PROJECT MAVERICK MAX
— Improving Can-Am’s 4-seater UTV —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Some people have a customized UTV because they feel stuck with it. That isn’t the case with Andy Anaya and his well-setup Can-Am Maverick Max X rs. Andy is the sales manager at Chaparral Motorsports, so he has access to great deals on any brand imaginable, and he has driven every machine made. In spite of literally being the kid in the UTV candy store, he spends family time in this customized and personalized 2014 Can-Am that he bought new. Anaya is a long-time moto guy on two wheels, and the UTV is for family time, so he isn’t so concerned with absolute power and speed, but about comfort and safety in a package that can eat some serious trail miles with every seat filled.
Anaya’s four-seater is the first year of the Maverick Max model. It looked huge at the time, but its 113.8-inch wheelbase looks positively compact compared to a modern 135-inch Can-Am Maverick X3 Max. Now, a few years down the road, four-seat sport machines are far more common. The 2014 Max that seemed such a monster at the time really isn’t. It is a touch longer in wheelbase than a Polaris General 4 at 113 inches, but shorter than a RZR XP at 117 inches.
Even back in 2014 the Maverick’s 14 inches of wheel travel front and rear was competitive, but nothing special. That was a time when UTVs didn’t necessarily come equipped with doors, and this machine came with door nets. Can-Am has always been known for a comfortable interior, though, and the 2014 Max was roomy with a tall cage and rear seats that sat somewhat higher than the fronts. That seating arrangement made the Max look tall and ungainly to Anaya, so he decided that it needed to change.
GOING FULL CUSTOM
Anaya chose to work with SoCal UTV, SoCal SuperTrucks and Madigan Motorsports to come up with a stronger, sleeker custom roll cage. It has integrated doors and a full roof that includes a rear light wing with brake lights and an amber dust light.
Looking at the mods you may be getting the impression that Anaya cares about safety. You are correct. Once the family was surrounded by a safe cage, he installed PRP GT seats with four-point harness-type seat belts. He could have selected the cool seats for the front and left stockers for passengers. Nope. He opted for the second pair of GT seats and for the good seat belts. The rear seats are equipped with custom pads to make the seats a perfect fit for the rest of the family. While mounting the seats, he made sure that they ride at the same level as the front seats.
Anaya was more than happy with the production suspension after sending the shocks to Shock Therapy for dual-rate springs and new shock internal settings via a Ride Improvement System kit. He saw no need for the car to be wider or have longer travel. Plus, the Can-Am fits in the trailer better in this form. The chassis wasn’t ignored. A number of RT Pro products made sure that the Maverick chassis could handle plenty of hard desert driving. The changes start with heavy duty tie rods for the steering. More RT parts convert the Maverick radius rod mounts to double-shear for strength. A number of bolt-on chassis gusset plates were installed, and finally a Maverick steering rack brace finished things up with the chassis.
The 2014 Can-Am Max came with 27-inch tires on 12-inch rims. Those sizes were not going to cut it for the desert as far as Anaya was concerned. Instead he chose 32-inch Fuel Gripper T/R/K UTV tires that are 10-inches wide! The tires are mounted red anodized Fuel forged Trophy 15×7 wheels that are literally works of art.
With suspension and traction covered, it was time for the engine. The Can-Am is rated at 101 horsepower, but the larger and heavier wheel combo muted the response somewhat. Anaya selected a Maverick Max Stage 5 tuner from Trinity Racing and mated that with a Trinity Maverick Max dual-exhaust 3/4 system.
Those engine mods let the engine breathe, but don’t add undesirable heat or wear and tear to the engine. As a bonus, they help to make up the difference the taller tires make.
With the drivetrain dialed in, Anaya turned his attention to the rest of the machine. Keeping the sounds simple, Anaya mounted a Bluetooth Wet Sounds Stealth 10 Ultra HD sound bar kit to the roll cage’s lower intrusion bar. It takes music from your phones play list wirelessly. It rides ride above the dash. Looking back is handled by an Axia Alloys 12-inch mirror inside the car and Ocelot cage-mounted mirrors outside the cab. Back on the family safety track, an Assault Industries fire extinguisher mount and extinguisher is bolted to the cage tubes.
Furthering both safety and fun, there are tons of lights on the Maverick. Whiptech lighted whips are joined at the rear by small KC HiLiGHTS amber taillights. The rest of the machine sports a host of Piaa lights. There are pairs of RF series 3-inch LED cube driving and flood beam lights on the cage pillars. In front a 10-inch LED yellow fog beam light bar is mounted low in the front bumper. Up top is a long light bar made up from two hybrid beam 10-inch LED light bars and a single 18-inch LED driving beam light bar.
With the exception of the sound bar, staying true to a motocross guy’s mindset, Anaya only added weight to the car when it had a clear safety or performance purpose. Certainly, this is a fine looking example of a Maverick Max, but much of that look came as a side benefit from the cage and doors. He has kept the style of the whole package clean and purposeful. It has everything needed for a fun, comfortable ride.
We met the family near the Slash X Saloon between Barstow to spend time driving with and in the Can-Am. In these days of turbo cars with huge power, the Max feels mild, but we have always liked the character and the power delivery of the Rotax V-twin found in the Mavericks. With the Trinity products, the engine remains pleasant and runs well.
Having 32-inch tires and finely tuned suspension guarantees that the ride treats the car’s occupants with care. It is a little soft for pounding whoops, but the ride is very smooth. We’ll take that trade any time.
We remember these Mavericks being very comfortable, but the PRP GT seats are even better than anything we recall. Having the tall doors add a secure feeling that is quite satisfying as well.
There are a lot of choppy rocks and trails near the Slash X that have been pounded by races, but the 32-inch tires really help there. We found the car felt far more nimble and fun to drive than we remembered. We should have anticipated that after we saw the wheelbase numbers compared to modern machines. Anaya has no problem getting the whole family to join him in the desert. That is a sure sign that everyone enjoys time in the Maverick Max. It has plenty of power, and all the suspension you could ask for to put that power to good work. It has tough tires, and there is light, and there are effective safety belts. This is an impressive machine, and we can see it being in the family for another five years.
Assault Industries: (714) 799-6711, www.assaultind.com
Quick-release fire extinguisher kit $169.99
Axia Alloys: (480) 216-6266, www.axiaalloys.com
12-inch-wide panoramic rear-view mirror: $129.95
Chaparral Motorsports: (800) 841-2960, www.chapmoto.com
Ocelot clamp-on UTV side view mirror $69.99
Fuel Off-Road: www.fueloffroadutv.com
Forged Trophy 15×7 wheels $550 each
Gripper T/R/K UTV 32×10-15 $190 each
PRP Seats: (800) 317-6253, www.prpseats.com
GT seats $459 each (4)
4-point harness $135 each (4)
Piaa: (800) 525-7422, www.piaa.com
RF Series 3” LED cube light driving beam $349
RF Series 3” LED cube light flood beam $349
RF Series 10” LED light bar yellow fog beam $399
RF Series 18” LED light bar driving beam $599
RF Series 10” LED light bar hybrid beam $399
KC HiLiGHTS: www.kchilites.com
2” Cyclone LED single light $28.79
RT Pro: (517) 278-7768, www.rtproutv.com
Maverick HD front tie $295
Maverick Radius rod double shear mounts $95
Maverick chassis bundle $277.02
Maverick steering rack brace $35
Shock Therapy: (623) 217-4959, www.shocktherapyst.com
Dual rate spring kit $749.95
RIS kit $649.95
SoCal UTV: (909) 383-5454, www.socalsupertrucks.com
SoCal UTV on Facebook/SoCal SuperTrucks,
Madigan Motorsports: (951)-382-0256, www.madiganmotorsports.com
Custom cage/doors/roof/rear light wing with brake lights and dust light Prices vary
Trinity Racing: (800) 310-5519, www.trinityracing.com
Maverick Max dual exhaust 3/4 system $899.99
Maverick Max Stage 5 tuner $289.99
Wet Sounds: (877) 938-7757, www.wetsounds.com
Stealth 10 Ultra HD sound bar kit $849.99
4′ multicolor LED whips $115 each