HD ZR2 Offroad Test Ride

AXE

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Had 20 miles on the Bison coming home from the dealer, so since it wasn't cleaned anyway I decided a little desert off road test was in order.

It rides really nice over choppy roads, ruts, and whoops. It ain't nearly as plush as the 1500 ZR2, but definitely better than my previous 2500 rigs with decent lifts and suspension.

It has an incredible amount of clearance and easily climbs steep grades with complex terrain.

This bad boy sits extremely tall and I don't have steps yet. I got out to take pictures a couple pictures and I could barely get back in the truck. I'm 6' tall and had to lift my leg well above waist and haul my ass up by the grab handle. Definitely ain't 25 anymore....lol.

The 4x4 and rear locker worked great and would creep up these inclines and over 12 inch rocks no problem. Loose or hard surfaces no problem.

Overall pretty impressed for a big truck.
 

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Then I got a little cocky and decided to go over some large off camber mounds and got hung up on one of my skids......I have said I'll never get any use out of these skids........lol.

As it turns out, these mounds were not hard desert they were fill dirt that had been there a while. Hard on surface, but soft silt underneath. I dropped my front wheel over an edge and the dirt gave out and my right front tire sunk about 10 inches. Left me slightly hung up on center skid plate. Tried backing up, spun a bit and decided that was gonna make it worse and cause damage.

So I decided to call in my chase truck with recovery gear and give her a gentle tug backward. Worked just fine, but I did bend that shitty little flimsy fin that sits below the rocker and scratched the paint. Of course the skid got a little scuffed too, but I suppose that was the idea behind it.

So my first activity will be straightening that fin and some touch up paint......lol!
 

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Lol what trail / road did you take it to? Trying to compile me some areas to off-road once mines out of the shop
 
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Lol what trail / road did you take it to? Trying to compile me some areas to off-road once mines out of the shop
This was just west of my house, nothing to get real excited about. I live in NW side of metro area and everything N and NW is desert.

There are some great trails around Central Arizona, among everywhere else. If you want to get into some great desert to forest trails look into the Crown King run. Coming in from the east is much more civilized. Coming in from the west is way more techincal and I don't recommend it unless you're well equipped. You get to the top and your at 7k elevation in the ponderosa pine and I've been there in 2 feet of snow. That's 25 miles due north of my house as the crow flies.

The roads to Castle Creek and Vulture Mine are great, as are Sycamore Creek. All within hour or less of Phoenix.

By the way, there a couple bars at the top of Crown King. The old saloon has a great bloody Mary. There is a general store that sells some tasty home made fudge......get you some.

 
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Nice!. That's the big downsides. I'm torn about it really. The longer wheelbase and weight is awesome for towing. The extra bed space, fuel capacity and tow mirrors is sweet and I really miss it. Down side is you are a long heavy beast that easily high centers and sinks like a rock in anything remotely soft, lol. I keep going back and forth on if I want to go back to an HD. It's good to know the ride is pretty decent. That's always been another big negative. I've backed off a little looking for an HD. I think I might just order one and in several months when it shows up, then decide if I want it. lol
 
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Nice!. That's the big downsides. I'm torn about it really. The longer wheelbase and weight is awesome for towing. The extra bed space, fuel capacity and tow mirrors is sweet and I really miss it. Down side is you are a long heavy beast that easily high centers and sinks like a rock in anything remotely soft, lol. I keep going back and forth on if I want to go back to an HD. It's good to know the ride is pretty decent. That's always been another big negative. I've backed off a little looking for an HD. I think I might just order one and in several months when it shows up, then decide if I want it. lol
Yep, it's a quandary for sure. There are some real trade offs. I'll tell you the best thing about it is sitting up higher where you can see traffic better. I really missed that the most.

I figure I have handful more years where towing my camper and hunting in the boonies was appealing and then I'm not sure it makes sense after that.

I decided to keep the 1500 until at least spring cause I just couldn't bear to part with it less than a year old. They kept asking me to trade, but I figured it would be easy to sell whenever I want.
 
Yep, it's a quandary for sure. There are some real trade offs. I'll tell you the best thing about it is sitting up higher where you can see traffic better. I really missed that the most.

I figure I have handful more years where towing my camper and hunting in the boonies was appealing and then I'm not sure it makes sense after that.

I decided to keep the 1500 until at least spring cause I just couldn't bear to part with it less than a year old. They kept asking me to trade, but I figured it would be easy to sell whenever I want.
Nice, Unfortunately for me it would be one or the other. I still owe around 20k on the 1500 and it just wouldn't make sense for me to have both for a while to decide. But the time deal is part of my thinking also. I figure no rush on deciding. My thinking is I need to decide before I hit 36k mileage if I'm going to keep the 1500 or not. I don't really NEED the HD. But I do tow a fair amount and I use my truck for work. So I am missing some of the HD features. Same time the nimble 1500 has been nice, lol.
 
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I'll tell you one thing, that 4k trip I just did was real nice in that 1500. It tracks down the road perfectly at 80 mph. It handles choppy pavement and potholes like they ain't even there. Then running around the farm and through some fields it just ate up the bumps and ruts. Truck didn't even vibrate at 30 to 40 mph on washboard gravel roads. I don't think many trucks can do that with such ease.

We'll see how the HD does, but it won't be that good.
 

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