Can am VS Polaris ATV?
The RZR XP produces much smoother power, which makes it less exhilarating yet also makes it less of a handful to drive. We’d prefer the smooth Polaris over the Can-Am for long distances or over rough, jerky terrain. Both machines are belt driven using a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and provide low, high, neutral, and reverse gears. Neither machine has a parking brake. The 2015 RZR XP employs a new CVT cover that provides significantly reduced belt temps (estimated close to 20 degrees cooler than the 2014 model) by adding a second forced-air cooling duct over the secondary gear. Can-Am’s CVT system is similar, except cool air is forced from an air duct routed to the front of the chassis versus the backside vent of the RZR XP. Can-Am reconfigured its CVT system from 2013 to handle the extra power of the turbocharged engine. It offers an impressive 68% more cooling for the 2014 model. It also benefits from a redesigned driven pulley with a new Quick Response System (QRS) and an improved drive pulley. Can-Am says the new design reduces friction for longer belt life and improved cooling. Last year, the Maverick lagged on take off. This year, as soon as your toes touch the throttle it takes, and it takes off in a hurry.
Both machines offer a dual A-arm front suspension with 15-inches (Maverick) and 16 inches (XP) of wheel travel. The RZR XP's rear end utilizes a trailing arm rear suspension with 18 inches of wheel travel. The Maverick uses a Torsional Trailing Arm (TTA) setup with 16 inches of wheel travel. The Maverick X ds offers new Fox 2.5 Podium RC2 HPG shocks with dual speed compression, rebound, dual rate spring preload adjustments and spring crossover, bottom out control. The RZR XP uses 2 inc (front) and 2.5 inch (rear) Walker Evans needle shocks that only offer adjustments for compression.
The Polaris RZR XP 1000 is 2 inches longer than the Maverick X ds. It also has an extra inch of wheel travel up front and a full 2 inches more movement in the rear. This moderate difference in size gives the Polaris a head up in the handling department. The RZR might be slower on takeoff and straight lines, but it’s more comfortable and handles better in the rough stuff. We set up an 8-mile test loop on our local desert trails, including a tough sand-wash section, a couple of long straights, and a few miles of deep whoops. The RZR XP saw consistent, 10-to-15-seconds-per-lap faster lap times.
Both the Can-Am Maverick X ds and the Polaris RZR XP ride on Maxxis Bighorn tires mounted on aluminum wheels, however, the RZR XP’s treads are an inch taller and help provide a half-inch more ground clearance. This is an area that needs improvement on both models. If you own a current RZR XP or Maverick, you know that these tires will not cut it in the desert. The Maverick comes standard with beadlocks, so at least you can make it back to camp before your tire falls off the rim.