Maybe you’ve seen portal gear lifts when you’re out at the ride park. They’re installed on anything from Polaris Rangers, Can-Am Defenders, and RZRs to Sportsmans and Outlanders. You know they make whatever ATV or UTV they’re on look cool and people seem to like them.
Now you’re intrigued, but you don’t know where to start. You’re not even sure what exactly a portal gear lift is. We’re here to help. From lift size to gear reduction, we’ll get you on the right track.
We’re going to start with the basics here. A portal gear lift is a type of lift kit that has a gear reduction built in. Instead of lifting your suspension like a traditional lift kit, portals put the lift and gear reduction right in the hub.
Now let’s talk about how portals work. Once you understand that, you’ll have a better idea of what they can do for you. There are two things every portal gear lift does:
They achieve this lift/gear reduction combo with the portal box. Instead of a traditional lift that pushes your suspension down, the portal box replaces your stock wheel hub. As a result, the lift is right in the wheel.
Portals use gears to get power through the lift and to the wheels. The secret sauce of portals is that these gears provide a gear reduction. And gear reductions provide torque. Torque is very useful on big lifts when upgrading to bigger tires. That’s because bigger tires actually reduce your vehicle’s ability to output torque, resulting in worse acceleration and a wimpy feeling gas pedal. A gear reduction gives you back your power.
If you want to know more about the gear reduction in portals and how it boosts torque, check out Gear Reductions—a Quick Guide on How Portal Gear Lifts Work.
Together, the lift and gear reduction give you the perfect recipe for high performance, major ground clearance, and bigger tires.
When you’re trying to figure out what lift and gear reduction you need, you have to remember that these two things work together. But the two biggest factors in deciding what you need are the tire size you want and the type of riding you do.
GDP Portal Gear Lifts come in three different lift heights:
First, you need to decide what tire size you want. Second, you’ll have to figure out what lift you need to clear those tires.
For example: Let’s say you want 34” tires on your Polaris Ranger XP 1000. The first step would be to locate the Ranger XP 1000 GDP Portal pages either by typing it into the search bar or by clicking on the Ranger XP 1000 parts page. From there, you can filter by portal gear lifts specifically.
Next, you would find the tire size charts at the bottom of each page. You’ll see that you can either use a 4” portal with a 6” suspension lift kit, a 6” portal with offset A-arms and a 3” lift kit, or an 8” portal to fit 34” tires.
We always tell you what tires you can expect to fit on our lifts and how to combo portals with other accessories to get even more clearance. Now that you know your height options, there’s only one more piece of the puzzle: the gear reduction.
SuperATV’s GDP Portal Gear Lifts offer more options than any other portal kit out there. Each lift height has two different gear reductions to choose from. They are:
Choosing the gear reduction that’s right for you depends on your tire size and your ride style. The thing about gear reductions is that they basically trade your top speed for torque. What that means in practice is that your maximum speed will be lower, but you will accelerate quicker.
Torque is especially important when adding bigger tires because a larger diameter tire will reduce torque.
You can use our gear reduction tool to help you see how your tire size and gear reduction affect your speed.
Matching the gear reduction to your tire size is only the start. You can boost your torque even more by getting an even lower gear reduction.
There are a couple ride styles that benefit most from lower gear reductions:
If you keep it low and slow and just need your tires to keep pulling you forward, getting a little bigger reduction than your tire size calls for is a good idea.
Otherwise, stick with the gear reduction closest to what your tire size needs.
There’s one more choice that we haven’t talked about: the housing material. You can choose between cast aluminum and billet aluminum housings for GDP Portals.
Both housings are designed to be as strong as possible, but billet aluminum gives you more strength than cast. If you want to know why, check out our Billet vs. Cast vs. Forged article.
Nobody else makes an 8” portal gear lift, period. And a big lift pairs perfectly with big tires and, you guessed it, a big 60% gear reduction.
It takes years of innovation and expertise to be able to craft such a beast of a lift. It turns any UTV you put it on into the ultimate beast and it can turn those monster 50” tires easily. When you show up with an 8” GDP Portal Gear Lift installed, everybody will know you mean business.
That’s the kind of cutting edge, top-shelf quality and design you get with GDP.
Obviously, we think GDP Portal Gear Lifts are the best you can get. Let us explain why. We are always innovating and improving our portals.
Gen 1 GDP Portals came out in 2015, and now we’re on Gen 3. We’re leading the charge on features and quality, and we’ve been at it longer than anybody else in the industry.
Here are some useful articles to catch you up on everything that’s been updated and improved on GDP Portals over the years:
We’ve even created our own, optimized portal gear oil:
We are chock full of resources for GDP Portal Gear Lift owners—new and old. Check out our series on portal maintenance:
We’re just scratching the surface of all the benefits and performance gains you can achieve with a set of portals. For more information on how portals can up your game, check out the following resources:
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you can always give a us call at (855) 743-3427. We have a dedicated GDP portal support team.
We know. You want to hear from someone else. Enough tooting our own horn. Here’s what others have to say about GDP Portals:
Robert V’s Polaris RZR XP 1000 6” GDP Portal Gear Lift Review:
These portals are definitely the way to go when raising your SXS. In addition to the instant acquired ground clearance with installation, you also get a gear reduction. The 35″ tires that I am currently running on the SXS feel like it has the same torque it did with stock OEM equipment. You also widen the SXS with an additional 4″ on each side so the bike makes for a larger stance. Install was not complicated at all.
Philip S’s Kawasaki Teryx 8” GDP Portal Gear Lift Review
Love my new 8” portals. Thanks SuperATV! Did great in the thickest of mud I could find. 45% was perfect for 38” tires.
Now you’ve got your GDP Portal Gear Lift picked out and you’re imagining what your side-by-side would look like with a killer lift and big ol’ tires. What are you waiting for? Make your fantasy a reality for your next ride.
Gear Reductions—A Quick Guide on How Portal Lifts Work
The Best UTVs for Farm Use
A Year by Year Breakdown of Side-by-Side Portals
33 Must-Have Aftermarket Upgrades for Every UTV Owner
GDP Portal Gear Lift FAQ
Offset A-Arms or Lift Kit: The Best Way to Increase UTV Tire Size
So the picture of the Honda Talon saying 60% 8″ portals are needed, does this mean that the Talon will get the new 60% reduction portals as well in the near future?
Not the only 8″ 60% portals on the market any more. highlifter.com/portal-gear-lift/product-PGL-860DI-RZRT
Hey Jim, thanks for reading. It’s about time those guys showed up to the party! There might be still be a sliver of cake in the back they can have.