After much debate and talking with Bandit and 814/Viking I decided to pull the trigger on the Bandit Performance 2.0 shocks. I'm pretty frugal with money, especially when it's a hobby, so spending this much had me debating the options quite a bit. After deciding to go with Bandit I debated between the Performance 2.0 and Gen 3 versions.
Both Craig from Viking/814 and Josh from Bandit were very helpful and knowledgable over the phone. To be clear, I'm not saying that Viking/814 is bad by any means and I'm sure they would be great on the machine......just that I decided to go with Bandits.
I ordered the Bandit 2.0's on Friday afternoon and they were on my front porch the following Tuesday, so pretty quick turn-around.
Here are the points I considered.
- Bandit and Viking/814 options have similar prices. The Performance 2.0's are about $150 cheaper than the Gen 3's, and almost identical price to Vikings.
- Really liked the progressive rate front and dual rate rear springs on the Gen 3 or 2.0 Bandits
- Both the Vikings and Bandit Gen 3 and Performance 2.0 are longer shocks (compared to OEM or other Bandits). Bandit advertises 2" increased wheel travel and available added lift compared to OEM, and of course Viking advertises increased wheel travel and lift also.
My current setup is an 2015 Teryx4. It has a Highlifter bracket lift kit with the preload backed off, as I was trying for a softer ride but wanted more ground clearance at the same time. Probably should have taken measurements to see exactly how much lift but didn't do that. Shocks are at full soft on the compression knob and swaybar disconnected. Tires are 28x10 Intimidators. Most of my trailriding is East Coast style of slower speeds and technical/difficult trails. Before deciding on going with new shocks, I also was debating on getting offset high clearance arms and 30" tires for the same price as the shocks. My decision was made after a buddy made the comment "which current part do you hate more"? When I go on a ride I really never think to myself I hate the tires or the a-arms...do sometimes thing that upgrading either would get me over the trail better. On the other hand everytime I go riding I also think about the rough ride. Following the faster machines on the trail I always run out of suspension before speed or power right now.
The plan is to take lots of measurements on my current setup versus the new Bandits. The hope is to remove the Highlifter brackets and keep the same, or a little more, lift. I would love to do some baseline runs to check ride quality in the field behind my house but everything is a swamp right now....don't want to tear up the field and also covering the machine in mud before working on it.