Can-Am Commander Forums banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About me and why I purchased a Commander X….

I have been a UTV enthusiast since the first time I drove a 2006 Rhino. I have been an off road fan since I was in my teens and started riding my first moto which was a 380 Greeves in 1980 and it was an old bike back then. Yes I know, call me old school. I’ve owned a little bit of everything from Quads to high speed go-carts, Baja Bug and a big wheel.

I purchased my first UTV last year which was the 2009 Yamaha Rhino 700 Special Edition. I originally purchased it so my wife would have something to drive when our group went on the long rides. She has a bike but she can’t really keep up with everyone.

The Rhino resolved this issue for me. I had my Rhino for a few months and talked my friend into buying one. My brother and several other friends already had UTVs (all rhinos). Mine was the fastest! That is until my buddy rolled up in his 2010 Polaris RZR. I had dropped so much money into my Rhino (Muzzys, MSD, CAM, Sheeve, the list goes on) I expected my Rhino to give the RZR a run for its money.

Well, that didn’t last long, the RZR embarrassed me and all the work I had done.

There comes a time in everyone’s life where the competitive attitude is bottled up and you’re left feeling like “Hey, I just got my ass handed to me, let it go” or at least that’s what I have been told.

Well if that were true I wouldn’t be writing this review now would I?

Why I went with the Can-AM….

After getting my ass handed to me by my buddies RZR I called several places thinking I could spend more money on my Rhino and make is faster. I had options, Rotax, Big Bore Stroker, I even talked to Chris at Benchmark Performance.

SIDE NOTE: If you are looking to keep your Rhino and make it fast enough to keep up with the RZR, Chris at Benchmark is the person to call. His knowledge of the Rhino engine is amazing.

After dropping 1000s of bucks on my Rhino I was done. I couldn’t spend another dollar on it so I put it up for sale and was fortunate enough to have a friend who wanted it.

I checked out the RZR’s however they are just too small for me. I looked at the Arctic Cat Prowlers which are super nice UTVs. Then I read a few articles about the Can-AMs and decided to wait and see what they look like in person. My local Can-AM dealer had an XT show up in early October (Castaic, California, Can-AM, Sea-Doo Boats, ATV, Motorcycle, Watercraft, Dealer, Used, Parts, Accessories, Apparel). He had deposits on them so I couldn’t buy one but I kept looking. Then last week he got a Commander Base Model in and my wife and I went and took a look and I was sold on the Can-AM.

We told him we would sleep on it and get back to him the next day. That night I jumped online and started reading up, and trying to decide which one I wanted. Then I checked one of the dealers in Ventura and they had a fully loaded X in stock so we went and looked at it. Sold! We bought it on the spot.

Now my decision to purchase the Can-AM over the Arctic Cat was the advancements that Can-AM had added not to mention the look of the X. All I had to do was sit in it and I could tell it was the UTV for me. My wife dubbed it “Stinger” the second we put it on the trailer.

The first 3 hours in my new X….

We went out on a Sunday to Rower Flats. It’s not the best place to ride but it’s close to the house and has some technically challenging trails. My buddy who bought my Rhino went with us. We geared up and took off. Please keep in mind I am not a journalist and my writing skills are mediocre at best.

I will try to cover everything that the first 3 hours had to offer. I can only compare to the RZR and the Rhino because these are the only two UTVs that I have driven.

Acceleration: We took off down the road and the first thing I noticed was the Pshhh noise it makes when hitting the pedal. It’s kind of a cool sounding noise, like “OK, time to fly”. The acceleration is amazing. Its super smooth and you can feel the power when it sets you back in the seat. My Rhino has great “out of the hole power” because of the work I did to it however it was nothing like this. In no time we were doing 50 and I was running out of road. I had a smile on my face from LA to NY. It was awesome!

Unlike the RZR it seemed the power was even and steady. The RZR reminds me of a two stroke with that power band. It comes off line ok then gets rolling nicely. Keep in mind I was not pushing it to hard so this may change once it’s broke in and I have had a few Newcastle’s and the wife is in the toy hauler.

I headed for a hill and flew up it. The X never even winced. This hill was long and fairly steep and by the time I got to the top I was going faster than when I hit the bottom. It just keeps climbing.

I was never able to get it to top speed but I feel it can push 70 with no issues. When rolling at 20 to 30 MPH you hit the throttle and it hooks and goes. It has that Baja Race Truck feel to it. I’m telling you, it’s fast!

The throttle takes a little getting used to. There is a split second pause when you nail it which reminds me of my brothers Rhino without fuel injection. You get used to it and after 30 minutes or you don’t really notice it. I hit some road whoops at high speed and felt my foot on the pedal bouncing however the X stayed smooth. This was one of the reasons I decided to buy the Can-AM. The kind of riding I do is long distance rough roads and this iTC (Intelligent Throttle Control) defiantly lives up to the claims.

Now the issue I see would be with jumping as I noted in the suspension section of this review.

Suspension: Right out of the gate I could feel the Fox Shocks going to work. I know most people break UTVs in wide open however I was with my wife which kept me from getting to out of control. We came to the first set of 1 to 2 foot whoops and the X soaked them up like a sponge. No bottoming out, no pitching side to side and no front skid plate hits. I went into the whoops with one thing in mind, to get my X to bottom out and it didn’t.

We came into a hard right turn, not knowing what it was capable of I kept the throttle steady and let the X do its thing and it barreled down, stayed very level and we powered through the corner pitching the rear end to the left out of the turn. It recovered from the fishtail and I nailed down on the throttle.

I wanted to get a feel for it and not push it too much, we hit a small jump and the first thing I noticed was the rear end pitch upward. It felt like I had let off the throttle which nosed dived the jump. So I turned around and tried it again. I hit the jump once more at a lower speed and figured I would goose the throttle once the rear tires were close to lift off, it did the same thing. Nose dive! This is something that Can-AM will have to address. It’s dangerous!!!!

If you are not paying attention when coming off a jump you have a good chance of going to go end over end.

My buddy in the Rhino was taking to jump perfectly so I know it wasn’t one of those jumps that force the rear end up.
I attribute this to either the Intelligent Throttle Control cutting power to the rear tires or the rebound setting on the rear shocks.

Ponder this, if the iTC senses the front tires off the ground and cuts power to the rears it would make the vehicle nose dive?

This is exactly what I felt however I don’t know if this is how the commander works. Could this be a Sport Mode off issue? I will test this more next weekend.

I was not ready to adjust the shocks so we went on with our ride. One more note on suspension, when hill climbing you can really feel the rear suspension working. Compared to the Rhino/Polaris with the wishbone, when you are vertical you can actually feel the rear wheel rise however the vehicle remains level. It gave me more confidence when climbing.

Drive Train: During the 3 hours of driving the biggest complaint is the Drive Train Knocking. It feels like a cheap transmission when you go into reverse. Sitting stationary, put it in reverse, hit the gas and BAM, the gear box slams into gear. It’s a pain in the ass to back it up the trailer ramp or maneuver tight places.

I am not sure what Can-AMs purpose of this gearbox lag is. My Rhino has a solid drive train and I feel Can-AM has huge room for improvement here.

This is a HUGE disappointment.

It reminds me of a guy I went to high school with; when we would race he would put his Isuzu in neutral, rev the motor and slam it into drive. Or one of those cheap Chinese UTVs you can find at the swap meets for 3k. Keep in mind this doesn’t hinder any performance or drivability when flying down the road. When rolling down the road at 40 this issue does not come into play. It’s only when starting from a dead stop or out of park and or in reverse. After a while you get used to it. I am a bit concerned that this will cause issues down the road. It just doesn’t feel solid as it should.

Power Plant: The Rotax engine is solid. Anyone who has owned a Rotax knows they perform and run forever. The sound of the 1000cc Rotax reminds me of the Bombardier PWC from back in the day. A deep roar coming from under the hood to a banshee scream when you get out of the gates.

The power distribution in 4 wheel drive is outstanding. It places the power to the tires at the right time with perfect, smooth acceleration. When climbing hills it feels like a Billy Goat, hooked up at all times, no tire spin with endless amounts of power. I would like to see someone come out with a clutch mod that enhances the bottom end torque. Besides that it’s solid!

Steering: I have read several people say the steering was hard. I will say it’s harder to steer then the Rhino but I didn’t really see an issue with it. My wife drove it and she said it was fine. I came into some corners and hit a few ruts and it was fine for me. I wouldn’t be opposed to adding power steering.

Ergonomics: Right out of the box I felt comfortable in the X. The seats suck you in; the tilt steering is outstanding if you are a big guy like me. The dash is perfect and everything you need to do with it is all within reach. The instrument panel is large and easy to see. The adjustable driver’s seat is excellent, when your 6’2 and your wife is 5’4, this will come in handy.

The netting has to go, doors are a must. I think I rubbed a hole through the side of my pants because it was rubbing on the netting. The seat belts are OK; I will replace them with harnesses ASAP.

Lighting: The X I purchased came with the Can-AM LED light bar. I haven’t really had a chance to test it. If any of you reading this know me, I am the owner of Swerve Off Road (Swerve Off Road). I am working on a 4 light kit for the commander which will replace all four headlights with 6000k HIDs. All the kits I have seen so far are super expensive and my kit will be available for ½ the price. I have focused on Rhino’s however by the end of the year will have lights for just about every UTV.

The LED Light Bar is pretty good. Nice white light is what I like and it produces plenty. The 6000k color for the headlights is a must to match the 6000k light the LED Bar emits.

Final Thoughts: I am the kind of person that usually stays away from first generation products of any kind. However the testing the Can-AM has done on this UTV has been pretty extensive.

Overall I am happy with my purchase and I believe Can-AM will address the issues most people have reported.

I am super disappointed with the gearbox clunking, it cheapens the entire vehicle.

If the nose dive issue is not addressed by Can-AM they will eventually have a lawsuit. Someone who is an inexperienced driver will hit a jump and flip it. It’s going to happen. I am hoping to be able to adjust the rear shocks and lower the rebound to compensate this issue.

Keep in mind the jumps I attempted were very small and smooth slopes. I couldn’t imagine trying to hit a big dog jump. This could be a sport mode issue as I said before.

I remember jumping my Rhino for the first time, it was like butter, nothing to it and that was with the stock suspension.

The look and feel is outstanding. It’s aggressive turning and acceleration is what I was looking for.

I can’t wait to roll up next to my buddy in his RZR.

I apologize for the long winded review and crappy grammar.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at

[email protected]

BigD
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,424 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The next ten hours...

Nose Dive Issue: Ok, after playing around with the rebound I was able to get the nose dive issue semi-corrected. Now keep in mind this is for the X model with Fox Shocks only. While I still had a bit of a nose dive adjusting the rear rebound definitely helped. If you are taking a shorter more abrupt jump the nose dive will always happen, I just don't see a way that this will ever be corrected. The longer, smoother jumps turning the rebound back a few notches worked wonders.

I also adjusted the front suspension down some and the whoops were much better. I was coming into the whoops hard and staying on the gas and would get some bucking however after backing off the stock settings it smoothed out nicely. I do not know if the Commanders all ship with the same settings so this is something everyone will have to play with. Start by taking the front rebound down one click. One click can make a huge difference.

Noise from the drive train: Something else I noticed this last weekend. The whine from the differentials is insane. I had a chance to drive a RZR 4 Bobby Gordon Edition last weekend and it was super quiet and handled like a champ. Then I jumped back into my X and the noise was insane. Has anyone else noticed this?

Fitting it in my 10 foot garage: With the bumper on it wouldn't fit. I had to take the front bumper off and the tailgate (which takes less then 10 seconds to remove) off and it fit with a few inches of clearance. Whew!!! I am looking at developing a quick release for the bed. The bed weighs around 90 to 100 pounds, if I can come up with a way to take it off in a few seconds this would make it so easy to put in the Toy Hauler. I do not want to do a Bed Delete. I think taking that extra 100 pounds off the back would ruin the dynamics of the vehicle (sorry bed delete vendors), plus the dirt and mug thrown up into the cab would piss me off.

Cornering: After driving the RZR 4 and taking some very fast, sharp turns I am dead set on adding a long travel to my X. I think a four inch LT would be perfect. DFR has a nice one that I am going to inquire about reselling.

RZR vs Commander: Not even close, the Commander crushes the RZR. I raced several over the weekend and not one race was the RZR even close in a flat out side by side race. I raced one guy that had Muzzys, MSD, ported and polished and some other work done and he now wants to buy a commander He said no one had come close to beating him until now. Although he had 6k plus into his suspension so had we had hit some hard stuff he might have taken me. His RZR was fast! It was a close race. He actually pulled me for the first 50 yards or so then I past him and never looked back.

BTW, your not going to believe this but there was a guy up there with a super tricked out Rhino that beat this RZR. I never got a chance to race the rhino but I saw him fly by and this thing sounded unlike any rhino I have ever heard. He was uncorked with Muzzys. Which BTW I have Muzzys for the commander for sale and will beat just about anyone's price.

Pictures: I took a dump load of pics however I left my camera in my Toy Hauler. I am going to swing by and grab it tomorrow and post up some pics.

Lighting: I added my first test set of HIDs and WOW!!! They are bright! I tried the 50 Watt setup and decided the advantage of using 50 Watt is a waste. You can barely see the difference between the 50s and the 35s (some of my friends couldnt see a difference) yet the 50's cause the lights to flicker when they are all on (light bar too). I have the LED light bar as well. Don't pay extra for the 50 Watters. Its a waste of cash. If you are using 50 watters on all 4 lights it doesnt leave much, add a lightbar and your done. The harness we are working on will make it super easy to wire up. You wont have to wire 4 harnesses, just two for all four lights.

Battery: Weak Sauce, change it. Get an Odyssey and add a second battery when the kits become available. We are working on a kit for the Commander which will include everything (except the battery). Wire, Isolator, Mount and Block.

That's about it. We will be testing the Battery Kit and the HIDs over the Thanksgiving weekend. We soon as we are confident everything is good we will post it up.

BigD
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
Thanks so much for the additional information, sounds like the Commander is really holding its own out there. I have heard some people talk about the drivetrain being a tad noisy, I unfortuntely do not have one to compare it to. Looking forward to those pictures!

Honestly, with the larger output stator, I would not have though you would have got that flicker in the lights...then again, I am not the specialist, lol.



100% free webcam site! | Awesome chicks and it is absolutely free! | Watch free live sex cam - easy as 1-2-3
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,344 Posts
Above and beyond the call of duty on your concise report!!.....many thanks....I know very little about adjusting shocks, kind of embarrassed to say that the Rhino with the resi-shocks and I've never even thought about adjusting them.....

We will prolly end up with a thread strictly for shock adjustments in the future for sure.......Lance
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for the additional information, sounds like the Commander is really holding its own out there. I have heard some people talk about the drivetrain being a tad noisy, I unfortuntely do not have one to compare it to. Looking forward to those pictures!

Honestly, with the larger output stator, I would not have though you would have got that flicker in the lights...then again, I am not the specialist, lol.
Keep in mind this was with the 50 watters (x4) and the LED Bar. At idle only, once it was powered up and driving it was fine. Again, we couldn't tell the difference.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,424 Posts
We will prolly end up with a thread strictly for shock adjustments in the future for sure.......Lance
I concur, definitely something that would be an asset to have on here. Since I am not a shock tuning expert, I am going to have to find one. With that said, I am off :)

Keep in mind this was with the 50 watters (x4) and the LED Bar. At idle only, once it was powered up and driving it was fine. Again, we couldn't tell the difference.
Ahhh ok, at idle, that does make sense.



100% free webcam site! | Awesome chicks and it is absolutely free! | Watch free live sex cam - easy as 1-2-3
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The suspension adjustment (IMO) differs for each person. I have some insight on how to adjust these fox shocks however I ride different then most people. I like to go into whoops hard and full on as other might like to ease into them. (I know it sounds like a porn). Having the front rebound softer wont push the backend down as it comes off the top of the whoop.

I will write up a tech article for this. I need to put a little thought into it before I start spewing off (again with the porn).

BigD
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,344 Posts
The suspension adjustment (IMO) differs for each person. I have some insight on how to adjust these fox shocks however I ride different then most people. I like to go into whoops hard and full on as other might like to ease into them. (I know it sounds like a porn). Having the front rebound softer wont push the backend down as it comes off the top of the whoop.

I will write up a tech article for this. I need to put a little thought into it before I start spewing off (again with the porn).

BigD
No biggy on the porn here....CommanderTalk is rated for both X and XT...........Lance
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
The suspension adjustment (IMO) differs for each person. I have some insight on how to adjust these fox shocks however I ride different then most people. I like to go into whoops hard and full on as other might like to ease into them. (I know it sounds like a porn). Having the front rebound softer wont push the backend down as it comes off the top of the whoop.

I will write up a tech article for this. I need to put a little thought into it before I start spewing off (again with the porn).

BigD
Hey we need a little porn from time to time....that way we can if other peeps are paying attention or just going thru the motions....:giggle:...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick update on the Nose Dive issue.

I have pretty much resolved the nose dive issue. I spent Thanksgiving out at Wagon Wheel. I played with the suspension and adjusted it several times and got it dialed in nicely. I had my buddies Rhino (my old one), a RZR4 BG Edition and a RZR stocker. We all jumped the same jumps, rode the same trails and one thing we all agreed on was the short hop jumps cause UTVs to nose dive. Even the RZR4 was diving a bit. The longer smooth jumps were a breeze after adjusting the rear rebound. I softened the fronts a bit as well which made going into the whoops smooth as can be.

I took some video of all 4 UTVs jumping however I have had the flu all week and haven't had time to put it all together. I will post it up in the next few days.

I saw a guy out there that had a fully tricked out Commander but every time I tried to track him down I couldn't find him. Look like he had Muzzy's, Bed delete and maybe elka shocks. He flew past me while I was in my friends RZR and by the time we turned around he was gone.

I also met a guy in a 660 Rhino while out at the Pinnacles that was claiming he was eating the commanders for breakfast. I was on my KX500 so I radioed my wife to come to where we were (she was in the commander) and told the guy she was on her way. He made some excuse and took off.

One thing I would like to mention for the Rhino Owners. My buddy changed the shocks on his (my old) Rhino from the Stock Res shocks to the Progressives and WOW, what a difference. If you don't want to break the bank you can get the progressives for around 500 bucks for all 4 and I have to say I was impressed. Great upgrade for the rhinos.

Peace

BigD
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,344 Posts
Funny you should ask. I was just sitting here trying to remember how many clicks on each shock. When I get home I will count the clicks on each shock and post it.
That would be great...I'm shock adjustment illiterate....but a good solid starting point from the stock settings that works for someone else with the same application (dunes, trails, mudding) would be sooo cool to start from also.....would prolly save peeps a lot of time and fustrations?.....Lance
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,988 Posts
I saw a guy out there that had a fully tricked out Commander but every time I tried to track him down I couldn't find him. Look like he had Muzzy's, Bed delete and maybe elka shocks. He flew past me while I was in my friends RZR and by the time we turned around he was gone.
Sounds like it might have been Jon (crowdog) if it was an XT...Barbara
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
683 Posts
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top