— Building better from the best: By the staff of Dirt Wheels —
The UTV industry was almost sent into shock the day that the 2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 was released. The X3 X rs sports a width of 72 inches, which is a first for the stock UTV industry. On top of that they upped the suspension travel to an impressive 22 inches up front and 24 inches in the rear. It was only a matter of time before customized versions of the machine would start surfacing, and Jason Smith, owner of Midwest Performance & Power, was up to the challenge of making a unique version of the X3.
Jason knew that he wanted to drive his X3 hard, so there were specific areas that he wanted upgraded. He went to S3 Powersports to upgrade the suspension components in the front and rear of the machine, as well as strengthen the roll cage and roof. S3 designed heavy-duty high-clearance A-arms for the Can-Am that are thicker and stronger than stock. A gusset kit was installed to strengthen the front end, along with a bulkhead that can withstand frontal impacts. To finish off the front-end improvements, Jason installed S3’s heavy-duty billet tie-rods and a bushing kit, as well as Keller Performance Products heavy-duty upper and lower ball joints.
The Maverick X3 x rs utilizes a trailing-arm system in the rear that was designed with three radius rods per trailing arm to help keep the arms from bending on side loads and impacts. Most other companies only use two radius rods per trailing arm. According to Jason, the Can-Am’s radius rods are still pretty easy to bend. Jason installed S3’s upper, lower and middle heavy-duty radius rods made out of solid pieces of aluminum. The lower rods are bent up to provide more clearance. He also installed a pull plate that bolts in place of the stock radius-rod mounting plate. And last, S3 custom-built a heavy-duty roll cage with front intrusion bars and roof for the Can-Am. Most stock roll cages can’t handle more than just a roll or two, and even if the cage doesn’t look bent after a roll, it should still be replaced. When you buy a strong roll cage, it will protect you far more and be a lot more durable.
Jason and his crew at Midwest designed a strong set of door frames and skins for the Maverick. The intent of this build wasn’t to simply look cool, but it was designed as a race build. The doors have to be as strong as the roll cage, and they are. The stock latching system was incorporated into the doors so they open and close easily.
STRAIGHT FROM CAN-AM
Can-Am offers a large line of accessories for the X3 from multiple companies that are specifically tailored for the sport performance UTV. Beard designs seats that are more comfortable and containing than the stockers. They also provide Can-Am five-point harnesses that keep you securely strapped into the seats. Rugged Radios also paired up with the manufacturer to provide an intercom system that allows the driver and passenger to talk to each other. A tablet dash mount was installed on the Midwest X3, as well as a Particle Separator from S&B Filters. The Separator is a beneficial system that sucks in dirt and air, subtracts the dirt from the situation and feeds clean air to your intake to keep your UTV running stronger longer.
BRING ON THE POWER
The Maverick X3 has a powerful three-cylinder, four-stroke engine that provides 154 horsepower with the assistance of a turbocharger system. Jason is a big fan of big power, so he went to Evolution Powersports to up the ponies on his project. Evo’s Stage 5 injectors, silicone boost tubes, blow-off valve and a Stage 5 re-flash were incorporated on this build. A racing exhaust system with a closed-course option catalytic converter delete pipe were installed. Jason installed a V-flow intake system to get more air flowing and included a Maptuner X programmer and billet Maptuner X case. The case allows Jason to change the tuning from a softer output to a higher-performance output.
When you increase the power of a CVT-equipped machine, you will need clutch work. A STM Powersports primary and secondary clutch kit was installed. The Midwest X3 Maverick can now put out around 235 horsepower straight to the wheels! Speaking of the wheels, 15-inch DWT three-piece Sector beadlock wheels were installed with ITP 32-inch-tall ITP Terracross R-Spec tires. This Maverick needs tires this large to manage the increased power output.
TESTING IT OUT
The first impression of driving this beast was the “put you through the back of your seat” power. Second, the noise the engine now made was almost magical. The exhaust note and blow-off valve serenade you the whole time you drive. It made us want to plant our foot down hard and not let off unless we had to. The ITP tires had great grip in most of the terrain we drove the X3 in, except for muddy sections. They struggled in that aspect because the lug pattern doesn’t have a great clean-out design.
The better ground clearance of the S3 parts was noticeable over rocks, ruts, logs and other trail debris. The Beard seats and harness system kept us comfortable and secure inside the
Midwest doors and S3 roll cage. The only upgrade we felt was needed on this build was suspension, a bit of tuning or a re-valve would have been helpful, but the stock shocks are already great out of the box.
Jason Smith and his company, Midwest Performance & Power, have built many custom machines, and four of them have graced the pages of Dirt Wheels. Each one is unique and generally powerful, and his X3 build comes close to topping them all. The Pearl White and orange color scheme from Barnes Auto Body and Powdercoat Plus is killer-looking, and Darkside Tint & Graphix did a great job on the decal work. Logan Benson used a steady hand and pinstriped the X3’s front end, trailing arms and more, which gave a nice little touch to the design. Keep up with Dirt Wheels to see more awesome project builds like this one.
Can-Am 2017 Maverick X3 X rs: $26,899
Barnes Auto Body paint: $4200
Benson Upholstery & Rods pinstriping by Logan Benson: $475
Rugged Radios driver/passenger intercom system: $449
Beard Racing seats: $999
Beard 5-point harnesses: $420
Tablet dash mount: $149
S&B Particle Separator: $399
Darkside Tint & Graphix
DWT 15-in. Sector 0 offset race rims: $393 each
ITP 32×10-15 Terracross R-spec tires: $197.95 each
Midwest Performance custom steel frame doors with aluminum skins: $795
Powder Coating Plus powdercoat: $1250
STM Powersports primary and secondary clutches: $2100
Stage 5 re-flash (e85 114-octane tune)
Stage 5 injectors
Silicone boost tubes
Cat delete pipe
Maptuner X programmer
Billet Maptuner X case
V-flow intake system: $2999 altogether
Keller Performance Products:
Upper ball joints: $136.99
Lower ball joints: $129.99
Custom roll cage with front intrusion bar: $1500
Aluminum roof: $395
HD front A-arms: $850
HD front gusset kit: $299
HD billet tie-rods: $150
HD billet rear upper rods: $295
HD billet rear middle rods: $395
HD billet rear lower rods: $395
HD bulkhead: $495
Delrin bushing kit: $120
Benson Custom Upholstery and Rods: Facebook
Barnes Auto Body: (319) 524-7825
Darkside Tint & Graphix: Facebook
DWT Racing: www.dwtracing.com
Evolution Powersports: www.evopowersports.com
ITP Tires: www.itptires.com
Keller Performance Products: www.kellerperformanceproducts.com
Powder Coat Plus: www.powdercoatplus.info
STM Powersports: www.stmpowersports.com
S3 Powersports: www.s3powersports.com