2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 LTD First Look

July 11, 2011
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
Off-Road Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog |Blog Posts |Blog RSS

Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

A hard roof is part of the LTD package and it is available in Pure Magnesium.
Can-Am brings an upscale 2012 Commander 1000 LTD package to the luxury side-by-side crowd.

Can-Am has introduced a new model to its family of Commander 1000s that offers the ultimate BRP side-by-side experience. The 2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 Limited joins the established Commander 1000 ($12,999), Commander 1000 XT and Commander 1000 X models. The trio of original models are unchanged mechanically for 2012, but the addition of the LTD package keeps the line fresh. The 2012 Can-Am Commander 800 ($11,699) and Commander 800 XT ($13,399) are available also, but unchanged for 2012.

Can-Am calls its side-by-side a rec-utility vehicle, which speaks to its high-performance capacities as well as its functionality. For instance, Polaris offers the RZR lineup which has considerably less storage and towing options and caters to the pure sport market. The Commander is supposed to offer big power and aggressive handling while still being able to pull its weight on the working side.

The Commanders use a fuel-injected, 80-degree V-Twin powerplant built by Rotax. With 976cc, the liquid-cooled Twin is claimed to crank out 85 horsepower using a single overhead cam and four valves per cylinder. Fly-by-wire throttle action eliminates the throttle cable. A CVT transmission delivers the ponies via shaft drive to the wheels with selectable 2WD/4WD and Can-Am’s Visco-Lok front differential. A 10-gallon fuel tank ensures long-running fun before having to fill up.

Camo versions get black wheels.A custom steering wheel comes with the X model.All of the Commanders have two-level storage capable of holding 600 pounds combined.
The XT version is available in Camo. X models get this custom steering wheel and all Commanders have two-stage bed storage.

Speaking of capacities, the Commander uses a dual-level cargo box. The upper bed can carry 400 pounds and the lower compartment can hold 200 pounds, and both are tilt-assisted for easy dumping. With a steel chassis and standard two-inch hitch receiver, the Can-Am is rated to tow 1500 pounds. Overall dry weight on the base machine is a claimed 1295 lbs. It rides on 27-inch Carlisle tires with 12-inch steel wheels.

Suspension is one area that separates the different trims. All are based on a dual A-arm design up front and trailing torsional independent arm in the rear. The shocks are where the differences lie. The base model uses five-way preload adjustable shocks with 10 inches of travel both front and rear.

The Commander 1000 XT ($14,699) is the next step up and does get one change for 2012. That’s the availability of the Pure Magnesium paint which freshens the look and offers better scratch resistance. Here are the XT upgrades:
4000-pound winch
27-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
14-inch cast-aluminum wheels
Upgraded gauge
Heavy-duty front bumper
Rugged bed rails
Mud guards
Leather steering wheel
Available in all-new Pure Magnesium, Yellow and an optional industry-exclusive NEXT G-1 Vista camouflage.

The base 1000 has five-way preload adjustable shocks.The X shocks are upgraded Fox units with piggyback reservoirs.The Can-Am Commander 1000 LTD has ACS suspension.
Suspension is a major difference between the models. Left: 1000 and 1000 XT. Middle: 1000 X. Right: 1000 LTD.

The Commander 1000 X ($15,099) package includes:
Fully adjustable front and rear Fox Racing Shox HPG piggyback shocks
Front sway bar
12-inch (30.5cm) aluminum beadlock wheels
27-inch (68.6cm) Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
Updated gauge
Heavy-duty front bumper
Rock sliders
Leather steering wheel
X-package seat trim and graphics
Available in black with yellow accents

A built-in Garmin GPS system is part of the LTD package.
A Garmin GPS comes installed on the LTD.

The 2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 Limited ($19,199) comes with the XT package and then adds even more goodies, most notably a set of Fox Racing Shox that use Air Control Suspension (ACS) technology. The driver can select from six different preset suspension preload levels by using the LCD display. Also, with an air compressor on board to adjust the suspension, a hose adaptor lets it be used to add air to the tires as well, making on-the-trail adjustments much easier. It also features an integrated Garmin Montana 650t touch-screen GPS system, stereo and four speakers. Can-Am is calling the LTD model the “industry’s first luxury, touring side-by-side.”

The LTD package includes:
XT package
Front and rear Air Control Suspension (ACS) with Fox Racing Shox
Two-piece roof
Half windshield
Rear net
Removable Limited seats
Custom steering wheel
Two premium painted-plastic color options (Pure Magnesium and Orbital Blue)
Analog / digital gauge
Garmin GPS
Sound system with four speakers

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