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Can-Am at KOH

JR4X

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May 20, 2020
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Farmington NM
What did you think about the 2 golf carts finishing the main race? :smokin:

It was actually 3 of them! Someone in the funhaver pit said “ How in TF do you explain a golf cart that can be built $50K coming in ahead of a $250K ifs car?” Has me rethinking some stuff.

Kyle Chaney won the utv’s and got 12th in 4400. Hunter Miller got 13th and Cody Miller got 22nd.

An IFS 4400 car is so far out of reach for me it might as well be unobtainium. But I could attain a Can-Am of that caliber. Not that I can drive like those guys but it’s impressive what the little carts did. They ran up front the whole time. Qualified up front, stayed up front, and weren’t the trail tampons.
 
If a golf cart (on 35s?) can finish 4400 ahead of any top-10 capable buggy on 40s, is that saying something about the cars or about the course itself?

I'm comparing this in my head to mountain bikes. If you have a Downhill race course that's not super gnarly and steep, a DH bike isn't the best bike to win. A mellower trail/enduro bike will be lighter, pedal better, and turn better in tight sections. This has happened at certain races like Sea Otter.

So perhaps it's time to add more steep/gnarly rock tech to 4400? Make the buggies do more tech rock crawling shit that a golf cart isn't physically capable of.
 
It was actually 3 of them! Someone in the funhaver pit said “ How in TF do you explain a golf cart that can be built $50K coming in ahead of a $250K ifs car?” Has me rethinking some stuff.

An IFS 4400 car is so far out of reach for me it might as well be unobtainium. But I could attain a Can-Am of that caliber. Not that I can drive like those guys but it’s impressive what the little carts did. They ran up front the whole time. Qualified up front, stayed up front, and weren’t the trail tampons.


This is exactly what im talking about.

Those 3 cars were not built for the main race, they were built to finish the UTV race which was a much easier course compared to the main race. What would happen if those guys came back next year with bypass shocks on cars built specifically for the 4400 race and went bigger with the engines to gain speed in the desert? I think in the future we are going to see more SxS's in the main race and running up front. Imagine dumping $100k into a KOH SxS build using the best of the best and custom everything. I think you would end up with a potentially race winning car for $150,000 less than the nearest full size IFS car.

What does it cost to build a car like the IFS/IRS Genright or Lasernut cars? Those cars are the closest things to a SxS in the 4400 class. Just guessing, but I'd assume those cars are well north of $300k to build, no?
 
How many 4400 cars didn't finish the race? :homer:

Valid point... Looks like 39 out of 84 actually finished the race (according to the unofficial results).

It will all boil down to what the Ultra4 organizers want for the main event. If they want it to be a completely open/unlimited race I gues the rigs will evolve into whatever is optimized for course.

Randy won in a solid axle car which is awesome. But there are also many IFS cars and even some IRS cars that are effectively evolving towards the format of a big SxS. And the golf carts are evolving towards rock buggies with larger tires, lower gears, more/ better suspension travel, and more power. It does make sense that they might meet in the middle with a purpose built IRS buggy that's smaller and much lighter than the typical V8 4400 car, with a turbo 4cyl, portals, and 37s/39s.

​​​​​On the other hand, if the U4 organizers wanted to restrict the golf carts to their own class, I'm not sure where the line could be drawn. Engine or tire size minimum requirements for 4400?
 
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If a golf cart (on 35s?) can finish 4400 ahead of any top-10 capable buggy on 40s, is that saying something about the cars or about the course itself?

I'm comparing this in my head to mountain bikes. If you have a Downhill race course that's not super gnarly and steep, a DH bike isn't the best bike to win. A mellower trail/enduro bike will be lighter, pedal better, and turn better in tight sections. This has happened at certain races like Sea Otter.

So perhaps it's time to add more steep/gnarly rock tech to 4400? Make the buggies do more tech rock crawling shit that a golf cart isn't physically capable of.

Granted they went down Kings Graveyard/Deadblow, but watching the top 5 cruise thru, it was a bit of a let down. It’ll keep its notoriety since Cam ended his race there.

Even going up, my gut says it would be a “easy” winchfest like Backdoor since the rigs are so wide/long/smooth belly. Sledge and the Plaque Line cause a traffic jam it seems to throw rigs way out of whack even winching.

Other end of the spectrum idea, put 4400 qualifying in a Shootout/Rock Crawl type course. I know there are issues with that, but it changes the starting grid a bunch too.
 
If a golf cart (on 35s?) can finish 4400 ahead of any top-10 capable buggy on 40s, is that saying something about the cars or about the course itself?

I'm comparing this in my head to mountain bikes. If you have a Downhill race course that's not super gnarly and steep, a DH bike isn't the best bike to win. A mellower trail/enduro bike will be lighter, pedal better, and turn better in tight sections. This has happened at certain races like Sea Otter.

So perhaps it's time to add more steep/gnarly rock tech to 4400? Make the buggies do more tech rock crawling shit that a golf cart isn't physically capable of.

I’m not saying this to be condescending, legit asking. Have you ever ran any trail with window nets, helmet, neck restraint, and the 5 points on correctly so you can’t move in the seat? Have you ever ran 10 trails back to back with all that on?

there’s definitely something about these 3 cars. They appear to be triplets and they have front suspension I’ve never seen before. I don’t think there’s a Polaris in existence that can do what those cars did.

I ran all those trails several times this last week. I rolled my RZR and broke the front driveshaft on jackhammer. These trails are difficult, and they change by the minute. Every big car that comes through might move a rock into the line you know from pre running. In every race the same trails became impassable parking lots with broken vehicles. Some of it is bad driving. Some of it is vehicle fatigue. But these trails were no joke.
 
I’m not saying this to be condescending, legit asking. Have you ever ran any trail with window nets, helmet, neck restraint, and the 5 points on correctly so you can’t move in the seat? Have you ever ran 10 trails back to back with all that on?

there’s definitely something about these 3 cars. They appear to be triplets and they have front suspension I’ve never seen before. I don’t think there’s a Polaris in existence that can do what those cars did.

I ran all those trails several times this last week. I rolled my RZR and broke the front driveshaft on jackhammer. These trails are difficult, and they change by the minute. Every big car that comes through might move a rock into the line you know from pre running. In every race the same trails became impassable parking lots with broken vehicles. Some of it is bad driving. Some of it is vehicle fatigue. But these trails were no joke.

I'm a casual hobbyest in the 4x4 world, so I'm looking at this from a racing fan tech nerd perspective.

I looked around online a bit but I couldn't find much tech info about those Can-am cars. Happen to have any links? I would love to see what they look like and how they were built. The current off-the-shelf SxS's with all the available bolt-ons don't seem to stand a chance in 4400 but that could change with a couple serious model revisions.
 
Granted they went down Kings Graveyard/Deadblow, but watching the top 5 cruise thru, it was a bit of a let down. It’ll keep its notoriety since Cam ended his race there.

Even going up, my gut says it would be a “easy” winchfest like Backdoor since the rigs are so wide/long/smooth belly. Sledge and the Plaque Line cause a traffic jam it seems to throw rigs way out of whack even winching.

Other end of the spectrum idea, put 4400 qualifying in a Shootout/Rock Crawl type course. I know there are issues with that, but it changes the starting grid a bunch too.

That's an interesting way to weight the results. A technical rock qualifying would act as a filter for the class, but wouldn't cause a traffic jam from hell in the main event.
 
I believe the triplets were built by CT Race Works in North Carolina.

Can-Ams have a huge following and huge aftermarket support from A to Z so it is much easier to build one of those to be a KOH worthy competitor than any other brand. I would be willing to bet that all 3 of those cars started life as showroom floor models and were built up from there. I know there are a ton of Hess Motorsports and S3 Powersports parts on those cars, and not one off shit either.

The Miller brothers live two towns away from me and race at the local short course in the Pro Turbo class here in Texas. I'd love to get a chance to ask them a few questions about their KOH cars.:smokin:
 
I think width has more effect in the rocks that people realize.

How wide are these IFS cars now 90"+? When's the last time you saw a super wide rig going through a trail? Theyre literally taking up a line and a half. Where the utv's are taking up 3/4. Then you have wheelbase. Long ass wheel base only helps on straight up waterfall climbs like backdoor. 115"+ is hard to maneuver through a bolder field.
 
I think width has more effect in the rocks that people realize.

How wide are these IFS cars now 90"+? When's the last time you saw a super wide rig going through a trail? Theyre literally taking up a line and a half. Where the utv's are taking up 3/4. Then you have wheelbase. Long ass wheel base only helps on straight up waterfall climbs like backdoor. 115"+ is hard to maneuver through a bolder field.

IIRC The red dragon is 96” outside of tire width. The IFS cars are super wide, super long, and super low. These Can-Am’s have a much better footprint. They’re about CJ8/LJ footprint without the overhangs and without the weight. Much better for the rock trails.

With the long travel independent suspension bellying out isn’t as much of a concern because you can be on the diffs and the tires can keep drooping till they find something to grab. My brother’s comment was that watching the SXS’s go hauling ass through the nuisance boulders was like watching a tarantula. The little tires just can’t surmount the ledges and undercuts that the big tires can.
 
IIRC The red dragon is 96” outside of tire width. The IFS cars are super wide, super long, and super low. These Can-Am’s have a much better footprint. They’re about CJ8/LJ footprint without the overhangs and without the weight. Much better for the rock trails.

With the long travel independent suspension bellying out isn’t as much of a concern because you can be on the diffs and the tires can keep drooping till they find something to grab. My brother’s comment was that watching the SXS’s go hauling ass through the nuisance boulders was like watching a tarantula. The little tires just can’t surmount the ledges and undercuts that the big tires can.

96" is crazy wide for 40s. The only rigs I know that wide are on big dumb tires like 49s and 54s. Even with those huge tires, watching those rigs navigate a rock garden looks super cumbersome.

I was honestly expecting a dnf once the sxs's hit the real rocks. They obviously had done some serious practice. Using the traction boards to bridge big holes is smart.
 
96" is crazy wide for 40s. The only rigs I know that wide are on big dumb tires like 49s and 54s. Even with those huge tires, watching those rigs navigate a rock garden looks super cumbersome.

I was honestly expecting a dnf once the sxs's hit the real rocks. They obviously had done some serious practice. Using the traction boards to bridge big holes is smart.

I forgot to mention that in a podcast Hunter did after winning last year. He said they originally built these Can-Am’s wider for the desert. But after running them in the rocks narrowed them up because the advantage of being narrower in the rocks far outweighed the benefit of the width in the desert.
 
I forgot to mention that in a podcast Hunter did after winning last year. He said they originally built these Can-Am’s wider for the desert. But after running them in the rocks narrowed them up because the advantage of being narrower in the rocks far outweighed the benefit of the width in the desert.

I was going to ask about that as well, seems like anything from 64" to 77" is available now.
 
96" is crazy wide for 40s. The only rigs I know that wide are on big dumb tires like 49s and 54s. Even with those huge tires, watching those rigs navigate a rock garden looks super cumbersome.

I know we're talking about SXSs here but I love me a good thread derail.

My buggy is 93" outside of the tires and I know a bunch of people who end up with similar widths when you use a 05+ super duty axle (72" WMS).
I do see pros and cons to the width, but I love the stability. I can pitch my buggy and put it on stupid off camber shit and it sits planted while all my friends are on the verge of rolling.

With 45 degrees of steering I don't feel like I'm loosing too much nimbleness. My main problem is (as expected) running a line that's too wide or fitting between narrow trees (bc East Coast).
 
I know we're talking about SXSs here but I love me a good thread derail.

My buggy is 93" outside of the tires and I know a bunch of people who end up with similar widths when you use a 05+ super duty axle (72" WMS).
I do see pros and cons to the width, but I love the stability. I can pitch my buggy and put it on stupid off camber shit and it sits planted while all my friends are on the verge of rolling.

With 45 degrees of steering I don't feel like I'm loosing too much nimbleness. My main problem is (as expected) running a line that's too wide or fitting between narrow trees (bc East Coast).

And I'd bet that you are running bigger than a 40?:flipoff2:​​​​​​

Obviously everything has pros and cons, wider will side hill better, but you'll end up running over shit that other guys can squeeze through. It's not so much a problem with ledges and climbs, but is a huge factor in Boulder fields, especially when they're loose. I've schooled guys with big wide rigs on 44s in a Sami on 32s in these types of trails.
 
I'm running 43s that measure 41" in real life. I've been schooled by way lesser rigs with way better drivers and I've made hardcore shit look stupid easy. It's a matter of driver, luck and commitment.

My shit also has an 18" belly height and doesn't like boulder fields, that's for sure. Driveshafts are super exposed on it (LP axles).
 
I'm running 43s that measure 41" in real life. I've been schooled by way lesser rigs with way better drivers and I've made hardcore shit look stupid easy. It's a matter of driver, luck and commitment.

My shit also has an 18" belly height and doesn't like boulder fields, that's for sure. Driveshafts are super exposed on it (LP axles).

And those 40" bfgs measure 37 :laughing:​​​​​​
 
Making excuses for being a loser here but also I took a big fat desert car to race in the trees. My car is now 78” inches wide and ran with a bunch of 64” cars. In my qualifying run I hit a rock or a tree with the right front and learned for the first time that the power steering also has a “limp mode”. The PS shuts off if you hit something to hard. Not knowing I could just cycle the key and get the steering back.

Then it happened to me, exactly what I make fun of Golf Carts for doing. It broke. There was only one real rock obstacle there and the 64” wide cars could drive between two trees and go around it. My fat ass car did not fit around it. I cleaned it smooth in practice but when in race mode hit it with too much skinny pedal. Took a bad bounce and put the pedal to the floor and felt something break and start vibrating. Got off to the side of the course and found the front diff housing had broken. All 4 feet that the diff uses to attach to the chassis broke off. We tried using ratchet straps to hold it together but there was nothing to attach to and as soon as I tried to go it cut the straps. So we called the race and stayed out of the way.


Quoting from my build thread because relevance. I built my car specifically for some desert races that were on the schedule pre covid shutdown. Now it’s to wide for KOH and anything with trees.
 
Quoting from my build thread because relevance. I built my car specifically for some desert races that were on the schedule pre covid shutdown. Now it’s to wide for KOH and anything with trees.

When they say 64" in sxs terms that out side of tire correct?

My Talon was ~65" and it seemed really narrow. It's hard to imagine guys running 35s at that width.
 
Quoting from my build thread because relevance. I built my car specifically for some desert races that were on the schedule pre covid shutdown. Now it’s to wide for KOH and anything with trees.

IIRC some guys had a different set of axles for the U4 championship and would run KOH on narrower units. I remeber Jake Hallenbeck's bomber had 2 sets.

Shoudn't be too hard to do with a UTV. Just need 2 sets of arms, shafts, tire rods and a different shock tune.
 
When they say 64" in sxs terms that out side of tire correct?

My Talon was ~65" and it seemed really narrow. It's hard to imagine guys running 35s at that width.

Yes, that’s the outside of tire width and Kinda the standard, wheel backspace can change it 2” to 4”. Then the long travel stuff kinda ends up in that 76” to 78” range. Again outside of tire width.
 
IIRC some guys had a different set of axles for the U4 championship and would run KOH on narrower units. I remeber Jake Hallenbeck's bomber had 2 sets.

Shoudn't be too hard to do with a UTV. Just need 2 sets of arms, shafts, tire rods and a different shock tune.

I remember that, Savvy did it a couple years, narrow axles for 37’s in EMC, wider axles for bigger tires same car in 4400. On the SXS Not difficult but expensive. It’d be about $5K in secondary parts but I bet I could do the full swap in about 4 hours.
 
Is the extra width mostly for more travel?

Hard to justify the swap when other years of koh didn't seem to have much rocks at all.
 
Is the extra width mostly for more travel?

Hard to justify the swap when other years of koh didn't seem to have much rocks at all.

Yes, and it’s a lot of travel picked up. I think mine is supposed to be 18” front and 22” rear travel. I never intended to run it at KOH. I wanted to do prairie city HVRA, Tonapah NV, San Felipe Mexico, Reno Finals. At KOH UTV’s used to do the same bypasses as 4600, now there is no bypasses. So 15 out of 39 finish, which is more than I expected.
 
I hope all realize that the SXS's finished 1hour and 44 minutes plus behind Randy. And generally over an hour later than an average top field rig.. Was it cool??? Absolutely!!! And will "sell" a lot of Can- Am's because the general public can think that it will run the course at a slower pace. If you go on the Can-Am threads (As well a all other makes) there are tons of aftermarket upgrades that beef them up to handle the stress of spirited wheeling. How spirited depends on your budget and ability to contain yourself as a driver.

The IFS/IRS 4400 cars are in the $500-750k range and an after race refresh is in the area of 2-4 stock SXS's. A RAndy Bomber might be in the $300k+ range as all the components are specific race car to the max for those otherwise "simple" looking parts. An IFS front would probably add $40-50 k to that number and a totally different "build." For the last few years it has been the middle tech buggies/trucks/cars that have won with the absolute best execution for each part. Plus driver and testing, testing, testing for durability. Yeh...Cross fit for the drivers and co-dogs also.

There was a push a couple years ago to go 93+ wide. I believe some have tried to bring those back to the 90" range. A IFS car can be built so much lower it has an advantage that way. They are built to skid with only the rear axle and driveshaft to worry about. Offsetting the rear diff as much as possible to a rear tire helps them clear the rocks in the "Missile." Randy and Eric depend on the 45*+ steering to go around the rocks with a more compact rig. And Randys is lite for sure. Winching is as much of an art as driving...but a IFS car will skid winch easier than the front diff hung rig. But this year we saw a lot of undercuts and I'll bet a lot of suspension destruction with winches. (I would possibly put Cameron in that position)

The video coverage was so awesome this year that you could really see the different builds do their thing. The team that watches the replay of the race with the announcing turned off should get a lot of direction for the next events and rig thinking.

Would the UTV's have finished if averaged 5mph faster? Do they get re-framed after the three races this year? And I doubt their frames were stock. They do have to have some stock suspension measurements, I believe. But totally cro-mo, aluminum filled, etc. etc. Damn good show! What do you think the build cost might be? $100-150K? They were thought out as well as most of the 4400 in the field. I doubt they started with a stock vehicle...........A used/not abused motor and some plastic. IMO.
 
Yes, and it’s a lot of travel picked up. I think mine is supposed to be 18” front and 22” rear travel. I never intended to run it at KOH. I wanted to do prairie city HVRA, Tonapah NV, San Felipe Mexico, Reno Finals. At KOH UTV’s used to do the same bypasses as 4600, now there is no bypasses. So 15 out of 39 finish, which is more than I expected.


Are most of those shocks Internal By Pass (IBP) then? I know the RZR's are on a stepping motor electronic shock and usually re-tuned at Fox for the increased speeds and weight.. Not "simply" single coil over shock. Jon didn't have time to really go thru the upgrades for a KOH UTV race. He stressed the course management as more important to finishing than do-dahs. Finishing is different than winning..........
 
So what's the big advantage of the canned ham over the gayzer? Seems both are pretty bad ass but also have there fair share of issues.

Seems like when doing a build of this caliber that it would be a toss up. I do know can am has much better WB for desert, but is that really a big deal to change when you're talking a $100k build.
 
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