UTV PROJECT: Midwest Performance builds a monster 

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

Mud racing is becoming a lucrative sport. The next Bounty Hole event on the calendar is at Tall Pines ATV Park in Andover, New York, September 6th.


The off-road and side-by-side culture is thriving these days. Stock and modified machines are dotting the trails and tracks across the country and around the world. What’s interesting is how different regions of this country build machines for their particular terrain. Many of these examples are way beyond stock equipment. From the $150,000 desert racers out West to wild mud rigs of the south, they sure do draw a lot of attention. We recently caught up with a builder putting the finishing touches on one such mud machine. This machine was getting delivered to a guy down south the day after we finished our photo shoot.

The build started as a stone-stock 2020 Can-Am Maverick X3 X rc model. The donor car was basically uncrated and disassembled at the dealership to begin the build. The builder in this case, Midwest Performance in Keokuk, Iowa, is a Can-Am dealer, and we’ve been covering their wild builds for years.

This particular X3 was built to take on the deep mud holes of the South, as well as the competitions known as Bounty Hole. In fact, the owner, Clint McEachem, finished first in his first event. Not that the car needs it, but a stock snorkel system from an X mr model was installed on the intake side. On the exhaust, an Evolution Powersports Cat delete head pipe and race exhaust tip were installed. As for fuel, the Evolution Powersports fuel pump was employed, and the EVP Stage 3 re-flash made it all mesh correctly in the combustion chamber. 

Midwest Performance and Power specializes in selling showroom-stock Can-Am Mavericks, Defenders and Outlanders to farmers in Middle America. Getting to build and play with custom rigs like this is just a bonus of having a successful dealership.


To get the needed clearance to dominate the mud racing scene, the X3 had to be lifted way up. To do this, Pocket Change Fabrication supplied one of their heavy-duty BMF lift kits at $5,300. That kit includes forward A-arms, trailing arms, track rods and radius rods. It utilizes the stock shocks and adds 8 inches of lift on its own. Another 8 inches of ground clearance was gained by installing a set of SuperATV portals. The portals allow for that extra lift and provide gear reduction, which helps turn those massive tires. Turner Level 3 axles actually bring that power from the stock X3 transmission and front diff out to all four corners. The axles come with the kit. Out back, the center radius rods are eliminated on each side. That rod controls toe, which isn’t as important in the mud. All parts from Pocket Change Fabrication are powdercoated to order.

This may be the craziest wheel we’ve ever seen on any UTV. They are 30 inches tall and about an inch thick. The bolts holding everything together probably weigh more than most stock tire and wheel assemblies alone.
Beefy A-arms add strength and more ground clearance. Keller Performance Products’ HD ball joints add more to the durability department. For obvious reasons, a winch is mandatory equipment as well.
Pocket Change Fabrication’s heavy-duty rear trailing arms utilize the stock sway bar and accept a Monster Rigging limit strap.
Very little was done to the engine. On the outside, the Cat was deleted with a straight Evolution Powersports race pipe. EVP also supplied a fuel pump and Stage 3 re-flash.



The use of big agriculture tires on mud ATVs is nothing new. If the tires don’t get enough attention on their own, you can purchase the three-piece Pocket Change Fabrication wheels at $3,000 for the set. The tires are from BKT and were custom-grooved with an aggressive scoop. They measure 54 inches tall, so they also add about a foot more ground clearance when compared to stock. All this extra leverage causes a lot of flex in the front suspension bulkhead area. So, a CT Race Worx front gusset kit was needed to make this area of the chassis bombproof.

Includes 54-inch-tall tires, 8-inch portals, and the 8-inch suspension lift that’s over 3 feet of ground clearance.
The 54-inch custom-scooped BKT tires are as aggressive as they come. Even if these meats found handpicked rocks under the mud, they would still claw forward.
SuperATV’s 8-inch Gear Driven Performance portals reduce gearing by 45 percent while increasing braking force with a larger rotor.


All in, the head-turning Maverick X3 X mr didn’t have that much done to it. A majority of the mods were in suspension and tires. Can-Am gives the machine plenty of power to turn the tractor meats with the help from gear reduction (45 percent) in the portals. However, the tire and wheel package did cost more than you could pay to buy a good, used UTV.

On the other hand, the prize money and some Bounty Hole events are over $10,000, so his owner may actually come out in the black. The next Bounty Hole event on the calendar is at Tall Pines ATV Park in Andover, New York, on September 6th. We look forward to watching this rig run some more.

No mud machine is complete without tunes. This one features the Can-Am Accessories Rockford Fosgate stereo roof with LED lighting. With four huge 8-inch speakers and 400 amps of sound, you can hear it at any speed for $2,500.




POCKET CHANGE FABRICATION: www.pocketchangefab.com

SUPERATV: www.superatv.com

ROCKFORD FOSGATE: www.rockfordfosgate.com

EVOLUTION POWERSPORTS: www.evopowersports.com

CT RACE WORX:www.ctraceworx.com

CAN-AM: www.can-am.com

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