Rock Powersports takes some mean Can-Am machines and makes them even meaner. The dealership, located in Bossier City, Louisiana, has become a leader in turning showroom ATVs into mud-devouring beasts. Pictures of Rock’s modified Can-Am ATVs are among the most popular posts the Can-Am Off-Road Facebook page has shared.Lifted Can-Am Outlander from Rock Powersports
We asked Rock Powersports’ general manager Shane Dowden about his business and their affection for Can-Am.
Can-Am: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in the powersports industry.
Shane Dowden: I’m originally from a small town in southwest Louisiana, near the Texas border, named Sulphur. Growing up in the country, I was always outdoors. I got my first ATV when I was 10-years old, and at that moment I knew I was hooked on four wheels. As I grew older, I became more involved in the sport of riding, and I began to attend many more ATV events. It was at these events I gained many friends through the riding community and made more personal and business relationships in the ATV industry. Through these relationships and my love for riding, I not only found a hobby, but also a career.
Can-Am: Rock Powersports sells a variety of powersports vehicles. Are there any special toys in the Rock Powersports showroom or your own garage?
Shane Dowden: Right now in the showroom, we have a 2013 6″ lifted Outlander™ 1000 X mr and a 2013 6″ lifted Renegade™ 1000. In my personal garage, I have a 2009 single-seater Outlander that I’m getting ready for next year’s Championship Mud Racing series. I also have my 2009 Can-Am Outlander Max™ that makes 93hp at the wheels. It’s the same one that I won 1st in the Open Class at Mud Nationals, 1st in CMR series Open Class and 3rd in CMR series Pro B class this year. I have it torn down right now, getting it ready for the next season. The CMR series was very competitive this year, and I will need to progress if I plan on staying competitive, but I already have a few ideas in mind.
Can-Am: What type of riding do you enjoy the most?
Shane Dowden: My favorite type of riding is mud riding. I really enjoy getting a good group of friends together and hitting some mud holes that require a more technical approach to mud riding.
Can-Am: The ATV and SxS industry have really grown, where do you see things headed?
Shane Dowden: I don’t see the mud riding scene capping off very soon, due to the fact that it is steadily growing. I know here in the south the sport of ATV riding is growing every year. It is much more than just about riding; it involves huge events with big-name bands, racing, show-n-shine contests, and it’s where everyone goes to socialize and see what new custom ATV’s and SxS’s are being built by various shops. To see a good example of this, just look at how much Mud Nationals and Mudstock events have grown over the years, and as long as Can-Am continues to support the CMR series and various other events that involve mud riding and mud racing, I feel Can-Am will progress with the sport as well.
Can-Am: What are your top selling Can-Am Off-Road vehicles?
Shane Dowden: The Can-Am Outlander is our top seller, but not by much over the Commander™.Rock Powersports’ GM, Shane Dowden, shown on the right. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Carnley)
Can-Am: We featured a modified 2013 X mr 1000 that you worked on. What types of mods are customers most interested in right now?
Shane Dowden: For the terrain and the type of riding in our area, larger, more aggressive tires and wheels are usually the first thing on the list of modifications. After that, lift kits, exhaust, and programmers seem to be some of the most popular.
Can-Am: Which Can-Am model do you like the most and why?
Shane Dowden: For my type of riding, I prefer the Renegade. When I’m in a mud hole, it has all the power I could ask for, but yet it’s nimble enough for me to shift my weight around on it to get it to do what I want. Plus, in my opinion, the Renegade is the baddest looking ATV out right now, and I think most would agree.“In my opinion, the Renegade is the baddest-looking ATV out right now, and I think most would agree.”
Can-Am: Any thoughts on the 2013 Maverick?
Shane Dowden: I was fortunate enough to drive one at the Can-Am dealer show, and I was very impressed with how well it handled and the power was unmatched. It’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the SxS industry.
Can-Am: What would you say is the most important thing for any mud rider to think about when it comes to their ATV or SxS?
Shane Dowden: Their vehicle has to have more than enough power to turn large and aggressive mud tires in the thickest of mud, but be dependable while doing this. Can-Am is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in this area.
Can-Am: Do you have any advice for owners who are looking to get more performance out of their ATV or SxS?
Shane Dowden: The first modification I always recommend for performance is an aftermarket primary, since that’s going to get power to the ground more efficiently. I also recommend a performance exhaust with a fuel controller.