Father/Son Can-Am Maverick MAX X ds Turbo
By Seth Fargher
While it would be nice to pick up a brand new machine from the dealer and head straight to the nearest up fitter to turn them loose with an unlimited budget, there are those purists among us who enjoy the process and are willing to invest the time and energy to build their dream vehicle themselves. It may take more time and lot more energy than simply paying someone else to do it but the finished product is a labor of love with their fingerprints all over it, quite literally.
That was the case for Nate Jellen as he set out to build a new UTV to be able to enjoy the outdoors of the pacific northwest with his 3 year old son Nate junior. No rookie to the UTV scene, Nates first machine was a Yamaha Rhino decked out with long travel suspension, King shocks and every other modification necessary for short course racing. As he began to entertain the thought of building a new vehicle, the obvious choice for him was the Can-Am Maverick MAX XDS Turbo.
I did a ton of research and the Maverick was the best out of the box fit for what I was looking for, said Nate. A lot of my buddies have RZRs and that seems to be what everyone wants because someone they know has one and its just the cool thing to have. I tend to be the fish that swims up stream and I really liked a lot of the features on the Maverick MAX X ds.
Since the driving force behind the build was creating something his young son could enjoy with him, the elevated rear passenger seat of the Maverick Max was a huge selling point. As were the FOX 2.5 Podium RC2 HPG Piggyback Shocks with Bottom-out Control that provided the extra level of adjustability he was looking for.
After picking up the new vehicle from Larson Powersports in Fife Washington, Jellens first stop was Winchester Bay Sand dunes to break it in..and break it in he did. It had .1 mile on it when we unloaded it at the dunes and I just aired the stock tires down and let er rip. I beat on it for three days and it performed flawlessly. I had no trouble carrying four adults up Banshee Hill says Jellen.
After a successful inaugural trip over Memorial day weekend it was time to go to work. Having done his research, Jellen already knew what he planned to do with the machine and had a number of accessories waiting in his garage. Stage one was largely cosmetic with a host of components from DragonFire Racing including doors, graphics, a harness bar, harnesses, seat belt override and a new rear bumper. To make sure he could be seen at night, Jellen added StarVision Lighting LED hi/low beam headlights, green under car lights and intercooler and turbo accent lights. As if the Maverick wasnt loud enough visually, a full Kicker audio system featuring two amps and a host of speakers complete with green LED speaker rings to match the rest of the car was installed.
It pays to know people in high places and shortly before Dunefest, the Maverick received its second round of upgrades courtesy of Dunetech Offroad, WARN Industries and GMZ Race Products. Jellen got a call from Kalani Corn at Dunetech Offroad letting him know WARN Industries was looking for a four seat Maverick to use in its upcoming catalog photo shoot. Just days before Dunefest, Kalani went to work installing a host of WARN products including a new HD Maverick winch bumper, Pro Vantage 4500 winch, WARN WL series 20 light bar with WARN tubular mount and WARN WL series light cubes.
Every serious duner needs a set of sand tires and GMZ Race Products helped out with a set of their 28 Sand Stripper tires mounted on 14 GMZ LiteLock Rims with custom powder coated beadlock rings. Since Jellen uses the machine for both dirt and sand, he replaced the stock shoes with a set of GMZ Kahuna knobbies, opting for 30 tires as he felt they suit the large vehicle better than the original 28 tires.
To squeeze a little bit more power out of the 131 horsepower Rotax Engine, Devious Powersports reflashed the ECU with an EVO powersports tune which increases the boost from around 7 lbs to 12 lbs and bumps the horsepower up to around 155. Thats a pretty impressive gain over stock and amazingly, thats only stage 1 of EVOs 5 available flash kits for the Turbo XDS. To better handle the added boost and help the turbo run more efficiently, Jellen included EVOs silicone turbo boost tubes and blow off valve. The blow off valve purges hot air from the charge tube when the throttle plate is closed, reducing turbo stalls and prolonging the life of the turbo.
To monitor the temperature of the turbo, digital boost and volt meters were installed into an Alba racing dash panel. This dash panel is a clean way to house extra gauges and all the switches for accessories like lights and the winch. Anyone who owns a Maverick (or really any UTV on the market) knows that factory tie rods are a major weak point and to solve the problem a set of Alba Racing heavy duty tie rods were installed. These billet aluminum tie rods are CNC machined from 1 6061 aluminum and then polished and anodized for a clean finish.
Phase three of the build came in late October when Jellen finally decided to do something about the stock cage. A fabricator himself, he decided to put his own mark on the Maverick by designing and constructing the cage at home in his garage. The entire cage is made of 2 .095 tubing and incorporates a custom Lexan windshield and roof made by Jellen as well.
After blowing a belt on one of his dune trips, Jellen knew he needed to do something to help keep the clutch cool and he found his solution with an Airdam clutch kit from CT Raceworx. Raceworx also provided a set of black billet radius rods to better strengthen the rear end. A few more bling items rounded out the build, including a billet fire extinguisher mount from Mod Quad, Axia Alloys billet tube mounts for mirrors and goggles as well as a 50 LED light bar and LED cubes from StarVision Lighting. Also a pair of million color lighted whip flags that are controlled by a color wheel on Jellens cell phone.
The whole package makes for one outlandish looking Maverick Max XDS (probably more so at night than during the day) and despite a lot of flash, Jellen assured us that this was in no way just for show. I didnt build a sand car. I built something that is super functional, but a good performer. A total functional, all around side by side.
Jellen has plans to hit Moab in 2016 as well as visit family in Arizona where UTVs are frequently used on the streets and around town. In his home state of Washington he spends time at Straddleline ORV park as well as cruising hundreds of miles of old logging roads near Mt Rainier.
A regular at the Oregon dunes, if you see this highly modified Maverick cruising around, stop and say hi to Nate and Nate junior who is likely riding along in the back seat, grinning from ear to ear at the opportunity to cruise the dunes with his dad.
Special thanks to:
Kalani Corn of DuneTech Offroad, WARN Industries, Roger Demaree at Kicker, Scott Gordinier of GMZ Race Products, StarVision Lighting, Alex from CT RaceWorx, Cale Couto from Larson PowerSports, Brandon Fehliman from Octane ToyBox, Ryan Reed of Devious PowerSports, Rob Thomas of 360 Motorsports for powdercoating, of course my mom and the whole build was for my son Nate junior.