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When on the hunt for Can-am Defender wheels and tires, there are many things to consider and many more options to choose from. Wheel size is an obvious factor that affects driveability, and wheel density is also important as it a primary contributor to the side-by-side’s unsprung weight. The stock Can-am Defender comes with 14” rims from the manufacturer, so if you don’t want to make any extreme changes, sticking with rims in that size range is suggested. That being said, however, it’s generally not the rim size as much as it is the tire size. You should be able to run 30” tires on a Defender XT with no issues. But get up to 32” or 33” and you’ll start to rub when turning. 14” Can-am Defender rims are more common on 30” tire, so it would probably be cheaper to find 14s on 30s. With 14” wheels you’ll be fine with, say, 30” Gorilla Silverbacks or the ITP Cryptids that come stock on the XMR, it really boils down to your budget. But if you really want to turn your UTV into a monster, you can run 33” tires on 20” rims or even 35s on 22s or 37s on 24s — although the latter two are less common. Running larger rims is suggested if you consistently braking or denting your UTV wheels. Rocks can get caught up with no where to go in the factory Defender XMR wheels, which are skinnier with the caliper barely in the wheel. STI’s HD series rims are popular, and they mount right onto the 4/137 bolt pattern of the Can-am — so there is no need for wheel spacers or adapters. And because most of STI’s Can-am Defender wheels are bead lock, they are super easy to mount. If you prefer, Raceline’s bead locks are pretty stout as well.
Like size, wheel offset is another variable that confuses many riders. Stock Can-am Defender wheels are 6+1 on the front and 6+2 on the rear. With a 6+1 offset on all corners, the rear track width will be 2" narrower. To counteract this, many Can-am owners run 1-1.5" spacers on the rear — which increases the wheel base and adds stability. Running a 4+3 offset will put the fronts 3-4" wider overall than stock, and around 2" wider on the rear. A good middle ground is a 5+2 offset, which looks and performs pretty decent. Some riders like to avoid using wheel spacers on their side-by-side because they fear that they contribute added stress. However, this is wildly contested, and running spacers is useful for a variety of reasons — be it more stability or the ability to run different bolt patterns. Whatever the case may be, at Everything Can-Am Offroad, you’re guaranteed to find the right Can-am Defender wheels for your rig!