— Testing the fastest 4×4 around —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
By now you may be thinking to yourself, “Really? Another 2019 Can-Am quad test? That’s three in a row!” Or, you could be entirely too stoked about reading up on their impressive machines. Either way, this Can-Am, isn’t just “another one.” The Renegade X xc 1000R is in a league of its own! This is hands down the Canadian company’s most impressive and powerful ATV to the point of absurdity. Do we really need 91 horsepower in a quad? Well, no. But do we thoroughly enjoy it? You bet we do! Let’s break down the 2019 Can-Am Renegade X xc 1000R.
Last month’s issue debuted the Outlander XT 1000R, sporting a 976cc, V-twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled and electronically fuel-injected engine. The machine weighed in at 826 pounds with full racks front and rear. Can-Am stuffs that mill inside the frame of this Renegade. Compared to the Outlander, the stripped-down Renegade went through a Weight Watchers program to settle at 710 pounds! Now, if you calculate how much power you gain per pound lost between the two machines, you could be smarter than us. The rule of thumb we’ve heard is that for every 15 pounds lost, it feels like 1 horsepower gain. Think that over and you will realize that the Renegade is substantially faster than the outrageously powerful Outlander.
Can-Am employs its iTC system, which stands for Intelligent Throttle Control. This means the engine’s throttle bodies are operated electronically rather than a traditional throttle cable. The throttle actuation and response are more crisp and immediate, but the more noticeable improvement to the 1000R for 2019 is selectable power modes. The three modes you can toggle through are Eco (plenty), Normal (fast) and Sport (and scary). An additional 2 horsepower had to be pulled out of the Rotax engine to provide 91 ponies for the new model year.
All of this brute torque and power gets sent from the V-twin engine through a fully automatic continuously variable transmission. It is then shaft-driven to the front Visco-Lok, auto-locking differential and rear fully locked differential to eventually turn the axles and wheels.
Can-Am changed up the suspension on all of the Outlanders and Renegades that have an engine displacing 650cc or larger. This includes a 2-inch-wider footprint and a bit more wheel travel. This was derived through longer front A-arms and wider rear torsional trailing arms on the independent rear suspension. Wheel-travel numbers are now 9.2 inches up front and 9.9 in the rear. The front end gained more A-arm clearance through a gull-wing-shaped lower A-arm that provided over an inch more clearance. The bottom of the frame sits 10.5 inches off the ground on the X xc.
Improvements were made to gain more traction, smooth out the ride and allow the Renegade to slide in a more stable manner. The rear sway bar was designed to be less rigid, and Can-Am added a sway bar setup to the front end for 2019. Fox 1.5-inch Podium RC2 shocks come on all four corners, and they are a big improvement over base-level shocks. The RC2s are dual-compression-, rebound- and spring-preload-adjustable, so you can fine-tune the piggyback reservoir shocks for your style and terrain you ride.
MORE TO KNOW
There are a lot more important things to know about a machine before you decide whether it is the right one for you. For starters, the cockpit and controls are a major factor. The Can-Am Renegade is suited for taller riders. The 5.4-gallon gas tank is wide between the knees while seated, and the machine is wide between the legs period. The CVT case sticks out a bit on the left side as well. The upsides to the cockpit are that it’s roomy, the metal footpegs offer a lot of foot traction and the standing riding position is quite comfortable.
The handlebar is a bit on the shorter side for this machine, but the controls are all pretty comfortable. The large throttle housing has the 4×4 switch and iTC switch incorporated into it, and the thumb throttle lever has a rubber over-mold to help keep your thumb in the right place during spirited riding.
Braking gets a little complicated on the Renegade. There is a hydraulic disc brake on each corner of the Can-Am that brings the machine to a halt rather quickly. The complexity comes in the controls. There is a foot-operated brake lever that controls the rear brakes. On the left handlebar is a lever that jointly controls the rear brakes as well. That’s nothing new, and neither is the front brake lever on the right handlebar. However, if you have the Renegade in 4×4 mode and you squeeze just the front brake, it will also cause the rear wheels to slow down as well. Halting the 4×4 system with the rear brake will also slow the front wheels down, too. So, in reality, the separate braking only works optimally while in two-wheel drive, and the Renegade 1000R is best suited to run in 4×4 due to its massive power output.
We have gotten to test the Renegade X xc 1000R in the tight woods of Canada, as well as brought it back to Southern California to stretch its legs in the desert. We can say that there is no real need to have 91 horsepower in tight woods, except to be able to wheelie over obstacles. We can also say there is no real necessity to have that much power in the desert. We felt most comfortable running the Renegade on the normal mode. It has a lot of torque and plenty of power through the range. However, a few of our faster test riders giggled while discussing Sport mode. They thoroughly enjoyed the big low-end rush that got the front wheels up when needed, and they pushed the throttle as long as possible with smiles on their faces the whole time.
Can-Am tried to find a tire that would transfer all the power to the ground and went with 25-inch-tall ITP Holeshot ATRs that are wrapped around 12-inch beadlock wheels. We could see this machine easily pushing 26-inch-tall tires without any power modifications needed. That would make it a bit more unstable in off-cambers and corners, though.
The suspension improvements were very apparent for 2019. The older Renegades felt twitchy and occasionally provided that easy-to-tip-over feeling if you rode fast through corners. The wider stance solved a lot of those issues and made the steering feel more stable. In tight terrain, it isn’t quite as agile as before, but that’s easy to accommodate. Can-Am’s Tri-Mode DPS (Dynamic Power Steering) system complements the suspension improvements and takes away jolts from hard hits and makes turning a breeze. The Fox Podium RC2 shocks soaked up chop with ease and big slammers without issue. The ride is supple and controlled.
We do hope that Can-Am can slim down the cockpit width in the future. Our last complaint about the Renegade is that the braking feel simply isn’t there. The lever pull is firm and braking power is not as linear as we would like. The brakes are very strong, so you’ll stop quickly, but it takes a lot of hand pressure on the levers.
ROUNDING IT OUT
The 2019 Can-Am Renegade X xc 1000R is impressively fast and even more fun. The suspension and steering improvements give the machine a much smoother and more stable ride. The X xc package tacks on adjustable Fox RC2 shocks, DPS, handguards, and beadlock wheels over the base Renegade model. If you want an X xc model Renegade, you have the 1000R or 850 engine-size options, but the 850 doesn’t come with the three-mode iTC. Pricing starts at $12,699–$13,749.
2019 CAN-AM RENEGADE X xc 1000R
Engine V-twin, OHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke
Fuel system EFI
Fuel capacity 5.4 gal.
Transmission Automatic CVT
Final drive Shaft
Front Dual A-arms w/ 9.2”
Rear Dual A-arms w/ 9.9”
Front Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Dual hydraulic discs
Ground clearance 10.5”
Curb weight 710 lb.
Rear 35 lb.
Towing capacity 1300 lb.
Colors Black, black grey and Sunburst Yellow