Can-Am’s new Maverick X3 turbos have raised the UTV performance bar with the turbocharged 900cc triples and third-generation technology, making the three X3s feel like fighter jets. And, Brembo brakes with dual-piston calipers and separate front and rear master cylinders also generate G-forces under hard braking to match those forces of acceleration. Suspension tuning is also on the high-performance side, and ride quality is closer to the Yamaha YXZ1000R than the new Arctic Cat Robby Gordon Wildcat. The base X3 with the Fox QS3 shocks only have three compression settings to choose from, while the X ds and X rs have dual-speed compression and rebound adjusters, in addition to adjustable preload and cross-overs. Those wanting a plusher ride quality will want to check out Shock Therapy’s shock upgrades and adjustable front and rear torsion bars for X3s.
RIDE IMPROVEMENT SYSTEM & DUAL-RATE SPRINGS
Shock Therapy has done extensive testing with the 64- and 72-inch X3s and come up with the Ride Improvement System (RIS) shock valving and revised-rate Dual-Rate Spring (DRS) kits for all three X3s. In Trophy Truck-sized Arizona desert whoops, the stock settings are so stiff that the seat belts lock on whoop impacts. They say the stiffness is 60-percent valving and 40-percent spring rates, and Shock Therapy’s RIS and DRS kits are much lighter for a considerably plusher ride. The RIS valving lightens both main-piston and compression-adjuster rates for $650 on the 64-inch X3s and $750 for the X rs, while DRS kits are $599.99 for the X3 and X ds and $850 for the X rs. DRS kits use the stock X3 dividers and crossover rings, so they’re cheaper than DRS kits for RZRs and YXZs. Shock Therapy had to have their own X rs coils made, because nobody had the desired rates for the larger X rs shocks.
After initial valving, Shock Therapy determined the oil-flow characteristics were not enough to get the plushness they wanted. The crew drilled the pistons for more flow, modified shock shafts and improved flow in the compression adjusters while widening the adjustment range. Once the shock work was dialed in, ST designed front and rear torsion bars to further enhance the ride and add adjustability via multiple link-mount holes.
DIALING IN THE X3 RIDE
Shock Therapy’s Ride Improvement System modifications eliminated the harsh ride at slow speeds and on chop, harsh compression hits and bucking in whoops, and nose-low jumping manners. By eliminating the rear tender springs and lengthening the dual-rate springs, ST raised ground clearance by 2 inches, eliminating the bottoming drag in Trophy Truck whoops. The X3 flies straighter and stays more level, and the new valving and dual-rate springs give more bottoming resistance on big G-outs and jump landings. Ride quality is vastly improved, especially in big whoops and on desert chop. And, the wider range of dual-compression adjustability lets the driver fine-tune the shocks for car weight, driving style, terrain and soil conditions. The RIS/DRS kits make the X3 float over harsh Arizona desert terrain, while the ST torsion bars hook up tracking so well that it seems the X3 is on rails at speed.