Review Submitted by staff member “bluesmanjesse”…
The Kawasaki Teryx has proven to be an excellent and very reliable machine, however there is one area where it falls short and that is the ride quality. The addition of factory Fox podium 2.0’s on the 2014 models was a slight improvement over the previous OEM shocks but they still left a lot to be desired. The Fox shocks are just way too stiff, presumably they were spec’d this way for heavy load hauling or work duties. Most Teryx owners use their machines for recreation primarily though and this is where Bandit UTV Suspension comes into play! Bandit UTV Suspension offers their Series 46 UTV shocks specifically set up for the Teryx and they offer them at a very reasonable price!
The Bandit Series 46 shocks utilize a piggyback design for the front shocks and a remote reservoir design for the rear shocks. Bandit uses a 280lb spring up front and a 300lb spring on the rears.
The progressive coils are more open on the Bandits compared to the tightly wound heavy springs on the Fox units and they seem to move much better.
Some may have noticed that the new design of the Bandits doesn’t include a rebound adjustment where the older design did. Bandit slowed down the rebound valving internally to where they found most guys had theirs adjusted to. It allowed them to lower the price $50.00 by doing this, and that is important to the folks at Bandit. This also allowed them to add the new style compression adjusters, which are better than the previous style. The new ones don’t have a knob that can be torn off by a tree branch. And you can feel the detents much better. Overall this build is much better. The 3 / 4 inch shafts now are stronger without 4 mm oil port drilled through them to control rebound. And one less place for a seal to fail by not having the rebound adjustment.
Installation is very straightforward with a few basic hand tools and a jack. I’m also running a 2” Highlifter lift kit on the Teryx but installation is the same with the exception of the lower bolts on the rear shocks. The lift kit puts the bolt directly in line with the upper A-arm but there’s an easy way to deal with this, you simply lift the A-arm up enough to clear the bolt while the shock is disconnected then you insert the new shock into the bottom first, let the suspension drop down and secure the top shock bolt.
For the rear reservoirs I chose to mount them on the crossmember that runs across under the front of the bed, since the bed tilts on the T2 this gives easy access for adjusting the clickers, while keeping the resevoirs in a relatively safe location.
When mounting the reservoirs make sure the hoses are routed clear of any moving suspension parts, pinch points, etc, you can slightly loosen the banjo bolts on each end of the hoses and turn them if needed to get the hoses routed to a good position, just make sure you remember to snug them back up.
Bandit recommends setting the preload so that the ride height is ½”-1” higher in the front than the rear. They also recommended 1” of sag under the vehicle’s own weight. Once you’ve done your preliminary set up you’re ready for your first test ride! I warn you it will be hard not to get a silly grin on your face once you hit the first good bump, it’s hard to believe you’re riding in the same Teryx honestly. The Bandit shocks just take all the jolts and bouncy-ness out of the Teryx, it still feels and handles like a Teryx everything is just softer and more settled feeling. Don’t get me wrong, no shocks can transform a Teryx into a plush long travel ride but if you’re looking for a better riding Teryx I think the Bandit Series 46 is the best bang for the buck hands down!
Personally I have a pretty messed up lower back from an ATV crash in my younger, wilder days and the smoother ride provided by the Bandit’s is a godsend! The first ride after installing the Bandit’s was in southeast Kentucky where the trails can be rough and rocky so it was a great place to put the Bandits through their paces. We rode a great mix of terrain from slow technical crawling to fast sections of old logging roads and the Bandits soaked it all up with no issues whatsoever. The Series46 shocks make the ride much more enjoyable and at the end of a long day of riding the added ride comfort really pays off! Personally I think these shocks feel like they should have been fitted on the Teryx from the factory, it makes you wonder how Kawasaki could have gotten it so wrong with the Fox shocks, the Fox’s are a quality built shock but they’re just not dialed in right for the Teryx at all in my opinion.
I’ve found Bandit’s customer service to be top notch as well which is always a big plus when you’re making an investment in their product to upgrade your ride. I had seriously considered trading in my Teryx for something with a little softer ride prior to trying the Bandits but now I’m glad I didn’t because the Teryx really is a great machine in every other aspect. For most Teryx owners a long travel kit isn’t an option either because of tight trails or because they are very costly, however a set of these Bandit Series 46 UTV shocks are a much more affordable option. I would go so far as to say the Bandits should be one of the first upgrades you save your upgrade pennies for they really do make the Teryx a much more enjoyable ride.
-Improved ride quality
-All day ride comfort
-Price is right
-not OEM equipment
-Jealous stares from other Teryx owners
-Getting asked “how do you like those shocks” on every ride
-…Sorry these shocks are awesome!
If you’re interested in some Bandits for your ride give Bandit a call at 586-419-9574 or visit them online at Bandit UTV Suspension.com