— UTV Action Magazine Product Test —
HMF Racing has specialized in performance exhaust systems for ATVs, UTVs and motorcycles for 22 years. Hans Luenger started HMF in his garage in 1997, and by 1999 moved to Brooklyn, Ohio, building Ducati exhausts for Fast by Ferracci, and then bringing street bike exhaust technology to the Honda 400EX. The HMF Racing team has included Bill Ballance, Mike Penland, Johnny Gallagher, and now Hunter and Cody Miller. HMF has evolved into an exhaust and accessories giant in the UTV industry as well, including several products for the Maverick X3. We procured a pair of Easy-Grip door handles and new glove box panels for the X3s we’re testing this month, and next month we’ll report on HMF’s new Twin-Loop quiet exhaust for the RZR XP 1000.
As cool as the Maverick X3 line is, we hate the cheap nylon-web door latches, and our 2018 handles are already getting sun bleached. HMF’s Easy-Grip door latches are a well-designed replacement for the straps and feature ergonomic levers and linkages with mounting hardware for both doors. HMF’s glove box panels turn the cubby hole on the center console into a second glove box for extra storage space with more security and safety.
HMF’s Easy-Grip door handles are made from billet aluminum with copper inserts, and they mount with a black powdercoated steel plate to the X3’s door frame and latch-cover fastener. A steel linkage connects the aluminum handle to the OEM latch mechanism on each door using two unique plastic anchors. Bolts are high-grade with Nylock nuts, too. The glove box panels are powdercoated steel with two mounting push-pin rivets each.
Remove the door-latch cover and drill out the steel rivet anchoring the OEM door-release strap with a 3/16-inch bit. We also had to cut the rivet for removal with a Dremel and cut-off wheel. Attach the HMF linkage with color-coded anchors to the OEM latches, and slide the OEM covers over the linkages. We were also mounting lower door kits, so we used the door-kit hardware to attach the Easy-Grip handle mounts to the door frames. We tossed the OEM latch covers, because the Torx bolt was too short with the covers. Attach the Easy-Grip handles to the HMF mounts, and attach the linkages with the remaining color-coded plastic anchors.
For the glove box panel kit, remove the left- and right-side panels on the forward part of the center console. On the back side of each side panel, there is an embossed circle at the upper rear. Drill those circles out. HMF recommends using a 3/8-inch bit, but we used a 5/16-inch bit for a tighter fit. Replace each panel, and slide the HMF panels’ tongues in between the OEM side covers and center console. Push one rivet into the hole you drilled on each side. When the panels are aligned correctly, drill the OEM plastic behind the forward-mount holes and anchor with the remaining push rivets.
Opening the X3 doors with the HMF Easy-Grip door handles is much easier than hunting for those OEM straps. They’re easier to find and pull from the outside, and the handles’ placement is perfect for pulling with your hands on the door-frame hand-hold loops when seated. The Easy-Grip handles don’t rattle, and they give much better leverage than gripping stupid straps.
The glove box panels work flawlessly as well. Closing in the sides creates a large bin for gloves or other soft items, or even a flat-fix kit and compressor. You don’t have to worry about items falling out of the sides and getting under the driver’s feet, because the area is enclosed now.
We’re impressed with the HMF X3 Easy-Grip door handles, and the mounting hardware is high quality. The hardware should include longer bolts for the OEM latch covers, though. If they were included, we would have given the billet handle kit five stars. The glove box panel kit is also a great idea that makes the X3 cockpit that much more usable and comfortable.
CONTACT: www.hmfracing.com, (216) 631-6980
PRICE: $134.95, Easy-Grip door handles; $59.95, glove box panels