The Can-Am slogan, “The Ride Says It All” is the first thing that always pops into my head whenever I read about a new owners impressions on a Forum, or speak with a new owner about any of the Can-Am Off-Road products. Words and phrases such as “Addictive, A Pure Adrenaline Rush, Awesome and Fun” are most commonly used to describe their thoughts of them. The best line to sum up a forum members impression has to be “If you don’t want to buy one, then Don’t Ride One”. I have ridden a few of the Can-Am ATV models in the past and totally agree that they definitely rank high on the fun scale, but until recently I have never driven one of their SxS offerings to see if the fun factor was carried over to the larger, heavier machines, and on Tuesday Can-Am held a demo day at Lost Trails in P.A. so I made the trip there to get some seat time on the trails with their SxS offerings the Commander and Maverick. Ever since Can-Am announced over the summer they would be releasing a 60 inch trail/woods version of their Maverick for 2014, the 2014 Maverick X xc DPS, I have been itching to get my hands on the wheel and test it out in the woods. And after doing so I can honestly say “The Ride Does Say It All”. Below are my impressions of the unit from the demo ride.
Seeing the Maverick X xc DPS unit for the first time up close put a big smile on my face. The Maverick is a great looking machine and the aggressive styling reminds me of the Renegade which I love as well. The new White/Red/Black color scheme is a great option, but you can’t go wrong with the traditional Can-Am Yellow either. Fit and finish on the plastics was top notch and even the roll cage was beefy. The beadlock wheels are a great addition and add to the appearance of the unit. Like all of the other Can-Am products this unit appears to be well built from the outside and nothing looks cheap or plasticky. This unit is also smaller than the base Maverick or X rs version and I will talk a bit more about that later on.
The cockpit on the Maverick X xc DPS is identical to the Maverick X rs. From the analog/digital display, custom tilt steering wheel and controls to the X package seats with custom stitching and color matched logos, the level of detail of the interior exceeds that of any other manufacturers offerings. The interior is also laid out well with all buttons and controls within reach. The Custom analog/digital display is located where it should be and is very easy to read as well. The seats are comfortable and the pedals are placed just right for me. There is plenty of room for 2 riders to be comfortable on an all day ride they won’t be rubbing shoulders. By far the interior of this unit is my favorite out of all the manufacturers 2014 SxS models. Once on the trails the ergonomics and comfort were outstanding as it’s easy to reach all the controls for the headlights, Tri Mode DPS, 4 wheel drive and iTC mode switch, and the seats held me in place regardless of the speed or how rough the trail became.
Can-Am created the 2014 Maverick X xc DPS as a 60 inch woods/trail ready machine with GNCC racers and North East trail riders in mind. Looking at the unit it is both narrower and shorter than it’s bigger brother the Maverick X rs. To obtain the 60 inch width Can-Am is using a shorter rear TTA setup which pulls the wheels in under the the body. In doing this the Maverick X xc has reduced suspension travel and ground clearance when compared to it’s bigger brother as well. The decrease in suspension travel means it won’t ride as smooth as the full size unit, but the Fox Podium X Performance 2.0 HPG Piggyback Shocks did a great job of smoothing out the ride. The suspension on the X xc was great on the trails during the test drive. No matter how fast I hit a small whoop, rock or rut the suspension soaked it up and the wheels stayed planted on the ground. The combination of this suspension and cockpit design made for a fun and comfortable ride. The ground clearance specs listed on the Can-Am website for the X xc are wrong and it appears to be a tick over 11 inches, but I didn’t have a tape measure with me to check. Even though the ground clearance is less, I never bottomed out or dragged across anything on the trails. A set of fulls skids will go along way in protecting the under carriage from rocks and roots.
The handling on the unit was superb as well. I found with the TRI Mode DPS set to medium assist it offered a good deal of assist while still allowing for a tighter feel through the wheel at varying speeds. The TRI Mode DPS is a great feature and after test driving a Commander X that didn’t have it, I would never buy a Can-Am without the TRI mode DPS, it just feels perfectly matched to this vehicle. Also the Maverick X xc DPS although bigger on paper handled as if it was the smaller vehicle of the two. It has a very tight turning radius and overall was easier to maneuver through the wooded trails. The Can-AM Maverick X xc DPS utilizes an electronic throttle by wire system titled iTC. iTC offers two modes which are selected via a rocker switch on the dash. The modes are Sport and ECO. The Sport mode essentially reacts to everything the throttle inputs to it, where as the ECO mode filters out unwanted bounces to maintain speed and rpm’s. I ran it in Sport mode for most of the rides, but I tested out ECO mode for a bit and it worked as advertised. Throttle response was good and I didn’t feel any lag due to the iTC setup.
I really didn’t need 4 wheel drive on the trails so not really sure how well the Visco Lok QE works. At one point I did have 4 wheel drive engaged on blacktop and could feel it working, but I turned it off and as soon as I realized it was on. The engine braking on the Maverick X xc DPS worked exceptionally well, even better than on the Commander X I test drove. I really can’t comment on the brakes cause I didn’t ever really need to use them cause the engine braking did most of the work. The only time I remember really hitting the brakes was in the parking lot heading back to the trailer to slow the unit down quicker from 50 mph, and even then I think I only held the pedal down a few seconds and then let the engine braking do the rest.
The power that the 101 HP Rotax 1000 V-Twin puts out in the X xc is Amazing! The first time I started the engine and heard the stock dual exhausts I was hooked. Mashing the throttle and hearing the V-Twin engine open up is definitely addicting. I never got a chance to really unleash the power this unit has, but even quick bursts of the throttle was satisfying as I could feel the power this unit is capable of. I only managed to hit 55 mph on the speedometer on the blacktop, and probably 40 mph on any section of trail, but going from 5 to 50 mph was quick and gave me that sucked to the seat back feel. What was also impressive was how the engine performed at lower speeds. Crawling around on a few sections of trail the Maverick X xc DPS felt just as strong and at home as if I was hammering down on the throttle. Granted going slower with this machine was not what I would ever intend to do with it, but its good to know it’ll crawl around if needed.
While Lost Trails may not have been the ideal place to test drive a Maverick Max X rs, the trails there were the perfect test for the Maverick X xc DPS. Tight woods trails with lots of rocks, ruts and roots are exactly what they designed this unit for, and it handled them exceptionally well. It also turns out that the Maverick X xc DPS is the ideal machine for me and the trails we ride. Everything about the Maverick X xc DPS just felt right to me. The size was perfect, the power was amazing, the steering and handling was tight and precise, the suspension performed flawlessly soaking up all the bumps, the interior was comfortable and well laid out, and the fit and finish on the unit was exceptional. Did I also mention that the Maverick X xc DPS was a blast to drive in the woods? Yeah it was “Awesome, Addictive and Fun”, and now that I drove it I definitely want one. If you are looking to pick up a sport SxS and are limited to 61 inches or under you have got to test drive the Maverick X xc DPS. Hands down I believe it is the sport SxS to beat in the under 64 inch segment. Below is a video using clips from a few different times out with the Maverick X xc DPS. I must apologize in advance for the shakiness of the video and also the dust on the lens. Turns out I didn’t have the case closed all the way on the ride out and dust get into the case and covered the lens of the camera.