First Ride and Review – Can-Am Maverick X ds 1000R Turbo

First Ride and Review – Can-Am Maverick X ds 1000R Turbo work by funneling the hot exhaust gas through a small vein turbine, creating a rapidly spinning shaft attached to a similar vein turbine that forces cool air into the airbox and air intake tract. This pumps more air through the engine, creating more horsepower. In theory it is a simple system. In practice though, turbochargers can be finicky mechanisms that run on the extreme edge of performance thanks to the very high temperatures and high RPMs. They require excellent bearings and consistent lubrication to remain reliable. Can-Am addressed the extreme heat problem by installing a secondary heat exchanger (radiator) on top of the rear cargo deck between the front seats. This area will have a clear shot at clean air passing through the radiator. Can-Am also made changes inside the Maverick’s 976cc V-Twin engine. Many times when an engine builder wants to get more power they simply bump up the compression. That often works, but there is a point where the motor is required to make more force just to overcome the higher compression, and at that point you have a diminishing return. Can-Am chose another method to build more power. Rather than increasing compression, they actually LOWERED it from 12.1:1 to 9.3:1 and installed a pair of forged aluminum pistons. The new pistons and lower compression ratio allow for variable turbo boost pressure (up to 8 psi) and help prevent engine knock.

Power is a product of airflow, and to get more air through the turbocharger it was necessary to move the air filter to the rear, which eliminated a long intake tract from the front of the Maverick. The new filter is now a round, canister style with a pleated element. Cooling the CVT is very important for longer belt life, and the intake and exhaust system was reworked also. Can-Am claims the changes equate to a 68% increase in airflow and better cooling, but it really means more torque when you hit the throttle. And we mean a LOT more torque with 20% more peak horsepower, and 30% more torque!

If you’re going to tweak the power of any machine, you had better give the suspension some attention as well. Can-Am gave the 2015 Maverick X ds a wheelbase stretched to 88 inches, which is almost 4 inches longer than last year’s model. This was accomplished by changes to the front and rear A-arms, and the rear suspension now offers 16” of wheel travel while the front has 15”. All four shocks offer preload, high/low-speed compression, and rebound damping adjustment. Can-Am also gave the Maverick X ds a set of 14-inch beadlock wheels mounted with 28-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires.

X ds Turbo to Test

It was time to see what the Maverick and the industry’s first turbo was made of and we strapped ourselves down into the seat and clipped the side nets in place. With a stab at the start button, the engine sprang to life and after a couple minutes to warm up, we headed out into the sand.

This is the first Side x Side with sport quad acceleration and performance. The power presses you back in the seat and even though it’s a big machine, the instant power makes it feel nimble. Right off the bottom it begins to pull and doesn’t let off, but you probably will. Top speed is just shy of 80mph. It’s not the 100hp mark that was the difference with this machine, though, it is the torque. Other machines top 100 hp also, but Can-Am found a performance threshold that can’t be quantified as 100, 110, or even 120hp. The magic threshold the Maverick X ds Turbo crosses so effortlessly takes it from a fun dirt toy to sport quad like acceleration with the nimble, racy feeling to match. To say we had a blast on the Maverick X ds 1000R is an understatement, and the sound of the turbocharger spooling up when you get on the throttle is very

One problem common to many turbocharged engines is a lag between when you hit the throttle and when you actually feel the extra horsepower kick in. It’s called “turbo-lag,” but Can-Am managed to avoid it with their system which was a nice surprise. A surprise we did not expect, however, was with the suspension. The new Fox Podium RC2 2.5 shocks offer plenty of adjustability, but to make the ride smoother at low speeds, they seem to be set up soft. In fact, other Maverick models are happy to jump up on the top of whoops and blast across the top all day, but the new Maverick X ds did not want to do that so easily. The stock setting had us wallowing between whoops and swapping from side to side. Obviously, this chassis could do better. A trip back to camp to talk with the Fox Engineers had us adding 3 clicks of low speed compression, 2 clicks of high speed compression, and 2 clicks of rebound to the rear. For the front, we added 4 clicks of low speed compression, 1 click of high speed compression, and 2 clicks of rebound. With more time we could dial it in much better, but the few changes we made completely changed the ride and now it was possible to skim across the tops of bumps like we had done in previous Maverick models, and it held its line much better. The FOX shocks are excellent quality; all you need to do is adjust them to match your

Steering on the slightly longer Maverick X ds chassis feels predictable and precise, and it also comes with Can-Am’s Tri-Mode dynamic power steering. As usual, we tried it in all three positions, but in the sand it’s a little difficult to feel a huge difference between the three options. We usually just set it in Medium and ride it all day without a second thought. Braking is also difficult to judge in sand, but they always seemed to do an adequate job for us with no fading or spongy feeling.

Performance Leader

 One thing that is easy to judge with the 2015 Maverick X ds 1000 Turbo is the performance. It’s outstanding at any speed. Stab at the throttle and you’ll get an instant reaction from the 120hp motor. Like we said earlier, though, it’s not the horsepower that makes this machine special, but it’s the whole package of an excellent chassis, immense torque, and sport-quad-like power delivery that makes this machine a winner.  

2015 Can-Am Maverick X ds 1000R Turbo Technical Specifications:

Engine:  976cc liquid-cooled four-stroke, SOHC V-Twin

Induction:  iTC with EFI and Mitsubishi turbocharger

Transmission:  CVT, sub-transmission with H/L/P/N/R; selectable 2WD/4WD

Front Suspn:  Dual A-Arm, Fox Podium RC2 2.5 preload-adjustable shocks with high/low-speed compression, rebound damping adjustment; 15.0 in. travel

Rear Suspn:  TTA independent with sway bar, Fox Podium RC 2.5 preload-adjustable shocks with high/low-compression and preload adjustment, 16.0 in. travel

Brakes F & R: 220mm vented discs (front), 214mm vented discs (rear)

Front Tires:  28 x 9-14; Maxxis Bighorn 2.0

Rear Tires:  28 x 11-14; Maxxis Bighorn 2.0

Wheels:  Cast Aluminum with beadlock

Wheelbase: 88.0 in.

L x W x H:  117.3 x 64 x 74.2 in.

Ground Clrnc:  13.0 in.

Fuel Capacity:  10 gal.

Rear Rack Cap:  200 lbs.

Lighting:  Four 60-Watt projectors with tail/brake lights

Instruments:  Multifunction Gauge, Speedometer, Odometer, Tachometer, Tripmeter, Hour Meter, Clock, Gear Position, Fuel Gauge, Seat Belt and 4X4 indicator, Diagnostics, Auto Shut Off

Warranty: Six-month

MSRP:  MAVERICK X ds 1000R TURBO $22,099

             MAVERICK X ds 1000R $19,499

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May 25, 2015

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