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Tomcar Lineup

We were lucky enough recently to be invited along to check out Tomcar Australia's production facility in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. David Brim, head of Tomcar Australia, gave us a guided tour of their chassis manufacture and assembly plant and also gave us the chance to check out their current line up of models. All three Tomcar models, the two seater TM-2 and TM-5 that are currently in production as well as the four seater TM-4 that will be coming online soon all share that same suspension and CVT drive line package and can come with either a 1l Petrol or 1.4l Diesel engine and have some very unique features amongst the rest of the SSV category including the lowest centre of gravity and class leading ground clearance. Another unique feature of the Tomcar in the modern SSV world is that it is only 2wd, thats right, 2wd, this however doesn't hinder its ability in rough terrain, as the short test drive that we got to go on in their test car proved the TM-2 being capable of tackling obstacles at amazing angles.

Stay tuned for some video action of the Tomcar TM-2 when we get to test it in some real world conditions next month and in the meantime you can check out the specs for the three models at www.tomcar.com.au

CFMoto X8 Terralander and Family

CFMoto is not the first name that springs to mind when you think about big bore 4x4 ATV's but with the recent launch of their new X8 Terralander 800 that may change things in the eyes of the over 500cc 4x4 market. The Chinese manufacturer is keen on building the repitiore and their reputation and are doing so by bringing their range of ATV's up to spec on the advanced technology that we have seen from the likes of Polaris, Can Am, Yamaha and Honda over the last couple of years.

Aussie distributor for CFMoto, Mojo Motorcycles have been actively involved with the development of CFMoto's ATV models to better suit our unique and extreme conditions with the new 800cc X8 having been rigorously tested in Australia prior to its release.

The new fuel injected 800cc V Twin power plant (pictures above) makes plenty of grunt, 47kW (63HP) in fact with 72Nm (53Ftlb) of torque coming from the 2 single overhead cam 4 valve, water cooled cylinders. This power was quite evident on the test ride we had at the launch day, in wet, slippery conditions at the Melbourne 4x4 training facility located just outside Werribee, with the big bore X8 being very easy to step out the rear when in two wheel drive but feeling quite predictable once switched into for wheel drive when all of the power could be used to drive the X8 through the muddy terrain. Slippery rocks, logs and river crossings like wise proved no hassle for the big 4x4, tackling all obstacles on the short test course with ease.

A CVT couple the big V twin with the Low/High /Neutral/Reverse gear box (with a Park gear) and then on to a front and rear differential. 4x4 is remotely activated via a button on the handle bars as is the rear diff lock. The front and rear cargo racks have a reasonable capacity for this size machine being able to carry 50kg and 100kg respectively while the X8 can tow up to 450kg whilst there is provision for a pillion passenger just like its little brother in the CFMoto range the X6 with a raised rear seat (complete with back rest) and raised foot rests for the passenger.

Also inline with the rest of the class the X8 has dual A arm front and rear independent suspension with adjustable DNM shocks to handle rough terrain but at 396kg dry weight it is not the lightest. The Terralander also sports 14 inch alloy mag wheels with 26 inch Inovva tyres all round which helps to add to the 275mm ground clearance and comes with a 2500lb front mounted winch as standard equipment. Along with alloy A Arm guards, factory fitted indicators, horn and mirrors the X8 presents excellent value for money at $10,490 and comes in the red pictured here or for an extra $250 metallic silver, this sort pricing is really putting CFMoto on the map against the US and Japanese manufacturers.

The X8's little brothers are no slouches in either the riding or price department either with the similarly capable X6 (which is also available as a SWB version) coming in at $7990 which is unheard of for a big bore EFI quad in this market, especially considering that is too come with a winch and 12 inch alloy mags. The X5 X-lander also comes chock full of extras, like the X6 & X8 alloy mags are standard fitment as is a 2500lb winch which also represents great value for an ATV that retails for $6990. The X5 Shares it engine and driveline with the workhorse of the family, CFMoto's entry level machine the CF500 which has a carbureted 4 valve 500cc liquid cooled engine, with the same type of CVT and L/H/N/R gearbox and lockable diff. Over the course of the wet day we mangaged to sample the entire fleet of CFMoto's ATV's and while the standout clearly is the new flagship model 800cc Vtwin the smaller capacity machines really showed that they are not out of the picture by comparison, easily negotiating the same terrain around the test track.

It will be interesting to see how the X8 fares against its big bore competition and the harsh Australian environment as CFMoto gains market share (and trust me they are well and truly on the up) particularly in the extreme use environments that we see so many ATV's used in these days but only time will tell.

To check out CFMoto's ATV range in Australia get onto www.cfmoto.com.au to find a dealer near you.

Xteam Commander 1000X Review

Chad McKay's Finke DS450 XMX review

2012 Can Am Test Rides

Talking to experienced operators fresh from testing the New 2012 Can-Am Outlanders and Renegades at the Club BRP release in Montreal, it is immediately obvious that most were finding it difficult to concentrate on specific improvements. Ridiculous smiles hinted that perhaps most dropped the serious analytical approach as they were quickly carried away by overall performance and exhilaration.
Besides the obvious introduction of the new 1000cc displacement models (976cc), the 800's get most of the big changes too. Both get the G2 frame (generation 2) which is claimed to offer twice the rigidity. All new suspension components are fitted to the 48 inch wide, and longer wheelbase machine. Totally new steering geometry offers less dive and wallow, and also a more plush. The Outlander gets 25mm more suspension travel up front (229mm), and 7mm more at the rear (236mm). The sway bar set up has gone external to offer greater control. Renegade X models will wear fully adjustable Fox shocks. The old model Renegade outboard front brakes were not the most impressive things... but for 2012, BRP have gone to larger 214mm outboard front discs with high spec twin piston callipers.
brp_2012_920fam10
Test riders most noticed improvements were prioritised as; less dive under brakes, improved stability, less bump steer and overall improved ride comfort.
The new front end technology is most noticeable on the non-power-steer models, but the DPS models get an extra mode anyway (now 3 modes). The will leave the 55w low beams on as the 2 x 60w high beams throw a whopping total of 230w out in-front. New mag wheels are lighter and stronger. Operating temperatures are lower because the cooling system capacity is almost doubled (improved by 14kw). Servicing is easier and mostly attacked from under the seat. Versatility in towing starts with a 2 inch receiver as standard. Fuel capacity is up 25% to 20.5 litres. All sorts of accessories are already available for the Linq system Poly-pro, fibre reinforced racks, and now you can leave all that stuff attached while you access the handy water resistant under storage at the rear.
A very welcome addition to the big Can-Ams is the 2 key system. A second work' key can be used that limits the machines outputs and keeps usage under 70kmh. Now the owner gets the say in how hard their machine gets ridden.
As for the 1000cc grunt... most test riders would only offer "you just have to ride one". We should get a few Can-Am 1000's down under well before X-mas... so I guess we'll just have to wait until then.
Bullet.

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