2009 Can-Am Renegade 800R EFI Review

Crossover quad is all about speed and power

Story by Howard J. Elmer, Jul. 07, 2008

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) is a brand name that is mostly associated with snowmobiles – and if you don’t happen to live in Canada or the northern United States you’d be forgiven if you thought of Bombardier as just a builder of trains and planes. But then the company started building ATVs (about ten years ago now) and, in doing so, discovered that many potential ATV consumers had never heard of Bombardier. So? Well, in a nutshell that explains the creation of the Can-Am brand two years ago and the dropping of all Bombardier references in the company’s effort to establish itself as a competitive ATV builder. 

The Can-Am Renegade is the result - a blend of sport and utility machine and also the new face of this Can-Am brand.  This race inspired ATV is meant to encompass the ‘something-for-everyone’ image that the new company aspires to - as long as what you aspire to is going fast. The new 2009 ‘R’ edition just reinforces that direction.

The Renegade 800R is all about power and speed, while combining sport and utility.

Introduced in ’07, when the Can-Am brand was born, the Renegade runs an 800cc liquid cooled V-twin engine coupled to a CVT transmission that boasts electronic fuel injection. This combination offers explosive power that easily gets the bike airborne, on and off the track. Its race engineered high pressure gas shocks keep the landings under control. With five adjustable preload settings the Renegade handles all types of terrain, but it’s more at home on the track than in the bush.

Suspension on the Renegade is built around the exclusive lightweight Surrounding Spar Technology (SST) frame, while the bumps are soaked up by the long travel double-A-arm front suspension and long travel independent rear suspension that features torsional trailing arms and dive-control geometry.

The red color option is new for 2009.
To get more horsepower out of the Renegade, Can-Am re-engineered the air filter, optimized the intake runner and installed new camshafts.
The new 2009 graphics are tougher, thicker and more scratch resistent.

The ‘R’ designation added to the Renegade nameplate for ’09 indicates a boost in power, though this bike hardly needs it. Can-Am is determined to be the horsepower leader. The result is that the Rotax V-twin has added 9% to the top-end of its powerband. The components that have been re-engineered to accomplish this are the air filter (larger intake), an optimized intake runner, new camshafts and a new ECU calibration. Also new for ’09 are updated graphics and a red colour option.  

At the Renegade’s heart is the Rotax engine. This 80-degree V-twin is liquid-cooled and features that new, more aggressive single overhead camshaft that manages four valves per cylinder. Feeding fuel to those cylinders is a 46mm throttle body and two VDO Siemens fuel injectors. This system is computer managed to be sensitive to temperature and altitude changes; certainly a factor in Texas where during our testing the average daily highs were hitting 95 degrees with a relative humidity of over 50 per cent. But even under severe stress this engine produces power, without lag, for a pinned straight track run or while rock crawling at low speed.

The engine now breaths better too, which translates to more power and also a more even block temperature. The ECU calibration, while it’s something you can’t see, must be right because the throttle performance feels right on.

The all-new red colour is sharp and while talk of new graphics is far from impressive it is interesting to note that what really is new is the material and outer coating on those decals. The previous generation was found to be a bit too susceptible to surface damage from wear and brush scratches. This is an ATV after all and rough, abrasive treatment comes with the territory so it’s good to see that BRP is responding to the comments from dealers and customers who complained about the softness of the first generation of stick-ons.  That led to the new graphics which are tougher, thicker and have a coating that is also more scratch resistant. Is this a big deal?  No, but the company’s response to the complaint is. Hopefully they will keep on listening.       

Probably the most interesting thing about the Renegade is that it’s race-ready right out of the box – so for the weekend warrior with limited time or knowledge of wrenching the 800R puts him/her on the track without precious free time going to setup.

Some of the key features of that make this possible are the extensive use of aluminum (including rims) and aggressive minimalist bodywork styling. The result is that it is 50 pounds lighter than an Outlander 800R model.

Front and Rear shocks can be adjusted to suit a rider’s weight – for high and low-speed compression. Full floorboards come with aggressive kick-up foot pegs and the aluminium taper-profile handlebars with a centre cushioned square pad ensure a good grip and control. 

Also worth looking at is the ‘X package’ that comes with premium shocks, black, center-cast aluminum wheels, aluminum skid plate, handlebar wind deflectors, X-package graphics, X-package seat cover and an all-black graphics and paint scheme.

2009 Can-Am Renegade 800R EFI Specs
Engine 799.9cc twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled, SOHC, 8-valve, EFI
Bore & Stroke 91 x 62 mm
EFI System / Carburetor 46mm Throttle Body, 2 Siemens VDO injectors
Transmission CVT, with high and low range, park, neutral, reverse
Drive Train Selectable 2WD/4WD, shaft driven with Visco-Lok front differential
MSRP $9,499
Length 86 in (2,184mm)
Width 46 in (1,168 mm)
Wheelbase 45 in (1,143 mm)
Seat Height 34.5 in (877 mm)
Clearance 11 in (279 mm)
Dry Weight 607 lb (275 kg)
Towing Capacity 1,300 lb (590 kg)
Frame SST
Front Suspension RS-Type Double A-arm, forged aluminum upper arm/ HPG Shocks
Travel 8.5 in (216 mm)
Rear Suspension RS-Type TTI independent, HPG Shocks
Travel 9 in (229 mm)
Front Brake 2 hydraulic discs
Rear Brake 1 inboard hydraulic disc
Front Tires ITP Holeshot ATR - 25 x 8 x 12 in
Rear Tires ITP Holeshot ATR - 25 x 10 x 12 in
Wheels Center Cast Aluminum
Fuel capacity 5.3 US gal. (20 L)
MSRP $9,499

 
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