By Rick Sosebee
We visited with Can-Am recently at their Texas dealer meeting and had a chance to see the incredible line of working-class Defender UTV’s for 2020. They held the event in the halls of the most famous honky tonk in Texas, Billy Bobs. This is also located in the center one of the most famous “Cowtowns” on the planet as the Stock Yards are also located just beside the arena there.
Just a quick backgrounder for you folks who haven’t a clue, for Ft. Worth Texas, the Stockyards are or were one of the largest places (206 acres when opened) to buy, sell and have livestock processed. Opened in 1890 this location was responsible for selling over one million cattle per year by 1907. It has all changed since those days but the image it portrays is hard working, tough and resilient people. This leads us presumably to the reason for this location to reveal to the world the hard working 2020 Can-Am Defender HD10 Lineup.
It was here at what some would call sacred ground that we would find out even more about how Can-Am had refined the Defender for the masses. Tough and reliable is something that Can-Am builds their products on and with many updates to the Defender UTV it proves that the Canadian manufacturer wants the best for every potential customer.
The Defender HD10 line of UTV’s will get several changes as it pertains to the ride quality of the machine. Everyone loves power so Can-Am developed a new style head design that will increase the output of this Rotax mill to 82HP with a refreshing 69lbs. ft. of torque. This should give the towing ability a boost as well as the Defender HD10 can trailer an amazing 2500lbs. Can-Am tells us that this is achieved by a new head design for more adequate flow for the Defender. This new engine design is said to be quieter when running as well. The question had been asked if the new heads would retrofit onto the previous years, model but no direct or definitive answer was given.
The CVT drive of this rig will also get some recalibration to bring the engagement down about 500rpm for what Can-Am calls a “quieter ride under hard acceleration.” It seems the theme for many updates this year is to make the ride quality in the cab better over previous models. Adding to this line of updates is a thicker firewall and heat barrier between the engine and the cab for both the HD8 and HD10 models. Losing that resonation from the powerful Rotax V-Twin is key to gaining a much easier day of work in the cab of this machine. It was already pretty darn quiet but now it is even more so and when you add in the new low sound exhaust, in theory it just seems to become a silent package overall.
So, Can-Am has worked on the power of the HD10 as well as the sound and ride quality of the HD8, but things you might not see would be a 5lb reduction in weight as well as a revised design to the Dual Phase steel framework that added about 30 percent more rigidity to the chassis. There are also new A-arms for the DPS models of Defender that are arched for that full use ground clearance capability (11-inch for the HD8 and 13-inch for the HD10) in the trail or around the rougher sections of the farm. It’s pretty clear that the finer details are being worked out to bring an even better product to the market.
When you think of working ranches, many have gates that are simply opened by the bump of the vehicle you are riding in. For 2020 Can-Am added a tough steel bumper as well that is reinforced in all the right places so that working with the Defender HD10 is much easier and built to survive the crunch. The brow lines of the front bumper are high and can easily protect the front end of the machine from potential damage. Can-Am also refreshed the look of the front of all of the Defender models just a bit as well as added a removable grill section to make cleaning the radiator a snap. If you ride in heavy mud or even through fields of tall straw and weeds this will become your favorite part of the clean-up.
Some final additions to the Defender line would be the 4.5-inch digital display in several models as well as three driving modes, ECO-Normal-Work, capable of tuning the drivability for the task at hand. The switch operated modes easily allow the end user to adjust the power and delivery of that power for their capability as a driver as well as the experience of the person behind the wheel. Overall the Defender family from Can-Am is advancing and performing the way you would expect this platform to do. The power, ride and quality of the Can-Am product gets better every year.
More 2020 Can-Am Defender Features
Towing and Payload – Leading 2,500-lbs (1,134 kg) towing capacity, 1,500 lb (680 kg) payload, and a 4,500-lb (2,041 kg) winch with roller fairlead, assuring to complete the most difficult tasks with ease.
Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) is tuned for utility while returning renowned Can-Am responsiveness for recreational riding. DPS improves steering feel in slow-speed working situations and in more technical terrain. It’s also designed to offer less assistance at high speeds and more assistance at low speeds.
The PRO-TORQ transmission with Quick Response System (QRS), revised ventilation and electronic belt protection ensure long-lived performance. Selectable Turf Mode / 2WD / 4WD with Visco-Lok† QE auto-locking front differential allows you put the power down on any terrain. Traditional P / R / N / H / Extra-Low* shift pattern for ease of use.
Less Noise, Vibrations and Harshness – Driving and working with your side-by-side vehicle shouldn’t be a chore—that’s why Defender is engineered to be the most refined work vehicle in every respect. From its improved insulation to thicker firewall, redesigned exhaust, and CVT cover, Defender lets its work speak for itself.
Brake Hold Assist – Strong manual parking brake to hold the Defender and its load on inclines or when the driver requires the Defender to remain stationary for added control, security, and peace-of-mind.
All-New 2020 Can-Am Defender 6×6
For 2020, Can-Am also introduced an entirely new Defender 6×6 model. Check it out at the link below.