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Getting some kicks in Calmini’ Project Sidekick

Getting some kicks in Calmini’ Project Sidekick! -Junior

When Steve Kramer from Calmini Products contacted me with an offer to give me a week at Moab in their Project Sidekick, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. With a five inch lift, 32″ Super Swampers, and some serious body armor to boot, I was sure to get into some serious offroading and have a good time doing it. Calmini is long known for their quality bolt-on Suzuki Samurai products, and have recently stepped up their focus on developing the same product lines for the Sidekick.

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I flew in from Seattle where Calmini had arranged for pick-up and transport to their facility in Bakersfield California where I’d transfer a weeks worth of supplies and off to Moab I went. Yes, I was driving the Sidekick from Central California to South-eastern Utah. Some 750 miles , but how else would one perform a real quality test and not include some pavement. Talk about confidence. Steve didn’t bat an eye when I’d introduce this plan to him, a simple hand off of the keys and a “have fun” comment.

Moab Utah has some of the finest four-wheeling available today, and it shows when every year some four or five thousand four-wheel drive enthusiast converge on the areas red rocky canyons. ‘Easter Jeep Safari’ they call it, and I was there to join the festivities in our Calmini prepared Sidekick. Having previously signed up for the weeks guided runs on trails such as Helldorado, Moab Rim, and Cliff Hanger, we packed plenty cold water and a pocket full of extra film. calminisidekick_moab_01_small.jpg (12982 bytes) calminisidekick_bigbear_01_small.jpg (12285 bytes) It wasn’t until early August I got a second chance to test the ‘kick with Calmini’s new 4 to 1 transfer case gear at GadZuk’s ‘Big Bear Bash’ in Southern California. Now with an 85 to 1 final crawl ratio I can call this a real off-road contender. The transfer case made every bit of difference when it came to large boulder climbs.

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I put this car to the test and it passed with flying colors. So much so I came home and scanned the local papers looking for my own Sidekick to build. (still arm wrestling the checkbook from the wife on that one) To say the least I was impressed. Limited only by the max tire size of 32’s the Suzuki Sidekick is definitely a capable machine on the trail with the right products.

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