The Best Lift Styles And Lift Kits For Kawasaki Side-By-Sides

Mar 15, 2021

Whether you’re looking to use your Kawasaki Teryx as a swamp buggy for duck hunting, or your Kawasaki Mule as a pack animal to carry massive loads over rough terrain, improvements in both performance and utility can be gained with Kawasaki UTV lift kits. Aftermarket tires are often installed by riders to achieve greater ground clearance in both the Kawasaki Mule and the Kawasaki Teryx, while high-clearance a-arms as well as wheel spacers are frequently used to prevent bigger tires from rubbing on the vehicle’s frame, fenders, and suspension. But for those who have their sights set on a lift kit, nothing shy of a full-on bracket lift, suspension lift, or portal gear lift will do. So if you’re intrigued about the benefits a Kawasaki Mule lift kit / Kawasaki Teryx lift kit can provide and are wanting to learn more about lift kits, keep reading, because we’re about to get deep into the various types of lifts and lift kits available for Kawasaki side-by-sides!

Kawasaki UTV Bracket Lifts

Bracket lifts for the Kawasaki Teryx and Kawasaki Mule are popular among riders for a variety of reasons — with 2” Kawasaki UTV bracket lifts being the most common. Not only are bracket lifts cheap and easy to install, but they’re relatively simple to understand. The basic concept of a Kawasaki Mule / Teryx bracket lift is simply a 2”, 4”, or 6” piece of metal that goes between the factory shock mounting points and the a-arms, which then raises the shocks and positions the chassis of the vehicle higher off the ground. Most UTV lift kits for the Kawasaki Mule and Kawasaki Teryx also come with spacers that go in the shock mounts to keep them from collapsing when you tighten the bolts.

As stated earlier, 2” Kawasaki UTV lift kits are the most common. For most riders, a 2-inch lift is all that’s required to run larger tires. Plus, with bigger bracket lifts comes a more aggressive axle angle, which can exacerbate wear on the CV joints and potentially rip the upper shock mounts off the machine. In addition to putting the half shafts at a higher angle, Kawasaki Mule, Teryx, and KRX bracket lifts also stiffen up the vehicle’s ride quality. This, however, isn’t a huge issue, as aftermarket springs can be installed to add more plushness to your suspension and make your Kawasaki UTV ride like a caddy!

The Kawasaki HD springs, for example, can be used in conjunction with a lift kit to preserve the original payload capacity of the UTV. Although they’ll lower the overall ground clearance of your rig by about an inch or so compared to maxed-out stock springs, HD springs will make the bike ride better and handle heavy loads with ease!

Kawasaki UTV Portal Gear Lifts

Another great way to lift a Kawasaki UTV is with Kawasaki Mule portal hubs and Kawasaki Teryx portal boxes. Instead of repositioning the suspension and lifting the vehicle from the frame, portal gear lifts add height by extending the vehicle upwards from the wheel hubs. And in addition to providing lift, Kawasaki UTV portals can also be used to gain more torque via gear reductions. GDP portals for the Kawasaki Mule and Teryx, for example, can lower the vehicles gearing by 15%, 30%, or even 45%! This lower gearing then allows riders to spin huge tires in the deepest of mud pits without overexerting the internals.

A good thing about Kawasaki Teryx and Mule portal gear lifts is that they can be paired with other aftermarket additions like arched-a-arms, long-travel suspension kits, and bracket lifts. So if you can’t choose between a portal lift and a bracket lift, why not just get both?

Kawasaki UTV Suspension-Style Lifts

Although the aforementioned types of Kawasaki UTV lift kits are a cheaper and easier way to gain ground clearance, not everyone cares about ground clearance alone. Things like ride quality, stiffness, and the ability to navigate rough and rocky terrain are also important for many riders. Although they’re a bit pricey, setups like those by Elka, Viking, and 814 Suspension are game changing for the Mule, the Teryx, and the KRX.

814 UTV Suspension, for example, offers custom double and triple adjustable shock packages that provide users with industry-leading ride quality. The compression, rebound, pre-load, and extended length of their suspension kits will take your Mule to the next level of comfort and performance!

Like 814 and Elka, Viking shocks and suspension lifts for the Kawasaki Mule and Teryx are double adjustable, meaning that they have separate knobs to adjust compression and rebound individually. The compressed height of Viking shocks are 12.57”, while the extended height is 19.32” for a 6.57” stroke — which is a good deal more travel than factory Fox shocks or Bandit shocks.

Aftermarket suspension lifts for the Kawasaki Mule and Teryx will eliminate the need for a bracket lift to get you higher up in the air. They have enough stroke to be fully functional with the factory a-arms at full droop, so you won’t need limiter straps because the shocks aren’t bottomed out when the a-arms are in full droop. Compared to the Fox Podiums, most suspension lifts are way less harsh. On full soft settings, they’ll turn your rig into a rock crawler with an insane amount of travel. Then when you start cranking some dampening into the shocks, you can tune them to control body roll while still eating up those bumps and whoops that would otherwise pound your guts and jar your fillings when speed riding over the rough stuff!  

Closing Thoughts

Not everyone needs or even wants a bog buggy. But there are countless riders out there who require massive lifts. But whatever you’re thinking about for your Kawasaki UTV, considering your options and evaluating the pros and cons of each will ensure that you lift your rig the right way the very first time!