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Dear Motorhead:

First, I really enjoy the show. Next, I figured you’d be the ones to maybe get an answer from on this question, since you get to ride these things on a daily basis.

I just bought a 2013 Can-Am Commander and what I assume is the CVT or maybe the rear end is terribly loud like a high pitched whine or a scream. You can’t hardly even hear the motor when driving down the road and it’s almost deafening. Makes me not want to even drive the machine.

Wondering if you could tell me if this noise is normal or abnormal because no one else can seem to.



Thanks for your email!

Great question! We are familiar with the whining sound you’ve described and have noticed it on a number of Can-Am and Polaris ATVs and SXS vehicles. However, your description sounds pretty severe – I wouldn’t categorize the noise as this severe – in my experience.

I’ve spoken to knowledgeable people and they claim the noise is mostly (given there’s not something terribly wrong in your drive line) emanating from your rear differential. Apparently diff gears on many ATVs are cut to provide long life but not necessarily quiet operation – in some applications. The noise is not an indication of trouble and apparently it could be diminished (as it is in automotive applications) however the off road nature of our vehicles has precluded some OE’s from not altering the diff gear cutting and finishing.

Again, I’m assuming there’s nothing catastrophic amiss with your Commander – your description of the noise seems pretty severe – I find the noise apparent but not necessarily intolerable.

Hope this helps!

Motorhead Mark

Hello Mark:

Thanks for responding to my question. It sounds like you are right about the noise on the commanders. I’ve talked to another dealer, not mine, a much more helpful one and a transmission repair guy from my area and they both said similar things.

The commander has strait cut gears in the rear diff and they are notorious for making the wine noise. Good thing is is that the transmission guy I talked to said that strait cut gears are a very strong and dependable design.

Also it seems that the whine on my machine seems to be getting less noticeable, I have changed the fluid to Amsoil. Maybe that helped, maybe it’s just getting broke in enough or maybe I was just letting it bother me to much.

At least all of the answers I have received in the last week have all been fairly positive so that makes me feel a little bit better about the situation.

Thanks again for the response,

Dave K.

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