The St. Anthony Sand Dunes Recreation Area in Eastern Idaho is home to some of the biggest sand dunes in the nation. For the past three years on Labor Day weekend it has also been the home to UTV Invasion, a side by side event held in this premiere riding destination gathering UTV enthusiasts, vendors and media for a weekend full of riding and entertainment.
Riding, entertainment and opportunity as Can Am was present at the event offering demo rides of the new 2017 Can Am Maverick X3. Like many other attendees at this event, we we’re eager to get behind the wheel of the high performance sport UTV. We actually ran into the Can Am reps at dinner the evening before our first day at the event, they advised that we signed up for our demo immediately as openings were quickly filling up; and so we did. The reps stayed very busy throughout the weekend with four Maverick X3’s on site, they took back to back groups of riders all day long for the each of the 5 daylong event. The gal at the Can Am booth was actually able to squeeze us in on our first day at the event, we were pretty stoked about this but had to wait eagerly as we were in the last group ride of the day.
Spending the day at the event was definitely fun, we spoke with many vendors, watched UTV drag races and enjoyed a cruise in the sand dunes scoping out St. Anthony’s lay of the land. While in the dunes, we began wondering where the group ride guides would take us with our minds still on the Maverick X3.
As the day grew shorter, it was finally our time to get behind the wheel of the highly anticipated X3. After taking a seat in the cockpit, we begin to notice the differences from other UTVs. The seat feels comfortable, sits low and there is plenty of leg room. Can Am designed it to not only be adjustable forward and back but vertically as well. The pedal position felt good as well as the adjustable steering wheel, although we heard a few complaints from other drivers the steering wheel felt a bit long. We heard some complaints about over the hood visibility as well, being short guys we didn’t feel like it was anything to complain about, and we felt visibility was pretty good so those guys must have been pretty short. The stock 3 point seat belts worked just fine, however we prefer 4 point harnesses. The interior plastics are nice and there is plenty of storage, including a decent sized glove box. Our passenger expressed he had plenty of room and comfortable seating but did mention that the grab handle felt a little cheap.
The familiar Maverick push button ignition brings the 154-horsepower, fuel-injected engine to life, the exhaust sound is low and throaty; the single tailpipe offers a unique tone that gets your excitement going and your blood flowing. Off the line, you weren’t thrown back in your seat but as we reached the dunes it was time to open up. The Maverick X3’s mid-range torque was outstanding, the machine’s big power made it easy to ride hard. Although it’s one fast machine, maintaining control wasn’t an issue, this SxS can be driven by anyone. As we began hitting the whoops sections, big drop offs, and G-outs, it was no issue to keep your foot on the acceleration, in fact it was easy and much more fun as the X3’s suspension delivered; the X3’s 24 inches of suspension travel easily soaked up bumps that you would naturally slow down for in most side by sides.
Once we returned from the sand dunes, we pulled up next to the Can Am booth grinning from ear to ear. The demo ride was extremely fun and in no way long enough, we could have spent the entire day in the new machine; hell, the entire weekend. As excited as we are about getting back behind the wheel of the new side by side, we get excited about parts and accessories. As the new UTV floods the market, aftermarket products like windshields, doors, bumpers, skid plates, performance parts and more will follow. Stay tuned because we’ll be offering many great products from reputable brands you can trust, so be on the lookout for Can Am Maverick X3 parts and accessories at SideBySideStuff.com