British Columbia, Canada, was on fire…literally. But so were the new Can-Am ORVs that we tested at Carl Kuster Mountain Park. Kuster, a champion snowmobiler, has quite a facility located in the heart of B.C.
With a large multi-bay garage on the bottom and a loft on top, CKMP is not what you’d think at the first appearance. The loft has a 4,800-sq.-ft. luxury living area with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, conference room, full-service kitchen, office area and a 400-sq.-ft. deck with a hot tub. The garage doors open up to several nearby trails up and around Pukeashun Mountain. The locals call the surrounding area “interior B.C.,” and it is a playground for powersports year-round. CKMP was a training camp for Kuster, but has since become base for testing BRP’s Ski-Doo brand. This was the first time BRP used it for their Can-Am off-road division.
There were more than 500 active wildfires in the province of B.C. as MPN found out when we landed. The city of Kelowna, where we flew into, was socked in by thick smoke in the air. Fortunately, the wind shifted and CKMP was clear for our press ride. But the effects of the fires were evident everywhere.
It’s no secret that SxS sales have been the industry’s savior the past few years as manufacturers continue to roll out new models for every conceivable niche market (i.e., sport, recreation, utility).
As with ATVs, the heart of the market is still mostly utility oriented, but there are cross-sections of some market segments that make for a bigger slice of the pie, and Can-Am is well positioned to go after it with the 2019 Maverick Sport family. On the ATV side, Can-Am has complete power dominance over the competition with its 2019 Outlanders and Renegade.
With our double-double Tim Horton’s coffee and donut in hand, we did a brief walk around the new SxS and ATVs in the garage at CKMP before choosing our mount for the first part of the day. We hopped in a shiny new Maverick Sport 1000 with a big grin until we found out it was the base model, not the DPS version.
But that didn’t seem to make much difference in the first part of the ride where the trail was smooth and wide. Once we got up into the rocks, however, it was a little more of a workout. It was, by no means, ever undrivable. In fact, we could really get the feel of every bit of the new 60-in. suspension working and clawing at the trail as we wound farther and farther up the mountain.
When we jumped in the 1000R with 100 hp at our disposal, we were smiling ear-to-ear upon mashing the go pedal. As we hit some of the rougher sections, our co-pilot JJ Rivet, Can-Am’s global SxS product manager, said to select one of the other options on the iTC system (Intelligent Throttle Control) that features three driving modes for sport, standard and work.
The throttle-by-wire system allows the driver to filter out some of the touchiness that makes for a hurky-jerky ride over the bumps and rocks. It’s much more stable when needed but can be switched into a more active or direct connection mode at any time.
According to Rivet, the Maverick Sport fits neatly between the recreational-sport segments. “It was designed to be used as a sport vehicle when riders get those power urges but also as a recreational vehicle when a friend or family rides along.”
Overall, we thought the build quality and feel of the Maverick was top-notch — from the doors and how they seal and close to the smallest details, like where the drink holders were positioned so as not to spill your beverage all over the cab.
After throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the Maverick in terms of varied trails from rock crawling to tight, technical terrain, it was time to hop on the new ATVs.
The 2019 Outlander and Renegade have a completely new suspension, a refreshed appearance and increased power. The Outlander 1000R and Renegade 1000R come with an amazing 91 hp Rotax V-Twin, which is the most powerful production ATV engine ever, according to the company. Like the SxSs, the new ATVs also feature iTC.
The Outlander 1000R was as much fun to ride in a straight line as it was on the trial. With all that horsepower, it was a bit intimidating to go full throttle even on wide open stretches. But the machine was solid everywhere, and so much fun to throw around on loose gravel roads.
“We are on a quest to continuously innovate and improve the rider experience while exceeding customer demands,” said Bernard Guy, senior VP of global product strategy. “The 2019 lineup of Can-Am off-road vehicles celebrates that commitment and sets the bar even higher with incredible Rotax power and distinctive designs that ensure owners stand out in the crowd.”
Shortly after our press ride, we got an invite for Club BRP, a dealer event in Denver, CO, where the company unveiled five new off-road vehicles aimed at niche segments along with some new twists from Sea-Doo and Can-Am on road divisions.
“We are still focused on leveraging innovation and accessibility to bring BRP’s fun and excitement to more riders than ever before,” said BRP President and CEO José Boisjoli at the product reveal in Denver.
An all-new Maverick Sport MAX DPS 1000R and two specialty packages in the Maverick Sport X rc DPS 1000R and Maverick Sport X mr DPS 1000R were revealed at Club BRP. A new Defender MAX X mr HD10 and Outlander MAX 6×6 DPS 450 were also unveiled.
“The new Can-Am Maverick Sport MAX vehicle is designed for performance-driving enthusiasts who enjoy conquering off-road challenges alongside their friends and family,” Guy said. “We continue to advance Can-Am ownership by equipping our vehicles with functional designs, superior ergonomics and specialty features to stand out against the competition.”
In September 2015, Boisjoli pledged to unveil a new side-by-side vehicle every six months through the year 2020. The Maverick Sport MAX DPS 1000R is the seventh vehicle introduced since that time.
More than 200 accessories are available for the new Mavericks to let owners customize the vehicle to fit their needs. The Maverick Sport MAX DPS 1000R has a starting price of $18,999 U.S. The new Maverick Sport X rc side-by-side vehicle ($21,299 U.S.) comes factory-equipped for rock-crawling with a wider stance, higher clearance and added interior and exterior protection for operation in harsh environments.
The new Maverick Sport X mr ($20,999 U.S.) and Defender MAX X mr ($20,799 U.S.) side-by-side vehicles each target the mud-riding segment that includes snorkeled air and engine intakes.
The Maverick Sport X mr can accommodate two riders, while the Defender MAX X mr package can carry up to six adults with its dual rows of bench seating.
The new Can-Am Outlander 6×6 450 ATV, complete with true six-wheel traction and capability, has steel racks and other strategic changes to expand the 6×6 segment to new customers.
The biggest announcement from Club BRP was the all-new Can-Am Ryker three-wheeled model. Ryker is an entirely new model in the Can-Am On-Road vehicle lineup, which now includes both the Can-Am Ryker and Can-Am Spyder model families. The Ryker is available with two engine options: a two-cylinder Rotax 600 ACE or a three-cylinder Rotax 900 ACE.
We tested the Ryker for a brief ride around Colorado’s Red Rocks area and can attest to much of what the company says about it. The vehicle looks a little bit retro, yet modern and is extremely easy to ride, which should make it a great vehicle to help train and attain new rides.
There are more than 75,000 ways to customize the Can-Am Ryker with unique accessories, all designed to easily swap out. There are also functional accessories for riding solo or two-up, increased storage and more. All accessories are priced in line with the vehicle to be affordable.
With the introduction of the Can-Am Ryker and as demand increases for all Can-Am On-Road vehicles, BRP is expanding its popular Rider Education Program. The program partners with rider training facilities to provide classes on Can-Am three-wheel vehicles. More than 10,000 people will have completed the Can-Am REP by the end of 2018, half of whom are female.
For people who want to enjoy paved roads, but also unleash the fun off the beaten path, there is a versatile Can-Am Ryker Rally Edition. The Rally Mode allows riders to let loose and perform drifts on gravel or dirt while staying in control.