long travel is mostly for racing....if you can afford it than go ahead but the more cost affective way is to go standard travel.....depends on your budget...and you probably won't find much of a difference in the dunes
The longer shocks you use with the LT a-arms allow for more springs and better control of shock tuning. The goal being a smoother ride while still being able to soak up the big hits. The benefits of the actual a-arm is the ability to handle the longer shock and sometimes (depending on brand) a small increase in actual wheel travel. The ball joints wouldn't allow for a whole lot more anyway.
A well setup standard travel shock and a-arm combo will perform very well for trail riding, and unless you're airing it out on the mx track or running through the desert in top gear it may be difficult to notice a whole lot of a difference between that and a long shock (LT) front end. You need to weigh the additional cost of the long shock/LT setup vs the additional cost. The additional cost varies greatly depending on the parts purchased. I would favor quality shocks and a-arms over worrying about whether they were LT or ST.
I personally have the long travel with Elka Dune Edition shocks. I purchased them from TQS. I ONLY notice the difference when the dunes are really choppy from a busy weekend, it does help smooth the ride out. I am also sure that the Flex bars and anti-vibe stem also plays a role in the smoothness of the ride. I have been told by 4 other Raptor riders at the Raptor Rally, that my bike was probably the smoothes Raptor they have been on. I really do like the set up. I truly feel that the entire set up is what helps with the smoothness of the ride, not just the LT and shocks.
If I would have asked the right questions first, ie. asking guys on the forum. I would have put the big $$$ into the engine build first and then do the LT......
If I were to do just the LT and shocks, I may not have felt the difference. On the other hand I do not ride the bike hard, nor do I jump it. I am just a dune rider that loves power and a smooth ride!
Was in the same boat. I went with standard travel ohlins triple rates. Love em! Best mod I did. Lots and lots of negative travel but soaks up big dune jumps. In the woods it feels like you are velcro'd to the ground.
I went standard travel because of the riding I do...no mx racing, and because of added weight with hardly any benefit with the type of riding I do.
cant go wrong either way IMO, unless you are racing, then long travel all the way
I don't understand why people keep putting long travel with racing??? Its for anyone who wants it, sheared you are a duner, trail rider, desert rider, mx'er, xc'er every kind of riding. Wheather you want it just to be comfortable at the dunes or blitzing down trails @ 75/80 mph. If you have the coin do it you wont regret it. Its not just for racing
Long shock setups have traditionally been reserved for those who are racing. That's not to say you can't have a long shock setup for trail riding, it's your money and by all means spend it as you would like. The opinion of some members is that long shocks don't give them enough benefit to warrant the cost, while racers are more apt to feel that difference and need to shave seconds off from lap times.