The Can Am Commander consists of three main models, each with a number of different sub-models.
These three main models are the Can Am Commander 1000, the Can Am Commander 700, and the Can Am Commander 800.
While the main difference among the three is engine power, the Can Am Commander top speed does vary in each.
If looking for information on the achievable speed of any of these models, you’ve come to the right place as this guide will answer the following about each:
- What is the top speed?
- Is there a speed limiter in place?
- Can the speed limiter be bypassed to increase top speed?
- What are recommended modifications to increase top speed?
- What is the top speed of modified units?
Can Am Commander 1000 Top Speed
The Can Am Commander 1000 is the most popular among the three main Commander models, boasting power that trumps that of even the utility-focused Can Am Defenders.
Commander 1000 models made from 2021 to present boast a 976cc V-Twin engine with an output of 100 horsepower, while pre-2021 Commander 1000’s feature a similar 976cc V-Twin engine, but with an output of 92 horsepower.
The Can Am Commander 1000 top speed is between 73 and 75 mph in all models, and they are all restricted by an electronic speed limiter.
Even so, they rank among the fastest side-by-sides in the industry.
It is available in the following models for 2023:
- Can Am Commander DPS
- Can Am Commander XT
- Can Am Commander XT-P
- Can Am Commander X MR
- Can Am Commander Max DPS
- Can Am Commander Max XT
- Can Am Commander Max XT-P
Can Am Commander 700 Top Speed
The Commander 700 was released in 2022 and replaced the Commander 800, which had been phased out after 2020.
Powered by a 650cc single cylinder engine with an output 52 horsepower, the Can Am Commander 700 top speed is between 62 and 64 mph.
This model is also restricted by an electronic speed limiter.
The 700 is available in the following models for 2023:
- Can Am Commander DPS
- Can Am Commander XT
Can Am Commander 800 Top Speed
The Commander 800 was available up until 2020, when it was phased out and eventually replaced by the Commander 700 two years later.
Featuring an 800cc V-Twin engine with a power output of around 71 horsepower, the Can Am Commander 800 top speed is between 68 and 70 mph.
You guessed it, this model is restricted by an electronic speed limiter as well.
Can Am Commander Speed Limiter
All stock Can Am Commander models are restricted by an electronic speed limiter that’s programmed into the ECU initially.
This speed limiter kicks in and tops out the RPMs at different ranges of speed in each model, but still all within around 10 mph of each other.
That said, due to the differences in power output of each model’s engine, the more powerful models will reach their top speed quicker due to better torque and acceleration.
Bypassing The Speed Limiter
For those who want their vehicles to achieve a more noticeable top speed, the only real option is to bypass the electronic speed limiter.
And to bypass the speed limiter, the only option is to have your Electronic Control Unit tuned or replaced.
By tuning the ECU, you delete the speed limiter. But you also benefit your vehicle in other ways.
An ECU tune will recalculate your vehicle’s optimal air to fuel ratios and make the proper adjustments within the ECU.
This will give your Commander better throttle response and horsepower across all RPM levels.
Additionally, most ECU tunes will also reprogram the radiator fan to activate at a lower engine temperature.
This helps to prevent the engine overheating issue known to occur in Commanders, Defenders, and Mavericks.
Tuning the ECU is especially important in accounting for some of the other more common modifications that can be made to Commanders to help increase the top speed as well.
Added Ways To Increase the Commander’s Top Speed
Air Intake System Upgrade
The Commander’s air intake system is responsible for funneling clean air into the engine so that it can breathe properly.
The more air in and out, the more power the engine can produce.
So if you want more power and speed, you should look to upgrade components of the air intake system such as the airbox and air filter.
Doing so will enable an increased amount of air into the engine and should add anywhere between 1 and 3 horsepower at higher RPM ranges.
Exhaust System Upgrade
The added airflow in from an upgraded air intake will need to depart the engine just as efficiently once used up, which will be achieved with an upgraded exhaust system.
And while an upgraded exhaust will make your vehicle louder, it will also give it an enhanced growl when driving than that of the stock exhaust.
HMF Racing, MBRP Exhaust, and Empire Industries all offer highly recommended upgraded exhaust options for Commanders.
Upgrade The Clutch System
You can also increase the overall performance and speed of your Can Am Commander by upgrading the clutch system.
While not as common, some Commanders do suffer from some of the same clutch issues experienced by Can Am Defenders.
The clutch issues can lead to a jerky ride and poor throttle response, and result in decreased power and speed.
Commander owners can either completely replace the primary clutch, or install a clutch kit which will upgrade some components of the stock clutch system.
The best primary clutch replacements you’ll find for the Can Am Commander are made by Airdam Clutches. They offer the best performance but are pricey.
Evo Powersports makes a clutch kit that is highly recommended for Commanders and comes with upgraded weights and a helix. This clutch kit is said to enhance throttle response and increase top speed.
Depending upon your Can Am Commander model and trim style, your vehicle comes equipped with either 27-inch, 28-inch, or 30-inch stock tires.
Replacing the stock tires with bigger aftermarket tires can add 3-5 mph to your top end speed.
This will help more for models with 27-inch or 28-inch tires than those with 30-inch tires, as at a certain size (usually bigger than 31-32 inches) the tires will start to slow you down.
If replacing the tires, it’s important to consider upgrading your Commander’s clutch system as well to compensate for the change and ensure top performance.
Inspect The Drive Belt
Similar to the issues in Can Am Defenders, the stock clutch in the Commanders can be hard on the drive belt, especially if you’ve upgraded the tires and not the clutch system.
Be sure and inspect your drive belt often to confirm it has not begun to wear or fit loosely.
A loose, worn, or damaged drive belt is one of the main causes of the Commander not being able to reach its top speed.
For those that have tuned their ECU, you should also upgrade to a better quality drive belt since the stock belt is not made for the added power and speed that should result.
High Octane Fuel
Running high octane fuel is a must in Can Am Commanders if you want to achieve peak engine performance.
You’ll be able to tell a big difference in the way your vehicle runs using 91 or 93 octane fuel vs. something lower grade.
Can Am Commander Top Speed After Modifications
For those owners who have bypassed the electronic speed limiter and made some or all of the various other modifications to their Commander in order to increase speed and power, many of them have seen an increase in speed of between 5 and 12 mph.
And while the Commander’s top speed will benefit from these mods, the increase in torque and power should be even more noticeable.
Commander Top Speed & Break-In Period
For those purchasing a brand new Commander, it’s important to understand that the overall engine performance and reachable top speed is reliant upon properly breaking in the vehicle.
The owner’s manual offers instructions for this break-in period, which is considered the first ten hours or 200 hundred miles of operating the vehicle depending on which comes first.
During the break-in period, the engine and its components wear and polish themselves to their proper operating clearances.
To avoid excessive engine heat during the break-in period, the owner’s manual advises against pushing the gas pedal past ¾ of the way down, operating at full throttle for any amount of time, cruising at the same speed for prolonged periods, and sustained accelerations.
If your Commander is not properly broken in, the engine may never be able to reach peak performance and the top speed may suffer as a result.
The Can Am Commander top speeds vary for each of the three main models, but they all top out within 10 mph of each other.
An electronic speed limiter restricts the top speed of every Commander model initially, but can be bypassed by tuning or replacing the Electronic Control Unit.
After bypassing the speed limiter and making several other modifications, many Commander owners have found that they can reach speeds upwards of 80 to 85 mph depending upon the model.
To see how the Commander stacks up against other UTVs in the industry, check out the following guides before you hit the road: