Four-seat UTV hits all the marks
First introduced last September at the Sand Sports Super Show, BRP finally gave the off-road media a chance to test out the 2014 Can-Am Maverick MAX recently at an event outside of Albany, NY. In particular, we had an opportunity to flog the Maverick MAX X rs with Tri-Mode Dynamic Power Steering (DPS).
The very first thing you will notice about the new four passenger, long travel, high horsepower machine is the stadium-style seating just behind the driver and front passenger. Unsurprisingly, the four-seat Maverick MAX shares much in common with its twin-seat little brother. Just because BRP engineers found a little extra length for the wheelbase (113.8 inches to be exact), doesn’t mean they had to revamp the key components that make Maverick such an impressive Side-by-Side.
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BRP’s big 976cc Rotax V-Twin engine still churns out a claimed 101 horsepower and provides forward thrust to keep the grins coming on. The fuel injected machine fires to life with the push-button starting system and with just a gentle touch on the foot feed you have takeoff. Being a liquid-cooled mill, this Rotax runs in the extreme temperatures well. No matter the ride location or altitude, the brain of the Can-Am Maverick MAX is consistently adjusting the fuel delivery for optimum power output.
Using same double A-arms up front and Torsional Trailing Arms (TTA) out back as the two-seat Maverick, the MAX suspension is nothing less than remarkable with 14 inches of travel at all four corners. Suspended by huge FOX Podium X shocks that keep the rough terrain at bay, the 2.5-inch bodies are more than capable of soaking up the toughest rock gardens and miles of whooped out desert terrain. High-speed junkies will appreciate the tuning aspect of these shocks as each comes with dual speed compression and rebound as well as preload adjustability. This lets those brave enough to test and tune perfect the ride to their individual needs.
Where the Maverick MAX obviously differs is with its frame, which had to be altered to add some rigidity for the extra length and weight. However, the centralized theme keeps the engine low and central to provide precise handling.
When it comes to the additional features of the X rs package, the Tri-Mode DPS stands out. Some say power steering is not needed, but I would say to those people that until you have driven with it, had it taken away and then given back you cannot honestly make that statement. It’s a great feature and with three modes of assist it lets the owner/driver further fine tune the adventure!
Visco-Lok QE (or quick engaging front differential) is also a part of the X rs package. The progressive automatic locking differential keeps the grip on the front end by transferring the power from the slipping wheel to the one with traction without the driver even knowing. This takes the guesswork out of the control room by being fully transparent.
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Looking good is also a big part of the X rs package on the 2014 Can-Am Maverick MAX 1000R as two individual color packages are available, with the colors transferring to the seats as well as graphics. We all know Can-Am bleeds yellow, but the new black, white and red color scheme is really nice and I personally think this is the best look for the big machine.
Riding in the Maverick MAX X rs, you may not notice the rear seats unless you are sitting in them. Just like many of the newly built four-seat rides, it seems to be lost in your mind that you have extra length behind you. The longer chassis seems to be a bit more stable in tight turns and feels really well connected to the earth it is riding over. This X rs package comes with 12-inch beadlock wheels wrapped in Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires that grip well in most all types of soil. We rode on a mix of sand, loose dirt and hard pack and with the added weight of three additional riders the Maverick MAX held its own.
Having power steering with the added riders made not only a more confident driver but also gave a lot of needed control under heavy braking and corners. Slowly tracking up the trails and hills at our proving grounds made the need for Tri-Mode DPS that much more apparent. Although we used the Max setting most of the day, medium would have been very suitable as well.
You might wonder what it is like being a rear passenger in the Maverick MAX. Fortunately, BRP used the same seats in the front and rear, which are some of the most comfortable factory-offered saddles on the market. Space, however, is debatable. Some say they had just enough room and obviously those vertically challenged peeps in the crowd had an abundance of room, but for a really tall person there might be a little cramped feeling. My co-pilots and I felt adequately supplied with room to ride. All appreciated the handholds for those more dicey moments as some driving became serious.
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This Maverick format has been sensational for Can-Am and although the preliminary reports might have shadowed the machine’s ability to compete power delivery wise, this newest test has proven that Can-Am is stepping up the “seat of the pants” feel for the flagship. After the first release of the Maverick itself I felt as if the power was lagging – at least for a 101-horsepower machine. I have never been a fan of the throttle-by-wire as it seems to take a certain connection away from the driver and machine by allowing the computer to decide when to respond. However, I did notice something a little different in the power delivery of this new Maverick MAX. It could have been the difference between the pre-production units and this full production model or maybe somewhere back in the garage at BRP someone made a change that gave the beast a little more response. Whatever it was, the machine seems to build power more quickly and responds without much lag now.
The 2014 Maverick Max makes its mark and I think it’s a good one!