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Small and Mighty – Checking out Axials 1/18 scale Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick

Small and Mighty – Checking out Axials  1/18 scale Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick

Small scale RC is near and dear to my heart. It was about 20 years ago when I wrote my first ever RC article on a 1/18 scale on-road vehicle of the time, and my love for smaller RC cars was solidified. So, when our editor asked me to check out Axial’s Yeti Jr. Can-Am RTR, I was instantly sold. Not only am I a big fan of small-scale RC, but I’ve owned the Yeti Jr.’s larger 1/10 scale sibling, so it gave me the opportunity to see how well it performs in 1/18 scale format. Join me as we give the Axial Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick a closer look.

Build Quality

As to be expected from an Axial product, the fit and finish of the Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick is solid. The Maverick UTV body in 1/18 scale form is very realistic and the added cage improves the strength of the vehicle. The cage and body conveniently hinge to reveal the chassis, electronics, and battery tray. What is remarkable is that Axial was able to translate several key points of the 1/10 scale Yeti chassis and suspension design into the smaller 1/18 scale format.

The front end features an independent c-hub design with CV axles while the rear driveline features a multilink floating rear axle, both of which help to provide good handling performance. Aggressive Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires sit at all four corners and come mounted on unique styled wheels. Each wheel features a 12mm hex hub with an adapter that steps down to each 8mm hex axle for a good transfer of power. The Yeti Jr. rests on oil-filled coilover shocks all around, so you can fine tune oil weight and ride height when desired.

A Spektrum STX2 2.4GHz transmitter comes standard and is paired to the Spektrum ESC / 2.4GHz receiver combo that sits nicely in the tub chassis. The Yeti Jr. Can-Am is also outfitted with a Spektrum high-torque metal gear micro servo, able to take on any abuse you might throw at it. The RTR kit is finished off with a Dynamite Speedpack 1300mAh 7.2v NiMH battery.

The optional aluminum rear axle shafts and aluminum diff locker were installed for some extra durability. The diff locker helps to improve cornering control and forward grip.

Optional steel front axle shafts and aluminum c-hub carriers were installed in the front for added strength and rigidity.

Hitting the Dirt

This is a very light vehicle, weighing less than 2lbs with battery, but even though it’s light it holds its driving line really well. The Yeti Jr. cuts through loose dirt nicely. The optional rear locker really helps to keep the car planted, even when the surface gets extra slippery.

Smaller vehicles can sometimes suffer from feeling twitchy due to their minimized weight and proportions, but the Yeti Jr. Can-Am feels controlled and predictable. It’s that feeling of control that gives a great sense of satisfaction when thrashing around in the dust and loose gravel.

The Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires do a great job of keeping the vehicle on track and nicely compliment the excellent suspension design taken from the larger 1/10 Yeti variant. I have owned and driven a fully dialed 1/10 scale Yeti, and I must say that the 1/18 version does a good job of replicating that same feeling of control and fun as its larger sibling, even if on a smaller scale. Being that this is more on the entry level line of kits, I still wouldn’t shy away from offering the remote to even the most seasoned RC veteran. It’s just a really fun little kit to drive.

The Axial RTR experience is made extremely easy with the inclusion of good instructions and simple to tune electronics and radio. All that was needed was a full charge of the battery and some minor tweaks of the radio settings and I was ready to hit the trail. Another upside of the Yeti Jr. Can-Am is that it’s very unique in the RC world, as there really aren’t many, if any UTV’s on the market that are at this level of quality. The Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick RTR ships with a 7.2v NiMH battery, which outputs decent power to the 380-size brushed motor.

The Yeti Jr. features an independent front suspension design like its 1/10 scale sibling that allows it to cope well with rough terrain.

Final Thoughts

As I said earlier, I’m a big fan of small-scale RC so it was nice to put this little UTV through its paces. What makes the Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick a great kit is that it’s priced nicely for beginners, but also brings entertainment to those of us with more RC experience, and all in an easy RTR package. Great as a fun backyard basher, or even as something to take out on the trail, the Axial Yeti Jr. Can-Am Maverick is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Text and Images by: Lauren Short

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Updated: May 18, 2021 — 11:27 AM

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