8. SHOCK THERAPY RIDE X3 X RS
The double throw-me-down, Fox IBP shock-equipped X3
X rs is definitely one of the best-handling machines to ever
leave the showroom floor, but it’s still by no means perfect.
After serious testing, the Shock Therapy crew found a handful
of negative traits that they felt they could improve on. The first
issue was stiff ride quality in the rocks, small chop and at slow
speeds. They also felt it has a harsh compression hit and the
rear end would buck in the whoops. In stock form, the X3 X rs
also jumps with the rear high like a stinkbug and has minimal
ground clearance that leads to bottoming out. Overall, the
range of its adjustments, the suspension just feels too stiff or
too soft without the progressive feeling that gives you a plush
ride without bottoming out.
Shock Therapy spent a ton of time improving the internals
on these shocks. For their RIS Stage 1 kit, they change
valving, change the piston oil-flow characteristics, modify
the shock shafts and modify the adjusters. This drastically
improves low-speed handling through the chop and chatter,
as well as smoothing out the whoops. They also widen
the adjustability in the dual-stage compression adjuster to
control a larger range. They internally build the shock to
create a smooth ride in the small, slow stuff, yet they use
extremely progressive compression damping to keep you from
bottoming on the biggest hits.
RIS Stage 2 combines their Stage 1 valving package with
the dual-rate spring kit that they have developed specifically
for this machine. They claim to double the ride improvements
that you see with the valving alone—twice as plush, twice as
smooth in the whoops and a whole lot more bump stage for
jumping and big G-outs. The spring kit also raises ground
clearance by 2 inches for additional clearance in the rocks as
well, keeping it from ever bottoming out.
The final stage of development for the X rs shocks is the
new Series 6 bypass tubes. The Series 6 upgrade uses new
internal bypass tubes that are developed and made in-house
on the CNC. They consist of more bypass ports, in different
locations, bypass valve stacks, bleed holes, and completely
different pistons and valving. They claim to make an even
more massive improvement in plushness and add another 30
percent more bump stage.
Price(s): $750, RIS Stage 1; $1,750, Stage 2 w/ spring kit;
$400, Series 6 Bypass tube upgrade
While the Torq
Locker replaces the
Visco-Lok with a full-
time locked gear set,
the Halo Locker kit
takes it one step further to a fully selectable
locking-diff setup. The Halo Locker uses a
push-button-actuated, electronically shifted,
pin-style locker. The X3 and Defender
kit uses a four-pin design for maximum
strength and efficiency. The complete kit
includes a billet half case, motor mount, a
chromoly Rockwell-hardened internal locking
gear and 4140 chromoly components.
www.halolockers.com, (573) 200-9237
6. TORQ-MASTERS TORQ FRONT-DIFF
One of the few complaints with anyone seriously racing a
Can-Am 4x4 is the Visco-Lok front diff or the absence of a
true locking differential. This was the case with the Outlander,
Renegade, Commander and Maverick, and the Maverick X3
is no different. If you are into rock crawling, rock bouncing,
running in the sand dunes or drag racing in the mud, you will
benefit from a real locking front diff. When 4WD is engaged with Visco-Lok, it allows
for 3WD until that third wheel senses spin, and it locks up the front end for true 4WD.
The downside to this system is that is reverts to 3WD as soon as you let off the gas.
The Torq Locker claims to be the most advanced, strongest, highest-quality
automatic-locking differential on the planet. Torq-Masters backs this claim with a four-year unconditional warranty—four times longer than any other automatic locker on the
market. With the Torq Locker installed, your Can-Am’s differential is always engaged
in 4WD and allows it to ratchet when turning for improved handling. It is CNC-machined from USA-made 9310 steel and then heat-treated for maximum durability.
5. ALBA RACING X3 TRANSMISSION SEAL GUARD
We all know that with this amount of horsepower, eventual clutch-belt failure is pretty much
a given. Losing a CVT belt is no big deal if you have a spare and the tools/knowledge to change it when the time comes. The bigger
issue with the X3 is that the transmission input shaft seal is left exposed and very vulnerable to damage from CVT belt shrapnel.
Changing a transmission shaft seal is a much more involved repair and could cost you hundreds of dollars in damage. Team Alba
Racing has developed and machined a billet guard that keeps the seal protected from debris and belt material. This $50 part and a
simple four-bolt install can save you hours upon hours of work, as well as big bucks in the event of a belt-caused transmission failure.