We recently had a chance to test out the brand new, 50-inch 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail at high elevation in Utah’s High Uinta Mountains.
Base MSRP: $12,999
Seating Capacity: 2
Engine: 976cc V-Twin
Power: 75 hp
Width: 50 in.
The segment that started it all for the reenergizing of our industry was the 50-inch Side-by-Side. Although UTVs have evolved significantly since then, it is still an important machine to this day – especially so for those who ride on width-restricted trails. The latest addition to this class is the 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail.
The 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail comes from the factory in either an 800 or a 1000 displacement engine and it is just like Can-Am to have several trim models not only for budget but for welcomed add-ons for those who want them. This Sport UTV sit 50-inches wide and has a longer than expected 90.6-inch wheel base. This gives the driver and passenger a little more balance, stability and builds confidence on the trail. Not only does this build driver confidence, but for a tall or larger rider it gives you more room in the cab. Can-Am calls this its improved Ergo-Lok cockpit.
Storage can be tough in such a small platform, but as usual Can-Am makes the best of its space with an “over the steering wheel” glove box of sorts and the traditional glove box in front of the passenger. There are also twin cup holders in the floor well within reach of the driver and passenger and a console in between the driver/passenger right in the center of the dash top for miscellaneous items. A total of 5.3 gallons of storage is included in the cab.
Just for reference here are my personal stats as the driver of this new 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail. I am six feet tall and weigh in at 265 pounds with broad shoulders to boot. When I slipped down into the cab I truly felt at home. The seats are high back bolstered and make you comfortable inside the space. I will say that for at least my experience, the driver’s door can encroach a little much. Maybe a little stretch, even an inch or two, would help relieve this and it doesn’t seem that it would affect the 50-inch width that the Maverick Trail is built for. The inside driver’s door handle is also a little tough to get too once seated in the cab with a large, warm jacket on. Other than these simple issues, the rest of the ride Ergo’s are very nice. Everything is easy to read and reach with several dash-mounted switches that control the driveline as well as the throttle control. The brake and gas pedals are located in the appropriate positions and do not seem to encroach on each other’s space. I have size 11 clogs and even my big feet did not get tripped up on each other when the tight, off-camber trails and rocks began shaking me around in the cab. From a driver’s stand point I think everything works pretty well.
In my test unit, the 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail 1000, when you get in and comfortable the three-point seat belts and seat bolstering do make you feel confident of any trail ahead. The Maverick Trail has a nice digital dash that also provides information from speed to engine RPM and gear selected, as well as fuel and drive situation, whether it be 2WD/4WD, etc. This Maverick Trail even has an unlocking rear differential for those situations that call for it, like your prize lawn or that fresh gravel on the drive.
Our ride location started near the High Uinta Mountains outside of Salt Lake City, Utah in a little area known as Christmas Meadows. Home to the Wasatch Ranger District, this small portion of Utah holds another incredible gem for those looking for a destination to ride. The Bear River Lodge here caters to the adventurous whether it be snow or trail riding and if you just want to see the beautiful scenery I am sure Jamie and Roger would love to have you at any time. They run a full-service lodge that is also first class.
After a morning ride into this area by car, it was time to get into our gear and begin our adventure in the 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail 1000. Rolling out the trails from Bear River Lodge, it was clear that you sit low in the Maverick Trail and it does not feel tippy.
As the 75-horsepower Rotax V-Twin gets moving you will instantly recognize the power and torque we have come to love about this mill. As we were driving up to 9,000-10,000 feet in elevation, we didn’t get to feel the full force of the engine, so we look forward to testing out the Maverick Trail at sea level. For the uninitiated, every 1,000 feet in elevation results in about a 3% loss in power due to the lack of oxygen. I could feel those same effects, as each breath at this altitude was labored.
Our Maverick Trail was also equipped with Can-Am’s Dynamic Power Steering or DPS. This is a welcomed component on any ATV or SXS these days and I personally love it. I did have a chance to ride in a base model Maverick Trail that unfortunately does not have power steering and all I can say is that the money is well spent as you get older and the trails get tighter!
The trails we had been routed to were 50-inch limited and it really did get tight in some areas, but the Maverick Trail seems to not only fit between the eye of the needle, but turns around on a dime. The mobility in the trail was revealed quite nicely when the winding course flipped back onto itself several times. Our 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail handled those situations with ease. Swapping back and forth from forward low to reverse is easy and with a few trees down around the route we figured out that the unit shifts through the gated system nicely.
As the rocks in the trail became larger and littered the path, we did find that the 10 inches of suspension travel in the front and 10.5 inches in the rear sometimes met its match. However, this had been on the rare occasion that maybe a better approach could have been used. The suspension is adequate for the length of travel in the control arms of the Maverick Trail and seemed comfortable in most situations. I’d say for the package the dampening does work well.
One item that was noticeable right off the bat was the throttle by wire. This gives the rider a little assistance in somewhat rough conditions when the terrain gives the driver “happy feet” for lack of better terms. If you are bouncing around in the cab you are not jerking about due to throttle bounce as well. Can-Am says the ECO mode is where you would really notice the assistance, but it seemed the regular Sport mode also gave up a bit of help in that department. For an older rider the smooth and linear throttle was well received.
There are other features that would shine during our ride like the tapered skid plates that help narrow the belly of the machine so that you wouldn’t get hung up on trail obstacles. Also, the ability to pull a trailer should you decide that you want to take this little weekend warrior to the deer woods is much appreciated.
I can see many different uses and fun times being had in the 2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail and I hope to get back into one myself very soon. Especially here in the southeast where the engine isn’t held back by elevation!