Customizing your vehicle is a big part of owning an ATV. While they come ready to ride, most ATV drivers like to personalize their vehicle. Whether it is modifying your ATV for aesthetic reasons or because you want your vehicle to perform in a slightly different way and endure different terrains, you will likely have to make some changes to get to the perfect ATV.
One of the most common ways in which riders alter their ATV is by installing a lift kit. If you are considering getting lift kits for your vehicle, there are a few pros and cons that you should consider before removing some bolts. In order to help you make that decision, we have created this comprehensive expert guide to ATV lift kits.
What is a lift kit?
A lift kit, which is short for suspension lift kit, is a modification that can be done to a car, truck or off-roader, to raise the body of the vehicle. It can be used for different reasons but is most commonly used to improve off-road performance and experience.
An ATV lift is often used to allow drivers to install bigger and heavier tires. These larger wheels in turn improve the off-road performance of the vehicle as it allows the ATV to more adequately deal with the differing, more demanding terrain.
Which vehicles are suitable for lifting?
The vehicles that are most suitable for lifting are vehicles like trucks, SUVs, and ATVs, in addition to other off-road vehicles. While most vehicle producers will not advocate applying a lift kit to their vehicle, as they are built ready to go, lift kits are an aftermarket product. They are used on vehicles after they are bought by drivers who want something specific from their vehicle.
Are lift kits bad for ATVs?
Lift kits are not bad for ATVs. However, there are some cons to consider. There is information that suggests that lift kits might cause power loss but these power loss issues are often due to the fact that vehicles that are suitable for lift kits are often pushed beyond their limits. It is therefore important to do your own research in relation to the specifics of your vehicle to determine whether or not lift kits are good for your vehicle.
What are the pros of an ATV lift kit?
The pros of an ATV lift kit:
- Increased body clearance
- Larger tires
- More visibility
- Increased towing capacity
- Better aesthetics
Increased Body Clearance
Increased body and ground clearance allows you to feel more confident taking your ATV on treacherous off road terrains. By lifting the body of the vehicle, you are providing the ATV with the height and ground clearance that it needs to be able to handle the obstacles that are often present at more risky driving locations. Overall this provides a safer and smoother ride!
If you lift the body of your car, you are creating more space for bigger and heavier tires which can handle more intense terrain, furthering the benefits of increased ground clearance. Bigger tires have more endurance and stability which allows them to deal better with off-road driving.
If once you have installed your lift kit, you are also thinking about upgrading tires, you should also consider the need for wheel spacers as these are important when installing larger tires in order to ensure the safety and smooth running of the vehicle.
With a higher vehicle comes a better vantage point and increased visibility. When the entire body of the car is raised, your seating position at the wheel is raised too. By doing so it improves the safety of the ATV as it allows you to see any obstacles that might be present.
Increased Towing Capacity
The normal height of a vehicle will often struggle to deal with heavy loads, hence limiting its towing capacity as the integrity of the vehicle will deteriorate over time with heavy towing (towing is often the cause of power loss issues). However, once the vehicle is lifted, the vehicle can deal with more weight and can tow things more easily.
The aesthetics of a vehicle, especially an ATV, is extremely important to its owners as drivers take pride in their vehicle. When you lift the body of your vehicle and make other modifications, such as adding larger tires or wheel spacers, it makes it a far more intimidating and impressive vehicle.
What are the cons of an ATV lift kit?
The cons of an ATV lift kit:
- Makes the frame visible
- Loss of warranty
- Higher center of gravity
- Use more fuel
Installing a lift kit can be a huge time commitment and is often a factor that turns many people off purchasing a lift kit for their vehicle. This is an important job that cannot be rushed as you need to ensure it is a safe installation. Therefore, you need to be able to dedicate a significant amount of time to installing the lift kit and know what you are doing.
You also need to fully understand your ATV and know whether or not you will need to install any additional pieces of equipment once you have lifted the vehicle such as a clutch kit or wheel spacers. You need to have a comprehensive understanding of your vehicle to make the changes required for an ATV lift kit.
Makes the frame visible
Although a lift kit can improve the overall impressiveness of the ATV, it can also make it look a bit more dreary and mechanical as it exposes the frame of your vehicle. However, there is a quick fix to this issue as you can buy a skid plate that will hide your frame and improve the overall look. Skid plates are great, especially when accentuated by the height that an ATV lift kit provides. They protect the undercarriage of your vehicle.
Loss of warranty
As almost all manufacturers do not recommend installing a lift kit, they will not cover you if anything goes wrong with your vehicle and you will likely lose the guarantee you might have bought the vehicle with. Inform yourself regarding this specificity when considering buying an ATV.
Higher Center of Gravity
When you raise the body of your ATV you are also increasing its center of gravity, which can make riding a little more dangerous. When you have a higher center of gravity, it makes turning over and crashing riskier when taking sharp corners at high speed. As with any motor vehicle, you must adapt your driving to the road driving conditions and the machine itself.
Use More Fuel
When you install a lift kit, you increase the overall weight of the vehicle which means that you will be using more fuel when you take it out for a drive. With the price of gas these days, it is an important factor to consider if it will limit you on your adventures.
The final thing that you need to be considering is the overall price of installing a lift kit. It can be fairly expensive, so if you do not have the financial capability of making this investment, you should reconsider buying a lift kit and save before you can confidently make the purchase. Fortunately for you Perfex Industries sells quality ATV lift kits and other products at competitive and transparent prices.