Published on September 10th, 2021 | by Joe
Can-Am Maverick Sport Essential Upgrades Project Test
Last year we reviewed the trail focussed Can-Am Maverick Sport, a beautifully well-rounded 60” wide sport SXS. It delivers a plush ride, stable predictable handling, snappy fun power, and a modern low, laid back cockpit. Check out our test of the Maverick Sport to learn all about it.
Despite the Maverick Sport DPS model’s sub $18,000 price point, it’s not a machine you have to feel you’ve settled for, especially if you typically drive on twisty, wooded trails where it was designed to shine. Even in wide-open spaces out West, it’s a capable sports car with the ability to cruise 60 mph as long as the terrain doesn’t get too whooped out.
With all this in mind, we had our chief SXS testing consultant and CT Racing Engine’s owner, Allen Knowles, trick out our Maverick Sport for drivers on any trail. The goal was to make the biggest differences in performance and enjoyment with the least amount of complex part installation, and, more importantly, money spent.
The right tire and wheel package can make a bit of difference in how an SXS handles. While the smaller 27” stock tires are fine for smooth terrain, there isn’t a ton of that off-road. A switch to taller 30×10-15 GBC Terra Master tires allows our machine to more easily roll over bumps and fill in holes on the trail. Radial construction and a sidewall with the right amount of flex further smooths the ride and improves handling. Thanks to the reduction in tire roll compared to stock, the Maverick Sport gained some ground clearance with little impact on its stable, predictable handling.
The dual directional GBC Terra Masters are a great choice for the West Coast allowing you to run the open tread on the outside for loose terrain and the more closed tread on the outside for hard-packed or rocky, bouldery trails. Or, you can run them in whichever direction you want to help achieve the type of handling you desire. They are also a good East Coast tire as long as you’re in dry to intermediate conditions.
Switching to our larger square tire setup with the same size tire and wheel at all four corners allows you to swap tires front to back in the event of a flat. This also requires swapping out to equal size wheels all around. Almost any time we add aftermarket wheels, we use beadlocks ensuring the tire stays seated in the event of a flat.
We’ve used Raceline beadlock wheels on several SXS and have been impressed with their looks, , and, most importantly, durability. Allen went with their 15” A71MB Mamba Beadlock, which takes cues from their Mamba HD truck wheels. They maintain the narrowest offset possible, close to stock, to prevent introducing bump feedback through the steering.
The Mamba is constructed of A356 aluminum with a forged 6061 beadlock ring with US made Grade 8 Zinc hardware. They include a satin black snap-in center cap with an aIl embossed chrome logo. All-in all, they’re a great wheel.
Our happiness with the Rotax 1000R engine in the Maverick Sport was due, in part, to excellent clutching from the factory making the most of the power. This was confirmed to us by aftermarket clutch component manufacturer, Dalton Industries, who say that the factory clutching is fine for the stock 27” or larger 28” tires.
The added rotating mass of taller, heavier tires and beadlock wheels sap power. Additionally, the taller tires’ added diameter increases leverage over the engine and transmission, throwing off clutch calibration resulting in sluggish performance.
The kit Dalton Industries recommended for us is set up specifically for 29”-32” tires on the Maverick Sport 1000R DPS, XXC, and XRC models. This kit is also used for the XMR mud model with 32-34” tires.
The hardest part about this upgrade is that it requires some specialty tools you may not own, so you may just want to throw your dealer a bone.
Although we later flashed the ECU, initial testing was done with the Dalton clutch upgrade and larger tires only. The 100HP Rotax engine remained pleasantly responsive off the line and out of corners. Backshifting under load was well dialed, never leaving us feeling starved for power on increasingly steep inclines or in deep power robbing sand; perhaps, mud in your neck of the woods. Overall, Dalton kept our 30” tire equipped Maverick Sport’s engine and clutch feeling responsive and running in the best part of the powerband. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Allen used a DynoJet Power Vision 3 to reflash our Maverick Sport’s ECU. They have different maps for stock and lightly modified engines, or you can have an engine tuner use a DynoJet dyno to help write a custom tune for most any engine build or use.
The Dynojet tune we used takes advantage of much of the PV3’s tuning capabilities including an enriched air/fuel ratio table, altered timing, lowered radiator fan temp, increased speed and RPM limit in low and high range of a few hundred RPMs, in addition to altering the drive by wire table allowing for aggressive two foot driving without delay.
With our clutching dialed for the larger tires, the PV3 gave us a bit more kick in the pants when we mashed the pedal along with instant throttle responsiveness coming off the brakes. Using one of their stock tunes, DynoJets claimed around a 4HP increase at the rear wheels with an all stock engine. With our Dalton clutch installed, Dynojet says we may actually be getting a bit more horsepower to the rear wheels. It’s more cost effective than an aftermarket exhaust to start building power, and our Maverick Sport’s ECU is now ready for tuning whatever other aftermarket engine mods we throw at it.
Having the ability to brightly and reliably illuminate the trail at night opens up another world of fun with your SXS. The 40” Dominator, double row light bar from Lazer Star features 84 LED lights. Their Combi design features a mix of spot and flood lights rated for 50,000 hours of use, helping illuminate what’s around you and far down the trail.
The LEDs are housed in a rugged aluminum extrusion housing with a polycarbonate lens. It mounts securely to your SXS from below and on the ends.
We carried the Lazer Star Dominator over to our Maverick Sport project after using it on a couple of other SXSes. Despite having thousands of high-speed whoop-filled miles on it, it still functions properly providing all the light needed to push our machine to the limit at night. The Laser Star, Dominator’s quality, performance, and durability makes it easily worth the asking price.
Our test unit came outfitted with A Wet Sounds audio system from Can-Am as an add-on accessory that you’ll want to look into. It also came with a Can-Am accessory windshield that works great for taller drivers; however, short drivers might be better off with a flat design as they’ll distort your view of the trail less.
The only thing that feels like it’s missing from our project was a set of four-point harnesses. Can-Am offers a nice set, which are easy to install on the Maverick Sport thanks to pass troughs on the OEM seats. We’d add a set for added safety and comfort.
When you’re practical and choose wisely, a small handful of parts can further improve the already lovable Maverick Sport platform without breaking the bank on big suspension and motor mods. We’ve made our sport a little faster, smoothed out the ride, and turned it into a capable nighttime trail cruiser. We’ve liked our Maverick Sport since day one, and we like it even more now.
|Clutch Kit||Dalton Industries, for 29-32″ Tires||$285||https://daltonindustries.com/|
|Reflash Tuner||DynoJet Power Vision 3||$399.99||https://www.dynojet.com/|
|Tires||GBC, Ground Buster 3, 30×10-15||$See Dealer||https://www.greenballtires.com/|
|Wheels||Raceline, Mamba, 14″ Beadlocks||$245.99||https://racelinewheels.com/|
|Light Bar||Lazer Star, Dominator 40″ Combi||319.99 ea||https://www.lazerstarlights.com/|
|Harnesses||Can-Am, 4-Point Harnesses||$264.99 Driver $224.99 Passenger||https://can-am.brp.com/|
|Half Windshield||Can-Am, Half Windshield Clear||$254.99||https://can-am.brp.com/|
|Audio System||Complete Wet Sounds Audio System||$829.99||https://can-am.brp.com/|