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Everything Can-Am Commander - Blog

  • Upcoming UTV Events

    With all the exciting UTV events popping up around the country, getting out your Can-Am UTV and hopping behind the wheel will be easier and better than ever! Whether you’re close to a big city or out in the sticks, there is bound to be a UTV event scheduled near you that will make connecting with other Can-Am enthusiasts easier than ever. Click on any of the events listed below to get started planning your next adventure!

    March 2020

    March 6-7: UTV Rally Rocky Point, Rocky Point MX 

    March 3-8: The Mint 400, Las Vegas, NV 

    March 6-8: Muddy Bug Bash, Leakesville, MS

    March 12-15: Shamrock Shakedown, Oliver Springs, TN 

    March 13-15: Bounty Hole Bash, Roseland LA

    March 14: UTV Legends Poker Run, East Bernstadt KY 

    March 18-22: High Lifter Mud Nationals, Blevins AR 

    March 19-22: Rednecks with Paychecks Spring Break, Saint Jo, TX 

    March 21: Big Blue Road Ramble, Blue Rapids, KS

    March 21-22: SMR 2020, West Fork, AR 

    March 27-28: Riding for a Reason, Steelville, MO  

    March 26-29: Super ATV Mudd Mayhem, Jacksonville, TX

    April 2020

    April 2-5: The Legends Rally, Baja, CA

    April 3-4: Terry “Taco” Howard Memorial Trail & ATV Ride, Sparkman, AR

    April 3-5: Wicked Wildcat Weekend, Oliver Springs, TN

    April 16-18: Spring Shindig, Oliver Springs, TN

    April 16-19: International Mud Riders Convention, Sarepta, LA

    April 15-19: Rattle Snake Hunt, Waynoka, OK

    April 16-18: Windrock Park Spring Shindig, Oliver Springs, TN

    April 17-19: Arkansas Angels Benefit Ride, Atkins, AR

    April 23-26: JBS Spring Ride, Ghent, WV 

    April 23-27: Mudfest, Drakesboro, KY 

    April 24-26: Rally at the Mines, Farmington, MO

    April 25: Busted Axles UTV Poker Run, Gales Creek, Oregon

    April 25: Burden’s 6th Annual Mud Bash, Mount Olive, MS

    April 27-May 5: Busco Beach Mud Bash, Goldsboro, NC

    April 29-May 3: UTV Takeover, Grundy, VA

    April 29-May 3: Appalachian ATVenture Festival, Gilbert, WV

    April 30-May 2: Sand Outlawz 2020, Waynoka, OK

    April 30-May 3: Birthday Bash, Bedford, KY

    May 2020

    May 1-2: UTV Rally Mormon Lake, Mormon Lake, AZ

    May 2-5: Rangely OHV Adventure Rally, Rangley, CO

    May 12-16: Rally on the Rocks, Moab, UT

    May 14-17: Redneck Rave, Mammoth Cave, KY

    May 15-16: Doin the Dunes, Waynoka, OK

    May 22-25: Memorial Mudbug, Jacksonville, TX 

    May 22-25: Mudapalooza, Sarepta, LA

    May 28-30: Outlaw Jam, Vernal, UT

    June 2020

    June 5: Birthday/Foam Party at BMB Off-Road, Fulton, MS 

    June 7-9: High Lifter Quadna Mud Nationals, Hill City, MN

    June 8-9: Texas Off-Road Nationals, Boyd, TX

    June 11-14: Conconully ATV/UTV Jamboree, Conconully, WA

    June 24-28: UTV Takeover, Coos Bay, OR

    June 25-28: East Coast SXS Summer Slam, Central City, PA

    July 2020

    July 2-5: Let Freedom Ride, Sarepta, LA

    July 9-12: Rally in the Pines, Salmon, ID 

    July 13-14: Manti Mountain ATV/UTV Run Summer Event, Manti, UT

    July 21-26: Dunefest, Winchester Bay, OR

    August 2020

    Aug. 10-16: Full Throttle Saloon Off-Road Rally, Sturgis, SD

    Aug. 19-24: White Mountain UTV Jamboree, Springerville, AZ

    September 2020

    Sept. 4-7: Mudstock, Sarepta, LA

    Sept. 8-12: Eastern Sierra ATV/UTV Jam, Coleville/Walker, CA

    Sept. 11-13: Sturgis Off-Road Rally, Sturgis, SD

    Sept. 16-20: UTV Takeover, Sept. 16-20, Waynoka, OK

    Sept. 17-20: Rednecks with Paychecks Fall Mudcrawl, Saint Jo, TX

    Sept. 18-20: Sand Sports Super Show, Costa Mesa, CA

    Sept. 18-19: Manti Mountain ATV/UV Run Fall Event, Manti, UT

    October 2020

    Oct. 1-4: AIMExpo, Columbus, OH

    Oct. 8-12: National Trailfest, Gilbert, WV

    Oct. 8-12: Pumpkin Run Rally, Mercer, WI

    Oct. 10-11: Busco Beach Fall Bash, Goldsboro, NC

    Oct. 15-17: Windrock Park Fall Jam, Oliver Park, TN

    Oct. 17: Creepy Crawl, Mapleton, KS

    Oct. 21-25: UTV Takeover, Hurricane, UT

    November 2020

    Nov. 12-14: SxS Adventure Rally, Hurricane, UT

    Be sure to block off your calendar for some of the above events so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to connect with like-minded Can-Am enthusiasts. Whether you have a Maverick, Commander or Defender, you’re bound to find an event near you that will give you an experience you won’t forget. Don’t let the fun pass you by- get out your riding gear, rev up the engine and get riding!

  • Can-Am Side-By-Side Coverage: Who To Insure Your Rig With

    Some Can-Am UTV owners decide against insurance on their side-by-sides. A combination of careful driving, having the ability to fix one’s own machine, and only riding a few times a year makes some Can-Am owners second guess the need for insurance. For most UTV owners, however, the monthly cost of insurance is well worth it — if only for the sense of safety that it brings during a ride. After all, what’s the point of buying a Can-Am (or any side-by-side for that matter) if you aren’t going to use it and abuse it to the fullest extend of the machine’s capabilities.  

    You should never go with an insurance carrier just because they have the cheapest rate, but this doesn’t mean that you should be paying out the ass for UTV insurance either. Everyone’s driver profile will be a little different, and there are many factors that will affect how much you pay for side-by-side insurance. But regardless of your driving record, the state where you live, your age, or other demographic differences that could alter your insurance premium, if your rig gets totaled and you don’t have coverage, you’ll be kicking yourself for not having it. 

    Getting The Right Coverage For Your Can-Am Side-By-Side

    The amount of coverage you get for your Can-Am might depend on things like how handy you are with a wrench, how risky you are on the trail, and how many accessories you run on your UTV. The price of your vehicle will also come into play. A Can-Am Defender owner may not pay the same amount as a Can-Am Maverick owner; and a Can-Am Commander owner might pay something different still. 

    If UTVs are street legal where you live, getting insurance that is endorsed for street use might be important to you. Similarly, if you use your vehicle for work purposes, then insuring it is definitely a valid business expense (and likely a tax write-off as well). Many riders have their UTVs bundled with their home and automobile, which helps to keep costs low. Others have their machines covered by their farm/ranch policy. Although no two situations will be identical, there are a lot of overlapping characteristics that can help you better determine which insurance policy is right for you and your Can-Am. 

    The Best Insurance Providers For Can-Am UTVs

    Most of the big names in insurance offer coverage for ATVs and UTVs. As long as your record isn’t strewn with DUIs and reckless driving infractions, you should be able to get a good rate with one of the major insurers. The UTV insurance policies by Progressive, for instance, are popular because you can pick and choose what matters most to you. You can get full coverage with just about every option plus total-loss coverage for around $475 per annum on a machine registered as primarily off-road with some highway use.    

    What you have to look out for, however, are companies with pricing models that issue rates based on repair costs, not cash payouts. USAA is notorious for using such a model. If you make a claim with them, they’ll always attempt to repair something (with OEM parts) before issuing a check. This is great for automobiles, but not so much for off-road toys. For banking and other financial products, USAA is great. But their UTV insurance just doesn’t cut it in our opinion. 

    Some friends of the site who own Can-Am UTVs have them bundled with their house and car through Safeco for $477 per year. And other riders we know pay $220 per year for insurance through Country Financial, and $110 per year through Travelers. 

    If you’ve looked into the matter of UTV insurance at all, you’ve likely seen many different range amounts online, or have gotten a variety of differing quotes yourself. You may have found out the hard way that “full-coverage” isn’t actually full coverage. Further, some things aren’t included in some policies, and if you are the one with the policy but weren't the one behind the wheel at the time of an accident, you are likely SOL. 

    While you might be tempted to be your own insurance policy by fixing your machine and making repairs whenever they’re needed, if your rig rolls down a hill on accident, goes up in flames for some reason, comes off the trailer, or encounters some other unlikely event that totals the unit, you’ll be glad you bought insurance. Some homeowners insurance policies cover stolen UTVs, however others don’t. So if you live in a sketchy area, insurance that covers stolen side-by-sides might be worth looking into. 

    In Closing

    If you want to make your Can-Am street legal or purchased the vehicle through a bank loan, buying UT insurance is compulsory. But even for those who drive exclusively off-road and own their machine outright, insurance can make rides more enjoyable and less stressful, helping you to not incessantly think about damaging your Can-Am side-by-side. At the end of the day, only you can decide if insurance is necessary for your circumstances. But if you do decide to get coverage on your UTV, shopping around, bundling, and making sure you have actual cash value insurance instead of replacement cost insurance will save you from needless suffering and strife in the future.

  • The Best Sound System Setup For The Can-Am Commander

    Depending on who you ask, you’re probably going to get multiple different answers and opinions vis-à-vis the best way to play music and other forms of audio in the Can-Am Commander. While soundbar-style stereos are sleek and easy to install, they can’t rival other styles of UTV stereos. Things like overhead sound systems are similarly sleek and streamlined, but more complex than soundbars. On the higher-end, full Can-Am Commander stereo kits with multiple speakers, subs, and amplifiers dispersed throughout the cab can also be installed for the highest sound quality and decibel output. Regardless of your budget or the other aftermarket accessories you have already installed in your machine, there are many great options for Can-Am Commander sound system setups. 

    Cheap Can-Am Commander Sound-Systems Options

    One of the cheapest ways to play music in the Can-Am Commander is to bring along your cousin Billy-Bob who plays the Banjo. Alternatively, you could just use your phone speaker set upside-down in a glass cup. Using headphones and earbuds is a simple and cheap way to listen to music when you’re on the trail, but if you want the best bang for your buck when it comes to Can-Am Commander sound systems, better options are available.

    Front speaker pods by companies like Bad Dawg and SSV Works aren’t too expensive, and the Cooter Brown side-by-side stereo unit from EMP also puts out decent sound for the price. And while cheap Boss audio tubes can be purchased at places like Walmart, which plug into your cigarette outlet and sync to your smartphone's bluetooth, these are generally not waterproof, shockproof, or able to withstand the bumps and vibrations that are common in off-road riding. 

    Even lower-end UTV soundbars are better for off-road applications than the higher-end ones made for indoor use. The JBL Stadium UB4100 Powersports soundbar, for example, not only provides its user with handsome sound, but it also comes with an interior light to illuminate the cab of your side-by-side and a GoPro stand for capturing all your high-adrenaline stunts. 

    The Memphis soundbar is another cheap option that is more than enough for most casual listeners. Although it doesn’t have a lot of bass — and most soundbars don’t compared to bigger systems — it provides great quality sound nonetheless, and is a small system that takes up very little space in the cockpit of your Commander. 

    Wet Sounds soundbars are common, but many riders reckon that if you are going to spend that much and still want a soundbar, the Powerbass 1200 is a better option with crazy loud capabilities and superbly clear sound. Before you decide on a soundbar, however, you should take into consideration potential fitment issues with aftermarket roofs, windshields, and rear windscreens. The last thing you want is to have to mess around with mounting hardware or retrofit your own stereo bracket just to make your soundbar fit properly.  

    Roof Stereos For The Can-Am Commander

    For a stereo setup that is powerful yet out of the way, accessible yet non-obtrusive, an overhead Can-Am Commander stereo unit is the way to go. Unlike their cage-mounted speaker boxes — which barely fit on an RZR, yet alone a Commander with angled support bars — many Can-Am owners really enjoy the stereo tops by Audioformz. You can use them as is, or upgrade the speakers to some 6x9 Rockford Fosgates

    Like Audioformz, J Strong Industries also makes a great overhead audio system for the Can-Am Commander, equipped with built-in speakers, an infinity head unit, interior lights, and bluetooth as well as AM/FM and Aux inputs. Companies like ProBox and Southern Sounds also make good roof stereo systems for the Can-Am Commander, but it all just depends on what you need and what you can afford. 

    Complete Stereo Kits For The Can-Am Commander

    Full audio systems for the Can-Am Commander can get expensive, but for those who prioritize sound quality over cost, companies like Swamp Donkey, Froghead Industries, and Mayhem Manufacturing offer high-end stereos and stereo gear that will make your rig bump like nothing else on the trail. The Noam kit is an option as well, and riders frequently mix and match various parts from different sound accessory providers. 

    For example, a great audio system could include two Noam 5.25” speakers mounted on the rear roll bar set for low range, two 5.25” Polk audio speakers on the front roll cage pillars with the Bad Dawg speaker pods and a 10” subwoofer by SSV. A system like this sounds way more natural than other types of side-by-side sound systems, as the music faces you from the front rather than screaming at you from behind. 

    Be it an expensive system, a cheap system, or something in between, the right audio setup for you and your Can-Am Commander will depend on what you want, what you care about spending money on, and the space available in your side-by-side. 

  • Making Your Can-Am Side-By-Side Street Legal

    Mechanically, there’s nothing preventing any Can-Am side-by-side owner from riding on pavement. Aside from a little extra wear on, and excessive rumbling from, non-street off-road tires, the only thing that stops most riders from driving their Can-Ams on city or county streets is the fear of Johnny Law. If you know everyone in your small town or your sister’s married to a Sheriff’s Deputy, you might be able to ride your Commander, Defender, or Maverick through the city’s main thoroughfare while blasting music and texting on your cell phone without a care in the world. 

    More realistically, even if you’re abiding by the rules of the road, keeping to yourself, or just trying to fill up your gas take, without the proper street legal precautions, you’re liable to get a ticket at best, or get your machine confiscated at worst — albeit the latter would likely only occur after several violations. To be legal on the street, in most cases you’ll need a vehicle registration as well as license. And to get the government license, you’ll need the requisite accessories. But even if you have a DOT approved windshield, 4-point harnesses on all seats, turn signals, three mirrors, and the various other street legal accessories mandated by many municipal legal codes, your city, state, or county might still prohibit UTVs on public roads. We’ll look into a few areas regarding the topic based on recent feedback we’ve gotten from Can-Am owners. 

    Texas: A Long-Standing Anti-UTV State

    Despite their popularity in Texas, side-by-sides, such as the ones by BRP under the Can-Am brand, are not permitted to be on any public roads. This is not exclusive to side-by-sides, however. It applies to all "off-road machinery, including four-wheelers, UTVs, and off-course golf carts. One would find it strange that motorcycles can be street legal, yet something like the Can-Am Maverick (which feels perfectly safe at speeds in excess of 75mph) cannot. 

    In early January, Texas passed a new law that many Texans thought would make their Can-Ams street legal. But as of the time of this writing, it appears that it is just a bill requiring that UTVs be titled and registered, with nothing about making them street legal. As the current law stands, there is no requirement for flags our blinkers or headlights, but this only applies to SXS vehicles, referred to as UHV’s, within 25 miles of an agricultural interest. As of yet, the applicable regulation is not on the TxDOT website, but it is on the TX Parks and Wildlife website.

    Some might think that there is no way to change your title in the state of Texas. After all, a blue title is a clear title with no brands. The only other kind of title you can have is a green salvage title, which requires the vehicle to be deemed beyond repair by an insurance company or registered TXDOT inspector. But we’ve seen it done firsthand. It’s a long process, don’t get us wrong, but yes you can make them street legal in Texas — even the title being changed to a clean blue on-highway vehicle title.

    The Best Street Legal Kits For Can-Am UTVs

    As mentioned earlier, the best street legal kit for you and your UTV would depend on your state laws. In a lot of mid-western states such as Arizona, you’re side-by-side needs to have a horn audible up to a certain distance, a lit license plate that is road registered, and a rear view mirror. You also have to have a regular tag as well as an off-highway-vehicle tag, and they both have to be displayed a certain way. 

    In some communities, noise restrictions are in place to prevent vehicles with loud exhausts from being legal. Similarly, emissions laws have been past in several states that require specific types of mufflers and exhaust systems. If you live in such areas, check your state DMV to see what you can and cannot do. 

    Registering Your Can-Am In A UTV-Friendly State

    In states like North Dakota, there are no laws that spell out clearly what street legal accessories you need to have and where you can or cannot ride. Small-town deputies probably couldn’t care either way, so long as you’re not an idiot and don’t make them respond to calls because of you. 

    Even if you’re near a city that has a city ordinance banning UTVs, you still might be alright on county roads. You might not have to do a thing to it — no registration, no title, no lights, nothing — if you have it registered as farm equipment. Like a tractor, however, you’ll still need to display an orange triangle sign; which is ironic considering the triangle is a slow-moving vehicle warning and most Can-Am side-by-sides can easily go in excess of 65mph. 

    A lot of riders in non-UTV friendly areas get their machines registered out-of-state. You can get license plates and everything. You can go to places like South Dakota (which doesn’t even require a physical inspection) or trailer your Can-Am down to Louisiana and have them do a state inspection on it. You can then transfer the title to an in-state address and get in-state tags. If you have a buddy with a farm, transfer it to their address and get farm plates for those particularly draconian non-UTV friendly states. 

    At the end of the day, however, what it's going to boil down to is law enforcement in your area. When they see people driving ATVs on the roadway, a lot of police officers will generally make contact with them, but take various things into account when deciding on how to proceed — for example how they are riding, are they drinking or playing loud music on their overpower stereo setup, do they have children with them, was a complaint called in, etc. You get a Game Warden on a bad day and even a Can-Am equipped with a complete street legal kit, license plate, registration, and everything else could still result in a warning if not a violation. 

  • Can-Am Maverick X3 Lubricants, Liquids, And Grease

    Keeping your Can-Am Maverick X3 nice and lubed up is an important factor in maintaining a properly functioning machine. Most people recognize the need to consistently grease their wheel bearings, but things like driveshafts, heim joints, and zerks also require a good amount of grease to function. And where lubrication is concerned, running the right oil in your machine is also crucial. So how does one keep their X3 properly lubed up?

    Oiling Up The Can-Am Maverick X3

    10w40 is the recommended grade of oil for the Can-Am Maverick X3. However full synthetic oils like the Redline 5W40 Full Synthetic, Rotella T6 5w40, or Mobil1 0w40 are also great for the engine in the X3. Changing the oil every 1000 miles or so is common practice, and when coupled with routine maintenance, will greatly extend the life of your machine. 

    Some riders have managed to get lifetime free oil changes from their dealerships as a sweetener for buying their X3. But even if you’ve gotta shell out a little for an oil change or take the time to change it yourself, it’s well worth it in the long run to preserve your X3’s engine. 

    As far as front differential oil goes, the owner’s manual said to run 75-90. However, if you have a 2020 XMR Turbo RR or another X3 edition with smart locking differentials, 75-140 oil is suggested for best results. 

    When the X3s first came out, a lot of people found unexplained oil on their machine or garage floor. It turned out the oil was spilled when it was filled up at the dealer or the factory. This isn’t always the case, however, so if you see any oil leaking from your machine, keep a close eye on it. Some X3 owners have told us that their machines leaked at the prop shaft coming out of the tranny. 

    Coolant pumps are also known to leak every now and then, but you can also check near the starter bolt (case sealant) for any failure. If you take your X3 in to have an expert look at it, make sure you are very clear and communicate your expectations to whatever services department touches it. That whole wait and see if it does it again is BS and shouldn’t be tolerated.

    Greasing Up The Can-Am Maverick X3

    Everyday greasing in things like the wheel bearings and zerks are common place and required regularly. Regardless of whether you bought your machine used or straight from the factory, you’re still gong to want to make sure the bearings are greased up. Over-the-axle wheel bearing grease tools can be purchased for under $50, and with this style of tool, you do not need to remove the axle or the carrier assembly to grease your X3 bearings. 

    Heim joints, CV joints, and sway bar bushings can also be greased if your machine is creaky and you’re looking for a solution to make your X3 ride more smoothly and with less noise. Aftermarket accessories such as SuperATV's sway bar links can help in this regard, but if the noise stems from your radius arm joints, a little Kroil oil will do the trick. It doesn't attract dirt and keeps your joints moving freely. If you’ve just washed your machine, some WD 40 can also work, albeit not as long. 

    Strange noises are also commonly found in the driveshafts of the X3. Unlike other Can-Am UTVs with grease points on the joints, the X3a driveshaft is slightly different. If you want to grease up the driveshaft, we’d suggest marking the shaft points with a paint pen. You can then unbolt the front shaft and pull the side panels to access the carrier bearing. Mark those shafts and rear then unbolt the carrier bearing so the drive shaft can move forward. Get yourself some heavy tractor grease, grease it up, then put it back together — you shouldn’t hear any strange driveshaft noises after that.  

    Other Fluids For The Can-Am Maverick X3

    Something like windshield wiper fluid is not unimportant, and without cooling fluid, your machine will surely overheat. So in addition to grease, oil, and other lubricants, ensuring that your fluid levels and good is an important check to make before any ride. 

  • Diagnosing, Fixing, And Modifying The Electric System In A Can-Am Commander

    An important, yet often underrated, part of the Can-Am Commander is its electric system. Riders often pay it no mind, that is, until it’s not working properly. While accessories like aftermarket winches, radios, and light bars get a lot of attention, little emphasis is placed on the electric system that powers all of these accessories. But regardless of whether you’re wanting to augment your Commander’s electric system to handle more draw from accessories, of simply trying to remedy an issue stemming from a particular electronic component, below is some information that should get you familiar with common issues and electric system modifications for the Can-Am Commander. 

    Augmenting The Can-Am Commander Electric System  

    Unless you are adding a bunch of electronics, things like dual battery kits, relay boards, and more powerful staters may not be compulsory. Some Commander owners would tell you to use your funds to first upgrade your tie rods or get aftermarket tires, but there is something to be said about having the added security of knowing that you’ll always be able to start your machine no matter what. 

    A second battery with an isolator will make sure that your main battery — which is used to start your Commander — will never run out of energy. When the engine is off, your electric system will only only draw from the second battery, so you can run light bars, whips, music, and your winch all without having to keep your the running. If you run things like a bilge pump fan and a Pro Comp Offroad fan in your engine bay to keep heat out while using high beams, a winch, and a light bar, there is little chance a single battery could support it all on its own. 

    There is plenty of room under the drivers seat for a second battery, or you might be able to put it right beside the existing battery with an aftermarket battery tray. Wiring your Commander batteries in series will ensure that both get charged while the machine is running, but there are other ways/kits for wiring them in. Many riders go with Optima batteries, but the Odyssey battery is good as well. You should be good as long as it’s a dry-cell battery. Not only are dry cell UTV batteries both very durable and very powerful, but unlike wet-cell batteries, dry-cell batteries won’t drip battery acid on you in the event of a roll over. 

    If your battery isn’t charging, the problem could be with your voltage regulator. And because the computer in the Can-Am Commander doesn't shut off — even when the keys off — your machine might need a jump if you let it sit for long periods of time. If this is the case for you, it would be beneficial to get a battery maintainer like a Deltran Battery Tender. Plug it in when you put your Commander in the garage and leave it plugged in until you ride again. This will always put the battery at peak voltage, which is important because the starter motor is generally the highest amp drawing power consumer in your Commander. 

    Aftermarket or home-made relay boards can also be used to bolster the Can-Am Commanders electric system. Keeping your electronics on key power is important, as you don’t want them to continue drawing despite the machine being off, and the auxiliary power plug in the dash seems like the most easily accessible place to make this happen. We would suggest, however, to get a constant duty solenoid, power it from your secondary battery, but turn it on using your ignition circuit.

    Mount any relay or aftermarket electronic component in the most dry place you can, and never forget to ground your electric system. We’d also highly recommend swapping your relays for sealed relays, especially if you mount them upside down or in an exposed area, as they will go bad the first time they get wet

    Issues With The Can-Am Commander Electric System

    A common issue with the electric system in the Commander has to do with bad switches. If your machine is acting strange — like throwing weird check engine lights and code on the screen, flashing air fault code, and showing a the speedometer bouncing around — or your high beam switch only works now and then, you likely have a faulty switch. If these problems happen intermittently, coming and going seemingly haphazardly, we’d suggest checking you’re switches. 

    If the headlights are flakey, you can give them a hard tap from low to high a few times to make them work in the short term. But a longer-term solution would be to swap out or clean the switches. When opening up the switches, beware as there are some very tiny springs inside that you don’t want to loose. Once open, look at the connectors and check for areas that appear partially or fully corroded. If they’re still in tact, you should be able to clan them with a light sand on the brown burnt spot. Add some dielectric grease, put it back together, and you might get it working without having to buy a new one. 

    Low batteries will also throw the computer off and cause your machine to flash false codes. Charge your battery to full capacity or swap it out with a different one to rule this out as the cause. Once you determine that it’s not your battery causing the electric issue, try the voltage regulator, then the stator. There could be a bad connection to either or the voltage regulator could be bad. Making sure that the cables are tight is also a good thing to check. 

    Worrying About Damaging Your Commander’s Electronics

    Many new Can-Am Commander owners are rightly worried about washing their machine, taking care not to damage the electric system. But we can assure you that the Commander is almost a hundred percent waterproof. You're not going to hurt a thing with a power washer. Besides, a water hose puts out way more flooding water than a power washer, so go ahead and pound the crap out of the dash electric connections, ECU, winch, and engine, you're not going to hurt a thing — these things will swim if you'll put snorkels on them

    You won’t void the warranty for washing the Can-Am Commander. Walk into any Powersports dealership they will have at least one pressure washer, and probably a steam cleaner also. They are off-road vehicles, and made to withstand water. You are much better off keeping your machine impeccably clean than letting it get dirty. Glass the engine, blast everything, get it clean keep and it clean and it will last a lot longer.

  • Tips And Tricks For Cooling Your Maverick Engine

    It doesn’t matter where you ride, be it in South Florida, Texas, or even the cooler northern states, your Can-Am Maverick engine can overheat regardless of the outside temperatures. While 3-4 bars is normal — even in warmer climates — if your machine stays in the mid-five-bar range or is overheating at idle, you’ve got an issue. Some riders might tell you that a thermostat delete is your best bet if you’re running hot, but others would argue that this is a band-aid fix, and you’re better off finding the root problem and fixing that rather than the symptoms. Other solutions like radiator relocation kits, aftermarket fans and pumps, as well as refreshed ECUs are also options. So if your Maverick is running hot, here’s what you should do.

    Keeping Your Maverick Radiator In Working Order

    Most people think tat their Can-Am Maverick radiator is clean, but it's really not. So if your rig is overheating, we’d suggest to first take the fins out and give it a high PSI cleaning. Making sure that the radiator is clean is only half the battle, however, as the cooling lines could be the culprit. If you have air bubbles in your radiator system, proper cooling will likely not occur. Make sure to “burb” your cooling lines to get all the air out of them and put new engine ice (cooling fluid) in if you’re running low — the ice in the purple container works well. Alternatively, you can also run CLR (calcium, lime, and rust remover) through the cooling system if you suspect there might be deposits built up inside. 

    To bleed your coolant lines, there is a process that Can-Am says you should use. They suggest jacking the whole bike up systematically, starting with the front, then the side, then the back, and then the front on the other side. Think of a water bottle when you tip it upside down and move it around. That is similar to what’s happening in your coolant lines.

    Once you know both your radiator fins and the coolant lines are clean and set up right, the next thing you might check are the temperature sensors and water pump. If your sensors are off, your machine’s computer won’t know that the engine is too hot, and if your water pump impeller is malfunctioning, it may not be circulating fluids properly. 

    The Boysean high flow water pump kit is an option that many riders swear by. We’ve talked to riders that had brand new radiators, hoses, t-stats, and high volume fans, yet were still always on the verge of over heating. They  changed the coolant several times, thinking that they had the wrong mixture, bled the system, checked their oil, scrutinized their head gaskets, but to no avail. The only thing that worked was replacing the plastic stock water pump impeller with the billet impeller like the one by Boysean. 

    Starting with the small stuff and getting progressively bigger will help you rule things out. Things that aren’t inside the radiator or even part of the radiator system, however, can affect engine temperatures. The primary component that isn’t a part of the cooling system yet plays a crucial roll in its performance is the electronic control unit.  

    Reflashing Your Maverick’s Computer

    Reflashing your Maverick’s electronic control unit (ECU) could be the solution to your overheating problems. By flashing your ECU, you’re programming the computer to tell the radiator fan to kick on at lower temperatures. If you’ve noticed that your fan kicks on at around 5 bars, an ECU reflash would turn them on at, say, 3 bars instead. This is a simple solution and can be done for relatively little money. If you have an ECU turner on your Maverick, all it would take is a few pushes of a button. 

    A fan override switch is another option for controlling your cooling fans. Although a bit more involved than an ECU reflash, a fan override switch lets you manually control your radiator fans. When things get too hot, simply flip a switch and your fans will start working full force. 

    Maverick Radiator Relocations And Dual Radiators

    Thick clay and mud are the bane of any radiator, which is why some riders decide to bite the bullet and relocate their radiator or add a secondary one. Specialized UTV mudding radiators like the TCP Mudder edition radiator work well, but relocating the radiator to the back or top of your Maverick with a CYA radiator relocation kit or something similar is the best way to keep it clean and mud free. 

    If you don’t want to move your stock radiator, a dual-radiator system can function in much the same way as a radiator relocation kit. However instead of moving your radiator away from the ground, you simply add another one where it won’t get crusted up and blocked. You can route the lines at the motor, splicing the main to the rear and then from the second radiator back to the motor so they run in succession. Use a switch to turn it on after running your machine or when the front fans kick on. 

    Closing Thoughts

    We won’t get into t-stat deletions or the option of bypassing the crossover hose with a looping system, but the above information should get you going and be more than enough for you to avoid your overheating issues. A hot engine should never be ignored, and it’s well worth spending a little now for better engine cooling than spending heaps more later for a brand new engine replacement! 

  • The Top 3 Tires For The Can-Am Defender

    Asking what the best tire is for the Can-Am Defender is like asking which Can-Am side-by-side is the best — some are great for curtain applications, while others are more suited for different applications. And so it is with Defender tires. A tire that propels your Can-Am Defender effortlessly through thick mud will, without a doubt, perform poorly on pavement or hard-packed trails. Similarly, a sand tire designed for dune and desert riding won’t do as well in the mud. In addition to the type of UTV tire, the size, weight, and alignment of your Defender tires will also play a roll in their performance. Taking a holistic perspective, we looked at the durability, drivability, and cost of nearly every Can-Am Defender tire out there, and here are our findings. 

    Maxxis Carnivore Radial Tires

    If you’re looking for a good Can-Am Defender tire that will last when running on gravel and pavement, won’t sink up in sand, and still pull in mud, look no further than Carnivore tires by Maxxis. You can get a set with HD4 wheels or Dragon Fire wheels for around a grand, and although they are designed for all-around use, they perform very well on dirt hills and go great in the mud.   

    Compared to other terrain-specific tires, Carnivores can hold their own. Be it on sand or shale, they aren’t fussy and won’t give you many problems. They are especially good for working Defenders, as their 8-ply construction makes them perfect for hauling heavy loads. Whether it be logs, tools, or a big ol’ buck, Carnivore tires can withstand the weight. 

    Carnivores come in 28”, 30”, and 32” heights, and are non-directional. Compared to other all-terrain UTV tires, they are a bit more aggressive, with thick tread used to grip the trail. The only downside to buying new Carnivore tires is that they are a more expensive in Canada, where the government implements steep taxes that often offset a cheaper exchange rate. On the plus side, if you are buying from a private seller, you will not need to pay Canadian tax.

    Pro Armor’s Duel Threat Tires

    For all-around use, we’ve found the Dual Threat tire set by Pro Armor to be near the top of the class. Run 29x9 in the front and 29x11 in the rear and you’ll smooth sailing with zero noise on asphalt. The inner tread has a harder durometer for long wear, while the outer tread is stickier to really bite off road. They are virtually unstoppable off-road and measure a true 29” with a 10ply construction. The only caveat is that these aren’t the cheapest tires out there. At around $250 a pop, a full set will set you back. Add wheels to the mix and even the richer riders among us might shudder a but. However, because they withstand the most heavy-footed riders, they are a more long-term solution that will prove more cost effective in the long run. 

    Intimidator Tires By SuperATV

    According to a few Defender owners we’ve talked to, the 34x10.5x15 Intimidator tires are the best they’ve ever owned. Not only do they clean out well on every type of terrain — mud, snow, rocks, trail, etc. — but they are also surprisingly smooth. They are definitely not a pure mud tire, yet do very well in muddy terrain. Unlike other tires, they are wider and heavier. This is great from a traction perspective, but may be problematic from a clutching perspective. 

    When running the larger Intimidators in watery mud, you should be fine. But in the thicker, “peanut butter” mud, the extra weight maxes out the machine’s torque, which can be problematic. If you do 36” Intimidators, you'll most likely need clutch work and / or portals to reduce the gearing. However for trail riding and crawling on smooth clay terrain, 34” Intimidators should suffice.    

    Honorable Mentions

    For exclusive sand riders, the Blackbird sand tire by TMW Offroad is hard to beat. For mudders who spend all their time in the slop, SuperATV’s Assassinator tires are sure to up the fun factor. BKT’s are awesome for pavement riding, but the DragonFire XM310 tires also hold up on gravel/pavement and ride smooth — the perfect tire for that  Florida sugar sand. Bighorns are also popular, however they are made from a soft compound and wear down on machines with drivers with an itchy right foot. Whatever tire you choose, however, periodic rotations are a must. Now quit reading and get out there on your Defender!

  • The Importance Of Keeping Your Can-Am Clean

    No matter where you ride, you’re bound to get your Can-Am at least a little dirty; it’s just part of the game. And while the mud and dust may be inevitable on the trail, it doesn’t have to stick on there forever. Even riders who don’t particularly care how their rig looks, preferring function over form so to speak, should still take care of their machines. Be it a $50 bike or a $20K UTV, taking care of your stuff surely makes things last longer. 

    Sure the exterior appearance may not be important to some riders, but the dust and mud on the outside can lead to faster wear and tear on internal components, causing grit to build up and forcing side-by-side owners to make replacements more frequently. So whether you’re getting your Can-Am Maverick ready for an Instagram photoshoot or trying to clean the engine and transmission of your Can-Am Defender workhorse, keeping your UTV clean provides more than aesthetic benefits.    

    Cleaning The Seats Of A Can-Am

    Many Can-Am owners have noticed that the seats on their rigs are very porous. These pours are great at making the seats not slippery when wet, but they also make the seats quite tricky to clean. Things like seat covers can act as a preventative measure to halt unnecessary wear and tear, but what can one do to get stains out of Can-Am seats?

    The purple or green tire cleaner or foaming tire spray at your local car wash will remove the stains in your Can-Am seats after a ride. Once you’ve given them a vigorous wash, putting Armor All or some other equivalent on them will give your seats added protection. 

    Tuff Stuff carpet cleaner with a scrub brush also does work on Can-Am seats. And if you want to make your own DIY seat-cleaning mixture, one cup of Tide along with one cup of Zep cleaner mixed together with two gallons water in a sprayer is a great cleaning solution. You may never be able to prevent scratches on your side-by-side, but you can keep the seats in your ride looking nice and fresh.

    Cleaning The Exterior Of A Can-Am

    Taking a hose or pressure washer to your Can-Am after a ride is a sure-fire way to wash it down. But even after a long spray-down, there seems to always be mud seeping out from a crack or two just when you think you’ve gotten it completely clean. Taking the Can-Am skids off and cleaning the undercarriage is a good idea. Plus, it makes it easier to grease the U-joints and check the differential fluid — which can be done by pulling the fill plugs and making sure the oil isn't milky or low. Plus, removing the skids periodically and cleaning the flammable debris that accumulates in the floorboard is important for obvious safety reasons. 

    For the body plastics on a Can-Am, most riders use either SC1 or Motul e10, which are just silicon wax products that bring faded and stained plastics back to their original shine. Dollar store Pledge works great also, and the Zen industrial degreaser or Purple Power full strength we mentioned earlier can do the trick as well. Scrub it on before washing your UTV down to get all the mud stains out, just don’t let it sit too long on painted surfaces.  

    Cleaning The Windshield Of A Can-Am

    Take a look at the bottle on RainX or windex and you’ll see that they both say to not use them on plexiglass. Windshield cleaning solutions like Plastx, Plexus, or 3m’s Polishing Compound work well, but it’s hard to beat simple soap and water. Whatever you do though, avoid using paper towels on your Can-Am windshield. Microfiber cloths are great, but a squeegee can work as well.

    Deep Cleaning A Can-Am

    Having a nice and shiny Can-Am is all well and good, but when junk infiltrates the internal components of your UTV, things will start to go downhill in a hurry. If you’re trying to just clean the engine and transmission of your Can-Am without causing coursing, S100 works well. 

    If you’ve filled your Can-Am clutches and belt with muddy water, you’re going to have to get in there to clean it properly. Pull the seat out, pull the plastics off, and remove belt cover. It’s pretty simple, just make sure you take the belt off when you clean it. You’ll probably need to take your primary apart and pull your secondary off and take it apart as well if you ran muck through them.

    Closing Remarks

    Whether you blast your Can-Am down with a foam cannon after a ride, hit it with a garden sprayer, or slide an oscillating sprinkler up under it and let it run for 10 to 15 minutes, there’s more than one way of cleaning a Can-Am UTV. Keeping the cab clean will make rides more comfortable, while keeping the exterior clean will give you a prideful sense of ownership. 

    But even if you don’t care about how your machine looks, cleaning it periodically is a surefire way of ensuring that things function properly. Be it on the disc brakes, inside the clutch, or in the wheel bearings, dirt, dust, and debris will wreak havoc on your Can-Am. So keep it mean and keep it clean, you won’t regret it! 

  • Can-Am Defender: The Workhorse Of The Can-Am Lineup

    Between fencing and feeding the critters to running trapline and hunting, the Can-Am Defender always gets the job done. Be it the Defender XMR, the Defender XT, or any other edition of the Can-Am defender, you can start out your day with a little yard work, do some plowing or towing in the afternoon, then finish your evening off by tooling around the back roads or trails with your family and friends. 

    When compared to other Can-Am vehicles and even other UTVs of various sizes and classes, the Can-Am Defender stands as the undisputed work-hog of the side-by-side world. Weather you’re a rancher looking for a farm vehicle, a landscaper looking for a work vehicle, or any other type of laborer or builder on the hunt for the perfect machine to help you with your tasks, the Can-Am Defender will not let you down. 

    What Sets The Can-Am Defender Apart From Other Work UTVs

    Many UTV riders start out with Polaris machines, John Deeres, or Kawasakis, and none of them hold a candle to the Can-Am Defender. Sure, if you’re looking to go 60mph and above through trails and over dunes, maybe something like the Maverick Max is better suited for your needs. But for 20-40mph running at the ranch, worksite, or homestead, its not even a fair comparison.

    The Can-Am Defender is quiet and powerful, and the Lone Star edition just floats over terrain, smooth as any Ford Raptor. Ask anyone who has switched from a Polaris to a Can-Am Defender and they’ll likely tell you that they will never go back. And if you look into it, the makers of Can-Am UTVs (BRP) also build airplanes and snow cats. That quality must surely translate down the line to their other products. 

    The Can-Am Rotax engine, for example, is the only engine used in side-by-sides that is also certified for light aircraft. It’s not uncommon for other side-by-sides to require engine repairs and rebuilds after 4,000 to 5,000 miles. At the same time, it’s also not uncommon to see Can-Am engines running strong at nearly 15,000 miles. 

    Another huge selling point for the Defender is that it’s the only side-by-side with a rear (and optional front) Elocker differential. For riders that are frequently going up steep and rocky inclines, the Can-Am Defender can handle it easily in 2WD, whereas UTVs like the Ranger require 4WD for the same terrain. Sure this may not apply to all riders, but for those who use their machine to log, hunt, or traverse steep inclines, it can be a key factor. 

    The dependability as well as reliability of the Defender is another reason why they are the perfect work machine. We’ve spoken to guys who own repair shops, and the percentage of Polaris machines that come through are much higher than Can-Ams. Yes this could just be because more Polaris UTVs are out there than Can-Ams, but we’ll leave that issue for statisticians.  

    Possible Can-Am Defender Additions

    Depending on what kind of work you do with your Can-Am Defender, there are a few accessories that will undoubtably make your tasks easier. Winches are a great example, and in-bed winches are particularly useful for a work machine like the defender. You can use a 5/8” piece of aluminum flat stock, weld a gusset on it, then bolt it down in place through the box where there are already two holes. If you don’t want a full winch setup in your bed, you could also mount a come-a-long jack in the bed to use for pulling up elk / deer, bales of hay, wood, or anything else you need to haul. And on a similar vein, electric hoists can also be installed, which are back savers for sure. With a synthetic rope and a front-mounted winch, you can throw your rope over the top of your Defender, tilt the bed, and use the winch to slide whatever you need right into the bed.  

    The heated cab of the XT 1000 sure is nice for working, hunting, or trapping in the winter, and things like tracks and plows can be installed as well for working and playing in the cold. For more info on these check out our past blog post on Can-Am Snow Tracks

    Closing Remarks 

    There’s no doubt that the Can-Am Defender is a great machine for working. It’s reliability coupled with a steadfast ability to keep on chugging makes it stalwart of a side-by-side that workers have come to rely on to get things done. It may not be the fastest, strongest, or most powerful UTV out there, but it’s more than capable of pulling its weight and won’t let you down when those deadlines are approaching!

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