ATV and UTV racing has become one of the most high-octane forms of off-road action available to powersports enthusiasts all over. The community has a ton of faithful supporters and is continuing to grow thanks to the powerful machines being developed by manufacturers. However, the two vehicle classes are vastly different in a variety of ways. As such, most people stick to one or the other.
Jay Buckley, a former ATV racer, crossed over into the side-by-side market a few years ago when he began working as the director of product management at Dayco two years ago. After attending a few UTV events he was hooked, and promptly bought a brand-new Can-Am Maverick X3. Buckley lives in Michigan, and the supply shortage within this market nearly meant he had to drive all the way to North Carolina to pick up the vehicle. However, before Buckley had to resort to that, he managed to get this Can-Am X3 from a local dealer.
At the time, Buckley and the Dayco team were also developing a new product that would solve a common issue in upgraded, performance UTVs.
“We have been spending the last two years developing a very high-performance belt for these things,” Buckley says. “The first thing most people do when they buy these is start to modify them, but the belts that are out in the market are made for stock machines. Some of these guys are boosting the horsepower up to 400-500 hp, so the factory belts were not holding up.”
The belt itself is reinforced with aramid and carbon fibers, making it super strong and fitting for performance use. While developing the belt, the team at Dayco implemented the vehicle with a data recorder that monitors the clutch action and belt temperatures. Everything is logged for developmental purposes.
Aside from the Dayco belt, which Buckley is actively putting through “field development,” there are a few other custom additions to the vehicle. The most important focus for Buckley was reliability and safety, making it easier for this Can-Am side-by-side to take the abuse and stress of racing.
The one-piece door and clutch cover came from Hand Racing Technologies, along with a few suspension parts. The rest of the suspension system came from Assault Industries.
“I have done some engine modifications that are pretty minor as well; Trinity Exhaust is one of my sponsors,” he says. “They gave us an exhaust system and we tuned it to make it work well. I feel confident driving it, but these things are fast, and I think that’s why most people get in trouble. You could drive this thing 75 mph down a really rough trail and all it takes is one wrong bump to put it upside down.”
Other assorted additions from Shock Therapy and CA Technology Products make this Can-Am a complete package that Buckley races regularly on the 7,000 miles of trails throughout Michigan, along with short-course races and County Fair events across the Midwest.
Buckley raced his Can-Am in the Red Bull Snow Scramble back in February and will surely continue to compete in events moving forward. We’ll be sure to keep our eye out for the Dayco Can-Am to see how he does!
If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected]