How To Choose the Right Lift Kit for Your Machine

A lift kit can make a huge difference to the riding you can do on your ATV. Now, choosing the right lift kit for your machine will be one of the more difficult things you do because they all seem appealing and you’ll be torn between buying one over the other. Fortunately, a lot of people have tried out a lot of different lift kits, making it a lot easier for you to choose the right one.

To start off, you’ll need to know exactly what you want the lift kit for. This will narrow the options down significantly and help you to get the playing field down to a more manageable size. True ground clearance will require a suspension lift while you can get a body lift to achieve a simple improvement in style. Once you have an idea of what you want to do to your machine with a lift kit, you can actually start the shopping process.

Now, there are a crazy number of brands out there that will say they’re the best lift kit out there. The truth is, your needs and your machine will actually determine what the best lift kit for you is. This will just take a little bit of studying up and learning about the options on the market before you can drop a crazy amount of money and invest in getting your rig lifted and out onto the trail again.

two utv in grass
Photo credit: Derek Gardner

Determine Your Needs


There’s no need to be ashamed of just wanting to look good while out and about in your machine. A lift kit can have a dramatic increase in your style when you get up higher and show off the undercarriage of your ride.

That being said, you don’t need a super expensive lift kit designed to take a harsh beating if you just want to look good. You can get by with a more affordable body lift kit that will give you all the style you want without destroying your wallet.


A good lift kit will increase your ground clearance and allow you to travel further into harsh terrain. If you’ve come across trails that are stopping you short because of deep ruts, you may need a lift kit to continuously travel in these areas. Getting your machine higher up always has its advantages when you’re riding on unpredictable trails where your only option may be to go forward, no matter what’s underneath you.

Suspension strength

If you’re riding an older machine, the suspension could be getting tired and starting to sag. Adding a lift kit can support that suspension and give it new life, making your ride much more enjoyable on rough terrain. For this, an add-a-leaf lift kit is the best option.

Getting larger tires

Bigger tires can mean a bigger grip, and you might want that for riding in ultra-muddy courses that your old tires just spin around on. Unfortunately, not all rigs are made to support huge tires and you might need to lift your ride in order to get bigger tires in.

Leveling your machine

On trucks, you might want to level the front with the rear as the rear is often higher up to account for the load it will often carry. This isn’t often the case with ATVs, but you can still carry some heavy loads, and adding a leveling kit will allow you to carry mass amounts without worrying about being off balance.

Different Lift Kits


A suspension lift kit is your most common type. It’s designed to raise your suspension up off the ground, giving everything a huge amount of space between the ride and the ground. If you want to improve the overall suspension while getting more ground clearance, this is your top option.

There are, unfortunately, some drawbacks to getting a suspension lift kit. There are a lot of working parts in this kit, making it much more expensive and difficult to install. If you’re doing the work yourself, you’ll need to be a master mechanic, and if you pay someone to do it, expect to pay more.


These lift kits make more space between the body and the suspension, giving the look of a raised machine without actually getting more ground clearance. You can get larger tires on this way, but also can simply up your style points.

Leveling kit

Leveling kits are designed to bring the front or the rear up higher to be level with the other end. Most commonly you’ll find these in trucks to balance out the heavyweights carried in the bed.

Add a leaf

An add a leaf is like a crutch for an old person. Old suspensions will sag, but this kit can give new life to the old suspension and help keep it in working order.

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