We’re just like you. We spend a lot of time daydreaming about the next part to put on our side-by-side. The first thing we always think of is the almighty lift kit. Tuning up your suspension to make your side-by-side more capable when you’re doing chores, hauling supplies, or checking fences sounds great. And in the back of your mind, you know you’ll look just a little bit cooler when you’re riding around. One thing’s for certain: you’re sick and tired of bottoming out every time you get to a tricky spot. But before ordering one, you always ask, “Is a 2” lift kit worth the money?”
To answer that, we’ll have to take a look at what your lift kit will do for you, the different kinds of lift kits you can get, their cost, and what people say about them.
How do you think a lift kit actually gives you more ground clearance? On a 2″ lift kit, there are actually a couple different ways to accomplish this:
They use different mechanisms to increase your ground clearance, each with their own pros and cons. 2″ lifts will often use a combination of spacers and brackets, so make sure to pay attention to how the lift you’re looking at is put together.
Bracket lifts work by repositioning the top of your shocks. The interesting part is that they don’t move the shock down at all—they just move the top of the shock away from the machine.
Moving the shock out causes it to stand more vertically on your suspension, which pushes the suspension down. It’s simple and doesn’t require replacing anything on your suspension. But the factory shocks on your UTV were designed for that specific angle only. Which brings us to our pros and cons.
Spring spacer lifts work differently and affect your ride in their own way. Let’s take a closer look.
Spring spacer lifts are even simpler than bracket lifts. They consist of four aluminum spacers that you install directly to the shock between the spring and the collar.
They work by compressing the springs which causes your shocks to extend a little bit. That extra extension pushes down on the suspension and gives you those two inches of lift you want.
But, there are a few drawbacks to this kind of lift. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
You might be confused why you don’t actually increase your tire clearance. Make no mistake—spring spacers give you more ground clearance. However, because they work by compressing your springs, your suspension can still compress just as much. This can cause your tires to rub. You might be able to enjoy a slightly larger tire most of the time, but a big bump can cause your bigger tires to catch on your fenders.
So, when you put spacer lifts right next to bracket lifts, it’s clear that bracket lifts give you slightly better performance, but tend to cost a little extra too.
Now that you know the difference, it’s time to figure out if a 2″ lift is right for you.
The most obvious benefit of a 2″ lift is that you get two inches of lift. That’s pretty straightforward, but is that enough for you? Is it too much? What effect does a 2″ lift have on your UTV besides lift?
These are all things you need to think about before you drop some cash.
First of all, a 2″ lift is not a big lift, but you will see and feel the difference on your UTV. Those rough trails and sketchy spots on your property will seem a little easier to navigate.
With a bracket lift, you’ll be able to install larger tires, but only about an inch or so. If you ride on really difficult terrain, this gives you the opportunity to upgrade to some more aggressive tires that can handle the rougher stuff easier. Going a little bigger with tires will also raise your ground clearance even more.
The bottom line is that a 2″ lift will make a difference. For better or worse, here’s everything a 2″ lift gets you:
Lets talk more about cost.
While a 2″ lift costs more than a steak dinner, it’s not that much more. Depending on how they’re put together, you might find one for as little as $80.
Sometimes the materials and brackets required for specific machine fitment cost a little more. The most expensive 2″ lifts are closer to $300 if they require new tie rods or something like that.
You can count on most costing between $150 and $200.
That’s not very expensive by UTV upgrade standards—it really is one of the cheaper modifications you can make to your machine. Going any bigger can raise the cost by hundreds of dollars as more changes like new axles and new A-arms are required to make it work.
If you want the benefits a 2″ lift can give you and are OK with the minor drawbacks, then, yes, a 2″ lift is definitely worth the price.
There are tons of different 2″ lift kit reviews for lots of different vehicles. We obviously can’t cover everything, but here’s a smattering of reviews.
Ed M’s Polaris Ranger Midsize 2″ Lift Kit Review:
Completely satisfied with my recent addon of the lift kit on my 2019 Ranger 570 Mid-Size. Exceeded my expectations of the beefed up look and performed great on the road and more so off-road in rough country. The kit fit perfectly. Outstanding quality and great service.
Ronald D’s Yamaha Wolverine 2″ Lift Kit Review:
Really like the lift kit. Easy install. Really like the stance. Very nice to not bang on all the rocks while riding now.
Jason S’s Honda Pioneer 700 2″ Lift Kit Review:
Easy, straight-forward install. Parts fitment is spot on with the only exception being a little bit of grinding to the shock sleeve to get in the lift bracket. While not mentioned in the instructions, using a spring compressor on the rear will make install a lot easier. With this lift being a true 2″, it allows me to run 28″ tires. I don’t worry as much about bashing my plow frame when on the trails. If you have a Pioneer, you want this.
Bryan W’s Kawasaki Teryx 2” Lift Kit Review:
Great product! Better built than expected. Installation took a little longer than expected, but well worth the price! Adds more clearance than expected.
Chad P’s John Deere Gator XUV835 2” Lift Kit Review:
Buggy rides the same as factory and the lift gives you all of the 2 inches. 28” tires clear no problem with this lift. Installation is a little tricky but goes faster after the first one.
So, is a 2″ lift worth it? You bet your skid-plate-dragging side-by-side it is.