By Jon Crowley
The Can-Am Defender was introduced a few years back and since then, they have come out with a few more special editions. In addition to the Defender X mr built for mud riding, Can-Am also has a XT-P. The XT-P comes with the top-shelf Rotax HD10 V-Twin engine powering an upgraded FOX PODIUM suspension. It also has a front bumper and a Smart-Lok front differential locker. This unit is still built for serious work, but also spans in to the recreation market with comfortable seats and upgraded shocks.
We’ve had our Can-Am Defender XT-P HD10 for several months now and have been using it pretty extensively around the ranch doing work. Among the work we do is field mowing using a towable rough cut mower.
Since the Defender XT-P is also meant to be used out on the trail, we have been working on a few upgrades that will make it more capable and comfortable for exploring. We plan to add a BRP plastic roof to help keep us out of the summer sun, and just in case we get stuck or someone else needs a hand, we wanted to add a winch.
A winch may have helped us get our neighbor’s truck out of a jam a few weeks back.
The bumper on the XT-P is the same as the X mr and I noticed the X mr had a winch mounted right on the bumper. I liked this mounting location since it keeps the since up out of the mud. No I am not talking about mud bogs, but rather the muddy conditions out in the pasture while field mowing. Plus, I think the winch up on the bumper just makes the Defender look even tougher.
Since I was going to do the installation on this, I decided that I’d like to try Warn’s new AXON winch. I went to the media unveiling of these new winches last summer, and was very impressed with the new technology that Warn has added to the AXON lineup. The AXON winches were created specifically for the needs of ATVs and UTVs and bring new levels of technology, durability, and performance to the powersports market.
At the heart of this innovation is what Warn calls the Motactor™—a combination of a powerful motor and a first-of-its-kind digital contactor in one unit. By combining the motor and contactor, Warn is able to increase performance and efficiency. And since the motor and contactor are in one unit, installation time is drastically reduced, making for a quick and easy setup.
What makes the AXON so awesome in my opinion is the simplicity of the installation. You mount the winch, run the supplied cables from the winch to the battery (+ and -) run the harness wires to where you want the switch installed and tap into one switched wire that activates the system (you want the engine running when using the winch due to power draw).
The dash switch supplied from Warn is a normal size, so on our Defender, I just cut out along the lines imprinted from the factory, and pushed the switch into place. On the backside, the harness that comes from the winch plugs right into the back of the switch.
And that’s it! Super simple installation, and much cleaner that a traditional installation with the contactor/relay with all the small little wires, plus large gauge wires going from winch to contactor, and then contactor to battery.
On the Defender XT-P, there are two locations pre-setup for a winch. First is on the bumper like I did, and the other is lower, below the bumper and in front of the differential. Both locations do not require any mounting kit. The only downside to the bumper location is I needed to add a fairlead mount from Warn.
There are more advancements to the AXON line of winches than I have covered here. They all make the winch cleaner, more efficient and more durable, but to me the BIG deal is how easy these winches are to install!
Where to Buy?
Side By Side Stuff carries a full lineup of Warn Axon and ProVantage Winches at Great Prices: Warn Winches at Side By Side Stuff