New Zealand buyers of quads and side x sides now have a wider choice with the arrival of the Chinese brand Hisun.
However, lately side by side vehicles have become increasingly popular, no doubt because of their ability to safely seat two or three people and carry a generous payload
Canadian manufacturer BRP has sold the Can-Am range of quads and side by sides in the New Zealand market for a number of years, and has probably been best known for its high performance vehicles.
That's about to change with the introduction of the all new Can-Am Defender.
Designed and engineered from the ground up and utilising feedback from existing users, the Defender range will add another weapon to the Can-Am armoury in the increasingly important utility sector which encompasses farmers, hunters and municipal operators.
The power plant is the Rotax V-Twin with the 799cc HD8 and 976cc HD10 producing 50 and 72hp respectively, and offering around 20% more torque than their competitors.
Engine power is channelled through the Pro-Torque transmission, which offers a work specific low gear for optimum torque delivery, and a host of features such as larger CVT ratios, electronic protection for increased durability, and engine braking for deceleration.
The 4 mode traction system offers the option of 2x4 or 4x4, and the choice of locked or unlocked rear diff works with the front Visco-Lok system to put power to the ground.
A choice of model specific wheel equipment sees wheels of up to 14 inch diameter and meaty 27 inch Maxxis tyres. Combining all these features with 10 inches of front and rear suspension travel and up to 11 inches of ground clearance means these machines have serious off-road capability.
The other key feature of the machine that stands out is the towing capacity rated at 1000kg, the cargo box which handles 500kg and the total payload capacity of 750kg, which means the machine can easily handle a fully loaded cargo box and three adults.
The cabin area is enhanced by a raked forward front cage section, which offer easier access and exit, multiple storage areas for all those odds and ends needed out on the farm, and some models offering dynamic power steering.
Essentially a four model range, the Defender can be customised to individual taste using a vast range of Can-Am accessories including cabins, windscreens, and varied equipment stowage solutions
Finishing off the package is a maintenance-free service requirement that runs to one year, 3000km or 200 running" hours, further enhanced by an industry leading three-year factory warranty.