Overjoyed. That’s how I would describe my feelings during the release of Axial’s original Yeti Jr. Rock Racer (and Yeti Jr. SCORE Trophy Truck). It’s hard to believe that those two models were released over two years ago and in that time…both have been discontinued. After Axial lowered the curtain on their two 1/18-scale models, I would have figured they were out of the small-scale R/C game but thankfully, I was wrong.
In early 2019, the “second generation” of Yeti Jr. was released, the Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick X3. Despite my earlier enthusiasm, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this newer model. While the first iteration was fun to drive, I must confess that I hadn’t put a fresh battery pack in my personal Yeti Jr. Rock Racer for over a year. In fact, I was about to sell it, until I charged up the battery and took it for a quick spin around the yard. With that, my interest in the new, “super-scale” model was rekindled.
- 1 Axial Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick X3 1/18-scale model
- 1 Trigger-style, two-channel radio transmitter
- 4 “AA” batteries (radio transmitter)
- 1 Instruction Manual
- Various tools
- Price: $149.99
Initial thoughts on the Axial Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick X3
It’s easy to spot the DNA of the original Yeti Jr. underneath the body of the Can-Am Maverick X3. Under the replica body, the chassis and suspension components appear to be directly off of the late-2016 model (albeit with different colors).
Beyond the chassis similarities, there are some updates once you reach the heart of this machine, specifically the combo ESC/radio receiver and steering servo. This model uses an EC3 battery plug, so you have a little more freedom to plug in a larger battery, however, Axial notes that only NiMh packs should be used. Even with the stock NiMh battery pack, the 2019 Yeti Jr. is a sporty little model with quick throttle response and decent (visual) top-end speed.
Performance-wise, this Can-Am Maverick replica handles and drives much like it’s predecessor, which is a good thing (in my opinion). I’ve found these two models to be incredibly fun to drive, both indoors and out, however, they do seem to thrive in offroad environments compared to paved surfaces.
With tires that are smaller than the original YJr. Rock Racer, the Can-Am still manages to scoot across grassy surfaces with relative ease. The taller the grass is, however, will slow your roll considerably. If anything, that’s a good indicator that it’s time for me to mow my lawn.
Turning performance is…ok. Comparing the specs of the included Spektrum servo to what was originally packaged with the YJr. there are some “on paper” improvements. That said, the overall steering performance leaves me wanting more torque and speed.
On the bright side, the Spektrum SX2 radio transmitter is a joy to use. The handle/grip feels great and the adjustment knobs and switches are easy to locate and tweak on the fly. It makes for a better overall driving experience as compared to the original.
Where this vehicle really shines is in the looks department. The Can-Am Maverick X3 body and features have been replicated beautifully and this little machine looks right at home blasting through the outdoors. Whether it’s a primary R/C vehicle or a premium scale accessory that you’re after, the looks definitely have me sold on this model. I know I’ll be bringing this along on my summer excursions and adventures.