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Friendship Dues

GDP Portal Gear Lifts vs. Long Travel

Suspension on UTV: Weighing the Pros and Cons

When it comes to enhancing the off-road capabilities of your UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle), two popular options stand out: GDP Portal Gear Lifts and Long Travel Suspension. These aftermarket upgrades offer different approaches to conquering rugged terrains and overcoming obstacles. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of each, helping you make an informed decision on which option best suits your off-roading needs.

GDP Portal Gear Lifts:
GDP (Gear Driven Performance) Portal Gear Lifts are mechanical devices that are installed between the UTV's drive axles and wheels. They work by increasing the ground clearance, gear reduction, and torque, allowing the vehicle to handle rough terrain more effectively. Here are the pros and cons of GDP Portal Gear Lifts:

1. Increased Ground Clearance: Portal gear lifts provide a substantial increase in ground clearance, enabling your UTV to navigate over rocks, logs, and other obstacles with ease. This advantage is particularly beneficial in extreme off-road conditions.
2. Improved Torque: The gear reduction offered by portal gear lifts enhances the UTV's torque delivery, providing better low-end power. This can be advantageous when climbing steep inclines or towing heavy loads.
3. Reduced Stress on Drivetrain: By repositioning the axles higher, portal gear lifts alleviate strain on the drivetrain components, including the CV joints and suspension components. This can lead to increased durability and reduced maintenance costs.

1. Cost: GDP Portal Gear Lifts tend to be more expensive compared to other suspension upgrades. The installation process may also require professional assistance, further adding to the overall cost.
2. Additional Weight: The gear assemblies and larger components of portal gear lifts add weight to the UTV. This additional weight could slightly affect the vehicle's overall performance and fuel efficiency.
3. Limited Suspension Travel: Portal gear lifts do not directly affect the suspension travel of the UTV. But does increase articulation because the tire is at a wider point.

Long Travel Suspension:
Long travel suspension kits are designed to enhance the suspension travel of a UTV, allowing for smoother rides over rough terrain. They typically involve upgrading the shocks, A-arms, and other suspension components. Let's explore the pros and cons of long travel suspension:

1. Enhanced Suspension Travel: Long travel suspension kits significantly increase the suspension travel of the UTV, enabling it to tackle large bumps, jumps, and uneven surfaces more effectively. This leads to a smoother and more controlled ride.
2. Improved Handling and Stability: The upgraded suspension components provide better stability and handling characteristics, allowing you to maneuver through corners and turns with confidence.
3. Customization Options: Long travel suspension kits often offer various adjustment options, allowing you to fine-tune the suspension settings based on your preferred riding style and terrain.

1. Reduced Ground Clearance: Unlike GDP Portal Gear Lifts, long travel suspension kits do not increase ground clearance. In fact, due to the longer suspension travel, the UTV's overall height may be slightly reduced, limiting its ability to tackle extremely rough and rocky terrains.
2. Potential Drivetrain Stress: The increased suspension travel can put additional stress on the drivetrain components, including axles, CV joints, and drivelines. Regular maintenance and monitoring are crucial to prevent premature wear.
Video Transcript
what's the difference between portals and long travel? What's the benefit to one, what's the benefit to the other? so let's break it down Curt let's talk benefits of long travel let's talk benefit to portals and why we choose what we choose. well for us it's pretty simple, we always I mean we do long travel and portals quite frequently but if you're choosing between one of the other riding style and what you do is really what where you should make this decision the thing you get out of portals is you get gear reduction with it you don't get that out of long travel but essentially you're doing a long travel kit with both of them so in order to have a properly riding suspension you want more articulation out of it you want to absorb bumps or whoops or anything you know it's like the longer you you make it the the more articulation you get out of it you know case in point if if my arm moves this much and I add this to it it moves more on the outside and so you get a better ride quality either way with either setup so the big question is is what do you do as far as right into your terrain you ride the most if you're a dune guy portals are probably not the best answer for you we take portals of the dunes frequently but there's more maintenance when it comes to that kind of style with portals on there long travel kits will ride a lot better and you'll be a lot more stable and if you have Porto's you're going to ride a lot better you need to be more stable with the portal you get gear reductions you can run a bigger tire without having to change the gearing in the in the transmission and then you also get four inches of lift and it's like we like to keep our Center Point balance low and so but when you're adding the weight of portals and the weight of a tire even though the car is going up you are going wider and it keeps the center point lower than it does factory so it rides better for us right and that's always been one of the biggest benefits that I like is that we're able to run those 35 37 inch tires without transferring all that added weight through the drivetrain right as opposed the portal takes that strain right so I mean that's that's the argument that goes on with it is because portals people talk about the maintenance that comes along with them and ultimately when you're adding a lot of rolling Mass you have to build the car around portals it's not quite as easy as just throwing a long travel kit on we do frame reinforcements you got to run you know everything's got to be heavy duty all your suspension components that are on there so you know it's like there is some maintenance involved in that but the long term of it is if you drive hard and you want to run big tires and you're not running portals you're going to break far more parts than if you're running them we've been down that road we spent a ton of money going down that road we broke a lot of axles we chewed through belts a lot we broke ball joints tie rod ends all of it and when we went to portals for with big tires because of the gear reduction it's a lot easier on the car the geometry is correct on the suspension so you're not chewing through Parts the same and now to be really fair in the last five years Parts have gotten so much better we're really not doing much for maintenance anyway we're changing the oil in maybe once or twice a year depending on how many times we've done the course we don't break ball joints anymore tired ends any of that kind of stuff no on the outside of that just before big trips and things we like to give the machine a shake down check a-arm bolts and you know just a good once over over right but it's like that that maintenance that comes through we do that before we head out I mean just kind of a it's kind of what we do but ultimately if you drive a car hard you're doing it anyway you know and it's like the parts have gotten so much better now that it's like it's not near as much as it was four or five years ago but you know you know it's like for me I'm a portal guy slick Rock has always been portal guys you're a portal guy we've always been that way um we have cars that we run long travel and portals we get a lot of articulation out of them um the bigger you go and the longer you go the more maintenance you're going to have at the end of the day but you know fundamentally just to put portals on a car and and build some suspension components there's a lot of reliability there that's there now and it's really not problematic like it was years ago the portals are better the ball joints are better the arms are better the our reinforcement plates are better axles are better everything's yeah like you said it has come up really long ways yeah so like for me it's just kind of a no-brainer now you know if you would ask me that same question five years ago you're really getting down to writing style and how much effort money you want to put in machine but in this day and age now I we I've always felt like bigger is better we have a lot of combos we like you guys can reach out with any questions you want on there but when it comes down if I was strictly a dune guy I would just run a long travel kit but you have to ask yourself where is 80 90 of your writing you do are you a Trail Rider are you a rock crawler do you spend a lot of time in the mountains if you're a mountain guy you might not necessarily need portals you know what I mean for trail riding but our favorite cars in the mountains are portable cars because they articulate they absorb you know they just ride better the ride quality just goes up so much it's just a lot more comfortable car so for that alone I mean even our Rangers we don't rock crawl them but is that you take a factory Ranger do you put portals on it the ride quality is 50 60 better just from that just from the long travel on there you take and put a long travel kit on a ranger and portals that thing turns into a Cadillac like I said it just comes down to you know articulation suspension movement when you go through Johnson rebound you know right so with portals just so everybody knows um you gain four in inches per side correct with it so you're getting about eight inches overall in width which is pretty typical with most long travels yeah most long-term kits are two and a half three inches somewhere in there so I mean you're anywhere from five to six inches you know for the most part so portals are probably a little bit bigger overall there are some other kits out there HDR has got some five inch kits I believe so you can go a little wider on a long travel kit but really to answer that question we just get this question a lot about portals and long travel it really depends on your riding style I would if it's if it's a cost issue I mean really depending on the kit you buy there's a lot of unanswered stuff there you can go as far as you want or you can go as minimal as you want when it comes to this but when it really what it really comes down to for me is when we get asked that question it's just writing style if 70 80 90 of your riding is in the mountains or on the rocks or on the trails portals are a wonderful way to go but if you're a dune guy long travel kids just make a lot more sense to me not sure so to sum it up quick just recap give give me some quick fire out to portal benefits long-term benefits we'll close it out the long travel benefit has two one cosmetically they look cool the bigger stance you have on them the better they look but the big benefit is is just ride quality the longer your suspension is the more it'll articulate the better ride quality you get so there's your long travel benefits um the the portal side of it it's just a lot more deeper than that because you have gear reduction and you have lift that comes along with it so you get long travel out of it you get gear reductions you can figure out what gear ratio you want to run in your portal as a comparison to what size tire you want to run so if you want to run say a 35 inch tire you get a 30 reduction you do the math on what it comes with Factory and the tire size you know you want to go 30 bigger on a tire go 30 bigger go 30 reduction so your car will handle like a factory machine it'll keep the same speeds there's a big myth and if you put portals on cars you can't do over 30 miles an hour it is a lie and a half and anybody who regurgitates that I will call every one of you guys out I said we have cars that do 70 80 miles an hour portals we do all the time you if you go down 30 in gear you go up 30 Tire it's the exact same it does not change you get a little more rolling Mass out of it it may slow you down a hair we have a ton of videos in our archives of this racing portal cars that stock cars you really won't notice the difference in them but the gear reduction in them allows for bigger tires you get lift out of it you get a lot more bang for the buck in my opinion with portals as long as you're not a dune guy if you're a dune guy buy a long travel kit you'll be a lot happier with that anything outside of that we put on lawn mowers I'd recommend it for anything

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