NITRO REDNEK X3: PROJECT UTV

Competing in the most challenging and damaging UTV race in the States is no small feat. Hubert Rowland has made a name with informational YouTube videos on upgrading UTVs. Hubert is also known as everyone’s favorite “RedNek” or as we call him the Nitro RedNek, from Nitro Circus and Travis Pastrana’s mechanic. He repairs and upgrades all sorts of machinery to take the hardest beatings imaginable.

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Rowland knows exactly what parts will survive the toughest UTV race in the west. The 2020 Can-Am King of the Hammer’s was Rowland’s third consecutive year racing the event. “I wanted a simple but tough machine. One that was capable in the desert and the rocks,” said the Nitro RedNek. Can-Am provided a new Maverick X3 X rc Turbo RR.

TOUGH ENOUGH FOR NITRO REDNEK

“I knew what to expect. Year one I timed out halfway. Year two we finished 35th, but one hour outside of the 8-hour time limit due to a mechanical issue in the last rock section.” The more prepared and protected a machine, the better. Rowland stripped the Can-Am to the frame, installed a gusset kit and Crash Addict Industries custom CVT protection.

KOH regulations require a 6-point-connected roll cage built from 0.120-inch-wall tubing with cross bracing in the rear window and overhead of the driver and passenger. The roof must also be a minimum of 1/8-inch in thickness. Rowland went to No Limit Race Development for their Maverick X3 two-seat Race cage. He had them install a center bar on the front of the cage for added protection. Window net latches were welded to the cage. No Limit’s spare-tire carrier acts as a bumper. The front and rear bumpers must stick out 2 inches past the wheels. The NL rear was good, but Hubert had to extend the stock front bumper to pass tech.

SuperATV aluminum doors were installed with door bags. Hubert was required to weld on a secondary door latch system. To get out of this machine, the crew must unlock the nets and pull two different door latches. Ultra4 requires a minimum of two fire extinguishers, along with a first-aid kit. Hubert mounted up Desert Squadron’s Molle Trauma 2.0 kit.

SPARE PARTS BUD

We like covering KOH. They show us what can be done to a stock machine to handle rough driving easier, and racers know exactly what tools and spare parts tend to break the easiest. That is great knowledge to have when building your own tool kit. “Coming from Nitro Circus and Pastranaland, we set up and prepare for the very worst but expect the best, so I am probably a little over prepared. There is nothing worse than something small and silly taking you out of finishing.”

Nitro RedNek
Rowland’s custom front bumper sticks out past the front wheels, as required for the race. A Factory 55 winch hook was attached to the Can-Am’s factory-installed winch.

Hubert packs these tools and more: 18-volt impact gun, Harbor Freight Haul-Master scissor jack, claw hammer, screwdrivers, Channellock pliers, side cutters, safety wire, socket set, wrench set, adjustable end wrench, standard and metric Allen key set, snap ring pliers, tire plug and patch kit, duct tape, zip ties, super glue, rags and a clutch tool. For spare parts, RedNek takes two spare CVT belts, an assortment of standard and metric bolts, and hose clamps. Some racers carry spare axles, tie-rods and much more, but “For me, this race is just fun and added exposure; I know where I stand.” He sets goals to do better every year, but he isn’t out to demolish a machine for a podium spot.

Hubert utilizes a Rugged Radios RRP696 intercom and radio kit to stay connected to his co-driver, Rick Waterbury, and the rest of the pit crew. He also installed Rugged’s M3 two-person pumper kit to send freshly filtered air into their helmets. This cuts down on heat and dust inside their lids. A set of Sector 7 Spectrum lighted mirrors allows Hubert to keep an eye on competitors. If he gets stuck out late, the Sector 7 mirrors help light the way and project LED light off to the sides of the trail, while Infinite Offroad’s LED light bar and rock lights take care of brightening the night in front of and around the Can-Am. A UTV wiring kit helps connect the lighting to the stock headlight switch.

Nitro RedNek
SuperATV’s gated shifter plate allows Hubert to switch between gears without accidentally putting the machine in park. It works very well for racing applications.

SUSPENSION & HANDLING

Hubert is a fan of his Can-Am Maverick X3 X rc. “I noticed the 102- x 72-inch footprint is very stable in fast rough and also when climbing steep terrain. The machine has a low center of gravity that feels planted. Like a race car, you sit low and look across the hood with a nice wide windshield area and lots of cab space with no cramped feeling. The X3 is a great UTV stock, but there is room for improvement.”

Rowland bolted in SuperATV’s frame-strengthening kit for the front suspension. Instead of the A-arm mounts having one-sided brackets, they are now two-sided. SuperATV’s shock tower brace was installed. Since the front end takes most of the abuse, it requires upgrades to hold up against hard hits. Hubert then installed SuperATV’s X3 high-clearance boxed front A-arms with Super Duty 300M ball joints. Their rear high-clearance trailing arms found a new home, along with sway bar links, heavy-duty X300 axles out back and Rhino 2.0 axles up front.

Nitro RedNek
High-clearance boxed A-arms from SuperATV, along with Rhino 2.0 axles, were fitted on the front of the Maverick.

A Hess Motorsports steering rack support bracket was added. They offer rear weld-in radius rod certs and a clutch seal guard that stops strands of broken CVT belts from destroying the oil seal in the trans that sits behind the secondary clutch. Hess designed brilliant rear knuckles for the Can-Am that fix two issues: the middle radius rod link and bearing snap ring. Hess has double-shear mounting for the middle link and a plate that locks in the bearings so they don’t come apart. No Limit tie-rods replaced the stock ones, and L&W Fab billet high-clearance radius rods with a radius rod mounting plate add more strength to the rear.

Nitro RedNek
No Limit offers a rear bumper/tire carrier for the Can-Am X3. Aluminum high-clearance radius rods from L&W Fab were mounted up.

FAST ENOUGH FOR NITRO REDNEK

We spent a few hours in the passenger seat during course pre-running. Rowland drives smart to prevent his Can-Am from breaking in the rough. The longer your machine lasts, the better you will do during KOH.

The Maverick was plenty fast enough. “I only had Dynojet flash the ECU to take out the speed limiter and lets you two-foot drive without throwing a code. It lets the machine rev a little more. Heck, I would gladly give up some ponies if I could get 20 mpg, but I was told that was not possible.” Dynojet also sent Rowland a clutch kit that adjusted for running heavier System 3 RT320 tires wrapped around SB-4 bronze beadlock wheels.

Nitro RedNek
Sector 7’s Spectrum lighted mirrors are a purchase no one would regret. They light the trail on the sides of the machine and the convex mirror helps with reversing.

Beadlock wheels are a must in rocky terrain. They allow you to run lower tire pressures to increase traction in the rocks and keep the tire attached to the wheel during abusive operation. System 3’s RT320 tire hooks up well in desert terrain. They did spin a little in the rock sections, but they grab well and have a long tread life.

The suspension comfort impressed us the most during our outing with Hubert. “I met up with Fox, where they built my shocks with an internal upgrade kit and installed Eibach springs to carry the weight I added to the machine. We tested in the rocks and desert. The machine treats whoops at 85 mph like speed bumps in a parking lot. Straight, level and couldn’t get enough, and with great clearance, too. It absorbed the rock sections like a pillow.” He wasn’t wrong at all. The shocks gobbled whoops, helped the UTV track straight at high speeds, and was plush and smooth crawling through the tough stuff. The SuperATV skid plate was well-used but holds up beautifully.

A Rugged Radios pumper feeds fresh air to the driver and co-driver’s helmets. Fire extinguishers are at the ready, and a trauma kit from Desert Squadron is packed and ready.

The cockpit area of the nitro RedNek’s Can-Am is roomy and secure feeling, even with a big tool bag strapped under our legs. The Crow 5-point harnesses and stock Can-Am seats did a fine job. SuperATV’s doors and door bags weren’t a bother, and the view out of the No Limit roll cage was wide open.

Nitro RedNek

ANOTHER YEAR GONE BY FOR NITRO REDNEK

Hubert Rowland set off on race day at a smooth and steady pace. He had planned to perform better than previous years and had a great co-driver. Unfortunately, a massive line of stopped machines was going to set the crew back over an hour just to get past one obstacle. Thinking that he could skip the section and just be docked time, Rowland drove around the section so he could keep enjoying the event and try to finish before the time limit. Unknowingly, RedNek and the Ultra4 officials weren’t on the same page. Disqualification ended his time at the Hammers for 2020, but at least they had fun, saved the machine some pain and know what to expect for next year—KOH with a Can-Am Maverick X3!

NITRO REDNEK PARTS & CONTACTS

CAN-AM: www.can-am.brp.com

2020 Maverick X3 X rc Turbo RR $29,599

CRASH ADDICT INDUSTRIES: (740) 350-3515, www.crashaddictind.com

Frame weld-in gusset kit $250

Custom clutch cover guard: NA

CROW: (725) 726-7432, www.crowenterprizes.com

5-point harnesses $140.96 each

DESERT SQUADRON: www.desertsquadron.com

Molle Trauma 2.0 kit $150

DRAGONFIRE RACING: (800) 708-9803,www.dragonfireracing.com

Sport UTV steering wheel $89.99

DYNOJET: (800) 992-4993, www.dynojet.com

Ecu flash NA

UTV clutch kit $499.99

EIBACH: (800) 507-2338, www.eibach.com

Pro-UTV Stage 3 springs $777.78

FACTOR 55: (208) 639-1674, www.factor55.com

UltraHook XTV $210

FOX: (831) 274-6500, www.ridefox.com

Race internal shock upgrade kit: NA

GRAPHIC EFFECTS: (615) 896-4301, www.graphiceffectsllc.com

Custom wrap w/ Ultrra Camo NA

SUPERATV: (855) 743-3427, www.superatv.com

X3 high-clearance boxed front A-arms $899.95 (Super Duty 300M ball joints included)

X3 shock tower brace $299.95

72” rear trailing arms $699.95

X3 sway bar links $134.95

HD Rhino 2.0 front axles $229.95 each

HD rear axles—X300 $499.95 each

X3 full skid plate $624.95

X3 quick shifter gate $99.95

X3 aluminum doors $599.95

X3 door bags $119.95

X3 front frame stiffener kit $149.95

HESS MOTORSPORTS: (940) 759-4597, www.hess-motorsports.com

X3 steering rack support $480

X3 rear knuckle $700 each

X3 clutch seal guard $50

Weld-in radius rod certs $175

HARBOR FREIGHT: www.harborfreight.com

Haul-Master scissor jack $23.99

Emergency triangle light $4.99

INFINITE OFFROAD: (817) 881-2168, www.infiniteoffroad.com

40” compact high output single row light bar $195

Shadow Reaper 4pc rock light kit $140

Shadow Reaper interior light $40

L&W FAB: (770) 445-9778, www.landwfab.com

Billet high-clearance 

   radius rods w/ rod plate $775

NO LIMIT RD: (916) 824-2600, www.nolimitrd.com

X3 2-seat race cage $2,500

X3 spare tire carrier $600

X3 HD tie-rod kit $265

Number plates $275

RUGGED RADIOS: (888) 541-7223, www.ruggedradios.com

RRP696 Intercom & radio kit $1,508

M3 two-person pumper kit (variable speed controller & hoses included) $486

SECTOR SEVEN: (866) 466-4762, www.sectorseven.zone

Spectrum lighted mirrors $799.95

Accessory mount $99.95

SYSTEM 3 OFFROAD: www.system3offroad.com

SB-4 beadlock bronze—15”

6+1 offset N/A

RT320 tires/33×9.5-15: N/A

UTV WIRING: 480) 257-3838, www.utvwiring.com

Can-Am dual battery kit $695

Full Throttle batteries $179.95 each

High-beam relay kit NA

Taillight aux tie in for aux rear lights NA

Nitro RedNek: facebook/hubertrowland. @hubertrednek 

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