Can-Am DS 450 ATV Top Speed and Specs

can am ds 450 atv top speed and specs

The Can-Am DS 450 is a high-performance all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that has captured the hearts of speed enthusiasts and off-road adventurers alike. Renowned for its exceptional power-to-weight ratio, this lightweight yet potent machine boasts a blistering top speed that leaves competitors in the dust. In this article, we’ll delve into the exhilarating world of the Can-Am DS 450, exploring its top speed capabilities, design elements, real-world experiences, and more.

Are you seeking an ATV that combines agility, power, and breakneck speeds? The Can-Am DS 450 might just be the perfect ride for you. With a top speed ranging from 77 to 80 mph (124 to 129 km/h) in stock condition, this quad defies expectations and delivers an adrenaline-fueled experience like no other.

Model Overview

A Brief History

Introduced in 2008, the Can-Am DS 450 quickly gained popularity among ATV racing enthusiasts and thrill-seekers. Its impressive performance and race-ready capabilities straight off the production line made it an instant hit. Over the years, the DS 450 lineup expanded with the introduction of the DS 450 X MX, tailored for motocross racing, and the DS 450 X XC, designed for cross-country competitions.

Key Features and Selling Points

The Can-Am DS 450 is powered by a potent 449cc Rotax single-cylinder engine, delivering an impressive 45 horsepower. This power-packed engine, combined with the ATV’s lightweight construction, results in a remarkable power-to-weight ratio that is unmatched in its class.

Another standout feature is the DS 450’s advanced suspension system. With adjustable preload settings, independent double-A-arm front suspension, and a swing-arm rear suspension, this ATV provides a smooth and controlled ride, even over the most challenging terrains.

Initial Impressions

From the moment you lay eyes on the Can-Am DS 450, its aggressive stance and sleek design convey a sense of raw power and agility. The narrowed bodywork and ergonomic seating position make it easy to transition your body during tight maneuvers, enhancing the overall riding experience.

Design and Performance

Exterior Design and Styling

The Can-Am DS 450 exudes a sporty and athletic appearance, with its distinctive lines and angular bodywork. The weldless aluminum frame not only contributes to the ATV’s lightweight construction but also adds to its aggressive aesthetics.

Engine and Powertrain

At the heart of the Can-Am DS 450 lies a potent 449cc Rotax single-cylinder engine with a four-valve head and double overhead camshafts. This liquid-cooled powerplant delivers a remarkable 45 horsepower, ensuring explosive acceleration and top-end performance.

Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission with a heavy-duty clutch and nine friction plates, providing precise control over the ATV’s power delivery.

Top Speed and Acceleration

When it comes to top speed, the Can-Am DS 450 is a true standout. In stock condition, this ATV can reach a blistering top speed of 77 to 80 mph (124 to 129 km/h), making it one of the fastest ATVs in its class.

But it’s not just the top speed that impresses; the DS 450’s acceleration is equally exhilarating. With its impressive power-to-weight ratio and responsive throttle, this ATV can go from 0 to 60 mph (0 to 96 km/h) in a matter of seconds, leaving your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping.

Handling, Suspension, and Braking

While speed is undoubtedly a highlight, the Can-Am DS 450 also excels in handling and suspension. The independent double-A-arm front suspension and swing-arm rear suspension, coupled with adjustable preload settings, provide a smooth and controlled ride, even when tackling rough terrain or catching air.

Braking is another area where the DS 450 shines. With dual hydraulic disc brakes in the front and a single hydraulic disc brake in the rear, this ATV offers impressive stopping power, ensuring you maintain control even at high speeds.

Specifications and Technical Details

Engine449cc Rotax single-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Horsepower45 HP
Transmission5-speed manual
Front SuspensionIndependent double-A-arm, adjustable preload
Rear SuspensionSwing-arm, adjustable preload
Front BrakesDual hydraulic disc
Rear BrakesSingle hydraulic disc
Front Tires21 x 7-10, ITP Holeshot
Rear Tires20 x 10-9, ITP Holeshot
Dry Weight345 lbs (156 kg)
Length72.1 inches (183.1 cm)
Width46.1 inches (117.1 cm)
Height41.9 inches (106.4 cm)
Wheelbase50 inches (127 cm)
Ground Clearance9 inches (22.9 cm)
Fuel Capacity3 gallons (11.4 liters)

Detailed Technical Information

The Can-Am DS 450 features a lightweight, yet robust, all-aluminum frame with a twin pyramidal structure, contributing to its agility and responsive handling. The weldless design further reduces weight, enhancing the ATV’s overall performance.

With a compact overall length of 72.1 inches (183.1 cm) and a width of 46.1 inches (117.1 cm), the DS 450 is highly maneuverable, making it ideal for navigating tight trails and technical terrain. Additionally, its 9 inches (22.9 cm) of ground clearance allow it to tackle obstacles with ease.

Comparison with Competitors’ Specs

When compared to its competitors, such as the Honda TRX450R and the Yamaha YFZ450R, the Can-Am DS 450 holds its own in terms of power and performance. While it may not outshine its rivals in raw horsepower, its lightweight construction and impressive power-to-weight ratio make it a formidable contender on the track or trail.

Real-World Experiences

Positive and Negative Reviews from Owners

“The Can-Am DS 450 is an absolute beast on the trails! Its power delivery is smooth, and the handling is phenomenal. I can take tight corners with ease and hit jumps without worrying about the landing.” – Jason M., DS 450 owner.

“While the top speed is exhilarating, I’ve experienced some overheating issues with my DS 450, especially during extended high-speed runs or in hot weather conditions.” – Sarah T., DS 450 owner.

Description of the Riding Experience

Riding the Can-Am DS 450 is an experience like no other. From the moment you twist the throttle, the potent engine delivers an immediate surge of power that propels you forward with incredible force. The responsive handling and well-damped suspension allow you to navigate even the most challenging terrain with confidence, while the powerful brakes provide reassuring stopping power when needed.

As you reach higher speeds, the DS 450’s aerodynamic design and lightweight construction help you slice through the air with minimal resistance. The thrill of hitting top speeds is unmatched, leaving you with a rush of adrenaline and a desire for more.

Insights from Professional Reviews and Testing

Professional reviews and testing have consistently praised the Can-Am DS 450 for its impressive performance and overall capabilities. Experts have commended the ATV’s exceptional power-to-weight ratio, smooth power delivery, and excellent handling characteristics.

However, some reviews have noted potential issues with overheating and electrical problems, emphasizing the importance of proper maintenance and adherence to recommended service intervals.

Modifications and Upgrades

Best Modifications to Increase Top Speed

While the Can-Am DS 450 is already a speed demon in stock form, some enthusiasts seek even more performance through modifications. Popular upgrades to increase top speed include:

  • Exhaust system upgrades (slip-on or full system)
  • Performance air filters
  • Engine remapping or fuel injection controllers for improved fuel/air mixture
  • High-performance camshafts and valve train components
  • Lighter weight wheels and tires

It’s important to note that while these modifications can potentially boost the top speed, they may also affect the longevity and reliability of the engine and other components. It’s always recommended to consult with professionals and follow proper installation and tuning procedures.

Popular Customization Options and Aftermarket Parts

Beyond performance upgrades, there are numerous customization options and aftermarket parts available for the Can-Am DS 450, allowing owners to personalize their ride and enhance its functionality. Some popular choices include:

  • Aftermarket graphics kits and body panels
  • Upgraded suspension components (shocks, springs, etc.)
  • Nerf bars and hand guards
  • Upgraded brake pads and rotors
  • LED lighting upgrades
  • Reinforced skid plates and bash plates

Pros and Cons of Modifying the DS 450

Modifying the Can-Am DS 450 can be a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it allows you to unlock even more performance potential and tailor the ATV to your specific needs and preferences. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks:


  • Increased top speed and acceleration
  • Improved handling and suspension performance
  • Personalized aesthetic appeal
  • Enhanced durability and protection


  • Potential decrease in reliability and longevity
  • Increased maintenance requirements
  • Voiding of manufacturer’s warranty (if applicable)
  • Increased cost for parts and professional installations

As with any modification, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons carefully and ensure that any changes are performed by qualified professionals to maintain the integrity and safety of the ATV.

Pros and Cons


  1. Blistering Top Speed: With a top speed ranging from 77 to 80 mph (124 to 129 km/h) in stock condition, the Can-Am DS 450 is one of the fastest ATVs in its class, delivering an exhilarating ride.
  2. Impressive Power-to-Weight Ratio: Thanks to its lightweight construction and potent 449cc engine, the DS 450 boasts an exceptional power-to-weight ratio, resulting in impressive acceleration and agility.
  3. Adjustable Suspension: The independent double-A-arm front suspension and swing-arm rear suspension, coupled with adjustable preload settings, provide a smooth and controlled ride over various terrains.
  4. Precise Handling: The DS 450’s narrow bodywork and ergonomic seating position make it easy to transition your body during tight maneuvers, enhancing overall handling and control.
  5. Aggressive Styling: The ATV’s sleek and angular design exudes a sporty and athletic appearance, reflecting its high-performance capabilities.
  6. Versatility: While designed primarily for racing and high-speed off-road adventures, the Can-Am DS 450 is also capable of tackling trails and exploring rugged terrain with ease.


  1. Overheating Issues: Some owners have reported overheating problems, especially during extended high-speed runs or in hot weather conditions, which could potentially lead to engine damage.
  2. Electrical Problems: The DS 450’s electrical system has been known to have issues, with some owners experiencing problems related to wiring harnesses and other electrical components.
  3. Frame Bending: The lightweight construction of the DS 450’s frame, while contributing to its agility, may also make it susceptible to bending or cracking under extreme stress, particularly during hard landings or impacts.
  4. Lack of Reverse Gear: Unlike some utility ATVs, the Can-Am DS 450 does not have a reverse gear, which can be inconvenient when maneuvering in tight spaces or during trail riding.
  5. Clutch and Transmission Issues: Some early models of the DS 450 were known to have clutch and transmission problems, such as sheared rivets or complete clutch failure, which could lead to costly repairs.
  6. Maintenance Intensity: Due to its high-performance nature and race-oriented design, the Can-Am DS 450 may require more frequent and intensive maintenance compared to some other ATVs.

Value for Money Assessment

The Can-Am DS 450 is undoubtedly a high-performance machine, and its price tag reflects its capabilities. While it may not be the most affordable option in the ATV market, many enthusiasts and off-road enthusiasts consider it to be a worthwhile investment for its impressive top speed, agility, and overall performance.

When considering the value for money, it’s essential to factor in the potential costs of maintenance, repairs, and any desired modifications or upgrades. Additionally, the availability of spare parts and aftermarket support can play a role in determining the long-term ownership costs.

For those seeking a pure sport ATV that can deliver an exhilarating riding experience and compete on the track or trail, the Can-Am DS 450 can be an excellent choice, provided that its strengths align with your specific needs and budget.

Pricing and Availability

Current Market Pricing

The pricing for the Can-Am DS 450 can vary depending on the model year, condition, and location. Here are some approximate pricing ranges based on current market data:

  • New Models (if available): Not currently in production, but used models are available.
  • Used Models:
    • 2008 models: $1,500 – $2,500
    • 2009 models: $2,000 – $3,000
    • 2010 models: $2,500 – $4,000
    • 2011-2015 models: $3,500 – $6,000

It’s important to note that these prices are approximate and can fluctuate based on factors such as mileage, modifications, and overall condition of the ATV.

Information on Where to Buy

Since the Can-Am DS 450 is no longer in production, the primary options for purchasing one are through private sellers or used ATV dealerships. Here are some potential sources:

  • Online classifieds and marketplaces (e.g., Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, ATVTrader)
  • Local ATV dealerships and motorsports shops
  • Specialty ATV forums and enthusiast groups

When buying a used Can-Am DS 450, it’s crucial to thoroughly inspect the ATV, review its service history, and ensure that it has been well-maintained. Consulting with experienced mechanics or enthusiasts can also help you make an informed decision.

Availability and Production Status

The Can-Am DS 450 was produced from 2008 to 2015, after which it was discontinued by the manufacturer, BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products). As a result, new models are no longer available for purchase directly from the manufacturer or authorized dealerships.

However, due to the model’s popularity and cult following among ATV enthusiasts, used and pre-owned units are still widely available in the secondary market, both from private sellers and dealerships specializing in pre-owned ATVs.

Who Should Consider Buying the Can-Am DS 450

The Can-Am DS 450 is an ideal choice for:

  • ATV racing enthusiasts and competitive riders seeking a high-performance machine that can dominate the track or trail.
  • Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies who crave blistering top speeds and an exhilarating riding experience.
  • Off-road adventurers and explorers who value a lightweight, agile, and capable ATV for tackling rugged terrain.
  • Experienced ATV riders who appreciate the DS 450’s impressive power-to-weight ratio and handling capabilities.

Situations Where the DS 450 Might Not Be the Best Fit

While the Can-Am DS 450 excels in many areas, there are certain situations where it may not be the most suitable choice:

  • Casual or beginner riders: The DS 450’s raw power and performance capabilities may be overwhelming for those new to ATVs or seeking a more forgiving ride.
  • Utility or work-focused applications: As a pure sport ATV, the DS 450 may not be the most practical option for tasks such as hauling, towing, or general utility work.
  • Riders seeking a more comfortable, relaxed riding experience: The DS 450’s aggressive riding position and performance-oriented design may not be ideal for those seeking a more leisurely or comfortable ride.

Alternative ATV Options for Different Rider Types

If the Can-Am DS 450 doesn’t quite fit your needs or preferences, here are some alternative ATV options to consider:

  • For beginners or casual riders: Honda TRX420, Yamaha Grizzly, or Polaris Sportsman models, which offer a more forgiving and user-friendly riding experience.
  • For utility and work tasks: ATVs like the Can-Am Outlander, Polaris Scrambler, or Kawasaki Brute Force, which are designed with hauling, towing, and cargo-carrying capabilities in mind.
  • For a balance of sport and utility: The Yamaha Raptor 700R, Honda TRX450R, or Can-Am Renegade models, which offer a blend of performance and versatility for both recreational riding and light work tasks.
  • For riders seeking comfort and touring capability: ATVs with longer wheelbases and more relaxed ergonomics, such as the Honda Rincon or Suzuki KingQuad models, which prioritize comfort over outright performance.

Ultimately, the choice of an ATV should be based on your specific needs, riding style, and intended usage, ensuring a satisfying and enjoyable experience on and off the trails.

Common Issues and Solutions

Major Known Problems and Their Fixes

While the Can-Am DS 450 is a well-engineered and capable ATV, like any vehicle, it can be subject to certain issues. Here are some of the major known problems and their potential solutions:

  1. Overheating Issues:
    • Solution: Upgrade to a high-performance radiator, install an auxiliary cooling fan, or consider an aftermarket cooling system modification.
  2. Electrical Problems:
    • Solution: Inspect and replace faulty wiring harnesses, upgrade to higher-quality electrical components, and ensure proper grounding and connections.
  3. Frame Bending:
    • Solution: Reinforce the frame with aftermarket braces or consider a complete frame replacement if the bending is severe.
  4. Clutch and Transmission Issues:
    • Solution: Replace the clutch assembly with an upgraded aftermarket unit, inspect and replace worn transmission components as needed, and ensure proper maintenance and adjustment.
  5. Engine Wear and Failure:
    • Solution: Adhere to recommended maintenance schedules, use high-quality fluids and filters, and consider engine rebuilds or replacements if severe wear or damage is present.

Regular Maintenance and Repair Tips

To ensure the longevity and reliable performance of your Can-Am DS 450, regular maintenance and proper care are essential. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow the recommended service intervals and maintenance schedules outlined in the owner’s manual.
  • Use high-quality fluids, filters, and genuine OEM or approved aftermarket parts for replacements and repairs.
  • Inspect the ATV regularly for any signs of wear, damage, or loose components, and address issues promptly.
  • Keep the air filter clean and replace it as needed to maintain proper air flow and engine performance.
  • Check and adjust the chain tension, brakes, and suspension components as recommended.
  • Store the ATV properly during extended periods of non-use, and perform necessary pre-season maintenance before riding.
  • Consider engaging the services of a qualified ATV mechanic or dealership for major repairs or maintenance tasks beyond your skill level.

By following these maintenance and repair tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your Can-Am DS 450 and ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience for years to come.

FAQs About the Can-Am DS 450 and Its Top Speed

What is the top speed of the Can-Am DS 450 in stock condition?

The Can-Am DS 450 has a top speed ranging from 77 to 80 mph (124 to 129 km/h) in stock condition.

Can the top speed be increased through modifications?

Yes, various modifications such as exhaust system upgrades, engine remapping, and performance parts can potentially increase the top speed of the DS 450, but they may also affect reliability and longevity.

How does the DS 450’s top speed compare to its competitors?

The Can-Am DS 450’s top speed is competitive with other high-performance sport ATVs in its class, such as the Honda TRX450R and Yamaha YFZ450R.

Is the Can-Am DS 450 street-legal?

No, the Can-Am DS 450 is designed strictly for off-road use and is not street-legal in most areas.

What is the recommended maintenance schedule for the DS 450?

Refer to the owner’s manual for specific maintenance intervals, but generally, regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and inspections of critical components are recommended.

Can the Can-Am DS 450 be used for utility tasks or hauling?

While the DS 450 is primarily designed for sport and racing purposes, it can be used for light utility tasks and trail exploration, but it may not be the most practical choice for heavy-duty hauling or towing.

How does the weight and power-to-weight ratio of the DS 450 affect its performance?

The DS 450’s lightweight construction and impressive power-to-weight ratio contribute significantly to its exceptional acceleration, agility, and overall performance capabilities.

Are spare parts and aftermarket support readily available for the Can-Am DS 450?

While the DS 450 is no longer in production, there is still a dedicated aftermarket and enthusiast community that offers a variety of spare parts, upgrades, and support for these ATVs.

Remember, these are general guidelines, and it’s always best to consult with experienced professionals, refer to the owner’s manual, and exercise caution when modifying or operating high-performance vehicles like the Can-Am DS 450.

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