It was the biggest, baddest pure sport ATV of its time.
It was virtually indestructible.
It was commonly referred to in the riding community as “Da Bomb”.
And even though 15+ years have passed since the last new model was produced, it will still hold its own with some of the fastest ATVs on the planet.
It is the Bombardier DS 650, and this guide will give you the rundown on its top speed, strengths and weaknesses, specs, and key features.
About The Bombardier DS 650
The Bombardier DS 650, also commonly referred to as the Can Am DS 650, was a sport ATV produced for eight years from 2000 to 2007.
The DS stands for “Dune Sport”, as this model was built specifically with sand dune riding and desert racing in mind.
It was built to withstand the abuses of these types of riding, and as such was the biggest and heaviest pure sport quad of its time.
It was also the fastest ATV in stock form at the time, featuring a powerful engine and loads of horsepower and torque. This helped it perform admirably on the trails as well.
Even all these years later, the DS 650 makes for one of the best used ATVs you can buy. And it was certainly one of the best new ATVs for the money back in its heyday.
It consisted of three different models, all of which were discontinued after its last production year in 2007.
Bombardier DS 650 Models
The Bombardier DS 650 is made up of three different models, all of which make for some of the best racing quads out there:
- Bombardier DS 650 (base model)
- Bombardier DS 650 Baja
- Bombardier DS 650 Baja X
Each of them are almost identical when it comes to their specs, with the only real differences being the Baja and Baja X models are slightly longer and heavier, and contain slightly different graphics than the base model.
What truly sets them apart though, is the accessories they come with. The Baja model comes with a number of extras, and the Baja X model comes with even more extras.
These accessories include:
- Extended foot pegs
- High pressure front gas shocks
- Front bumper
- Auxiliary headlights with guards
- Muffler guard
- Reinforced rims
- Full-length skid plates
- Upgraded plastics
Can Am DS 650
The Bombardier DS 650 is also known as the Can Am DS 650. Here’s why…
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) was the original name of Can-Am, with Can-Am being created as a motorcycle brand and subsidiary of BRP in the 1970’s.
The company eventually ceased making motorcycles and branched into ATVs in 1987, but started off selling their ATVs under the Bombardier name.
Bombardier continued selling ATVs under this name until 2006, when they rebranded to Can-Am.
As such, the Bombardier DS 650 and most other ATVs created under the Bombardier name before 2006 are also now referred to as Can Am ATVs.
Bombardier DS 650 Top Speed
Back in the early 2000’s while still in production, this model was said to be the fastest top-end stock model in the industry.
That’s pretty impressive, but what’s even more impressive is that fully modified models can reach speeds of 90+ mph.
And even as one of the heftier sport models in the industry, it offers excellent acceleration and speed throughout all gears.
Specs & Key Features
The Bombardier DS650 is powered by a 652cc single-cylinder engine with an output of around 45 horsepower in stock form.
While sand is known to zap the power from most pure sport quads, the DS650 and the impressive pull of its powerful engine don’t suffer from this problem.
Throttle response is excellent, and a massive amount of low-end torque make this model a solid choice not only for dune riding, but for trail riding as well.
None of these models feature electronic fuel injection as all are equipped with a Mikuni carburetor.
Starting is electric with the quad able to start in any gear with the clutch applied or in neutral.
|4 Stroke, Double Overhead Camshaft
|Bore x Stroke Ratio
|100 x 83 mm
|Mikuni Carburetor 42mm
|3.5 US Gallons
The rear wheels of the DS 650 are powered by a chain drive, with these models only featuring rear wheel drive.
Power is dispensed via a five-speed manual gearbox, with each gear offering a good range so the quad requires fewer shifts than many similar sport models.
One drawback with this model is its lack of a Reverse gear, which can make trail riding or getting stuck in the mud a little tricky.
|Chain Drive, Solid Rear Axle
|5-Speed w/ constant mesh
|Gear Shift Pattern
|1 – N – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5
Tires & Brakes
The DS 650 is equipped with stock 21-inch diameter tires in front and 20-inch diameter tires in the rear.
These stock tires are solid and do just fine in most settings, but do tend to run out of traction in steep, sandy terrain.
If you spend most of your time riding dunes or desert terrain, you’ll fare much better if you add some upgraded paddle tires to account for this.
The front and rear brakes are both hydraulic disc brakes. Due to the heavier weight of these models, braking is a little tougher and can take longer to bring these bigger quads to a stop.
|21 x 7-10
|20 x 11-9
|Front Brake Type
|Dual Hydraulic Disc
|Rear Brake Type
The Bombardier DS 650 features independent Double-A Arms up front and a swing-arm suspension in back, both with adjustable threaded preload settings.
This long-travel suspension system makes for an ultra smooth ride in just about every terrain, making trail riding comfortable.
Feedback on early 2000 and 2001 models was that the front shocks were one of the weak spots and did not provide adequate dampening, but that issue seems to have been corrected in 2002+ models.
The only area the suspension seems to be a little suspect is landing jumps, which has more to do with this model’s hefty weight than the suspension itself. So don’t expect the smooth landings you’ll experience with lighter sport models.
|Independent Double-A Arm w/ Preload Adjustable Shocks
|Swing Arm w/ Preload Adjustable Shock
|Front – 12 inches, Rear – 11 inches
For a sport ATV, the DS 650 is about as big as it gets from both a size and weight perspective. It’s bulky build and heavy weight are two of its main weaknesses, but do provide some benefits as well.
This model is built like a small tank, and as such can withstand the abuse of pretty much any type of riding you throw at it.
At 48 inches in width, it’s not the best model for tight, windy trails. But its wide stance does offer added stability.
And at a height of over 47 inches, riders feel like they are sitting up much higher than with some of the shorter ATV models.
As one of the heaviest sport ATVs out there at 495 lbs, it is not ideal for jumping or landing. And its weight leads to it being a bit tippy when cornering at higher speeds.
As one of the biggest, heaviest sport models in existence, it makes sense that this machine is harder to control than many of its peers.
This is especially noticeable for smaller riders, as handling this big boy can be hard work and feel like it’s controlling you more than you’re controlling it.
But for bigger riders, say over six feet tall and/or 200+ lbs., you’ll feel right at home on the DS 650. And it’s one of the few sport options that rings true for.
Regardless of your size, it’s likely the majority of your time on the DS 650 will be spent riding either the dunes, track, or trails. Let’s review how this model performs on all three.
This ATV was made for the dunes, and it’s apparent when driving it in sand.
Unlike many other models whose power tends to be limited in sandy terrain, the DS 650 has enough power to overcome that and more. It excels in the sand.
It does tend to run out of traction on very steep, sandy inclines due to the stock tires, so it is recommended to upgrade to paddle tires if the dunes are your thing.
Though a pure sport model, the track is definitely not the DS650’s strong suit.
As big and heavy as it is, you won’t be tossing it around when racing. And there is hardly any ability to power slide with this model, with it being a little tippy when cornering on the track.
Its weight and bulk also make it less than ideal for jumping, as it can’t quite get big air like other lighter models can.
It also commonly goes nose-down on jumps due to its front-heavy build, and landings are not as smooth as with more track-focused ATVs.
As a big model with a wide stance, tight trail riding can be a little tricky. And the lack of a Reverse gear doesn’t help.
But the DS 650 offers excellent acceleration and moves surprisingly well when cornering at lower speeds without much tippiness.
That said, it won’t quite keep up with some of the fastest in its class on most trails.
But if you’re on a long, straight trail or riding in more open terrain, the DS 650 will absolutely rip and is hard to beat.
Pros & Cons
- One of the best pure sport options available for bigger riders
- Almost indestructible – built to withstand any type of abuse
- Suspension provides an ultra smooth ride
- Engine is extremely reliable
- One of fastest ATVs available in stock form
- Excellent throttle response and speed throughout all gears
- One of the heaviest sport models at 490 lbs dry weight
- Harder to handle for smaller riders
- Weight makes braking tougher and slower than other models
- More tippy than other models when cornering
- Lack of reverse and wide stance make tight/windy trail riding tricky
- Stock tires tend run out of traction in steep sandy terrain
With their almost-indestructible builds and their reliable engines, used Bombardier DS 650’s still make for excellent sport options all these years later.
And if you’re a bigger rider who enjoys opening it up or racing, you won’t find many better options than the DS650.
Before you go, check out how the DS650 stacks up with some of the best budget ATVs in the industry today.