Awesome trails just north of Barrie, great chance to test the new Can Am XMR 1000

Photo: David Harrison

Photo: David Harrison

I have heard about the trails near Coldwater, or “The Swift” for many years, and I finally had the chance to ride them. Maybe it was the stories about the unreal amount of water, or the drowned ATV’s that turned me off, but I discovered that there is so much more than that to explore in the area.

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

The weather was fantastic, a cool 20 degrees and the sun was shining. The night before it had rained and the trail was nice and wet, with no dust issues at all. At first the trail was quite ordinary, but it wasn’t long before we encountered one mud hole after another.

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

Each hole had a bypass, perfect for the two wheel drive riders that accompanied us, and for those not interested in the exotic “Mud Bath”, but I wanted to see what the new Outlander XMR was like in the serious mud. Since I picked the ATV up from Factory Recreation in Midland a few weeks earlier, I had only been on tame trails, something the XMR handled surprisingly well.

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

I was expecting something this beastly to be a beast to drive, as you would expect from a similar “normal” ATV with that many upgrades. This was absolutely not the case, the XMR handled the rail trails, and the laid back trails like a Cadillac. Sure the aggressive tires vibrate at low speed, but above 10km/hr the ride smooths right out, and the adjustable air suspension makes the bumps in the trial all but disappear.

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

As you might expect, the two wheel drive machines did find some spots a challenge, but that’s what fellow riders are for, to lend a hand. I found my self in some almost bottomless holes and needed a little hand too.

Photo: Mark Hamerton

Photo: Mark Hamerton

One very long, very deep, and rutted hole had one rider challenge another. “I’ll give you $100 if you make it to the end on your own power” It didn’t seem that deep, so the challenge was accepted, and the 750 Kawasaki Brute Force hit the mud.

Photo: Mark Hamerton

Photo: Mark Hamerton

After an hour and a half of spinning, pushing, lifting, digging, cursing, and refusing help the rider emerged out the far end of the hole, exhausted, and happy to accept a brown note. Unfortunately later that same rider, in an effort to clean his machine and rad, ended up submerging, and after two more hours of trail side repairs, was going to need to be towed all the way back.

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

Photo: Wayne Knelsen

As the one with the biggest, baddest machine, I was selected to be the tow unit. The 1000cc machine hardly grunted as it pulled the dead ATV back through all that gnarly trail.

All I can say about the XMR is “Outrageous”, this thing does what ever you want it to do, and willingly. I love a ride where I never need a tow, and on this monster the only need for a winch was to pull the other guy out. I love not being intimidated by any hole, and best of all, after you’ve hit the mud for hours overheating is a distant memory.

In the end I didn’t want to leave, the remaining trails were calling to me, and talks about the next ride there were shared by all. Thanks to my friend Remi for setting up this ride and leading the way, I cant wait to go back.

 

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