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First Impression: Can-Am Maverick 1000R X-RS

Posted in Features on October 6, 2016
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Photographers: Russell Johnston

Though it turned out that we only had one day with the 2016 Can-Am Maverick 1000R X-RS, it was a fun one.

Of course, that may have had to do with our test location being Coyne Powersports test track. Located out in the wilds near their El Centro showroom, it was perfect for track testing what Can-Am claims is as racy a UTV as they make.

First, we did a walkaround to check things that we think are important. With the black with red accents (orange-ish red anyway) “paint” scheme, it looks good. Kind of like a bulldog. The Maverick has a reasonably wide stance and enough wheelbase to go pretty straight in the whoops, but we’ll get to that.

The cage and front opening was large enough for taller drivers to probably fit well enough. A towering 5’9 ourselves, we had no problem with view or interior space and the ergos seemed good. It has window netting. Though a nice add by Can-Am, they could be a little bigger. They’d keep your head in, but probably not your arms.

Two people fit in the Maverick well. And they’ll stay apart thanks to the 4-point seat harnesses. When coming out of the fast left hand sweeper hitting 60+ trying not to catch an edge, all the while looking at the onrushing wall of dirt Coyne calls a tabletop, we were very glad we had them. A big kudo to Can-Am on that call.

The seats they are attached to are wrap-around style race seats that have enough bolsters to keep you centered and are comfortable enough, though we didn’t get the chance to have the Maverick on any long rides, so we can’t attest to long ride comfort but they were fine landing from jumps.

A pair of large analog gauges reports on the speed and rev’s, and flank a center digital panel where the various readouts live. They are easy to read while the various switches and start button are easy to reach. The center console holds the shifter and one of the two passenger grab handles, the other being the usual in-front unit. A dead pedal for the driver makes it easy to get a good foothold on the car and the comfortable tri-spoke steering wheel allows for a good grip. That wheel is connected to Can-Am’s Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering system, which makes pointing the Maverick in the desired direction easy.

The fit and finish on the Maverick also looked good as the plastic fenders and cladding fit together well, and seemed to be of a good thickness too. We are serious weld inspectors, and the welds appeared neat and of a proper size. Adequate for the task, we’d say.

Bombardier owns Can-Am and a bunch of other companies, and one of them is Rotax. Rotax engines have been SOP on many Bombardier vehicles. From airplanes to Ski-Do’s to motorcycles, Rotax engine have proven themselves to be fast and reliable. The one that puts the 1000R in the Maverick 1000R X-RS is a Turbocharged Rotax 1000R V-Twin engine that puts out an intercooled and fuel-injected 131 horses. There’s even a “Sport Mode” switch. The power is put to the on-demand 4-wheel drive by a CV type transmission.

Using high-quality aftermarket items seems to be fine with Can-Am, and one of those cool things is the dual Yoshimura exhaust system. It features dual stainless, and we’re assuming spark arrested, cannisters that are something that you’d normally need to buy, but now don’t have to.

Another aftermarket upgrade from the normal stock stuff is the Fox 2.5 Podium QS3 Piggyback Shocks. Equipped with what Fox calls Bottom-out Control, they keep the dual A-arm front and torsional trailing A-Arm rear suspensions in check. Front wheel travel is 14-inches while there’s 16-in out back. The wheels in question black, 28-inch cast-aluminum beadlock wheels, have been mounted with tough Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires.

Now, we were hoping to have Travis Coyne drive for us, but he was busy overseeing construction on their new dealership, so we were left to our devices. After a few warm up laps around the track, we started to push harder and found the Fox shocks to be very close as they came.

The Maverick stayed straight over most things and didn’t exhibit any scary tendencies, even through the staggered whoop section found on the Coyne track, though we’d like see what more in-depth shock tuning would produce. A tad more compression on the rear would probably have improved cornering for us, as we felt the rearend squat a bit much through the fast sweeper and we did bicycle it once through the sand corner. That’s always interesting. The front end felt pretty good though.

Jumping the aforementioned tabletop saw the Maverick jumping straight and landings were good, though the rear would kick up a bit over smaller steeper jumps. We did play with the shock clickers a little, but only a click or two as we had no way of making comprehensive changes, and just clicking away is not always a good thing. Maybe a combination of a little less rebound or less spring pre load would have helped.

The Rotax produced good power and the propelled us around the track as fast as we dared to go. The CV hooked up well and the 2 and 4 wheel drives, and there was no discernable noise coming from the front or rearends during hard driving.

All in all, we enjoyed our time with the Can-Am Maverick 1000R X-RS. It did all of what we were expecting and nothing that scared us. It seems like a well-made, stable machine that had enough power to get around the track quickly, stopped well and handled stutter bumps and jumps well. We’re hoping to put the 2017 model head to head with some of the other “sports” UTV’s in the future, so stay tuned. We again want to thank Coyne Powersports for letting us use their facility. We had a blast and hope to be invited back to test other vehicles there too.

The Can-Am Maverick 1000R X-RS Turbo is their top of the line two-seater, and comes with all the best that Can-Am has to offer.
Ready to take on the competition or just a favorite trail, the Maverick is up to the task.
The Maverick uses FOX 2.5 PODIUM QS3 Piggyback Shocks with Bottom-out Control to keep the C-A steady in the rough and landing from jumps. There’s 14-in (35.6 cm) of travel to play with, and we tried to use them all.
Producing 131hp, the power for the 1000R comes from a turbo-charged Rotax V-Twin engine. Rotax is just one of the many Bombardier companies, and they put this in-house ability to good use with the Maverick.
The turbo is equipped with an intercooler as well as a waste-gate to keep the power at its peak while still being reliable.
Long known as power producers and race winners, Yoshimura was chosen as the exhaust supplier for the X-RS. The dual tipped exhaust kept the rumble to a respectable level and looks trick too.
The interior of the Maverick is spacious, and the dash layout is good. The large analog speedo and tach are easy to read and all switches within easy reach, as is the tri spoke steering wheel. That wheel is connected to the Maverick’s Dynamic Power Steering system and makes handling the big 1000R easy for all.
One of the things we loved about the X-RS is the 4-point harnesses that come stock. They keep you planted in the racing style seats, which are comfortable enough for long treks.
The intercooler is placed behind and between the seats, which keeps it out of harms way.
Providing plenty of grip are the 27-in Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires. Mounted on attractive, aluminum 14-in beadlock wheels, the Bighorns are just another way the Maverick X-RS has been outfitted with items that you’d put on anyway; only you don’t have to spend more money since their already there. Nice.
Can-Am has long made very competitive dirt vehicles. We saw Jimmy Ellis winning the 1976 Superbowl of Motocross on a Can-Am, and here 40 years later they’re still producing good, fast, well-appointed and well-made off-road vehicles.
The Maverick proved to be a stable platform over fast jumps, and even when we hit the jump a little sideways, a good amount of throttle upon landing straightened it out.
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