Long Term Review: 1800 miles in a Can-Am Maverick Sport DPS 1000R
Going from Colorado’s 12,000 foot mountains to the sand dunes to the vast desert trails. How does the Maverick Sport Hold Up?
Story & Photos: Casey Cordeiro
1800 miles in a Can-Am Maverick Sport DPS 1000R
Being that the Maverick sport is 60” wide, this is really a trail machine that just dominates the mountain passes and east coast trails. The real highlights of this machine are the comfort from the Fox shocks, comfort from the very well executed interior and seats, excellent storage capacity and storage solutions, and powertrain system that enables this machine to pretty much go anywhere you want it to go. We took our 2019 Can-Am Maverick Sport DPS 1000R from sea level to over 12,000 feet in elevation, on multiple 100+ mile rides, and used it to tow trailers, which it does very well with the included 2” receiver. Here are our thoughts on all of our experiences behind the wheel in the Maverick Sport DPS 1000R after the last 1800 miles…
Fire the Maverick Sport up and the first thing that makes you smile is that signature Rotax V-twin sound. That just never gets old. Personally, I like the Sport’s engine tune better than the X3’s high pitch wine behind your head. We tested the 1000R version for 1800 miles, and this hearty V-twin has only required one fill of the oil before the 1500 mile main service mark.
I also really appreciated how the engine has plenty of heat shields on it to minimize the heat transfer into the cab and into the enclosed cargo area (see “Final Thoughts”, below, for more info on accessories…). The vehicle stays cool in the hot weather and gives you a great riding experience, no matter the temperature outside. Also, the all important battery has been great the entire time providing confident starts, hot or cold.
Power wise, this 976cc V-twin engine in the 1000R version has plenty of power for all kinds of different riding terrains. After all, 100 horsepower in a 1405 lb UTV is plenty to get you up the steepest hills. In the sand dunes and wide open trails, you might notice how this engine signs off in the power department at the very high RPMs. This Rotax engine is made to grunt down low and put out a ton of V-twin torque. It definitely doesn’t have X3 top end power, but it isn’t made to be that kind of engine. This is a trail machine, and it has all of the power you need in a UTV with these compact and nimble dimensions.
Since we’re on the subject, I have driven both the 75hp 1000 version and the 100hp 1000R version, and the 75hp version has plenty of power for those of you who are going to “cruise” more than get up on the wheel and drive this Sport hard. You’ll definitely notice a big jump in acceleration though with the 1000R version, and I would recommend getting the extra power if it fits within your budget. There is nothing wrong with getting a bit of extra growl for those “just in case” moments.
The CVT transmission has been bulletproof over the past 1800 miles. I carry a spare belt with me all the time (you all should!), but I am still running the original belt on this vehicle. It has been solid, and I’ve only taken the cover off once to clean out the dust in the clutches and check the belt over. Overall, the clutches and entire transmission have been flawless with no weird gear anomalies. After this many miles and driving the vehicle up to over 12,000 feet in elevation, the clutches are really well put together in regards to the weights. It is just dialed in.
If you want to tackle any gnarly trails, then we’d advise you to purchase the XC version of the Maverick Sport, which comes with a Smart-Lok front differential. This differential makes a huge difference when we compare it to the mediocre “auto-locking” front differential found in the standard Maverick Sports. When it comes to traction on muddy climbs and rock faces where you need to get up and over obstacles, the standard front differential just doesn’t lock up fast or complete enough to get you up and over the really tough obstacles. This has become one of the biggest things that I notice when we are out on the trail with the standard Maverick Sport, I just wish it had a better front diff. Luckily, the XC version has the better front differential, and it has beadlocks and better suspension, too. If you don’t plan on tackling hillclimbs or real rocky sections, then the standard differential will be just fine. As with any vehicle, it is smart to put a winch on the front of the vehicle for those “just in case” situations.
1800 miles in a Can-Am Maverick Sport DPS 1000R
Talk about buttery smooth suspension – the 1000R DPS model of the Maverick Sport has non-adjustable Fox shocks on it, but it is still extremely smooth straight off the showroom floor. It blows away comparable vehicles in the suspension category. Frankly, if you want the smoothest riding UTV on the market from the factory, it is really hard to beat the Maverick Sport. The suspension just soaks up all the small chatter bumps and medium sized hits like they aren’t even there. It is so comfortable that we regularly came back from 100 mile rides ready to go again. It is just that comfortable!
After prolonged use, we did notice that these non reservoir-equipped shocks fade after about 15 minutes of consistent washboard roads. The ride doesn’t get unstable or too harsh, it just stiffens up a bit. QS3 reservoir-equipped Fox shocks would be a nice upgrade. Luckily, the XC version has these shocks.
The only time you’ll say that this suspension is “too soft” is when you’re really pushing the machine fast. It tends to blow through its travel when hitting large square-edged bumps at speed (anything over about 10” tall). The bottom out isn’t vicious in any way; the machine actually soaks up the big hits well. However, compression-adjustable shocks would be really nice. Again, the XC model has QS3 shocks that are adjustable, so this is the solution. You might just have to spend a bit more money on this particular model of the Sport.
The stock tires on the Maverick Sport were extremely surprising to use over this long of a period. The Maxxis Bighorns have been known to wear out pretty fast with their widely spaced lugs and plenty of “sea” space between the tread, but this particular set of tires has been on the machine since it was brand new, and they still have plenty of tread on them. Even through the mountain passes/tree lined trails and rock-fill deserts, these tires have been bulletproof. I haven’t had any flats whatsoever or issues with the rims.
The brakes on this Maverick Sport bite a bit abruptly when the pedal is pressed, giving you a non-linear feel. However, there was never an issue stopping this machine, even when putting it through laps on a tree-lined track in the mountains at fast speeds. The confident brakes allow you to hustle this thing into corners with confidence.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
While the interior is very functional but also bare bones, the one thing that really sets the Maverick Sport apart from every other UTV In the industry (except the Maverick Trail, obviously…) are the superior side doors. These are the best in the industry because of their complete half door build and stock rubber seal from the factory. These keep the elements out, and you can still see over them for great visibility.
Speaking of visibility, the well bolstered seats sit you up in a comfortable and medium height position, which allows the driver and passenger to have a great view of the trail ahead. The front fenders are a bit long on this Maverick Sport, and this somewhat impedes your view directly in front of the vehicle. However, the seating position is very comfortable for long trips, and the driver has easy access to all controls. If you’re like me and like a middle ground between fully tech’d-out with gadgets from the factory and bare bones, the digital dash in the Sport is a bit bare bones. The upgraded digital dash in the XC, MR, and RC models should make its way down to the standard models soon; this would be a great addition. Otherwise, you can hook up accessories to the power point under the front dash easily, and there are plenty of open switch spots in the dash.
Do yourself a favor and definitely get the DPS (Dynamic Power Steering) model over the standard edition. This machine is so comfortable on long rides that you don’t want to ruin your arms by not getting power steering. Plus, in my opinion, this DPS system on the Maverick Sport/Trail is the best DPS system that Can-Am makes in a sport UTV. It has better on-center feel and more consistent dampening throughout the entire lock-to-lock steering system than the tri-mode unit in the X3 lineup.
Other great items included in the interior are the massive glove box on the passenger side, plus the convenient small storage area on the driver’s side. I really enjoyed how there are 2 pre-made spots on the center, upper dash for mounting Ram ball mounts. This was a great addition by the Can-Am engineers, and I enjoyed having our GPS systems mounted to this area. It allows you to put other Can-Am accessories, like windshields and other items, on the vehicle without having to figure out where your GPS systems and mobile devices will mount on the exterior ROPS system.
1800 miles in a Can-Am Maverick Sport DPS 1000R
There are 2 accessories that you should absolutely have when buying a Maverick Sport. The first is the sport plastic roof for sun protection. The second is the All-Terrain Trunk Cover, which is quite possibly one of the most usable accessories in the UTV world. It is SO simple to install and keeps all of your items secure in the adequately sized cargo area. It also keeps everything out of the weather.
Other than that, the Maverick Sport absolutely earns two thumbs up from us for longevity, fun drivability, and comfort on the long haul. This is a machine that is built to take on any trail and do it comfortably for an entire day of riding. I have grown to love the Maverick Sport, and it has become the go-to family vehicle for us. Plus, the price of the Maverick Sport is absolutely reasonable and justified where it starts – $16,999 MSRP.
Be safe on the trail, and we’ll see you out there!