Can-Am Defender 2016


Table of Contents

Can-Am introduces the all-new Can-Am Defender. Can-Am infuses its DNA to utility-recreational side-by-side vehicles by introducing the Defender. New from the ground up, this vehicle was designed and engineered to establish new standards in tough performance, industry-leading terrain capabilities and working proficiencies as well as clever versatility and functionality.

Can-Am Defender side-by-side vehicles are built to be tough with true, heavy-duty Rotax engines tuned for demanding work. Choose between a 72-hp Rotax HD10 and Rotax HD8 with 50 hp and high torque to get the job done. The rear-mounted engines are mated to a PRO-TORQ Transmission with the exclusive Quick Response System (QRS) that enhances low-speed riding, offers smooth engagement and better belt life with its optimized ventilation and electronic belt protection for true dependability. A high-precision chassis offers greater strength and rigidity infusing automotive technologies with off-road capabilities. An easy and cost-effective maintenance system requires no break-in maintenance and lets owners spend more time getting jobs done.

The capable Defender provides exceptional performance with control and delivers to the operator the confidence to go almost anywhere. Each Defender features a Can-Am-exclusive TTA-HD rear suspension providing optimal comfort and drivability as well as long durability. The TTA-HD is borrowed from unique and proven Can-Am TTA rear suspension, but redesigned to handle heavier loads. The Defender is laden with unmatched terrain competencies with its versatile 4-mode traction system, three selectable engine operating modes, superb tight turning radius and available, specific-tuned Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) for enhanced maneuverability and comfortable suspension with 10 inches (25.4 cm) of travel. When it comes to hard work, the Defender will impress with its class-leading towing, hauling and payload capabilities.

Read our first ride impressions of the Can-Am Defender HD10 XT 2016

All Defender vehicles are built with clever and adaptable solutions to work smarter. The versatile cargo box can haul up to 1,000 pounds (600 pounds in California model) and is easy to dump. Furthermore, it is LinQ quick-attach accessory compatible and is functionally designed for the workingman with multiple integrated recesses, cutouts, walls and tie-down points. The Defender family of vehicles offers exceptional comfort with optimized ergonomics to fit a wide assortment of users. The roomy and intuitive cockpit features tilt steering, an A-pillar that has been configured to improve entry / exit as well as visibility and a VERSA-PRO bench seat featuring a 40/20/40 profiled bench seat for three adults as well as plenty of modularity. The industry’s most versatile cockpit provides a high modular dash storage with an exclusive quick attach toolbox, available removable waterproof under seat storage, cup holders and more. Ultimately, consumers can choose from several models and two different engines and then customize the vehicles to their own personal likes / needs. They can make it their own with numerous cabin options for work, recreational use and hunting, as well as a full line of factory-installed cabin accessories that mount flush on the profiled cage.



  • Two heavy-duty, high-torque engine choices: 72-hp Rotax HD10 V-Twin or 50-hp Rotax HD8 V-Twin
  • PRO-TORQ transmission with Quick Response System, high airflow ventilation and Electronic Drive Belt Protection. Extra-L / H / N / R / P
  • 1-year maintenance free (1,865 miles / 3,000 km or 200 hours)
  • Easy access to key maintenance components
  • High-precision, HSLA chassis
  • 4-mode traction system including a Turf Mode (available with Convenience package on HD8)
  • 11-inch (28 cm) ground clearance
  • Double A-arm front suspension with twin tube gas charged shock (10-inch travel)
  • TTA-HD rear suspension with external sway bar and twin tube gas charged shock (10-inch travel)
  • 25-inch Maxxis tires on 12-inch steel wheels
  • Four 220 mm brake discs
  • 140-W lighting output and LED tail lights
  • Tight turn radius
  • Optimal (42/58) weight distribution
  • 2,000-pound (907.2 kg) tow rating
  • 1,000-pound (454 kg) cargo box load (600-pound in California)
  • 1,500-pound (680 kg) payload
  • 2-inch rear hitch receiver
  • 650W magneto
  • Lighter type DC outlet in console (20-A)
  • 12-V (18 amp/h) battery
  • Integrated front steel bumper
  • Central skid plate
  • Multifunction cargo box with sturdy tailgate10.4-gallon (39.5 L) of storage including a water-resistant and quick attach toolbox
  • and under-dash compartments (available with Convenience package on HD8)
  • VERSA-PRO bench seat
  • Roomy and intuitive cockpit
  • Adjustable tilt steering wheel
  • Centrally-located multifunction digital gauge cluster with open storage area
  • Optimized A-pillar placement for improved visibility
  • 4 cup holders
  • Rugged ergonomically configured grab bar and three foot rests
  • Profiled cage for flush mount for available Can-Am cabin accessories
  • Color: Green


  • Dynamic Power Steering (DPS)
  • Visco-Lok QE front differential
  • 12-inch (30.5 cm) cast-aluminum wheel
  • Colors: Green, Yellow, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo


  • 4,500-pound (1.81 kg) Can-Am winch • 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 14-inch black cast-aluminum wheels • Full hard roof
  • Enhanced VERSA-PRO bench seat with reinforced seat skin and adjustable driver’s seat • 16.2-gallon (61.3 L) of storage including a removable waterproof under seat storage
  • Multifunction analog/ digital gauge cluster with enclosed storage
  • 3-driving modes Eco / Work / Normal
  • Full skid plate
  • Colors: Painted Intense Red and Painted Pure Magnesium Metallic, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo


  • Full hard roof with liner
  • 3-position full glass tilt up windshield with wiper washer kit
  • Full black doors with electric opening windows
  • Rear glass with sliding opening
  • Integrated heater kit with 10 adjustable vents
  • Colors: Painted Intense Red and Painted Pure Magnesium Metallic, Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo


The Can-Am Defender side-by-side vehicles share the same proven heavy-duty Rotax engines, PRO-TORQ Transmission, high precision, rigid chassis, TTA-HD rear suspension and easy serviceability and a three-year limited promotional warranty. Designed to be reliable and easy to service, the Can-Am Defender, available in four different packages (Standard, DPS, XT and XT Cab), has no break-in requirements and is maintenance free for the first year (1,865 miles / 3,000 km or 200 hours). When it comes to a dependable, rugged modern-day workhorse, nothing compares to the 2016 Can-Am Defender side-by-side vehicle, engineered to be tough, capable and adaptable for the end user.

can-am defender 2016-23

Rotax V-Twin Engines

Can-Am engineers, pulling on many years of heavy usage in the field, took two heavy-duty, rear-mounted Rotax V-Twin engines and recalibrated them for true work use in the Defender side-by-side vehicles. Available with either a Rotax HD10 or Rotax HD8 engine, the Defender side-by-side vehicles offer two very capable work-focused powerplants. The 72-hp Rotax HD10 V-Twin is specifically tuned for serious work but also offers 61 lb-ft torque and peak torque at lower RPM for optimal delivery for recreational use. At 4,000 RPM, the HD10 offers 20% more torque than the top selling competitor of the segment. The work-focused Rotax HD8 V-Twin delivers 50 horsepower and 50 lb-ft torque for tough tasks. The V-Twin engines are located in the rear of the Defender chassis to reduce noise, cockpit heat, improve access, and reduce vibration.

PRO-TORQ Transmission

The PRO-TORQ Transmission was specifically calibrated to meet the utilitarian demands of the Defender side-by-side vehicle.This new generation of transmission features a Quick Response System (QRS) that enhances low-speed riding, delivers smoother and more responsive power delivery and offer precise engagement. Larger CVT ratios with a work-specific low gear ensure optimal torque delivery for heavy loads. At low speeds, optimized ventilation improves belt durability and ensures more efficient power transfer. The Electronic Drive Belt Protection monitors the CVT belt to determine its condition and alerting the driver when necessary. This device offers belt-spotting protection for if a driver is in high gear, but should be in low gear. The vehicle will not move and a “LOW GEAR” message will appear on the gauge, alerting the driver. The Defender side-by-side vehicles come standard with Park, Reverse, Neutral, High and extra Low, the system offers smooth shifting. Integrated hill descent control supplied smooth, predictable deceleration.

A helical gear transmission provides a quiet environment for the operator. The rear, maintenance-free differential gear-on-gear components are more efficient, responsive and also built to last.

Maintenance free for one year

With zero break-in maintenance required and a yearly maintenance schedule, the Defender side-by-side vehicles reduce total maintenance costs to the buyer. The yearly advised maintenance is 1,865 miles (3,000 km) or 200 hours. Along with reduced maintenance, the engine and transmission are more do-it-yourself service friendly, offering easier access to key maintenance items.

Easy access for serviceability

Can-Am engineers, gathering insights and feedback from end-users, created a convenient platform for service, improving access to components with a special focus on Do-It-Yourself and ease of maintenance. A Service Center is located beneath the front hood with easy access to brake fluid container, toolkit, fuse box and diagnostic connector. At the rear-end, critical elements such as engine bay, oil dipstick, air filter, CVT, transmission and coolant are also easily reachable thanks to the wide opening-box possibility. Other critical parts such as the battery, bushings, drainage and cleaning holes and lighting bulbs have been also strategically positioned for a quick-access.

3-year limited promotional warranty

As a special launch promotion, the Defender side-by-side vehicles will also include a 3-year limited promotional warranty to give owner’s peace of mind knowing BRP stands behind the reliability and durability of its products.

High rigidity chassis

The Defender is extremely capable off-road and a legitimate workhorse that uses an all-new, high-precision, laser-cut tongue-and- groove chassis that automotive-like technology and fabrication tolerances that are in line with modern pick-up trucks — a powersports industry first. The High-Strength, Low-Alloy (HSLA) grade steel means a more rigid design for taking the strain of heavy-duty chores. Can-Am engineers put the Defender through the new rigorous Utility Test Cycle at the winter and summer testing grounds to ensure its toughness.

can-am defender 2016-25

650W magneto

This package provides an extremely powerful magneto, a 650-W output, for handling high-powered lighting or other key accessories.

Integrated central front steel bumper

The front bumper offers protection for the front end, yet is minimalistic in its appearance.

Central skid plate

A full-length, central skid plate lines the underside on the Defender vehicles to protect your vehicle from the asperity of the ground.


The Defender vehicles are engineered to offer versatile performance in varying terrain with control, whether it’s for serious work or recreational enjoyment. The Defender family is outfitted with a dependable and plush suspension, tight turning radius for unmatched terrain capabilities and maneuverability to supply drivers the confidence to go practically anywhere. The Defender lineup also features industry-leading towing, hauling and payload capacities.

True 4-mode traction system with Turf Mode and front auto-locking Visco-Lok

Defender offers a new 4-mode traction system providing choices for varying terrain or tasks. Users, via a separate front-and-rear toggle switches, can select between a 2×4 open rear differential for tight turning and turf protection, a 2×4 lockable rear for improved 2WD traction, a 4×4 open rear for more maneuverability in rugged terrain and a 4×4 locked rear for maximum traction. Regardless of mode, the Defender is designed to offer a tight turning radius for improved maneuvering in tight, technical terrain. The rear differential is gear-on-gear to the transmission for better response, no maintenance, better efficiency and fewer components. Lockable rear differential is part of the Convenience Package on HD8.

Double A-arm front suspension with twin tube gas charged shock (10-inch / 25.4 cm travel)

The Defender vehicles have a front double A-Arm suspension system designed to offer predictable handling and control even in difficult terrain. With 10 inches of travel, the ride is smooth in all situations, even when carrying heavy loads.

can-am defender 2016-22

TTA-HD rear suspensions with external sway bar and twin tube gas charged shock (10-inch / 25.4 cm travel)

The Torsional Trailing A-arms (TTA) rear suspension, which was designed specifically for a utility and recreational usage, offers a full
10 inches of travel to provide a smooth ride whatever the terrain. Its architecture offers optimal comfort and drivability in all conditions, thanks to no camber change. The Defender vehicle’s TTA-HD wears more bushings than some competitive units and are also larger and greaseable on both the chassis and knuckle, resulting in a more durable setup. In addition, the TTA-HD features a wear plate between the suspension and the chassis, preventing direct friction between those two. This all translates to a more controlled wheel movement when driving, and an increased longevity. The system also includes a removable external sway bar to enhance traction and the transfer of power to the ground when needed.

11-inch (28 cm) ground clearance

The Defender side-by-side vehicles offer 11 inches (28 cm) of ground clearance for maximum performance for conquering difficult terrain or carrying a maximum load.

25-inch (63.5 cm) Maxxis tires

The front 25 x 8-12 and rear 25 x 10-12 Maxxis tires are mounted on 12-inch painted steel wheels.

12-inch (30.5 cm) steel wheels

The black painted steel wheels are a perfect fit on the utility-recreation focused Defender.

Four 220 mm disc brakes with hydraulic piston calipers

The Defender side-by-side vehicle uses twin piston calipers with two 220 mm discs up front and two 220 mm discs with a single piston caliper at the rear for superior stopping force when pulling heavy loads.

140-W lighting output and LED tail lights

For a superb wide-visibility, two 35-W reflectors on each side run at 140 watts on high beam to provide more than enough candlepower for early-morning scouting trips, trail rides or late-night farm chores. Tail lights are LED for enhanced visibility in all conditions and confer a new level of refinement.

Tight turning radius

The Defender side-by-side vehicles have a tight 13.1 feet (399 cm) turning to allow for easy maneuverability in restricted work environments, hauling heavy loads and for recreational use. When turning a full circle, the vehicle has a 2-foot (60.9 cm) shorter diameter than the segment’s top-selling competitor.

Optimal weight distribution

The 42 / 58 weight distribution ensures a strong footing whatever the nature of the ride or the landscape.

Towing / Hauling / Payload

Handling serious chores is easy thanks to the Defender side-by-side vehicle’s strong Rotax V-Twin engines and exceptional towing, hauling and payload capacities. The Defender is rated to tow up to 2,000 pounds (907.2 kg), haul up to 1,000 pounds / 454 kg (600 pounds / 272.2 kg in California model) in its large cargo box and has a 1,500-pound (680 kg) payload.

2-inch rear hitch receiver

A 2-inch hitch receiver equipped all Defenders. Its standard size means a hitch can be transferred directly from a typical pick-up truck.

Fuel Tank

Combined with an industry-leading 10.6-gallon (40 L) fuel tank and excellent fuel efficiency, the Defender side-by-side vehicles provide maximum range for both serious work and recreation.


The Defender family of utility side-by-side vehicles offers clever and meaningful solutions, enhancing ease of use and helping owners work smarter. Can-Am engineers and designers crafted the Can-Am Defender side-by-side vehicles’ ergonomics to accommodate a wide range of users while at the same time providing comfort, convenience and an unmatched fit-and-finish. Owners can make the vehicle their own by fully utilizing the cargo box’s versatility and taking full advantage of the adaptable storage areas.

can-am defender 2016-2

Versatile, integrated Cargo box with sturdy tailgate

The highly durable Cargo box has a 1,000 pounds / 454 kg (600 pounds / 272.2 kg in California model) load capacity and has dump assist levers. It also features a versatile configuration that can create a customizable dual-level setup or completely separate compartments. Strategic features include 5-gallon (18.9 L) pail recesses, integrated anchors on the sidewalls and several tie-down points for added convenience. To fully optimize the sizeable cargo box, consumers can divide up the box using the integrated recesses. The box allows for both 1×3 (inch) and plywood separators and accepts bed extenders for refining the bed’s overall dimensions. The cargo box is adaptable to accept 14 LinQ quick-attach accessories for further customization.

Complete with cable supports and metal bars, the reinforced tailgate can withstand ordinary farm use and serve as a seat during your lunch break (max weight: 250 pounds / 113.4 kg). For ease of usage, it can also be removed in seconds without tools.

Open dash with quick attach toolbox and under-dash storage

The open dash design features a handy water-resistant and quick attach 1.7 gal (6.3 L) toolbox, an industry exclusive, to allow users to carefully carry tools and supplies they need in an organized manner. The open dash configuration is designed to be more functional friendly with more open storage, reducing overall hood space for increased onboard, accessible storage. Perfect for stowing small essentials, the Defender models also include convenient 6-gallon (22.8 L) under-dash storage with an enclosed pocket. All in all, Defender proposes a total of 10.4 gallons (39.5L) of storage solutions. Under-dash storage, and waterproof and quick attach toolbox are part of the Convenience Package on HD8.

VERSA-PRO Bench Seat

The VERSA-PRO Bench Seat is configured as a 40/20/40 bench seat, inspired by modern pick-up trucks. It can comfortably accommodate three adults and features “profiled” corners to improve entrance / exit of the cab as well as a sturdy vinyl cover for improved wear resistance. The passenger seats, complete with integrated hooks on their underside, also can be flipped up to improve onboard storage. Can-Am engineers also added a foldable central console and armrest with two cup holders to allow more space in the cab.

Roomy and intuitive cockpit

The Defender offers a spacious cockpit with unmatched fit-and-finish. Engineers optimized the interior ergonomics for a wide range of people. Tilt steering, improved sight lines, enhanced storage and overall cockpit volume improve comfort and convenience. The A-pillar was moved far forward to provide almost effortless ingress-egress and to enhance visibility for all the occupants. More interior cabin and dash space, rather than overall exterior hood size, creates a more spacious interior for the owner.

Tilt steering

The steering wheel was specifically designed for utility applications with a larger diameter for improved handling and control. The automotive-like tilt steering wheel lets drivers adjust (up to 25 degrees) it to their driving style and ergonomic preference. It offers also an easier maneuvering while entering/exiting the vehicle.

Multifunction digital gauge with open storage

The location of the gauge is strategically positioned in front of the driver to increase the readability of the information provided. The LCD gauge display key information; speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip and hour meters, fuel, gear position, seat belt and 4×4 indicator, diagnostics, clock, auto shut off. A 0.7-gallon (2.6 L) compartment behind the gauge cluster offers an easy-access storage solution for the driver.

Cup holders

The new Can-Am Defender has four, in-cab, easily accessible cup holders. Two are located in the dash area and two additional cup holders are located in the central armrest. Four cup recesses were also incorporated into the cargo box tailgate for added convenience.

Rugged ergonomically configured grab bar and three foot rests

The ergonomically placed grab bar and footrests allow for optimal occupant stability and comfort.

Profiled cage

The profiled cage means it provides a “flush fit” when quickly incorporating the extensive list of Can-Am cabin accessories. The sturdy Profile cage (steel) meets Roll-over Protective Structures (ROPS) industry standards and is certified ISO 3471 and OSHA. It is designed in tandem with the Can-Am Cabin and genuine accessories to ensure the best fit-and-finish and seamless integration in the industry.

Color option

Defender HD8 and HD10 are available in Green.


The DPS package has all the key Defender features, but also supplies consumers with upgrades like specific Dynamic Power Steering, Visco-Lok QE, 12-inch cast-aluminum wheels and more color choices.

can-am defender dps 2016-3

Dynamic Power Steering

The specific DPS system is tuned for utility applications while also offering responsiveness for recreational usage. DPS improves steering feel in slow-speed working situations and in more technical terrain. It also is designed to offer less assistance at high speed and more assistance at low speed.

Auto-locking Visco-Lok QE front differential

The Visco-Lok Quick Engagement calibration supplies an even quicker engagement of the front differential, which can lock up to 100% with no rev or speed limiter.

12-inch cast-aluminum wheels

The DPS package includes 12-inch (30.5 cm) cast-aluminum wheels with 25-inch (63.5 cm)
Maxxis tires. The Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo color includes 12-inch black aluminum wheels.

Color options

The Defender DPS HD8 and DPS HD10 are available in Green or Yellow, as well as the industry-exclusive Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo.


The Defender line of utility side-by-side vehicles is also available with the highly popular and value-added XT package, which includes a winch, large cast-aluminum wheels, roof and more for a customized fit-and-finish.

can-am defender xt 2016

4,500-pound (2,041 kg) Can-Am winch

The winch is designed to handle heavy-duty loads at the work site and on the trail, thanks to its 4,500-pound capacity and roller fairlead. A convenient button was also added to the console on the left side of the steering wheel for easy operation.

14-inch (35.6 cm) cast-aluminum wheels

Sturdy, lightweight, 14-inch cast-aluminum wheels with a unique painted black finish come standard.

27-inch (68.6 cm) Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires

Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires feature a rugged six-ply radial construction, yet are lightweight to cut down on unsprung weight. The non-directional tires are very capable of climbing and clawing across tough terrain and also absorb varying surfaces for a smooth ride and provide predictable cornering.

Full hard roof

A durable, heavy-duty plastic roof protects the occupants from elements while giving the Defender XT units a custom appearance.

Advanced VERSA-PRO Bench Seat

The VERSA-PRO bench seat offered on the XT package includes a reinforced seat cover. It uses a thicker vinyl and a special material finish to be more resistant and offer a premium look. The high-quality seat cover is designed to endure the everyday use on the farm, job site and trail. In addition, the XT VERSA-PRO bench seat comes with a 3-in (8 cm) adjustable driver’s seat (forward/rearward) for added comfort and better ingress/egress.

Enclosed under seat storage

The 5.6 gal (21 L) enclosed under seat storage beneath the passenger seat offers a large waterproof space for the most precious items, and is easily removable for the user’s convenience.

Multifunction analog/ digital gauge with enclosed storage

The analog / digital gauge package includes state-of-the-art instrumentation as well as an additional enclosed and water-resistant 0.9 gal (3.4 L) storage section to protect smaller items. This includes an analog tachometer and speedometer combined with an advanced digital information center.

Three driving modes

The driver can select between three different driving modes on the Can-Am Defender to adapt to both personal preference and the riding conditions: Eco, Normal and Work. Normal mode has no speed or torque limitations and is optimized for recreational use with no load or a light workload. Work mode is calibrated for working with high loads in a smooth manner, offering a smooth power delivery, still with full power and torque. ECO mode limits both high-range speed and torque to produce moderate driving with regulated-but-smooth acceleration.

Full skid plate

The high-strength full skid plate (center and sides on XT) is made from proven materials and is designed for supreme protection and has the ability to slide over certain obstacles.

Premium color options

The Defender XT HD8 and XT HD10 vehicles are available with premium painted plastic or an exclusive water-dipped camouflage pattern, providing a first-class appearance. An all-new Intense Red finish as well as Pure Magnesium and dipped Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo are available.


The XT Cab package, available only with the HD10 Rotax engine, takes consumers to a first-rate level of comfort in all conditions with a full cabin enclosure complete with a full-glass windshield, rear window, doors and a heater kit installed directly on the production line.

can-am defender xt cab 2016-2

Full glass tilt up windshield with wiper and washer kit

The full, high-grade glass windshield is durable and highly scratch resistant. It also includes a wiper and washer kit with a 0.4 gal (1.9 L) reservoir for improved visibility in wet weather or muddy conditions. The windshield can also be tilted up (three positions) to increase airflow to the occupants during mild conditions.

Full doors with electric opening windows

The Can-am Defender XT Cab features full doors to enclose the occupants within the cab. The comfortable and spacious cabin also offers the occupants protection from the elements an, with an integrated heater, warmth in cool regions. The durable doors have electronic opening windows, much like a pick-up truck.

Rear glass with sliding opening

To complete the cabin enclosure, a rear glass window was added to the package. The sliding opening on the rear window lets air flow through the cab for warm days and to quickly access something you’ve placed in the cargo bed.

Integrated heater kit

Even when you’re working or hunting outside in colder climates, you can escape the bone-chilling temperatures by climbing into a warm cabin heated by the integrated heater.

Full hard roof with liner

A durable, heavy-duty plastic roof with an integrated liner protects the occupants from elements while giving the Defender XT Cab units a custom appearance and unbeatable fit-and-finish.

Premium color options

The Defender XT Cab HD10 vehicles are available in an all-new Intense Red finish as well as Pure Magnesium and water-dipped Mossy Oak Break-Up Country Camo.

For more information on these and other models, visit: Can-Am Off-road Website