CAN-AM MAVERICK SPORT MAX DPS
— Testing a 60″ wide, 100 hp 4-seater —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Our first thought when we experienced the first 50-inch Maverick Trail was, we hope they make this same machine in a wider stance. Like Can-Am was reading our minds, the 60-inch Maverick Sport line followed and was soon joined by the 64-inch Maverick Sport RC. Since we enjoyed everything about the Sport models, combined with the fact that we are never satisfied, we wondered if Can-Am would make a Maverick Sport Max with four seats. And here it is, and every bit as enjoyable as we had hoped.
For both the Maverick Trail and Maverick Sport lines there are multiple models and choices, but for the Maverick Sport Max DPS, you get one model—the 60-inch-wide, 100-horsepower version in red. There are no other Maverick Sport Max options, engine choices or trim levels offered. If you are going to make only one model, make sure it is a home run, and the Maverick Max is. It has all the basics covered—comfort, power and 4×4 excellence in a package that can be maintenance-free for up to 1800 miles.
PERFECTING THE PACKAGE
Keep in mind, the Maverick Sport platform is nearly brand new and recently developed, so Can-Am saw no need to reinvent the wheel to add two seats. As a result, the biggest changes between the Sport and the Sport Max are related to what Can-Am calls the ErgoLok cockpit. It provides plenty of passenger space without restricting the machine’s ability to slip through tight trails. There’s an adjustable driver seat and a tilt steering wheel, as well as an adjustable passenger seat. Rear passengers have supportive seats, convenient footrests, and substantial grab bars for safety and confidence in the rough.
To make all that happen, the wheelbase was stretched a full 30 inches from 90.6 inches to 120.6 inches. Even though the Sport Max remains a compact-looking machine. it is actually 3 inches longer in the wheelbase than a Polaris RZR four-seater. On the other hand, it is 14.4 inches shorter than a Can-Am Maverick X3 Max. In general, we prefer wider machines with long travel for our riding in the western U.S., but the Sport Max let us see the beauty in a 60-inch package.
We headed for forest service routes that are open for UTVs, but were originally built for quads and dirt bikes. We had a 64-inch two-seat machine along, and it was frankly impressive how well the Sport Max slipped through tight trails. There are 50-inch trails in the area, and the majority of those have poles to prevent wider machines entering. We thought all of the 50-inch trails were gated, but some are not. They have “50-inch only” in very tiny print, and we hate to admit that we missed that warning. Once on the trail, we had to continue to a larger cross trail. It was impressive how well the Trail Max handled the route.
SUSPENSION AND HANDLING
We credit the 60-inch track width for the tight-trail excellence, but Can-Am took pains to keep the entire machine slim and smooth. The work paid off. The suspension travel isn’t exceptional at 12.5 front and 13 inches rear. Plus, ground clearance is 12 inches. None of those numbers are meager compared to other 60-inch machines, though.
In nearly all cases, a long-wheelbase machine feels better suspended than a shorter one, and that is certainly part of the excellence of the Sport Max suspension. There is no way of ignoring what Can-Am did in making the Fox 2.0 Podium piggyback shocks work very well. These shocks have adjustable preload, as well as three-position-adjustable quick-and-easy QS3 compression adjustments. All four corners of the Maverick Sport Max DPS are equipped with double A-arms and sway bars. Our trails were rocky with choppy bumps and roots, and we were consistently impressed with the ride character and handling.
Can-Am’s Dynamic Power Steering (DPS) is also impressive. Assistance is more pronounced at low speed to ease steering effort, while steering effort drops away at higher speeds for best steering feedback to the driver.
The Sport Max gets the most powerful of the Can-Am Rotax 1000cc V-twins. This Rotax V-twin has been in the line for years; it used to power the hottest UTVs that Can-Am built. The liquid-cooled EFI engine’s sound, power and reliability have always impressed us, and it remains great trail motivation in this platform.
As always, the engine is connected via belt to a high-performance QRS CVT that ensures the engine remains at peak torque. Paired gear-on-gear to the rear differential, the system is efficient and requires no routine maintenance. The CVT shifting is controlled by a gated lever with high, low, neutral, reverse and park. Wheels are then provided power, and in 4WD, a Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential helps motivate the Maverick.
Like the Sport two-seater, the Max utilizes Can-Am’s iTC, or Intelligent Throttle Control, that allows the use of Eco and Sport power modes. You can tell a vast difference in output.
We spent many hours and miles in Can-Am’s Maverick Sport Max during testing and were pleased by the available elbowroom. Quality half doors come standard, but they have a little arch to them that adds welcome elbowroom. The driver’s seat has 5 inches of forward adjustment, and the steering wheel has 25 degrees of tilt adjustability.
There are passenger footrests and ergonomic hand-holds. The seats are sports-car-inspired, and the seat backs and bottom cushions are removable for cleaning. The seats and cage are ready to accept four-point harness seat belt systems.
Obviously, the rear passengers have somewhat less roomy accommodations, but we had a rear passenger over 6 feet tall. Even with the driver’s seat all the way back, his knees maintained some clearance.
Unlike many sport models, the Maverick Sport Max is capable of work. A 2-inch hitch receiver will tow up to 1500 pounds. The cargo bed has a 300-pound capacity with four anchor hooks and drain holes. There are 5.3 gallons of storage in the dash—one large spot on the passenger side and a smaller one behind the steering wheel. The fuel tank holds 10 gallons and provides good range.
Can-Am (and other companies) have a wide range of accessories available. The cage tubing is specially shaped so the Max can be fitted with a full cab enclosure for cold or wet weather. You can even get a cab heater. The magneto has plenty of power for added electrical items.
TIME TO TEST
During our testing we had a curious mix of freshly prepped and graded forest roads that connected rough, cobby and narrow trails. We hit everything from rocks to silt and even some water crossings. As much as we appreciate a wide, long-travel machine with large tires, it was refreshing to drive a car so nimble. Even though the Max is 60 inches wide, if feels wider on cambers with a secure, planted feel. Conversely, it feels narrower when you are threading through trees, banks and boulders.
We have to think that the 27-inch tires on 12-inch rims aid those feelings.
Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires are among our favorites for traction and their light weight, and with a 27-inch on a 12-inch rim they provide a nice amount of sidewall to cushion the ride. The smaller wheels allow responsive steering and reactive suspension action.
With 12.5 inches of front-wheel travel and 13 inches in the rear, the suspension can’t be all things in all terrain, but it is surprisingly compliant at low speeds, yet it handles a more punishing pace without complaints as well. We had a new Honda Talon X along. It has slightly more travel, but it couldn’t come close to the Sport Max’s ride comfort.
The Maverick Sport Max surprised us with how well it handled. The 60-inch-wide machine rounded corners with ease and stability. The EPS eased the steering, and we mainly ran it on the high mode.
Our passenger was certain that if we hit an engineered water crossing hard enough, the water would all go to the side and we wouldn’t get wet. Those drains in the floor work fine. We eventually dried off as well.
Can-Am’s Maverick Sport Max feels solidly built, and it handles both tight and faster routes with composure and comfort. The potent powerplant is amazingly drivable, and it seems perfectly matched to the abilities of the chassis. The relatively low center of gravity make for snappy turns and a secure, planted feeling that we always like. On top of all that you have a back seat for cargo or friends and family. If anything, the four-seat Max feels more sporty and capable than the normal two-seat Sport. We mostly drove with two people, but carried a small cooler and a large bag of support equipment in the back seat. That doesn’t affect the handling or suspension like carrying the same equipment in the bed. We will happily drive the Sport Max any time. Go to www.can-am.brp.com or call (715) 848-4957 for more info.
2019 CAN-AM MAVERICK SPORT MAX DPS
Engine V-twin, OHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke
Bore x stroke N/A
Fuel system EFI
Fuel capacity 10 gal.
Transmission Automatic CVT
Final drive Shaft
Front Double A-arm with sway bar/12.5” travel
Rear TTA with sway bar/13” travel
Front Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Dual hydraulic discs
Ground clearance 12.0”
Dry weight 1,697 lb.
Payload capacity NA lb.
Cargo bed capacity 300 lb.
Towing capacity 1500 lb.
Colors Can-Am red
Contact www.can-am.brp.com, (715) 848-4957