2018 Can-Am Maverick Trail figures to fill big space for dealers
Can-Am dealers welcomed a gem of a machine with the launch of the 2018 Maverick Trail. The tagline of the impressive marketing campaign for the 50-inch-wide (trail-ready) side-by-side is “Meet You Out There.”
If “Out There” means once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the press launch for the Maverick Trail on the varied terrain of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah fit the bill perfectly. Powersports Business was the lone trade magazine to receive an invitation to the highly sought press ride, which brought together the enthusiast media for an epic journey that included plenty of snow, wicked winds, lots of rocks, tight turns, winding trails, 50-inch wide bridges — and a machine that was up for any and all of it.
The Maverick Trail allowed us first to meet in Park City, Utah, the well-known ski resort town also doubles as the home of Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing. Block, who knows plenty about driving the Maverick X3, offered up his space in a non-descript warehouse on the outskirts of town. Stacked and repurposed shipping containers in a variety of colors give Block an unmatched warehouse work environment.
So when the group was encouraged to go to the “no cameras” zone where he keeps his vehicles and trailers, there was an appropriate mad dash. That’s also where we learned more about the Maverick X3’s little brother, the Maverick Trail.
And for Can-Am dealers, who sought a side-by-side to compete against other trail machines, consider the request met. A trail-ready market space that includes among its players the Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail 700, Honda Pioneer 500, Polaris ACE 570, Polaris RZR 570 and Polaris RZR 900 now includes the Maverick Trail. Can-Am plans to capitalize on the machine’s ability to meet three descriptors — agile, adventurous and confident.
The sturdy rear-mounted Rotax V-twin engine is offered in both 800 class (51 HP) and 1000 class (75 HP) options. It’s been optimized for trail riding, offering high torque and a quiet and cool cockpit, along with low vibration. The standard engine braking system on the Rotax, an oversized air intake and an oversized radiator for maximum cooling are other benefits. The CVT with Quick Response System T (QRS-T) provides smooth and price power delivery, which were a must on some of the trails “Out There,” whether we were heading off to catch trout at 9,000 feet elevation in the Bear River near Christmas Meadows, or driving a side-by-side on snow-packed trails for the first time at 10,000 feet and higher on Elizabeth Mountain in Summit County. With those types of location names, the Maverick Trail was in its element.
The cockpit environment — dubbed Ergo-Lok — is indeed comfortable enough on the backside, legs, arms and shoulders to warrant its own name. Combined with a 90.6-inch wheel base, the highly tested seating configuration of the two-seat Maverick trail offers the always-welcomed offering of comfort and confidence. In fact, the cockpit fits 95 percent of males, including the various shapes and sizes of us that were on hand for this journey.
Stability in the various off-camber situations we encountered is enhanced thanks to 42 percent of the machine’s weight being distributed in the front of the unit, and 58 percent in the rear.
In addition, the front and rear suspension are designed for trail riding. The double A-arm front suspension with sway bar offers 10 inches of suspension travel, with 10.5 in the rear.
The Maverick Trail is certainly built to take on adventures, whether “Out There” in Utah or “Out There” at your favorite local trail. Can-Am says the 5.3 gallons of storage capacity leads the class. The Maverick Trail also has a 300-pound capacity cargo box, with eight LinQ quick-attach stations for Can-Am accessories. It also has a 1,500-pound towing capacity with a 2-inch hitch receiver. A lighter-type DC outlet and 10-gallon fuel capacity also make the Maverick Trail ready to get “Out There.”
As is the trend with many 2018 model launches, a profiled cage was constructed for better accessory integration. It’s truly begging for accessories, with a pre-wired harness to welcome all electronic needs. The seat is four-point harness-ready, with brackets installed from the factory. A record 125 factory accessories are already available, geared toward the summer trail rider, winter use and recreational performance. From full cab enclosures to snow track systems, there are plenty of ways to add lines to the purchase order. Parts, Accessories and Clothing (PAC) integration was a key component of the machine’s build.
“You’ll be on some of the nicest trails you’ve ever ridden on,” JJ Rivet, Can-Am side-by-side product manager, told us prior to departing Hoonigan Racing. “It’s a true privilege that our team has set this up for us to launch the Maverick Trail.”
And with that, it was time to get a quick night’s sleep, as Bear River Lodge was beckoning us early the following morning. Save a few detours around cattle that call the mountains home, the ride from Park City to Bear River Lodge.
Roger Eggett, owner of Bear River Lodge and its sister company TRAX PowerSports Rentals, is dedicated to supreme customer experience, and it shows from the instant we settled in. He buys several dozen new ATVs, side-by-sides and snowmobiles each year, selling off the previous year’s used models and keeping a fresh stock. That makes for happy families when they come by the truckloads nearly every week of the year to rent the machines and/or the cabins. After riding through sunny and 40s conditions in the lowlands and enduring some wicked wind chills and heavy snowpack at 10,000 feet, the Maverick Trail made them both appealing. General manager Jamie Merrill and Eggett teamed up to guide our first and last rides, and let’s just say we got from Point A to B when Jamie was in the driver’s seat! Some sun and rocks and mud and snow greeted us along the way to our lunch spot at the Whitney Ranger Station, where catered sandwiches and soups were the first bites of memorable fare. Both Eggett and Bear River Lodge play a critical role in the area’s search and rescue missions, and the Whitney stop allowed us to see the overnight bunking options for the crews when they’re out on a search in the field. Later, we were treated to helicopters landing in the resort’s parking lot as part of the search and rescue training.
The Maverick Trail was put to the test in some tight and technical terrain after lunch. Eggett then led another jewel of a ride to mountainside lakes and the snowpacked summit of Elizabeth Mountain, where the wind whistled with authority as the Maverick Trails lined the edge for a photo op.
An even quicker trip down the mountain led us back to the resort. In order to get as much ride time as possible, Can-Am opted to have a helicopter transport us to a landing pad near the Salt Lake City airport. Epic indeed.
But it’s only part of the process, as BRP president and CEO Jose Boisjoli has remarked that Can-Am off-road vehicle dealers can expect to see a new vehicle every six months through 2020. The Maverick Trail in particular gives Can-Am an entrant into the rec sport segment.
Rivet noted that the typical Maverick Trail customer is expected to be a 55-year-old male who rides short distances with a passenger, and wants to access narrow trails. Looks and styling are the most important features to 72 percent of their prospective buyers, followed by power steering (69 percent) and comfortable and fun to drive (65 percent).
About 52 percent of prospective Maverick Trail buyers are adding to their fleet; 23 percent are replacing a machine; 16 percent are new entrants into off-road vehicles; and 9 percent are returning after a riding hiatus. That same group of prospects has a desire of connectivity and sharing as a group, a desire to escape into nature; and for the challenge, thrill and sense of accomplishment that off-roading brings.
“There are opportunities for us and our dealers out there, and we’re proud to be able to bring the Maverick Trail into dealership showrooms,” Rivet said.