Trail SXS Machine... "Iceberg"

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Trail SXS Machine... "Iceberg"

The hunt for a new all terrain vehicle took quite a bit of online and local research.  Maybe I was over thinking the whole en devour, but I wanted to be sure of what I wanted.  I grew up riding three-wheelers and 4-wheelers so the switch to a side-by-side was definitely going to be a change.  I searched online forums and watched online videos to find as much info as I could about these machines.  I say machines because they are not really bikes anymore.  If you want to cause great controversy in online forums and social media groups, just go in there and call it a bike.  Through out my searching I found that Polaris and Can-am seemed to be the leading manufacturers of side-by-sides(sxs).  Other manufacturers like Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Arctic Cat also have sxs machines in the market.  Looking at the style of the vehicle, because well...that's important too! I liked the looks of the Polaris and Can-Am machines the best.  So i set my sights on these two manufacturers.  The next aspect I thought about was the size of the machine.  A sxs comes in differing sizes from 50" wide up to 72" wide, and either 2 seater vs 4 seater models.  There is a lot to consider, but I knew I wanted to still be able to ride the narrower atv trails here is Colorado, so I chose the 50" class machine.  This decision narrowed down my search to a Polaris RZR 900 Trail or Can-Am Maverick Trail 800 or 1000.  Comparing the two machines by the numbers, there are very small differences.  

Image result for polaris RZR 900 trail vs Can Am maverick trail

2019 Maverick Trail 1000 2019 Polaris RZR 900
Engine Type: SOHC, Liquid Cooled, V-Twin DOHC liquid cooled, Twin
Displacement: 976cc 875cc
Horsepower: 75hp 75hp
Fuel Delivery: EFI EFI
Transmission: CVT CVT
Front Suspension: Dual A-arm w/10" Dual A-arm w/10"
Rear Suspension: Trailing lower arm & Link upper w/10.5” Lower A-arm & Link upper w/10”
Front Brakes: Dual hydraulic discs Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Brakes: Dual hydraulic discs Dual hydraulic discs
Front Tires: Carlisle ACT 26x8-12” 26X8-12 PXT
Rear Tires: Carlisle ACT 26x9-12” 26X9-12 PXT
Length/Width/Height: 118 x 50 x 69 in 105 x 50 x 69.5 in
Ground Clearance: 10" 11"
Wheelbase: 90.6in 79"
Fuel Capacity: 10 gal 9.5 gal
Dry Weight: 1364lb 1176lb
Cargo Box Capacity: 300lb 300lb
Towing Capacity: 1500lb 1500lb
Colors: Red, Sun Yellow, White, Camo White Lightning, Titanium Metallic

*Above photo and comparison chart, from

The differences in these two machines really comes down to the drive-train system.  They are both powered by a CVT transmission, however the two machines have different four wheel drive systems.  The Polaris RZR 900 has a selectable, true on demand AWD/2WD system where all four wheels are powered in AWD mode, and it also features a locked rear differential.  The Can-Am Maverick Trail has the Visco-Lok Auto locking front differential which engages 4WD only when needed, and rear differential locker as an option on the DPS model.

After exhausting my online research, I decided to visit my local dealership.  They had both models in stock, so it would be easy to compare them side by side.  No pun intended!  I took some time to compare each model and test drove them both.  

Here is what I found:

Ride Quality: 

Both machines felt equal in power, however the Can-Am drive-train was smoother on takeoff and slowing down.  The suspension on the Can-Am felt like it gave a little softer ride as well, this may be due to the slightly longer wheelbase of the maverick trail.


From the drivers seat on both machines I found it was easy to reach all the controls.The Polaris RZR was easier to see out the back because the seating position in relation to the body of the machine.  The Can-Am seating position is a little lower and reclined back in the machine and made it more difficult to see out the back, but was a more comfortable seating position.  

The Polaris comes with half doors which will allow mud, water and dirt to be thrown into the cab.  Aftermarket lower door panels are available for an additional cost.  The Can-Am comes standard with a full door which will provide protection from the elements. 

The Polaris RZR shift lever didn't seem to have a noticeable stop at each gear.  I had to look on the center mounted instrument panel to see which gear it was in.  The Can-Am shift lever has defined gate slots for each gear which made it easy to shift just by feel.  The Can-Am instrument panel is located on the steering column which is a more natural location.    

Over-all I found the Can-Am Maverick Trail to be the smoother and more comfortable machine.  I decided that I wanted a Can-Am Maverick Trail 1000.  I did not consider the maverick trail 800, because who doesn't like more power?  Grunt, grunt!  

Over the next few months I will be upgrading and adding accessories to feature items available from Follow me on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to be updated on new products, promotions, how-to articles and videos on upgrades to my maverick trail "Project Iceberg".  Here is the wish list of planned upgrades, and the list will probably grow longer.

Champion Power Equipment 3500lb Winch - Synthetic Rope

- Front Bumper

- Rear Bumper

- Cargo Bed Storage

- LED Light bar or Pod Lights

Can-am Sport Roof

Rugged Radios,Two way Radio/Intercom

Pro-Armor, 4 Point Harness

5150 Whips, Rock lights

Can-Am Fender Extenders

- Rock Sliders

- Skid Plate

- Windshield

- Tires/Wheels

- 2-3" Lift kit

Project "Iceberg"


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