Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez Review

Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez
Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez

six months ago Craig Weston, widely known in the off-road world as “The Thrill Billy,” had a goal in mind. When the Lethbridge, Alberta, man set out to customize his 2017 Can-Am Renegade X mr 1000R, he wanted to create something that would blow people’s minds.

He did just that with this black, teal, chrome, and white “Thrill Billy Cortez” machine, which is virtually unrecognizable from the black and silver stock model he purchased several months ago.

Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez review
Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez review

Modifications to the machine are extensive, including: custom exotic powdercoating (all professionally done by Weston in his own shop, Thrill Billy Powder Coating) nitrous, custom-designed full body wrap, windowed clutch box, Elka shocks, and three separate computers communicating with the EFI and the nitrous system to auto-tune the ATV while it’s on the move.

2018 Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez
2018 Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez

The “Thrill Billy Cortez” is ready to tackle the mud and explore the trails.

Although his custom builds eat up almost every spare moment, he estimates this latest project took 250-plus hours to complete; Weston loves the challenge of taking a stock vehicle and altering it. A handy guy already, designing and building Thrill Billy Powder Coating customizations gives him another outlet for his creativity.

Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez
Can-Am Thrill Billy Cortez

The machine features a Mud Edition Dual Exhaust System from RJWC.

One of Weston’s favorite mods to the Can-Am unit is the Nitrous Express Nitrous system, which Weston notes is good for getting you out of trouble or for getting you into more trouble. “The reaction you get when you pull up on a bush machine with nitrous is amazing,” he says with a chuckle. “It’s for fun and performance; it’s something not many are crazy enough to spend the money to do.”

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The Rigid Backlit LED light bar was a nice touch.

“There are many builders out there who will take a machine and put parts on it,” he says. “But that’s not what I’m interested in. I want something custom, something that you just don’t see.”

A close second on the list is performance Elka Suspension shocks. “The handling that these shocks produce at high speeds is amazing; with rebound control, the machine responds to your every move,” he tells us. An expensive addition to the machine, however it’s an integral part of the project.

STI Tire & Wheels’s Outback Max tires (30×10-14) are perfect for the mud!

Rounding out Weston’s top-three favorite mods is the powdercoating he produced in his own shop. “Custom teal chrome powder looks very impressive. It’s something that I’ve never seen on an off-road build.”

Craig Weston’s Can-Am “Thrill Billy Cortez” Renegade X mr build is almost too pretty to dunk in the mud. Almost.

While Weston plans to enjoy his one-of-a-kind machine, he’s already daydreaming about his next custom build. Stay tuned for more!

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