- Can-Am and Polaris dominate the rock-crawling side-by-side market.
- Suspension travel, ground clearance, and low gearing are crucial for rock crawling.
- Carefully consider your needs and budget before choosing the perfect rock-crawler.
Rock crawling is an adrenaline-pumping off-road activity that requires specially designed side-by-side vehicles to conquer the most challenging terrains. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the world of rock-crawling side-by-sides, analyzing and commenting on the top contenders for 2023. Our target keyword is “best side by side for rock crawling.”
II. Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC Turbo RR 72: The Beast Unleashed
The Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC Turbo RR 72 continues to be a formidable force in the rock-crawling scene. With its turbocharged 900cc three-cylinder Rotax ACE engine, 200 horsepower, and 24 inches of suspension travel, this side-by-side is a testament to Can-Am’s commitment to off-road excellence. Smart-Lok technology and a four-mode traction system make navigating difficult terrain a breeze, while the Fox Podium RC2 shocks provide stability and control.
Price: Starting at $31,599
III. Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition: Agile and Versatile
For those seeking a slightly tamer but still capable rock crawler, the Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition offers a perfect balance. With a 999cc four-stroke DOHC twin-cylinder engine, 110 horsepower, and 20.5 inches of wheel travel, this side-by-side is ready to tackle any obstacle. The Trails & Rocks Edition also features 55% lower gearing in low gear, low-speed throttle mapping, Xtreme performance AWD, and a 4,500-pound winch to help you overcome any challenge.
Price: Starting at $27,399
IV. Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC: Compact Powerhouse
The Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC may be smaller than its X3 counterpart, but it still packs a punch with a 967cc V-twin engine and 100 horsepower. Weighing in at 100 pounds lighter than the X3, the Maverick Sport X RC boasts impressive features such as Smart-Lok differentials, a four-mode traction system, electronic hill descent control, and dynamic power steering. With 14.8 inches of wheel travel and a host of protective features, this side-by-side is a reliable rock-crawling option.
Price: Starting at $28,799
V. Factors to Consider when Choosing the Best Rock-Crawling Side-by-Side
- Budget: As with any major purchase, your budget will play a significant role in your decision. While the Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC Turbo RR 72 is the most expensive option, it offers unrivaled performance. On the other hand, the Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition and Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC are more budget-friendly while still providing excellent rock-crawling capabilities.
- Suspension Travel: More suspension travel allows for better articulation and stability on uneven terrain. The Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC Turbo RR 72 leads the pack with 24 inches of travel, while the Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition offers 20.5 inches, and the Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC provides 14.8 inches. Depending on your rock-crawling needs, you may prioritize more suspension travel for tackling the toughest obstacles.
- Ground Clearance: A higher ground clearance ensures your side-by-side can easily traverse over large rocks and other obstacles without damaging the undercarriage. All three options offer ample ground clearance, with the Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition boasting 14.5 inches, closely followed by the Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC Turbo RR 72 and Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC.
- Gearing and Traction: Low gearing and advanced traction systems are essential for maintaining control during rock crawling. All three of our top picks excel in this area, featuring advanced traction systems and gearing specifically designed for tackling challenging terrain.
- Weight and Size: The size and weight of your side-by-side can impact its maneuverability and performance during rock crawling. The Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC is the lightest and most compact option, which could be advantageous in tight spaces or when navigating particularly difficult obstacles.
VI. Final Thoughts
When it comes to rock crawling, the Can-Am Maverick X3 X RC Turbo RR 72, Polaris RZR XP 1000 Trails & Rocks Edition, and Can-Am Maverick Sport X RC all stand out as exceptional choices. Each side-by-side offers a unique set of features and capabilities to cater to different preferences and budgets. By considering factors such as budget, suspension travel, ground clearance, gearing, traction, and size, you can confidently choose the best side-by-side for rock crawling that meets your needs and allows you to conquer the toughest terrain with ease.