Can-Am Maverick at Prairie City SVRA
By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net
We picked up our new long-term demoMaverick 1000R on Friday and decided to break it in right at Prairie City SVRA on Sunday. The scope of testing was two-fold. First, we wanted to see how the Maverick would do with our 31×11.50R15 Pit Bull Growler LT tires on it. Second, we wanted to hit the VORRA track and see how the Maverick performed on the short course.
The 31″ Pit Bulls are BIG tires. Not just tall, but also wide and heavy. They are not UTV tires. They are a light truck tire and we have used them quite a bit on the Rubicon and Prairie City on our 2011 Kawasaki Teryx and 2012 Kawasaki Teryx4. The OMF billet center wheels facilitate our ability to move this set to several different manufacturers, but in this case, the Teryx centers have the same bolt pattern as the Maverick and Commander. The stud size is smaller on the Maverick, so we used tapered lug nuts help center properly.
The first thing we noticed on the Maverick is these big tires easily fit without modification! Although we did not check at full compression, we did turn the wheel hard in the rocks and never once rubbed. Very awesome that Can-Am designed the Maverick with so much clearance.
But there is some bad news. The Maverick’s front differential comes with Visco-Lok front differential. This is a limited slip type of design where power will shift from the spinning tire to the tire that has traction. Great concept, but the Can-Am design on the Maverick is not the QE version that is now available on the Commander. Unfortunately, it takes several revolutions on the spinning tire before power is shifted. Much too long for serious rock crawling. I did find out that a QE differential from a Commander would fit in the Maverick if someone really wanted to do some rock crawling.
The second issue we found is with heavy steering. The Maverick feels pretty heavy with stock tires on it. Put these big meats on there and it is a workout. Both Kawasaki’s had power steering and this is truly a requirement for this size of tire. Have not checked into aftermarket, but that may be a solution.
The impressive part of these big tires on the Maverick is the power. In two-wheel drive is was easy to bust the tires free with the 101 HP Rotax. Power to the ground is very impressive.
After playing in the rocks for a while, we swapped back to the stock 26″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires and took off for the VORRA track. Unfortunately there were some rally cars that were running a race on the upper part of the course so we couldn’t use the whole track. We made use of some fast corners, a few jumps and some fast straight-aways.
It was amazing to feel the difference in the car with the stock tires on it. With the 31″ Pit Bulls on, the Maverick felt like a kid with his Dad’s big shoes on. With the stock 26″ Bighorns, it felt sporty and nimble again. Not a big surprise, but I have never swapped from these big tires to stock in the span of an hour before and the stark difference really sunk in.
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 I believe it!
In two-wheel drive, I was able to spin the tires effortlessly on the dirt track. To the point where the Maverick really needed more bite on the tires to use the power. Drifting in the corners was easy and predictable. In Four-wheel drive, power felt like it was able to be used in a more linear fashion, while in two-wheel drive I felt like I needed to feather the throttle to keep some amount of traction. The stock power to the ground is truly is at the top of its class.
We took on a few jumps and were happy with the way the Maverick flew. The FOX 2.0 shocks did a good job soaking up the landing, but if we were going to launch harder for some big air, I’d like to see a set of 2.5″ FOX shocks on the car.
Our demo unit is a Maverick 1000R and if I were to buy one, I would spend the extra money to get theMaverick 1000R X-RS. The X-RS comes with 2.5″ FOX Podium X shocks, beadlocks, and a few other goodies that are worth it if you like to drive hard.
Overall, it was a great day of off-roading with our new Maverick. The Prairie City SVRA riding area has a little bit for everyone and it is close to home for us. Next up, I’d like to get the Maverick out in the desert and dunes to get a better feel of the Torsional Trailing A-Arms (TTA) Independent Rear Suspension. So far I have been impressed with how well it works and the desert will test it even further.
I think I will try a 30x10R14 GBC Mongrel on the Maverick for the desert. This tire won our30-inch Tire Shootout and is much lighter, narrower, shorter and has a better profile for driving in the desert than the big 31-inch Pit Bulls. The Maverick will have no problem turning them and they will look great. Stand by for a full report on that!