by Andy Bryenton
When it comes to flat out speed across rough terrain, the Can Am Maverick has the heritage, the race-bred pedigree and the sheer power to make you believe you’re actually in the cockpit of a low-flying jet fighter. Watching the Maverick’s masterwork of suspension in slow motion as those big knobbly tyres claw at the sand and dirt is an engineering class in itself.
So it’s a natural progression for the product development team at Can Am headquarters to think about applying this race-winning formula to a different discipline.
Throw into the mix the toughness and nimble handling of their farming and hunting off roaders — made for less speed and more practicality — and you have one of the best ideas wrapped around an internal combustion engine since Ford put a v8 in the first edition Mustang.
The new Maverick Trail is only 50 inches wide — that’s 1.27 metres and that means rocky, twisting trails are its natural habitat. Still seating two in fully roll-cage enclosed comfort, this little firecracker is designed to inspire confidence with a whole lot of low-down torque from a 1000cc, 75 horsepower Rotax engine fed air through high-mounted filtered intakes to keep clear of the dust.
There’s also the option of a 51hp 800cc mill, but that famous one litre power plant comes with a list of racing wins as long as your arm in other chassis, so adventure seekers might seek out the bigger displacement for more thrills.
The Maverick Trail is not just easy to transport — though needless to say that small footprint works well when it’s time to put it on a trailer or up on a truck deck.
The application of a deliberately feedback-rich power steering system means that there’s no struggling and sweating to wrestle with the wheel; at low speeds the system adjusts to give more of a boost, helping out when the trail is choppy or in tight corners. This is a machine for the explorers, the trail blazers, those who want to really get out into the wilderness and need a machine as unstoppable as the legendary drover’s horse of days gone by.
Knowing this, Can Am have even fitted an upgraded magneto for additional electric power — pick and choose from winches, lights and other accessories to make this off road machine truly personalised.