UTV Off-Road Magazine’s “Eliminator”
When Can-Am challenged UTV Off-Road Magazine and four other media outlets to a build-off competition centered around their all-new turbocharged Maverick X ds, we were excited to showcase their new offering. The new 121hp Side-by-Side is an industry first, built for speed. To us, this kind of performance is perfect for the dunes and wide-open desert — anything else would be uncivilized. With that in mind, we set out to build what we think is the best looking and functional driving Maverick around, suited for this type of terrain.
What Would You Do To A Maverick? #WWYD2AM
For this competition, the five media outlets would get their hands on the first 2015 Can-Am Maverick 1000R Turbo X ds prior to dealers or other media outlets. This would give us about a month to build our vision of the ultimate Maverick Turbo. The completed builds would be showcased on Can-Am’s Facebook page to be voted on against the four other custom built Mavericks.
We were contacted by Can-Am while we were at the First Annual UTV Dune Invasion in St. Anthony Idaho Dunes. We spent some time driving in the sand in a turbo and non-turbo machine, and it was obvious what our Maverick had to be. Dunes are fun, but there is no comparison when you add a turbo. Horsepower is everything in the sand, and the extra torque that the new Maverick has would be beneficial climbing the big dunes. It is built for dunes and wide-open desert, and we think this is Can-Am’s primary target for their new flagship sport Side-by-Side. Shortly after getting the call from Can-Am, we searched out Doug Tyler from TMW Off-Road to see if he would be interested in taking on the project. TMW primarily focuses on Polaris RZRs — and they build amazing XP 1000’s — but they decided to take on this project with us. We knew with TMW’s style and attention to detail that this Maverick Turbo would turn some heads while out on the trail or in the dunes. And, of course, we couldn’t have completed the build without the help of our amazing partners. In addition to TMW’s craftsmanship, we added products from companies that we feel are some of the best in the industry.
CAGE & BUMPER
To start the build, TMW Off-Road kept the 2” diameter cage that is seen on the factory Maverick. Keeping the Maverick tough looking in appearance adds to its powerful stance. TMW kept similar lines on factory B-pillars but added their own flare and lowered the cage for a sleeker look. Holding close to their signature style they are known for on their RZR cages, the lines flow down and attach to the rear bumper and tie into the rear frame section just behind the rear differential. All of TMW’s cages open at each intersecting tube, allowing accessory wire to be run through the cage. Since this Maverick has the addition of the intercooler positioned between the driver and passenger seats, adding a harness bar was a challenge. Their elegant solution routed the bar around the intercooler, keeping the mounting points low where they should be for the harnesses.
On the front of the Maverick, TMW kept it simple on the front bumper, keeping it tight to the front as possible. Approach angles are important when off-roading, and the last thing you want to happen is to get hung up on an obstacle before your tires even get a chance to do their work. TMW’s bumper is set back from the front tires to ensure it doesn’t touch the cliff wall first upon approach. Once the cage and bumpers were complete, TMW sent the parts off to the powdercoater to get a bright, two-stage “Shocker” metallic candy green color.
Lighting may not be that important for everyone, but once you have completed a few night rides you will be addicted like us. Night rides add a new challenge and completely different driving perspective. The more light you can throw at the darkness the better. KC HiLiTES has been around since 1970 and is the original manufacturer of off-road lighting. Back in the day, if you were not running KCs you were not cool.
They have made huge inroads in the evolution of their lighting products and have included LED into their lineup. We added their 40” C Series LED light bar with their combo beam pattern that includes spot (in the middle) and spread reflectors on either side. The 40” is a total wattage of 240w, and the output (lumens) is 21,600 with a color temp of 6000K.
On the front bumper we added their recently introduced KC Flex Series LED lights. The Flex Dual LED lights system comes with standard black bodies and gold bezels with optional add-on red, blue or black changeable bezels to allow for personalization. Flex Dual LED lights are available in Spot and Spread beam patterns. Each light is a 10w Cree XM-L2 U2 LED and offers similar color temperature at 5,700K. These lights are compact, rugged and produce a tremendous amount of light at a distance. Flex housings and light cores are made with high-grade aluminum and use precision tuned reflector optics. This innovative system allows for multiple Duals or Arrays to be linked and even stacked together depending on your application.
When we started looking for an exhaust system for our Turbo build, there was none to be found since there was only a limited amount of units on the market. A week prior to completing the build, Trinity Racing was able to get their hands on a Maverick Turbo from their local dealership. In a total of 4 days, Trinity Racing built and shipped us their first Maverick X ds Stage 5 Turbo Back Dual System for our build. Horsepower gains are not available yet, but the system finished off the back side of our Maverick, and it sounds as amazing as it looks. The system is complete with brushed stainless steel pipes back to the turbo from the dual aluminum mufflers and is available in a brushed finish and black. The lightweight design comes with billet muffler mounting brackets and billet machined exhaust tips. Trinity Racing has been creating horsepower for the off-road industry since 1978. With 36 years of incredible success, their sole focus is to manufacture exhaust systems, big bore kits, intake systems, and turbo systems for the ATV and UTV industry.
Whips are required at the dunes during the day, and if you plan to do any night riding they need to light up. There are many lighted whips available that offer all sorts of features, but we were attracted to Smartwhips for a unique feature that no other whip offers. Smartwhips change to red every time the brakes are depressed. Each whip is available in 12 color light options. Red is only available when the brake light mode is turned off. We ordered up two, 4-foot threaded whips (also available in 6-foot) with black fiberglass core poles ($170 each). For extra protection, Smartwhips are encased in a clear acrylic outer tube. In hindsight, we should have ordered the quick disconnect whip for $5 more and $45 for the quick disconnect base.
Another nice feature included in each whip is the black aluminum base that houses all the electronics with large function buttons. Functions available are S.O.S. distress signal, strobe/speed, color transitions, single-color mode, as well as the option to turn off brake light function. Colored faceplates for the base unit are also available for further personalization. Once you have run lighted whips on your vehicle, you will never run anything else. They immediately add personalization to your UTV with color options that can be seen for miles away. And in the case of Smartwhips, they add another level safety that other lighted whips do not provide with the brake light feature and the ability for your whips to send out an S.O.S. distress signal if you are hurt or broken down.
We added some great accessories from Assault Industries, including their Stealth Series panoramic center mirror and Stealth Series side mirrors with green bezel.
Assault is a relative newcomer to the UTV industry, but in the last few years has come out with some high quality products that look and function great. One of those items is their heavy duty Maverick tie rods. These high-strength pieces make the stock rods look like toothpicks, and they feature thread-in ends for easy installation. Lots of adjustment for alignment is available in the threaded ends, and a bolted pin ensures they won’t come apart on the trail. If you bend one of these, you have bigger issues.
To tidy up the interior of our Maverick, we installed their contoured suede leather wheel with green stitching and stylish Billet aluminum center plate. It is also available in standard leather, but the feel and grip of a suede wheel while driving is our favorite.
To ensure our safety — or perhaps the safety of another vehicle — while out on the trail we installed their quick release fire extinguisher mount. While it doesn’t happen often, we’ve seen a few Side-by-Sides catch on fire for a number of reasons that are most likely attributed to the owner. We recommend one to keep damage to your investment and injury to yourself and others to a minimum in case an incident may occur.
Everyone wears a helmet, right? Well, in California everyone that doesn’t want a ticket sure does. We, of course, recommend them, and some of them are downright spendy. To protect your investment, Assault has a cool gadget that clamps securely around your cage. Made from billet 6061 aluminum, it allows up to two helmets to be locked to your ride using the helmet’s D-ring. It will work with any helmet, and two keys are included.
SAND TIRES & WHEELS
When we visit the sand bowl of Glamis or other dunes, we want to put all the power to the sand as possible. For the ultimate setup, we contacted the dune experts at Fullerton Sand Sports (FSS). Prior to the explosion of the UTV industry, they were matching tires to the vehicle’s power for years with big power Sand Cars and Quads. When it comes to Side-by-Sides, they have tested countless tire combinations on a variety of vehicles. They can match your tires depending on power, driving style and even terrain. When the Maverick Turbo was revealed to the media in Glamis, CA, Fullerton Sand Sports was there with a few tire options to test. After testing was complete, they sent us the option they felt worked the best. For the rears, a set of STU Sand Blasters 28-14 play cut paddles would give the 121-hp Turbo Maverick the much needed bit in the sand. Out front a set of 28-14 STU Razor Blaster tires would help with steering, like a rudder, in the soft sand.
For a strong and great looking wheel for our sand tires, we went with OMF Performance NXG2 Billet center beadlock wheel. The NXG2 wheels feature a bolt-in Billet Center that can allow for a change of offset and bolt pattern. OMF’s Design & Engineering Team set out to create a blend of lightweight and high strength in an American-Made wheel and developed the NXG Series. Damage to the wheel lip can be a common occurrence, regardless of the terrain. So the NXG Series Wheels feature a heavy duty reinforcing ring on the back side of the wheel, and a beadlock on the front side of the wheel. Fullerton Sand Sports worked with OMF on the size and wheel offset. For our wheels, they are a 14×8, 4+4 on the front and a 14×10 5+5 in the rear.
OFF-ROAD TIRES & WHEELS
To give our Maverick some extra ground clearance while exploring the desert floor, we mounted up 30” GMZ Kahuna tires wrapped around their 14” LiteLok beadlock wheels. The GMZ LiteLoc beadlock wheels are true beadlock wheels that clamp the tire to the wheel. The LiteLoc beadlock is a cast aluminum wheel that is heat treated for extra strength and to be used for racing or recreational use. The 14×7 with a 4+3 offset are relatively light, weighing in at 15 lbs. We paired our wheels with GMZ’s Kahuna tire that is currently available in one size, 30x10x14. This is perfect for our application and the type of terrain we plan to drive in. We actually tested a set of Kahuna’s on our Polaris RZR XP4 1000 for five days of rockcrawling while in Moab, Utah, and we were impressed with their performance. The Kahuna features an 8-ply radial construction with a heavy duty sidewall construction.
For style and trail comfort, a set of Triple X Seats was added. Triple X Seats are one of our favorite seats for a few reasons. They always make a great looking seat, and we appreciate the front storage pocket on the front of the seat. It comes in handy for small items such as phones, keys, wallet etc… Besides making compact seats that may fit the majority of drivers, they also offer a wide seat built for the above-average body type. For our seats, Triple X chose black leather; black and charcoal grey suede material double stitched in green with green piping. These seats are large and fill up the pilot and co-pilot’s available space. To get the seats to fit some modification to the factory seat bases was necessary. This included cutting off the back of the seat frame, leaving just the bottom section with the factory mounts in place. Triple X also offers seat warmers and built-in speakers for the ultimate in luxury.
Driver and passenger are held in securely with Can-Am 4-point harnesses. The Can-Am harness uses a 2″ shoulder and hips strap and an automotive-style buckle. Similar to other harnesses on the market, they feature sewn-on shoulder pads for comfort. But unlike others, the Can-Am harnesses keep the safety buckle switch feature. The safety buckle switch limits the Maverick to a speed of 15mph. The shoulder straps are routed through two headrest harness holes on the Triple X seat backs.
A factory Can-Am dash-mounted Garmin Montana 650t GPS was mounted using Can-Am dash console to keep track of our adventures and provide guidance for our journey back to camp. Preloaded with USA and Canada maps, this opens up options for us to save and share trail maps to our friends and readers. With a built-in MicroSD card slot, you can also use GPS Data cards from guidebook companies like FunTreks (www.funtreks.com) that are a great way to find and explore new trails. The GPS unit from Can-Am is plug and play, and with the included mounting kit and dash console, is a clean, factory-installed unit.
The unit comes with Garmin BaseCamp (download for free at: http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/) for you to create and share your adventures on your computer, as well as the option to explore/search for other adventures for your next ride. You can mark areas of interest and add photos to document each location. The Gamin Montana 650t makes this easy with the built-in 5 Megapixel digital camera with automatic geo-tagging. The unit is waterproof and can be easily removed from the Maverick’s console mount for hiking, and the included rechargeable lithium battery charges while you drive.
For helmet-to-helmet communication between driver and passenger or between vehicles, we outfitted our helmets with UClear HBC100 Plus powersports helmet communication system. The system is what we would call wireless, since the microphone/speakers are not hardwired into the helmet and connected to a hardwired base unit with a cable. Everything you need is mounted on your helmet.
We ordered the UClear HBC 100 Plus dual pack ($299.95) for our existing full face helmets. Installation is easy since the microphones are integrated into the speakers, routing the speaker/microphone wires is easy. Both speaker pods fit behind your inner helmet liner into the open ear space common to every helmet and mounts with Velcro pads. One cable is connected to the main communication unit on the outside of your helmet that is removable from the included permanent helmet mount. With both of our helmets outfitted with the UClear system, it was time to learn about its functions.
Pairing the units together for intercom communication is easy as well as connecting to your phone. The HBC100 Plus connects to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to listen to music while out on the trail. It also allows for the user to make and receive phone calls. In our quick test around the office with our helmets on, we were impressed with the sound quality while listening to music, call quality and intercom quality. The full-duplex intercom system allows 4 riders to communicate at a distance of up to 0.36 miles (500 meters) each, effectively allowing you to extend your reach short of the 1.5-mile mark while out on the trail.
For us, with the multiple UTVs we drive, this will give us the ability to communicate between vehicles without having a dedicated unit installed in each vehicle. We also love the idea that we can transfer our system to our other helmets, or for as little as $30 purchase a set of microphone/speakers for each additional helmet in our collection. Check back soon for a full review on the UClear HBC100 Plus after we test it out on the trail.
Doors are one of those items that are, at least to us, a necessity. There are a lot of great doors on the market, but we knew that they had to fit the feel of our build. DragonFire would fit the bill perfectly with their Maverick HiBoy doors. The outside aluminum skin is formed to match the body lines of the Maverick and attached to a metal tubular frame. One of the key features is their “Slam-shut” latches that close tight without any noticeable vibration noise while driving. DragonFire’s latches are also equipped with a lock lever to ensure your door stays closed while attacking each obstacle. The DFR HiBoy doors are a beautifully engineered and crafted piece of art.
The final build would all come together with a vehicle wrap from Wolf Designs. Vehicle wraps have come a long way in the last several years, and they just keep getting better. Wolf Designs is on the forefront of vehicle wrap technology backed by top-notch designs. They brought out the best of the Maverick Turbo green signature color and added their own green theme graphics. The custom graphics are printed on a metallic vinyl that turns any color into a bright candy color. The candy graphics complement the candy green powdercoat on the cage, bumper and suspension components. In a few hours our basic black Maverick turned into a Maverick that stands out in any terrain. Wolf Designs has a number of available designs to choose from and they can be personalized to your own style.
We hope you enjoyed our first look at our project Maverick Turbo. Our goal on this build is to give you inspiration on your build and introduce you to products and companies that, when combined together, can help you achieve amazing results. A big thanks goes out to all of our sponsors, to the crew at TMW Off-Road that spent countless hours bringing it all together, and to Can-Am for an innovative new vehicle platform for us to show off the possibilities for their new powerful Maverick Turbo!
If you like “Eliminator” from UTV Off-Road Magazine, then head over to Can-Am Offroad’s Facebook page and vote.
2015 Can-Am Maverick 1000R X ds Turbo
TMW Off-Road – www.tmwoffroad.com, 480-969-9261
BRP/Can-Am – www.can-am.brp.com/off-road/
Wolf Designs – www.wolfdesigns.biz, 480-888-0202
Fullerton Sand Sports – www.fullertonsandsports.com, 714-484-5996
GMZ Race Products – www.gmzraceproducts.com, 619-244-5811
OMF Performance – www.omfperformance.com, 951-354-8272
KC HiLiTES – www.kchilites.com, 928-635-2607
Triple X Seats – www.triplexseats.com, 602-741-6909
Assault Industries – www.assaultind.com, 714-799-6711
Rockford Fosgate – www.rockfordfosgate.com
Smart Whips – www.smartwhips.com, 844-944-7222
Trinity Racing – www.trinityracing.com, 877-327-8697
UClear – www.uclear-digital.com
Dragon Fire – www.dragonfireracing.com, 800-708-9803
RideNow Peoria – www.ridenowpeoria.com, 623 334-3434