Can-Am Stays On The Throttle For 2013

Published in the June 2012 Issue September 2013

2013 Can-Am Commander 1000 XT all accessorized upExpansion of Can-Am's exclusive Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) to much of its Commander side-by-side line and several of what Can-Am dubs "Next Generation" models-which includes moving existing models into the SST G2 frame-are highlights of the unveiling of company's ATV and side-by-side vehicles for 2013.

While there were many changes, upgrades and even new vehicles for 2013, perhaps the one change that grabbed our attention the most is the expansion of DPS to the Commanders, specifically the Commander XT, X and Limited packages. Of all the great features on the 2012 Commanders, one we felt was lacking was power steering, especially noticeable in technical terrain where you need it most. No more worries there with the DPS.

We had a chance to test drive many-unfortunately not all, however-of Can-Am's 2013 ATV and side-by-side vehicles during an unveiling on British Columbia's Vancouver Island in May at the Wastelands Motocross Park outside of Nanaimo. The riding was through dense trees with plenty of mud and tight, twisty trails. DPS was a definite bonus for the type of riding we encountered there.

Can-Am's Commanders get a single mode DPS, not the tri-mode DPS you find on many of the company's ATVs. The DPS replaces the quick ratio steering system found on the 2012 Commanders. The DPS offers specially calibrated settings for use in the Commander, selecting the appropriate amount of steering assistance for the current terrain and conditions you're riding in and on.

Along with DPS, the Commander XT, X and Limited get the Quicker-Engaging (QE) Visco-Lok front differential, helping improve the Can-Am side-by-side's traction and abilities at slower speeds and in technical terrain.

Perhaps the next biggest change coming out of the Can-Am camp for 2013 is putting more models in the company's second generation Surrounding Spar Technology (SST G2) frame. Can-Am claims the SST G2 offers unmatched comfort and improved performance and, on the MAX models, where you can now find that new frame, improved ergonomics for the passenger. We both drove and were a passenger on the MAX 1000 and can attest to the improved comfort and ergonomics claimed by Can-Am. It feels incredibly stable, even on off-camber hills and going over fairly rough terrain.

All Outlanders and Outlander MAX ATVs except the 400 will use the SST G2 frame for 2013. The Renegade 500 and Outlander XT-P and Outlander MAX XT-P also use the SST G2.

We also want to mention the DPS package, which is new to the Can-Am lineup for 2013.

A couple of things are in play here: 1) the fact that 9 out of 10 Outlanders sold are XT models (meaning buyers want all the bells and whistles of an XT vs. a base model); and 2) the "perception" that Can-Am vehicles-ATV or side-by-side-have a much higher MSRP than their competitors. At the media ride in British Columbia, Can-Am went to great lengths to show how that perception is a "myth."

To combat that myth, Can-Am offers the DPS package in these models: Outlander and Outlander MAX and Commander. The ATV DPS models have three premium features but will be competitively priced with like competitors' ATVs, which may have fewer features. The same goes for the Commander DPS with its four premium features compared to its competitors' side-by-sides.

Outlander DPS models have the Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering (MIN, MED and MAX settings), 12-inch cast aluminum wheels with center-less design and Visco-Lok QE front differential. In the Outlander, the DPS model is available in the following engine sizes: 500, 650 and 800R. In the MAX skin, the DPS model comes with a 500 or 650 engine.

On the Commander DPS models-either with an 800R or 1000 engine-there is Dynamic Power Steering, Visco-Lok QE, 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires and 14-inch cast aluminum wheels.

Finally, at the media intro in May, Can-Am unveiled the new-from-the-ground up Outlander 500, which comes to the dirt with a more powerful 46-horsepower Rotax engine, SST G2 frame, suspension updates and three colors. The 46 ponies in the Rotax engine is a 15 percent increase from the previous Rotax 500 powerplant.

We'll provide more details-and photos-of these and other Can-Am vehicles in upcoming issues of Dirt Toys so stay tuned.

  • Like what you read?

    Want to know when we have important news, updates or interviews?

  • Join our newsletter today!

    Sign Up
You Might Also Be Interested In...

Send to your friends!

Already a subscriber? Please check your email for the latest full issue link.