Building a Can-Am Maverick X3 Desert Race Car

Better toughen up buttercup

Published in the April 2018 Issue April 2018 Feature Rick Sosebee

Why do we see so many aftermarket companies tearing apart factory machines in order to make them tougher? Well, there are team sports that demand many things from you physically but there are very few that tax each and every piece of your equipment like Uncle Sam in your check book.

Understanding what it takes to make it to the end of the most grueling races in the wild desert landscapes is just the start because around every turn there is something new to challenge a different part on your machine.

In the world of super fast desert racing, one crew of Cajun kingpins has developed its plan and we had to investigate their products to see just what they do to their race machines to make them tough enough for those bad days in the office.

Growing out of a dream to have a place in the world that they love, the guys at S3 Power Sports ( have come into the limelight of the UTV industry very fast, but it is from their own hard work and dedication that they are building a customer base of loyal UTV owners all over the world. This short focus on the Shreveport, LA, company is about some of its products and the company’s approach to the challenges of pushing its equipment to the limits.

The Can-Am Maverick X3 platform in particular is the latest craze in the world of go fast off-road. This machine is built for extreme conditions for the consumer and can handle a grand portion of what the average driver can dish out.

However, when you begin going beyond the logical call of the rig, it needs just a bit more strengthening to stay on a constant run in the worst terrain in the wide-open desert. S3 Power Sports is a ways from any desert country but this Louisiana-based builder has some incredibly well thought out components for those times. These guys and gals make racing their life and have experienced many of the “once in a lifetime” occurrences that shred their beloved machines. That is why they began to engineer products for those who just have “#Noliftshift” in them.

One of these products is the Can-Am Maverick X3 front end gusset kit. This product is a combination of pieces designed to make the front of your X3 X RS and X DS even tougher in those times when hitting the deep stuff at rocket ship speed. This bolt-in kit built of 7-gauge steel gives strength to the nose of the car as well as to those upper and lower control arms where they attach to the frame. This provides that extra toughness to prevent frame tabs from stretching where your suspension attaches to the framework. Having personally installed this kit on our own Can-Am Maverick X3 X DS I can say with certainty that it gives you a sense of complete confidence.

S3 Power Sports Part Number: S3117

MSRP: $300

Speaking of speeding through crazy terrain, it’s not often that you find trees in the desert but hitting the woods in Louisiana or northern Georgia you are bound to run into a couple from time to time. But let’s look at something that can be even tougher than a tree and that is a 10,000 pound boulder. Immovable rocks in the desert tear through steering components like nobody’s business and S3 has developed a solution that is made for those occasions where a glancing blow in stock form might end a race. Built from 6160 aircraft grade billet aluminum these bad boys will save your front end in many cases and keep you steering straight. These S3 HD tie rods are built to be direct replacement for stock and use the factory tie rod ends.

S3 Power Sports Part Number: S3118-64 or S3118-72

MSRP: $150 pair

One last item that might be considered if you are going to rage the desert landscape with your friends is the S3 Power Sports Pull Plate. This little jewel replaces the factory radius rod plate in 15 minutes flat and gives you something to hook to your buddy’s tow rope too when their talent runs out. It also gives a good anchor should you over commit to a “watch this” moment. This super thick steel plating adds strength to the rear end of the Maverick X3 and can be powdercoated in a variety of colors. 

S3 Power Sports Part Number: SPS-S3113

MSRP: $110

Any of these items make an already impressive machine even more bullet proof for not only the desert but any terrain. And you can bet that if S3 Power Sports deems it necessary to build it’s got to be a useful product.

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