SXS BUILD: KCB OFF-ROAD CAN-AM X3 MAX
One mighty cool business card!
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Like a lot of interesting stories, the background on this KCB Off-Road 72-inch Can-Am Maverick X3 Max sounds familiar. Lynn Bogh and his family have been going to the dunes for over 40 years. The outings started with three-wheelers and dune buggies, then progressed to dirt bikes and four-wheelers. When UTVs hit the market, the family moved in that direction. When we saw the KCB Off-Road product booth at the UTV Takeover at Sand Hollow State Park in Hurricane, Utah, the parking area for the family machinery took up more space than the booth!
We suspect that the largest part of scheduling booth time was wrangling time to investigate Sand Hollow and its unique riding opportunities.
So far this is a familiar story, and what followed the UTVs infiltrating the family was using the family business to develop parts for the variety of machines that the family owns. KCB chose to use the X3 Max for this project for a variety of reasons. They like how it handles the rough terrain better than shorter cars. Unlike some folks, they also like the look of the longer side-by-sides. And, of course, the family has grown over the years, so more seats make more sense.
KEEPING IT LOCAL
While they do love the products used for the project, most of the brands that KCB chose for the X3 were selected in part to support manufacturers local to the KCB headquarters. Some of these are Funco, 5150, SF Raceworks, CreArtive Wraps, Karteck and PRP. Custom Creations, the company that installed some of the KCB and other aftermarket parts, is also a local company.
Since the family loves this Can-Am Max, and it is a great rolling business card for the company’s parts, there wasn’t much scrimping and saving on this build. Some of the parts are pretty exotic, like the Funco full-coverage cage that extends completely over the front of the car and forms a new front nose that includes the front bumper. A carbon fiber nose shell gives the front of the machine a fresh and clean look.
This cage has more material, added welding and more labor required than a standard four-seat cage. It also includes built-in front and rear bumpers that are actually part of the cage. Basically, the passengers and the car itself are protected by a steel exoskeleton. The beauty is that Funco has made the body protection so sleek, partially by shadowing the standard body lines, that it is almost invisible. It also includes four doors, the roof and the rear wing. Considering all those parts, the $11,000 price is justified.
MORE CHASSIS WORK
It wouldn’t make much sense to make such large cage changes to the top of the frame and not spend effort on the bottom. SF Raceworks was selected to provide A-arms and trailing arms. KCB enhanced those suspension arms with its own products, including some trick 72-inch 7075 high-clearance radius rods. They offer amazing rear clearance, and they look great. They are mounted with a KCB custom back plate. The rear is further outfitted with KCB sway bar links.
Up front KCB beefed things up with an aluminum shock tower brace and a steel gusset kit. In addition, there are KCB billet sway bar links and 72-inch tie-rods. Method Race Wheels and BFG tires wrap up the chassis mods.
The outside of the car still needed to be fitted with a KC Hilites light bar virtually made up of seven individual driving lights, 5150 whips, rock lights and eyebrow lights.
Moving inside the machine shows even more attention to detail. First, you open the Funco doors with KCB billet aluminum door latch handles that are machine-whittled to the point of looking delicate, but they are not. The cab is fitted with four PRP seats and PRP four-point belts. KCB makes a console for the dash that fits the GPS screen and Switch-Pros programmable switch pod. PCI makes the console for the intercom and race radio. Between the two, they make the electronics installation super clean and stock looking. KCB also makes battery boxes for the two separate Odyssey batteries this car employs.
It is a positive that this X3 Max started out as a 72-inch car with premium Fox suspension and 195 horsepower. There was really no need to make improvements there. It also came with the Smart-Loc front differential, so that was dialed in as well.
CreArtive Wraps was tasked with pulling the look of the car together. We generally are not fans of any black car. They are just too hard to make look good, but this wrap feels like it adds color without actually adding color. The end result is a car that we knew we wanted to shoot photos of as soon as we saw it.
PUTTING IN WORK
We spent time in the car at Sand Hollow, and the area has unique terrain with almost diabolical shifts between ultra-soft, plushy sand that barely offers traction. Even paddle tires don’t do much with it. To run paddles, you would have to tip-toe between sand areas. Even where the sand is prevalent, abrupt ledges of vertical rock can appear out of nowhere. We are talking sudden fins of rock that can literally destroy a wheel with 32-inch desert tires. Imagine the abuse they could dish out on a lightweight paddle tire!
Between the areas of slippery, ephemeral red sand were giant hills and slabs of reddish slick rock with enormous traction. When there is a busy event running for four days like at the UTV Takeover, the common sand routes that join the dune and rock areas generate a diabolical 8- to 10-inch washboard. For all of that terrain, the KCB Off-Road X3 Max has the goods. The long wheelbase and the tall BFG tires take the curse off the washboard.
BFG tires excel in the desert and for high-speed driving. The desert tread doesn’t have deep enough tread blocks to impress in the deep, soft Sand Hollow sand, but the car gets around fine. Things are much better on the slick rock. You do hear some tire squeal, and there is some tire slip going on. Even with the tall tires the Can-Am low range is plenty low for the rock tech.
As with all Can-Am X3 Max models, comfort is outstanding in the front or rear seats. No car treats the rear passengers so nicely in the rough. Add the fact that you are captured securely in the PRP seats and harnesses, which only help that feeling.
You have all the GPS capability and communication (in car and out) to make any adventure fun. All four passengers have in-car communication, but only those with a push-to-talk button have car-to-car com control. We didn’t find any need to try it, but the X3 is also fitted with an extensive KCB reverse reinforcement kit.
This is a Can-Am Maverick X3 Max that any family would be happy to call their own. It has a great look, amazing style and interior comfort to be envied. It comes stock with all the engine performance a reasonable person could want, as well as high-quality and high-performance suspension. If you are looking for billet parts to strengthen your machine and look good doing it, KCB has what you are looking for.
PARTS AND SERVICES
5150 WHIPS: (866) 511-8853, www.5150whips.com
Whips: $395 pr.
Rock light: $175
Eyebrow lights: $275
CREARTIVE WRAPS: (909) 890-0082, www.creartivewraps.com
FUNCO MOTORSPORTS: (909) 421-2558, www.funcomotorsports.com
Cage, roof, nose cap, doors, wings: $11,000
KCB OFFROAD: (909) 894-0102, www.kcboffroad.com
Console for GPS and Switch-Pros: $600
Battery boxes: $350
72-inch 7075 radius rods: $1440
Custom backplate: $175
Front sway bar links: $195
Rear sway bar links: $200
72-inch tie-rods: $230
Door handles: $150 (4)
Shock tower brace: $210
Gusset kit: $340
Reverse reinforcement kit: $475
KC HILITES: (888) 689-5955, www.kchilites.com
Lite bar: $1800
METHOD RACE WHEELS: (866) 779-8604, www.methodracewheels.com
ODYSSEY BATTERY: www.odysseybattery.com
Dual 6-volt batteries: $375
PCI RACE RADIOS: (800) 869-5636, www.pciraceradios.com
Elite California Ultimate 2: $1,199.95
PRP SEATS: (800) 317-6253, www.prpseats.com
4 seats with logo: $4160
SF RACEWORKS: (760) 205-1912, www.sfraceworks.com
A-arms and trailing arms: $6500
SWITCH-PROS: (949) 581-2991, www.switchpros.com
SP9100 8-switch panel power system: $600
Dome light: $130 (2)