lbs. The Commander generates 83 hp, has 600 lbs carrying capacity, 1,500 towing capacity, and a top speed of 72-mph to 75 mph, a BRP official told me. The RZR does have better ground clearance at 12.5 inches vs. 11 inches for the Commander, and the Commander is heavier at 1,200 lbs vs. 1,100 pounds for the RZR.

One interesting feature is the Commander’s two level cargo bed with a 600 lb carrying capacity, 400 lbs up, and another 200 lbs below in a lockable storage bin with a removable divider.

Here’s another unique engineering twist: Both passenger and driver seats can be easily removed for free-standing use in the field. Why sit on the ground, when you can pull the padded seats from your SxS and relax in them? It’s one of those ideas, like, why didn’t I think of that?

BRP Rollout Plans

“We said at the end of 2007 that we would have a side-by-side in 2010, and here we are,” Yves Leduc, BRP’s Can-Am chief, told me last week. “Despite the worst recession in history, we stayed the course. We could have postponed this project, but, instead, we made it a priority.”

Leduc likes the way the timing worked out. “If you compare our entry here with our ATV entry in 1999, it’s two different worlds. With ATVs, we entered a mature market with six very strong competitors.”

Now, BRP has several things going for it, says Leduc:

  • Very strong recognition for the Can-Am brand.
  • A dynamic and changing market segment for performance machines.
  • Limited competition, essentially only Polaris.
  • A unique segment that provides the best features of performance and utility machines.

“Clearly, we saw an opportunity to define the segment, a no compromise segment, when we started looking at this three years ago,” says Leduc. And it appears they did just that.

The Commander lineup, says BRP, feaures “the best handling in the industry” with power and work capacity. “It’s not an extreme sport vehicle,” says Leduc, “it’s a comfortable sport package, one that allows you to get the maximum out of the vehicle.”

BRP’s target buyer? “It’s the enthusiast; that’s clearly the buyer for the Can-Am, they tend to make it part of their lifestyle. That’s the emerging buyer for the SxS, many of whom never owned an ATV. We’re also targeting hunters and fishermen and large estate owners, who want the best.”

The Can-Am lineup will be rolled out to about two-thirds of the company’s dealer network in all states right away. He wouldn’t tell me how many dealers will receive machines or how many will be available this summer.

Limited distribution will begin in July, mostly to Quebec dealers, and demo rides are planned across the U.S. this summer. Full production will begin this fall in Mexico, accompanied by a major advertising blitz.

“The idea,” says Leduc, “is for us to get feedback from this first generation of users as we start shipping and adjust as we go along.”

At the same time that North American dealers get the machine, it will be launched internationally in all countries in which BRP has direct distribution, including Germany, Austria, the UK, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, New-Zealand, and Japan. Then it will be sent to BRP’s authorized distributors, reaching a total of more than 50 countries.

The Can-Am Commander 1000 XT will be homologated for use on European roads.

BRP doesn’t have an electric model, nor a four-seater to match Polaris, and there aren’t any coming as part of this launch. “But,” says Leduc, “you can count on BRP continuing to improve the lineup.”

So, the battle is joined. JD

Contact me with news tips and story ideas at jdelmont@dealernews.com or 952/893-6876.

BRP Readies Launch of Hot SxS Lineup

May 31, 2010

New Models Could Be Released Within Two Weeks

You can spell the DNA of Canada’s BRP powersports manufacturer as EXCITEMENT. No conservative, working machines for this global OEM based in Valcourt, Quebec. It builds and sells the high performance Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, and Can-Am ATVs, and the category building, on-road three-wheel Spyder.

So, when we start talking about BRP launching a line-up of side-by-side machines, we’re not talking about another lawn tractor. We’re talking about something like Polaris‘s very hot RZR UTV. Expect to see the new models from BRP before mid-June.

(more…)

Attention Piaggio, Ducati & BRP Enthusiasts

June 12, 2009

Do you ride a Piaggio X9 500 or BV 500, Can-Am Spyder, or Ducati 1098R, 1098 Streetfighter or 1198S? If so, you may be getting some bad news in the mail from the manufacturer.

Piaggio USA, Inc. is recalling 2,428 units of its 2005-2008 X9 500 and BV 500 scooters due to a fuel hose problem; Ducati North America is recalling 732 units of its model year 2009 1098R, 1098 Streetfighter, and 1198S because of cracks that may occur in the forks; and BRP may soon begin a recall of up to 9,932 units of its model year 2008-2009 Can-Am Spyder Roadster for a steering issue.

Click here to learn more.

Can-Am Introduces Air Suspension in ATV Line

June 4, 2009
CanAm_OUTLANDERMAXEFILTD800

Outlander MAX 800R EFI LTD.

BRP’s 2010 Can-Am ATV line-up features models that come with the industry’s first air-controlled suspension system (ACS) and a new Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) with dual-mode, speed-sensitive power assist and next-generation Visco-Lok QE automatic front differential.

The ACS comes on the Outlander MAX 800R EFI LTD (MSRP $13,449). The compressor that activates the six-position, rider-selectable ACS system can also be used to fill tires while on the trail. The speed sensitive, dual-mode DPS and revised, quicker-engaging Visco-Lok QE front differential come on select Outlander and Renegade models.

Other model changes and technology updates to the Can-Am ATV line for 2010:

Renegade 800R X xc – The new Renegade package for the serious trail rider comes with a host of features: full beadlock wheels, premium suspension, dual-mode DPS power steering and a front sway bar.

XT-P Package – Gives the rider all the previous Outlander XT package features, but adds more value with painted plastic and package-exclusive cast-aluminum wheels.

More Outlander 650 Power – A revised calibration on the Rotax 650 powerplant helps generate seven percent more power than last year’s engine.

Inventor Patents Passenger ‘Safety Grips’

March 9, 2009

An inventor from Portland, Ore., has patented an accessory that he says would help passengers of motorcycles, ATVs and personal watercraft hold on to the operator.

Inventor service company InventHelp publicized the product, but failed to name its inventor client. outmax800refixt1

The “Safety Grips” (not to be confused with the previously released “Buddy Belt”) consist of a nylon, padded belt that is secured via hook-and-loop fasteners. Sewn into the rear of the belt would be a pair of upright handles facing the passenger. In use, the operator would adjust the belt to fit his or her waist, and the passenger grips the handles throughout the duration of the ride.

According to InventHelp, the inventor was inspired to create the Safety Grips after an off-roading trip. “We used this belt while riding quads on sand dunes at the beach, and we got a lot of positive feedback from both passengers and operators,” he said.

Lets hope the inventor was riding the ATV in the prescribed manner – in other words, not riding two-up on a single rider vehicle. Existing two-up ATVs, from BRP and Arctic Cat, come supplied with multi-position passenger grab rails and backrest.

Taiwan Firms Aim for U.S.

February 15, 2009

I was asked to speak at the Taiwan Powersports Symposium during the Dealer Expo in Indianapolis.

The event included journalists and manufacturers focused on giving an insight about Taiwan’s powersports industry and how it may impact business here in the U.S. The comments below are my own, offered during the presentation.

“While it’s unlikely any of us were in the motorcycle industry during the early 1960s, I think it’s pretty well known how the first of the Japan-made two-wheelers to enter the U.S. back then were greeted by consumers and retailers who had, up to that point, only known U.S. and European brands.

Although the things said about those early Japanese bikes weren’t too flattering, the Big Four from Japan nevertheless grew to become the major players in the U.S. motorcycle market.

Well, nowadays, I hear some people speak dubiously about machines coming from other areas of the Far East. The thing is, I find most of the (more…)

Dakar Winners – KTM’s Coma, Yamaha’s Machacek

January 17, 2009

Spanish rider Marc Coma (KTM) has won this 31st Dakar Rally, the first one to be held in

Marc Coma

Marc Coma

Argentina and Chile, with an overall time of 52hr14min33. Coma finished the rally 1hr25min38 ahead of French defending champion Cyril Despres (KTM), and 1hr38min56 ahead of France’s David Frétigné (Yamaha).

Riding a KTM 690 Rallye, Coma, 33, won the first stage and kept the overall lead through every one of the following 14 stages.

In the ATV race, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) won the very first general standings for the quad category in history of the Dakar, 2hr34min00 ahead of Argentina’s Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am), and 7hr42min34 ahead of Polish rider Rafal Sonik (Yamaha).

Josef Machacek

Josef Machacek

The 52-year-old Machacek rode his self-built Raptor to four stage wins for the overall honors.

Stage One of Dakar 2009 began in Buenos Aires on Jan. 3. Teams and riders from 49 countries then traveled 5,903 miles over the legendary Argentina Pampas, into Patagonia, across the Andes mountains, and across hundreds of miles of desert and sand dunes to the completion of Stage 14 back in the Argentinean capital on Jan. 17.

OEMs participating in the motorcycle division included KTM, Honda, Yamaha, Gas-Gas, BMW, Kawasaki, Sherco, Beta, Husqvarna, Suzuki and China’s Jincheng.

KTM puts a lot of effort, and funding, into the Dakar competition. More than 55 percent of the 235 motorcycle competitors that started rode atop KTM.

About 30 quads started the rally. Brands competing in the ATV division included Yamaha, Suzuki, Polaris, BRP’s Can-Am and KTM.

MOTORCYCLE FINAL STANDINGS
Coma (ESP)…KTM…52hr14min33
Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr25min38
Frétigné (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr38min56
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr17min54
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr22min11
Ullevalseter (NRT)…KTM…+2hr25min02
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+2hr28min29
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr50min39
Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+3hr22min41
Goncalves (PRT)…KTM…+4hr12min42

ATV FINAL STANDINGS
Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…68hr22min06
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr34min00
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+7hr42min34
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+11hr13min31
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+15hr59min51
Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+16hr44min15
Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+25hr10min45
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+26hr12min39
Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am+…40hr20min38
Pena (ESP)…Yamaha…+46hr46min05

Coma and Despres show their final positions in the 2009 Dakar Rally / Chaco

Coma and Despres show their final positions in the 2009 Dakar Rally / Chaco

DAKAR – Riders Return to Argentina

January 15, 2009

Today’s Dakar Stage 12 brought competitors 312 miles from Fiambala to La Rioja, Argentina. The distance included a 157-mile special stage and miles of tough to navigate

Coma navigates the dunes / Chaco

Coma navigates the dunes / Chaco

white sand dunes. You’ll recall from Tuesday’s post that Wednesday’s Stage 11 was cancelled due to fog in the Andes.

In motorcycles, Frenchman Cyril Desprès (KTM) crossed the finish 1min23 ahead of Spain’s Marc Coma (KTM), and 9min47 ahead of Spaniard Gerard Farres Guell (KTM). Coma (KTM) still has an overall lead in the rally, 1hr29min48 ahead of Cyril Desprès.

In the ATV race, Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) won his third special stage of this Dakar, 35min56 ahead of Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha), and 36min02 ahead of Frenchman Hubert

Patronelli's 800cc Can-Am

Patronelli's 800cc Can-Am

Deltrieu (Polaris). However, Machacek is still in the lead in the overall standings 1hr54min38 ahead of Patronelli and 7hr06min17 ahead of Poland’s Rafal Sonik (Yamaha).

OVERALL MOTORCYCLE STANDINGS
Coma (ESP)…KTM…47hr51min30
Desprès (FRA)…KTM…+1hr29min48
Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr33min55
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr16min13
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr24min04
Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+2hr24min07
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+2hr27min57
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr45min14
Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+3hr14min49
Goncalves (PRT)…Honda…+3hr53min16

OVERALL ATV STANDINGS
Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…63hr12min11
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+1hr54min38
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+7hr06min17
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+11hr11min12
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+15hr41min57
Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+16hr44min18
Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+24hr37min31
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+25hr05min29
Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+39hr44min00
Van Gastel (NLD)…Yamaha…+45hr30min31

Dakar – Out of the Andes, Into the Desert

January 13, 2009

Dakar participants spent Monday (Stage 9) and Tuesday (Stage 10) traversing sand dunes, rock-strewn high desert and shooting through valleys along fast dirt tracks. KTM motorcycles and Yamaha quads continue to set the pace.

Jordi Viladoms / Papp

Jordi Viladoms / Papp

The weather forecast for Wednesday (Stage 11) announces heavy fog on the whole route, and since the timing of the stage cannot be altered due to the crossing of the Andes and the crossing of the border between Chile and Argentina, the organizers of the Dakar have decided to cancel the special stage between Copiapo and Fiambala. The participants will travel to the Fiambala bivouac in liaison.

STAGE 9
On Monday, competitors traveled an 55-mile connection and 279-mile special stage from La Serena to Copiapo, Chile.

In the motorcycle race, Dutchman Frans Verhoeven (KTM) picked up his second stage victory of the rally, 3min09 ahead of Frenchman David Frétigné on his 450cc Yamaha, and 3min40 in front of local star, Chilean Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez (KTM). Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) arrived in fourth.

In the ATV race, Czech Josef Machacek (Yamaha) achieved his fourth stage victory on this Dakar, arriving 39 seconds ahead of Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) and 17min26 ahead of Frenchman Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris).

Jonah Street

Jonah Street

U.S.-based KTM rider Jonah Street was forced to withdraw from the rally at Stage 9 after injuring his wrist during Sunday’s Stage 8. Street had a stellar run going, winning Stage 5 and never slower than fifth position in the overall standings during the first eight stages.

STAGE 10
Today riders braved a 296-mile special stage and 12-mile connection route that led them out of and back into Copiapo. It was a route that had them traversing a low altitude of 2,133 feet and a high altitude of 7,874 feet.

Spanish motorcyclist Jordi Viladoms (KTM) won the stage, finishing 1hr06min ahead of Franco-Malian rider Alain Duclos (KTM) and 2hr07min ahead of Norway’s Pal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM). Overall rally leader Marc Coma (KTM) was seventh in today’s stage.

In quads, Argentina’s Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) won his second stage victory on this Dakar, 28min ahead of the solid leader in the general rankings, Czech Republic’s Josef Machacek (Yamaha). Only six quads crossed the finish line as of 10pm local time.

OVERALL MOTORCYCLE STANDINGS
Coma (ESP)…KTM…43hr52min30
Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr24min50
Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr31min11
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+1hr56min40
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr05min38
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr07min45
Lopez (CHL)…KTM…+2hr22min23
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr25min34
Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+2hr25min51
Knuiman (NLD)…KTM…+3hr04min25

Marcos Patronelli / La Calle

Marcos Patronelli / La Calle

Duclos (FRA)…KTM…+12hr44min17

OVERALL ATV STANDINGS
Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…57hr53min17
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr30min34
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+5hr14min46
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+10hr03min14
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+11hr11min06
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+19hr38min50

So far, 86 motorcyclists and 11 ATV riders have withdrawn from the rally.

Dakar – Coma Still Leads Cyclists, ATV Lead Changes

January 11, 2009
marccoma

Marc Coma carves through the dunes on his way to Chile / Barreira

Dakar competitors were back on the trail again Sunday following a rest day on Saturday. Completion of Stage 8 signifies the 15-day rally is now more than half finished.

STAGE 7
On Friday, competitors traveled a 247-mile connection route and a 260-mile special stage from Mendoza, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile.

Chilean Francisco Lopez (KTM) won the stage, 3min57 ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) and 5min21 ahead of France’s Cyril Despres (KTM).

In the quad race, Argentine Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) won the seventh stage, 14min01 ahead of Uruguayan Luis Henderson (Suzuki) and 20min22 in front of Poland’s Rafal Sonik (Yamaha).

STAGE 8
Competitors spent Sunday traveling 222 connection miles and a 183-mile special stage from Valparaiso to La Serena, Chile.

French motorcyclist Cyril Despres (KTM) clinched his second stage win in this edition of the Dakar. He finished the stage 1min49 ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM) and 2min56 ahead of Chile’s Chaleco López (KTM).

In quads, Czech rider Josef Machacek (Yamaha) clinched his third stage victory, 2min51 ahead of Argentina’s Marcos Patronelli (Can-Am) and 7min00 ahead of the French rider Hubert Deltrieu (Polaris).

MOTORCYCLE OVERALL STANDINGS
Coma (ESP)…KTM…30hr33min15
Fretigne (FRA)…Yamaha…+1hr06min28
Despres (FRA)…KTM…+1hr33min34
Street (USA)…KTM…+1hr39min07
Ullevalseter (NOR)…KTM…+1hr42min24
Viladoms (ESP)…KTM…+1hr55min42
Lopez (CHL)…KTM…+2hr00min38
Rodrigues (PRT)…KTM…+2hr03min57
Casteu (FRA)…KTM…+2hr06min56
Verhoeven (NLD)…KTM…+2hr22min17

ATV OVERALL STANDINGS
Machacek (CZE)…Yamaha…41hr11min25
Patronelli (ARG)…Can-Am…+2hr30min23
Sonik (POL)…Yamaha…+4hr48min30
Avendano (ESP)…Suzuki…+5hr46min31
Pottier (FRA)…Can-Am…+9hr36min36
Brazina (CZE)…Yamaha…+9hr42min47
Deltrieu (FRA)…Polaris…+10hr01min30
Carlini (FRA)…Polaris…+14hr22min11
Pena (ESP)…Yamaha…+15hr19min22
Kraft (FRA)…Polaris…+16hr26min52

Seventy-three motorcyclists and 11 quad riders have withdrawn from the rally after eight stages.
dakarmap