By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
Can-Am recently unveiled their new Maverick at the 2012 Sand Sports Super Show in Costa Mesa, CA. This was a great move by Can-Am since the heart of the sport UTV market is the dune and desert market segment and the sand show is the kickoff to the season. When the covers were lifted off the new Maverick 1000R,Maverick 1000R X-RS and Maverick MAX 1000R on Friday night at the show, it was standing room only on location, and thousands more sifted through specs and images online.
The specs on the new Maverick did not disappoint, especially with a 101 horsepower Rotax v-twin, 14 inches of wheel travel and available 2.5″ FOX Podium X shocks (X-RS package). But specs are just glimmers into the new machine, the proof is in the pudding as the saying goes is when you get a chance to romp through the desert in a real life UTV. Well, it just so happens that myself and Dan Rosenzweig from Magnum Offroad were invited to Las Vegas, NV to test the new Maverick out at the Logandale Trail System.
Logandale was a great choice to illustrate the superior features of this new sport UTV. It features beautiful red sand and rock areas, with rock crawling and dune riding, plus desert washes, whooped out trails gravel roads.
Dan and I jumped in a Maverick 1000R first. Both Dan and I have owned Can-Am Commander 1000 so entering the cab feels very familiar. Even the ROPS certified roll cage comes from the Commander. But that is about were the similarity ends. As soon as we started up the Maverick and headed out on the gravel access road, you could feel the extra wheelbase (84.3″ vs. 75.8″) and width (64″ vs 58″).
Once off the gravel road, we hit the sand dunes and this is where we immediately felt in added power. The Mavericks engine is still based on the same 976cc Rotax v-twin as found in the Commander, but Can-Am was able to bump the horsepower to 101. This was achieved in conjunction with increasing the flow volume of the intake plenum and independent intake runners that allow the tuning of each cylinder for optimal performance. A high-flow head to optimize the combustion chamber, thanks to larger intake and exhaust valves and an increased compression ratio (12.0:1), and high-flow dual exhaust all contribute to the more-powerful and efficient engine. The specs on the Maverick put the horsepower at 16HP more than the Commander, and we believe it! Dan and I definitely felt the increase ponies, especially in the upper part of the RPM range.
After cutting through the dunes, we ended up in a hard pack area with a whooped out section. To tell you the truth, I was a bit skeptical about how well the new Torsional Trailing A-Arms (TTA) Independent Rear Suspension would perform. Once again, the specs of 14″ of wheel travel looked good on paper, but with other manufacturers using variations of a more traditional trailing arm rear suspension, I had my doubts. The TTA setup on the Maverick looks more like an a-arm type setup, but it is actually a is a compact version of a five-link suspension. On paper, it has the lowest unsprung weight, no bump steer and the lowest scrub of the sport UTVs. I just didnt see how it would compete with the trailing arm setup of the Polaris RZR XP and Arctic Cat Wildcat.
Well, I was wrong. The Maverick really shined in the whoops and torn up washes. The harder we pushed, the better it performed. Both Dan and I made comments to each other several times throughout the day that we were surprised that the Maverick never once got out of shape on us. Even through some pretty decent uneven whoops, the rear end stayed planted and in control.
Later in the day, Dan and I got behind the wheel of the top-of-the-line Maverick 1000R X-RS. The X-RS has beadlock wheels, X-trim graphics and seats, analog/digital gauge, custom steering wheel and most importantly FOX Podium X Performance RC 2.5 piggyback shocks! The 2.5 inch body allows a 50 percent increase in the piston area, which allows the shock to do more work with lower internal pressures, less heat, and greater durability. Plus the X-RS shocks have high and low-speed compression adjustment plus rebound adjustment for the ultimate in tune-ability. We thought the 1000R did well, but the 1000R X-RS is a step above. If you are into aggressive driving and harsh terrain, take a look.
Another unique feature of the Maverick is the bed area. The multipurpose rear rack works with Can-Ams LinQ quick-attach accessory system, letting you quickly and easily install or re- move a storage box, rack extension, bags or other items. An optional bed liner offers even more storage space for increased versatility. The rack features an integrated anti-skid surface and elevated ridges for improved cargo holding. Numerous edges and holes improve use with tie-downs and bungee cords. For a sport UTV that does not need to haul rocks or firewood, this versatile rear-rack is a great idea.
The Maverick has a Visco-Lok Front Differential. Exclusive to Can-Am, Visco-Lok is a progressively and automatically locking front differential system, once 4×4 mode is selected. The system intelligently transfers power from a slipping front wheel to the opposing wheel with traction. The front differential works just fine everywhere except when you want to rock crawl. The wheel that loses traction and spins, must do so for several revolutions before power is transferred to tire with traction. This issue was addressed in the 2013 Commander with EPS when Can-Am added their Quicker-Engaging (QE) Visco-Lok front differential that improved the Commander side-by-sides traction and abilities in slow-speed, technical terrain. I really do not understand why Can-Am would not also add this technology to the Maverick.
Overall, I am super excited to see another manufacturer enter the sport UTV market with passion! Can-Am has created a unique vehicle that isnt just a long travel Commander or a knock-off of the RZR XP. The Maverick has great ergonomics, an aggressive look, industry-leading power and suspension to match. The UTV market is not slowing down, and I like it that way!
More: Can-Am Maverick Photo Gallery Logandale, NV
Can-Am, Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.