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by Jacob Layton

First off, if you are in the market for a Can Am in Arizona, be sure to checkout Nash Powersports www.nashpowersports.com - Bill will take care of you. We drove Bill's personal Mav R, and the car rips. As a whole, it did a lot better than I thought it would, and I'd love to spend more time in one. Comment below if you've driven one, and if you like it or not.

















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(0:58) Hey everybody, Nick Olson, Chupacabra Offroad. We're out here in my backyard, Peoria, Arizona, a spot I ride at all the time: Boulders and surrounding areas. This is my spot, which is the perfect place for me to finally get behind the wheel of the Can-Am Maverick R. Thank you to the head honcho from Nash Powersports, Bill Nash. You're the man for letting me borrow this thing and put some miles on it because he said, "Hey, you got to ride this, drive this car." I'm really liking it, and he digs it. So, man, I've owned the Can-Am, I sold the Can-Am X3 a while ago. There's a lot of traits about that car, as you guys know, that I really liked. Got a lot of seat time in the Speed, had a lot of time in the Pro R recently. So I've kind of driven them all. I love driving them all back to back because that allows me to give my feedback in a more authentic way, and today is the day. So very excited for this opportunity.

(1:54) The first thing you're going to notice is this thing isn't 100% stock. That's a disclaimer. Nash has the suspension setup completely stock. The biggest thing I think is going to change the performance, what I'm going to notice today, will be the 35-inch tires. So we're shooting some content for Method and Tensor. They sent us the new Regulator 2 35s on some bead grips. So as you guys know, I really like this setup. I've been running the 33s on the Speed, been running Tensors for a while, one of the lightest weight setups you can get. And, you know, yeah, to give you an honest feedback review on the stock tires would be better, but you know I've driven a lot of cars, a lot of different upgrades. I'm going to be authentic about how the power feels, but ultimately, if I had one of these in my garage, this is the wheel and tire I would most likely have on the car. So, you know, 35s, they do fit with the suspension, no big deal, and a couple of other tweaks. You're going to notice a nice aftermarket cage, some plush Tri-XX seats. So, you know, we're going to keep it as fair as we can. I wish I had a completely bone stock to compare all bone stock to bone stock, but for the most part, this car is stock, and I'm going to give my thoughts and feedbacks. Maybe not how this compares to a Speed because mainly the Speed I've driven is a four-seater, but I think I can talk at a higher level some of the characteristics I notice and feel.

(2:22) A lot going on with this car that I've never dealt with. I haven't driven a DCT car since I drove a Honda Talon when they released that, so that's going to be the biggest change. I'm hearing a lot of good things, and like honestly guys, you know when this car first came out, the suspension, I didn't really care for the looks. I was really scratching my head. But fast forward, we're in May of 2024, you know, a lot of apprehensions I had about the car I think have really not come to surface. Regarding reliability, this car did really well at some events and races, King of the Hammers, the factory Can-Am off-road team put this thing through the paces. It definitely looks unique, but would I still buy one? Yes, I would. Can I get over the looks? Yes, I can.

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(5:00) So we got in some good mileage on this thing. Thanks again to Bill Nash, Nash Powersports. I've got a big smile because it's always a treat to drive a new vehicle. The first point I wanted to start off with was speaking of new vehicles, this doesn't even feel remotely similar to the X3, and I say that in a very complimentary fashion because it's got a whole different personality. And I think it's very cool that Can-Am decided to step outside of the box and try something pretty radical. I would say a few months ago when it first came out, I was one of the people who was salty about the front end. Are you serious, right? I'm like the Speed purist, all about simplicity and geometry, blah blah blah. So I was skeptical, but after driving it with the suspension, the DCT, this is a big departure. It feels nothing like the X3. It doesn't feel anything like a Pro R in a lot of ways, too, its biggest competitor. And I think that's really cool.

(5:36) So big kudos, big props to Can-Am for trying something different and just saying, "Hey, we're not just going to take an X3 and kind of do what a lot of customers told us," which was, you know, beef up the chassis and change a little this, change a little that. You can see it's, I mean, the suspension design is radically different, the motor is different, the transmission is different, how you sit and feel in it, almost everything. So I just want to start off with that point, and it makes me extra excited about the industry because it's always fun to drive something new. And this doesn't feel just like a Can-Am that's a little different. It feels like almost a completely different brand, which is always exciting.

(6:13) So I'm just that type of guy. Like from my dirt bike days, I like to ride and own all the different brands, and it's always fun to see how they stack up. So speaking of that, let's talk about how they stack up. So one point I wanted to start off with, we started off with some slower terrain, technical riding. I wanted to see how the shifting would work in auto and manual, and I really liked how quiet the car was. There's a lot of talk about vehicles being noisy. We sell an exhaust that's related to our storage box for the Can-Am X3, and customers want it as quiet as possible. I think the days of loud exhaust being cool are long behind us, and it's just nice. It feels like a car that, you know, I know the Can-Am is going to be fast, and I'm assuming it's going to rip in the dunes, but it is quiet. And match that with how it felt and how it handled on the slower speed terrain, it was very enjoyable. It's wide, it's plush, it feels stable. And in the low-speed type of stuff, it was nice. If you're talking about an all-day ride, some of this terrain here we're showing you clips of, I would call it technical terrain. It's not rock crawling, but something you got to pay attention to what you're doing. And let's say you're in the Arizona desert, putting in 12, doing something like that, that type of stuff can wear you out quick. Even if you're doing that stuff just for an hour or so.

(7:13) So I enjoyed the ride characteristics, how that felt in that terrain. And being quiet, it was just nice, and it was comfortable. Compared to the X3, the X3 is so lightweight it kind of feels like a tin can, like you get bounced around more, even if you did have your suspension dialed like I used to have. So stock suspension, transitioning to that, I really like this car. Good and bad. Let's start off with the good. I thought the handling was exceptionally predictable and balanced. I think with the suspension geometry and all of that, I thought for stock springs and all that, the small bump compliance was quite good. The adjustable modes, we tried all of them. So we definitely put it in the softer mode as we were going slow, climbing some of these hills, put it in sport and sport plus when we were blasting the whoops.

(7:54) So I liked how it felt. It felt predictable. One thing that I thought was weird, since I'm bringing it up now, we just kind of talk about it, is the DCT transmission. So it feels like what the car was doing when you're going fast through the bumps is you're almost fighting the gearing, and as you're accelerating through some bumps because of what gear it's in, it reminds me of when you're dirt biking and you're hitting a whoop section in second gear and you should be in third or you should even be in fourth. That extra inertia of the wheels digging is causing the car to upset. So that's something that I felt like it hindered the suspension performance, but I noticed when I let off the gas and tried to get it into a higher gear and let it float and do its thing, it worked better.

(8:42) There's some of the sections here going through these bumps. One way going northbound, I liked it. It felt smooth and predictable around this right-hand turn here, but coming back the other way, I thought the car felt like it got pretty upset. And I'm sure, you know, with some springs and some valving, it would be a little bit better. So I will say for a stock platform, it's great. I was very surprised, pleasantly surprised. And combine that with the handling, I just think the DCT, which is worth mentioning, is something that was the hardest thing to get used to.

(9:02) So speaking of which, let's talk about the DCT. We tried it in low range, we tried it in high range, tried it in auto, we tried it in manual. Definitely something for me that would take the longest to get used to. The more we drove it, particularly on the low range stuff and let it do its thing, you know, sometimes I thought it would downshift a little sooner, upshift. I know there, I think there's already an aftermarket shift kit from Evo. What I mentioned about the suspension, I kept finding myself wanting to get the car into a higher gear almost where it wasn't in the meat of its power, like accelerating really hard over the big bumps out here at Boulders. But because, like I mentioned, it's not going to be digging and upsetting the car. I mean, you can see this footage here at Boulders, it's constant up and down whoops. So, you know, I think if I was in the sand, it would be a little bit different. And to be fair too, we're running this car today with 35-inch tires. So the gearing could be off a little bit from, you know, what they had it set up for with the stock 32s.

(10:29) That's something that, you know, DCT, a lot of people say, "Oh, it's a driver's car, shift." You know, I've been a dirt biker my whole life. You'd think I'm the target audience. It's something that, take it or leave it, it isn't necessarily a huge selling point for me. I've mentioned a lot of times I'm a CVT fan. I stand by that after driving this car. I'm actually going to pose a question for you guys. Comment below, what if we had this chassis with the same power plant or an X3 power plant juiced up a little with the CVT? I kind of thought about that towards the end of the ride and I thought, you know, maybe, and maybe Can-Am can do that. Now you've got two totally different feeling cars at different price points. They could easily do that and make a hybrid if they phase out the X3 in a couple of years. Who knows? Just thinking about that while I was driving the car. So the DCT for me is a take it or leave it. It's not a reason I would buy it. I haven't had a lot of belt issues on most all my cars other than the Speed. So I generally have good luck. But there is something to be said for this thing ripping over 100 miles an hour and not having to worry about it or even think about it. It's not even in your lexicon of thought, you know. So kudos to that. You know, if I was doing amateur racing in the thousand class, you'd have to look very seriously at this car.

(11:31) Power-wise, it absolutely rips. I mean, once that thing starts breathing in fifth, sixth gear, extremely impressive. Extremely impressive. I would love to take this thing in the dunes and let alone play with some of the tunes. I mean, even when they make the four-seater, which I'm assuming is coming right around the corner, exactly what I expect from Can-Am. The power is so good. It's just, there's a little bit of a clunkiness down low. And then I'd say probably as a whole, I mean low-end bark and drivability, the Polaris is kind of top dog in my opinion. It makes all that power and torque down low. It makes it just easier to drive when you're slow, you're going fast, you're exploding out of turns in a wash. So that's just something like why my personal thought was as the DCT relates to this car and maybe some different type of terrains, more open terrain, I'd probably like it more. And I did like it more the more I drove it. But that's just my thought on it. The DCT isn't a huge selling point for me as much as the chassis was. So let's talk about the chassis next.

(12:50) So the chassis, I'm not going to lie. When the car first came out, I was concerned. I thought we've got an expensive price point. It looks like you're going to need a new roll cage. It didn't look, you know, as beefy as it, I was hoping it would. The front end appeared to be single shear. The suspension looked unknown. You know what, I got to either say I was wrong or basically say that look, I'm not concerned about it. That wouldn't stop me from buying this car. I think we've seen so far that the suspension is beefy and has held up to extreme conditions racing without a lot of upgrades. I don't like how the suspension looks. I don't like how complex it looks, the rear end as well. But the front end works extremely good. I thought the handling was predictable, the chassis, how it felt. It was kind of like some of the best elements of the Speed where it was heavier, which again, why it doesn't feel like an X3 at all. It was heavy. You felt extremely stable side to side from a lack of sway. The handling was predictable. And thank goodness the handling is that much more predictable because this car is so much faster. So it needed to be more predictable. It needed to handle better for the power to even harness and be able to have the ability to safely drive this car what it's capable of doing.

(14:09) So the front suspension, I really liked. The least amount of feedback I felt in the steering wheel, definitely a lot less feedback than the Speed, less than a Pro R, less than the X3. So I thought you could still feel what the terrain was doing. Looking out of the car, the nose of the car was long. I almost thought going over some rises, it was harder to see out of than the Speed or even the X3. But I will say on the plus side, you can see the front wheel. So if I did get into a situation where I'm crawling through the rocks, I could see the driver side tire exactly where it was and I had an idea of where to line up. So good and bad, it's nothing that would hinder me from buying the car or not. But I love how you sat in the car. I liked how it felt. I love how the chassis felt. I like how it handled. Not feeling the most planted over the back, the rear end over the bumps, you know, obviously the wheelbase is magic. It's a little longer than the X3 and the Pro R. And it just didn't feel completely settled over the big bumps like the Speed does. You know, it's two-seater versus four-seater. But just a characteristic was something I, if I bought this car, I'd want to tune with and try to get maybe like a leveling type of feeling or just get used to how it is with the shifting and the transmission. So that's something I'm not totally sold on going over the big bumps. And I have driven over those big bumps in my X3, on the Speed, and the Pro R, you know, two-seaters and four-seaters. But just characteristically speaking, that's something that I would like to tune a little bit better. But that's the only maybe downside I would say.

(15:39) The rest of the car, I very much enjoyed. The modes are cool. The dash was cool. The steering wheel, the fit and finish is good. This panel, we hit some bumps pretty hard and it did start to come loose like it was going to fly off. I caught it. I think the cage here saved it. So I've seen a couple other people with that same issue. But the doors are much improved. I like the rear storage is much improved. Again, like how quiet it was, no CVTs anymore. That's definitely a plus. Even though the characteristics could take some getting used to for me. Ran with 35-inch tires. This is what I would run if it was my car. The car worked really well. So at the end of the day, I'm very surprised. I'm excited. The car exceeded my expectations. I was saying before, I would have been shocked if this car handled as good as my Speed that I like. Characteristic-wise, it's a great handling car. It's a great handling car. I would say if you're like me, you had a hard time with the looks, you're skeptical, you maybe lean towards Polaris. Give this thing a shot. Be open-minded. I think you're going to be very much surprised.

(16:47) So you combine that with Can-Am's power. I'm assuming we're going to have a lot of reliability just like the Can-Am Rotax power plants have always been. And there's a serious chance one of these might end up in my garage here soon. So I'm excited to see the four-seater, how long it's going to be. Probably longer than the X3, which is a bummer because this is quite a bit longer. But this thing has really grown on me. Thanks again for the opportunity. Comment below some of you guys that have owned this car or driven it back to back with the other cars what you think of course. Thanks as always for watching and we'll see you on the next one.

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