Can-Am now offers the opportunity to turn your side-by-side into a snow machine and we recently had the chance to put these models to the test.
The new Backcountry LT models, which stands for long track, can be fit to either the Maverick X3 or the Defender, offering snow-focused performance. The snowmobile-style slide rails are what makes these tracks so effective for the snow, forcing the large two-inch lugs to stick straight into the snow and stay rigid to provide forward thrust.
Even in the deepest powder we could find, the Backcountry LTs were nearly unstoppable, especially when paired to the 172-horsepower of the Maverick X3 Turbo R. The tracks themselves and the snow rob these machines of some power, so having all that turbocharged jam is appreciated and allows you to really control where the machine goes. The Defender is more susceptible to being pulled into existing tracks, but if you keep the accelerator on the floor, it manages to plow through everything.
There’s no doubt that the technology here works great, but at what cost? That becomes the biggest question. On the positive side of things, buying these tracks mean that you can use your machine for 12 months of the year, leaving you one powertrain to maintain.
And then on the downside, is the $7000 to $8000 you will spend on the track kits. The Backcountry LTs in the US start at just over $7000, while in Canada they sell for $8000. But that’s not the end of the cost. Another $600 – $1000 must be spent to get the mounting kit, while a CVT filter and air intake filter are also necessary. Completing the package is a roughly $150 DPS module that plugs into your ECU to make sure the power steering is stronger and the speedometer and odometer work properly.
And still, that’s not quite all. Buying a cab is nearly a necessity with one of these side-by-sides, as the Backcountry tracks throw a lot of snow. That adds another few thousand dollars to the price tag.
So putting together one of these kits for the winter is not cheap, and for the over $10,000 you will spend, you could buy a nice used snowmobile.
But once one these side-by-sides is fully outfitted, there is nothing that will offer a more comfortable fun day of snow riding on the market. For pure fun, it’s hard to beat the Backcountry LTs.