Can-Am Defender Long Travel Kit: Elevate Your Off-Road Experience

Can-Am Defender Long Travel Kit
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Ever dreamt of transforming your Can-Am Defender into an off-road powerhouse? Say hello to the long travel kit, the game-changer your ride’s been waiting for. This isn’t just an upgrade; it’s a revolution for your vehicle, promising smoother rides, unmatched stability, and the thrill of tackling the roughest terrains with ease. If the idea of gliding over obstacles and mastering trails excites you, then buckle up. We’re about to dive deep into the world of long travel kits, showing you exactly how to elevate your off-road experience to legendary status. Ready to turn your Defender into a trail-conquering hero? Let’s get started.

Understanding Long Travel Kits

When it comes to off-roading, the magic happens when your vehicle can handle whatever the trail throws at it with grace and agility. That’s where long travel kits come into play, and trust me, they’re a game-changer for your Can-Am Defender.

What Exactly Are Long Travel Kits?

In simple terms, a long travel kit is like giving your Defender a set of wings. It’s an aftermarket upgrade that significantly increases the suspension travel of your vehicle. This means your Defender’s wheels can move up and down more, allowing it to absorb bumps, dips, and obstacles far more effectively than with the stock setup. Imagine cruising over rough terrain as if you’re floating – that’s the kind of smoothness we’re talking about.

Why Upgrade?

  1. Improved Suspension Travel: The heart of a long travel kit is its ability to extend the range of motion of your vehicle’s suspension. This isn’t just about making your ride smoother; it’s about conquering terrains you wouldn’t dare tackle before. More travel means your wheels stay in contact with the ground longer, providing better traction and control.
  2. Enhanced Ride Comfort: Ever felt like your teeth were going to rattle out on a bumpy trail? A long travel kit puts an end to that. With the increased suspension travel, your Defender absorbs impacts that would normally send shockwaves through your spine. The result? You can explore the great outdoors without feeling like you’ve been through a boxer’s training session.
  3. Superior Handling and Stability: It’s not just about comfort; it’s about control. Long travel kits distribute the impact of bumps and obstacles more evenly across the vehicle. This means less tipping, rolling, or losing control on uneven terrains. Whether you’re navigating a steep incline or barreling through a rocky path, the enhanced stability keeps you in command.

Is It All Sunshine and Rainbows?

Well, almost. Upgrading to a long travel kit does mean investing a bit upfront, both in the kit itself and potentially in other modifications to accommodate the increased travel (think: upgraded axles or steering components). But for many off-road enthusiasts, the payoff in performance, comfort, and capability is well worth the investment.

In a Nutshell

Upgrading your Can-Am Defender with a long travel kit isn’t just about souping up your ride; it’s about transforming your off-roading experience. It’s about not just facing the elements but embracing them, knowing your vehicle is equipped to handle the bumps along the way with unparalleled grace. If the thrill of the trail calls to you, a long travel kit might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Key Components of the Can-Am Defender Long Travel Kit

Diving into the world of long travel kits can feel like opening a treasure chest of off-road potential. But what exactly is inside this chest? Let’s break down the key components of a Can-Am Defender long travel kit. Understanding these parts is crucial to appreciating how the whole system elevates your off-road experience.

1. Suspension Arms

Think of suspension arms as the limbs of your Defender, reaching out to embrace the rough and tumble of the terrain. Upgraded arms in a long travel kit are longer and stronger than the stock versions, allowing for greater wheel travel. They’re designed to withstand the additional stress that comes with increased suspension travel, ensuring durability and reliability when you’re far from the beaten path.

2. Shocks and Springs

The heart and soul of any long travel kit, shocks and springs work together to absorb the shocks and jolts of uneven terrain. High-quality shocks are adjustable, letting you fine-tune your ride to match the terrain and your driving style. Upgraded springs complement these shocks, providing the necessary support to handle bigger bumps and obstacles with ease. Together, they smooth out the ride, turning jarring jolts into minor blips on your off-roading radar.

3. Axles

With greater suspension travel comes the need for stronger, more flexible axles. The axles in a long travel kit are designed to cope with the increased range of motion without compromising strength. They ensure that power keeps flowing to the wheels, even when they’re dangling in mid-air or stuffed into deep ruts. In essence, these axles are the unsung heroes, making sure your Defender keeps moving forward, no matter the challenge.

4. Installation Hardware and Brackets

A long travel kit comes with all the nuts, bolts, and brackets needed to secure everything in place. This hardware is specifically designed to handle the increased stresses that come with off-roading on steroids. Quality kits feature heavy-duty brackets that offer secure mounting points for the suspension components, ensuring that everything stays where it should, even when the going gets tough.

5. Additional Components

Depending on the kit, you might find a few extra goodies in the box. These can include sway bar links, tie rods, and bushings, all designed to work in harmony with the upgraded suspension. These components might seem small in the grand scheme of things, but they play critical roles in ensuring the overall performance and durability of your long travel setup.

Putting It All Together

When these components come together, they transform your Can-Am Defender into an off-road beast with improved handling, stability, and comfort. The beauty of a long travel kit lies not just in the individual parts but in how they work in unison to elevate your driving experience. It’s about creating a synergy that allows you to tackle terrains you previously thought were off-limits, with a level of confidence and control that’s truly game-changing.

Choosing the Right Long Travel Kit for Your Can-Am Defender

Picking the perfect long travel kit for your Can-Am Defender is a bit like choosing the right pair of shoes for a marathon: it’s all about fit, comfort, and the terrain you’re planning to conquer. Here’s how to ensure you select a kit that not only fits your ride but also matches your off-road ambitions.

1. Know Your Terrain

The first step in choosing a long travel kit is understanding the type of terrain you’ll be tackling. Are you cruising on sandy dunes, crawling over rocky paths, or powering through muddy trails? Different kits are optimized for various terrains, with specific shock absorbers and suspension setups designed to handle everything from the smoothest sands to the roughest rocks.

2. Consider Your Use

How you use your Can-Am Defender plays a crucial role in selecting the right long travel kit. If you’re using your Defender for heavy-duty work tasks, you’ll need a kit that can withstand the extra weight and stress. On the other hand, if your focus is on high-speed desert racing, you’ll want a kit designed for speed and stability, with shocks that can handle high-impact landings and sudden shifts in terrain.

3. Budget Matters

Let’s talk numbers. Your budget will significantly influence your choice of a long travel kit. Prices can vary widely based on the components included, the quality of the materials, and the brand reputation. While it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember that this is an investment in your vehicle’s performance and safety. Consider opting for the best quality you can afford to ensure durability and reliability on the trails.

4. Compatibility and Installation

Not all long travel kits are created equal, and not all of them will fit every model of Can-Am Defender. Before pulling the trigger on your purchase, make sure the kit is compatible with your specific model and year. Additionally, think about the installation process. Do you have the skills and tools to do it yourself, or will you need to factor in the cost of professional installation? Some kits are more user-friendly than others, offering straightforward instructions and requiring minimal modifications to your vehicle.

5. Read Reviews and Seek Recommendations

One of the best ways to narrow down your options is to learn from the experiences of others. Look for reviews from fellow Can-Am Defender owners who have installed long travel kits. What did they like or dislike about their kit? How has it held up over time? You can also seek recommendations from online forums, social media groups, or local off-roading clubs. Hearing firsthand accounts can help you make an informed decision and avoid potential pitfalls.

Installation Tips and Tricks for Your Can-Am Defender Long Travel Kit

Upgrading your Can-Am Defender with a long travel kit is a transformative move that promises a leap in off-road performance. But, as with any significant upgrade, the key to unlocking this potential lies in the installation. Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a dedicated DIYer, these tips and tricks will help ensure a smooth installation process, setting you up for countless adventures.

Gather the Right Tools

Before diving into the installation, make sure you have all the necessary tools at your disposal. A basic list includes wrenches, socket sets, screwdrivers, a torque wrench, and possibly a hydraulic jack and jack stands. Depending on your kit and model, specialized tools may also be required, so it’s worth checking the kit’s manual ahead of time. Remember, having the right tools is half the battle.

Familiarize Yourself with the Components

Take the time to get to know each component in your long travel kit. Lay out all the parts and cross-reference them with the installation guide to ensure nothing is missing and that you understand where each piece is supposed to go. This step can save you a lot of head-scratching later on.

Follow the Instructions to the Letter

It might be tempting to rely on your intuition, but when it comes to installing a long travel kit, sticking to the instruction manual is crucial. These instructions are designed to guide you through the process in a specific order that ensures both safety and efficiency. Skipping steps or improvising could lead to problems down the road.

Take Your Time

Rushing through the installation is a surefire way to make mistakes. Allocate plenty of time for the job, even if it means spreading the work over a weekend. This isn’t just about bolting parts together; it’s about transforming your vehicle. A careful and considered approach will pay dividends in the form of a successful upgrade.

Pay Attention to Torque Specifications

Each bolt and nut in the installation process has a specific torque specification, designed to ensure it’s tightened just right—not too loose and not too tight. Over or under-tightening can lead to component failure or premature wear. Using a torque wrench, follow the specifications provided in the installation guide to the letter.

Check and Double-Check

After you’ve completed the installation, go over every single bolt, nut, and component to ensure everything is secure and properly installed. This final check is your safety net, catching any potential issues before they become real problems.

Test Drive and Adjust

Once everything is installed and double-checked, it’s time for a test drive. Start in a safe, controlled environment. Pay attention to how the vehicle handles and listen for any unusual noises. It’s not uncommon to need a few adjustments after the initial installation, so be prepared to fine-tune your setup.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Ignoring Compatibility: Ensure every component of the long travel kit is compatible with your Can-Am Defender model. Using incompatible parts can lead to serious damage.
  • Skipping Pre-installation Inspection: Before starting, inspect your vehicle for any pre-existing issues that could be exacerbated by the installation.
  • Forgetting to Re-check Bolts After Test Driving: After your initial test drive, bolts may settle or shift. Re-checking and tightening them ensures everything stays in place.

Performance Enhancements: The Transformative Impact of a Long Travel Kit on Your Can-Am Defender

Once you’ve successfully installed a long travel kit on your Can-Am Defender, you’re not just sitting behind the same old wheel; you’re commanding a vastly improved beast ready to tackle the wild. This isn’t about minor tweaks; it’s a comprehensive upgrade that touches every aspect of your off-road experience. Let’s dive into how a long travel kit elevates your adventures to realms previously unimagined.

Enhanced Off-Road Capability

First and foremost, the increased suspension travel fundamentally changes how your Defender interacts with the terrain. Those daunting obstacles that used to make you second-guess your path? They’re now mere bumps on your adventurous journey. The long travel suspension allows for a greater range of motion, meaning your wheels maintain contact with the ground even in the most challenging conditions, offering superior traction and control.

Improved Ride Quality

Gone are the days of bracing for impact at the sight of every rock and rut. The upgraded shocks and springs absorb much of the harshness of off-road trails, translating to a smoother, more comfortable ride. This isn’t just about comfort; it’s about endurance. Reduced fatigue means longer rides, more exploration, and ultimately, more fun.

Increased Stability and Safety

With great power comes great responsibility, and in the world of off-roading, that translates to stability. The wider stance provided by a long travel kit offers a lower center of gravity while navigating uneven terrain, reducing the risk of rollovers and enhancing overall safety. It’s about confidently pushing your limits, knowing your defender has your back.

Customization and Fine-Tuning

A significant advantage of long travel kits is the ability to customize and fine-tune your suspension to match your specific needs and driving style. Whether you’re aiming for maximum performance on rocky trails or seeking the perfect balance for a variety of terrains, adjustable shocks allow you to dial in your ideal settings. This level of customization ensures that your Defender is not just any off-road vehicle; it’s your off-road vehicle, tailored to your adventures.

Real-World Experiences

The true testament to the impact of a long travel kit comes from those who’ve made the upgrade. Stories abound of previously impassable trails conquered with ease, of comfort on long-haul treks through the wilderness, and of newfound confidence in the vehicle’s capabilities. It’s these experiences that underline the transformative effect of the kit, turning the Can-Am Defender into an extension of the adventurer’s spirit, ready to explore further, push harder, and dream bigger.

Maintenance and Care for Your Can-Am Defender Long Travel Kit

After equipping your Can-Am Defender with a long travel kit, it embarks on a new chapter of off-road prowess. However, to ensure this upgrade continues to deliver peak performance and longevity, regular maintenance and care are essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide to keeping your long travel kit in top condition, ensuring your adventures never end on account of neglect.

Regular Inspection

The first step in maintenance is a routine inspection. After each off-road expedition, take the time to inspect the suspension components for any signs of wear or damage. Look for cracks, bending, or excessive wear in the suspension arms, shocks, springs, and axles. Early detection of potential issues can prevent more significant problems down the road.

Cleaning and Lubrication

Mud, dirt, and debris are badges of honor in the off-road world, but they’re also adversaries of your vehicle’s components. Regular cleaning is vital to prevent buildup that can lead to rust or corrosion, especially in the moving parts of your suspension system. After cleaning, apply lubricant to the necessary areas, such as pivot points and bushings, to ensure smooth operation and to protect against the elements.

Shock and Spring Care

The shocks and springs bear the brunt of the impact when off-roading, so paying extra attention to them is crucial. Check for leaks in the shock absorbers, and ensure the springs haven’t sagged or become damaged. Adjustments may be necessary to maintain the optimal ride height and performance, especially if you frequently change your off-road terrain or load.

Axle Maintenance

Given the increased stress on axles with a long travel kit, regular checks are essential. Ensure axles are not bent or showing signs of wear and that boots and seals are intact to prevent dirt from entering and grease from escaping. Any sign of leakage or damage should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage.

Tightness and Torque Checks

Vibration and the rigors of off-road driving can loosen bolts and fasteners over time. Periodically check that all components of the long travel kit are tightened to the manufacturer’s specified torque settings. This not only ensures the stability and safety of your vehicle but also the longevity of the upgrade itself.

Professional Inspections

While regular self-inspection and maintenance are key, having your long travel kit checked by a professional mechanic periodically can catch issues you might miss. They can also provide expert advice on any adjustments or replacements needed to keep your Defender performing at its best.

Handling Wear and Tear

Wear and tear on components such as bushings, joints, and bearings are inevitable. Replacing these parts when they show signs of degradation is crucial to maintaining the performance and safety of your long travel kit. Keep an eye on these components and consult your kit’s manual or a professional for the recommended service intervals.

Keeping Records

Maintain a log of all inspections, maintenance, and replacements. This record not only helps you keep track of the care you’ve provided but also serves as a valuable resource if you encounter issues or decide to sell your vehicle. Documentation of diligent maintenance can increase the value of your Defender.

Cost vs. Benefit Analysis: Investing in a Long Travel Kit for Your Can-Am Defender

When it comes to upgrading your Can-Am Defender with a long travel kit, the decision often boils down to a classic cost-versus-benefit analysis. The upfront cost can be significant, making some hesitant. However, understanding the tangible and intangible benefits can help paint a clearer picture of the true value of this investment. Let’s break down the costs, the benefits, and the potential return on investment (ROI) to help you make an informed decision.

The Costs

The initial cost of a long travel kit can vary widely depending on the brand, quality, and specific components included. High-end kits that offer superior performance and durability can come with a heftier price tag. In addition to the purchase price, installation costs must be considered, especially if you opt for professional installation to ensure everything is set up correctly. There may also be ancillary costs for additional modifications or upgrades that are necessary to accommodate the new suspension setup, such as upgraded tires or strengthened drivetrain components.

The Benefits

  1. Enhanced Performance: The most immediate benefit is a significant enhancement in off-road performance. Improved traction, stability, and ride comfort can transform your off-roading adventures, allowing you to tackle more challenging terrain with confidence.
  2. Increased Durability: Quality long travel kits are designed to withstand the rigors of off-road use better than stock components. This can mean fewer repairs and a longer lifespan for your vehicle’s suspension system.
  3. Resale Value: While it’s not always the primary concern, upgrading your Defender with a reputable long travel kit can increase its appeal and potentially its resale value. Off-road enthusiasts often look for vehicles already equipped with high-quality upgrades, saving them the hassle and expense of doing it themselves.
  4. Personal Enjoyment and Satisfaction: Beyond the tangible performance improvements, there’s significant value in the enhanced driving experience and personal satisfaction that comes from customizing your vehicle to suit your off-roading style.

Potential Return on Investment (ROI)

Calculating the exact ROI of a long travel kit can be tricky, as it involves both quantitative and qualitative factors. Quantitatively, the increased durability and potential resale value contribute to the ROI. Qualitatively, the improved performance and personal satisfaction from a more capable and enjoyable off-road experience are invaluable to many enthusiasts.

While the upfront costs are undeniable, the long-term benefits – from conquering new trails with ease to the sheer joy of a smoother, more responsive ride – can justify the investment for those who are serious about off-roading.


In conclusion, upgrading your Can-Am Defender with a long travel kit is more than just a mechanical enhancement; it’s a gateway to a world of unparalleled off-road adventures. By investing in a kit that enhances performance, increases durability, and elevates the overall driving experience, you’re not just modifying a vehicle; you’re enhancing your off-road lifestyle. While the initial costs may give pause, the long-term benefits in terms of enhanced capabilities, increased durability, and personal satisfaction make it a worthwhile investment for serious off-road enthusiasts. So, whether you’re conquering new trails, pushing the limits of your vehicle, or simply enjoying the thrill of the ride, a long travel kit is your ticket to a world of endless off-road possibilities with your Can-Am Defender.


1. How much does a long travel kit for a Can-Am Defender typically cost?

The cost of a long travel kit can vary depending on factors such as brand, quality, and included components. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $5,000 or more for a high-quality kit.

2. Can I install a long travel kit on my Can-Am Defender myself, or do I need professional assistance?

While some experienced DIYers may be able to tackle the installation themselves, it’s often recommended to seek professional assistance, especially if you’re not familiar with suspension systems or vehicle modifications. Professional installation ensures that the kit is installed correctly and safely, minimizing the risk of issues down the line.

3. Will installing a long travel kit void my Can-Am Defender’s warranty?

It’s essential to check with your vehicle’s manufacturer and your warranty terms before installing any aftermarket parts, including a long travel kit. In some cases, certain modifications may void or partially void your warranty, while others may not impact it at all. Always consult your warranty documentation or contact the manufacturer for clarification.

4. How will a long travel kit affect the ride quality of my Can-Am Defender?

A long travel kit is designed to improve the off-road performance of your Can-Am Defender by providing increased suspension travel, better handling, and enhanced stability. As a result, you can expect a smoother ride, improved traction, and reduced fatigue, even when tackling rough terrain.

5. What additional modifications may be necessary after installing a long travel kit?

Depending on the specific kit and your vehicle’s setup, you may need to make additional modifications to accommodate the new suspension system. This could include upgrading tires, reinforcing drivetrain components, or adjusting alignment settings. It’s essential to follow the recommendations provided by the kit manufacturer and consult with a professional if you’re unsure.

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