Trip Reports UTV Product Reviews

Kawasaki Teryx Takes on Rally on the Rocks

Kawasaki Teryx Takes on Rally on the Rocks

2014 Kawasaki Teryx
2014 Kawasaki Teryx LE at the 2014 Rally on the Rocks

By Jon Crowley, UTVGuide.net

The 5th Annual Rally on the Rocks event in Moab offers incredible scenery and vistas like no place else on earth and the city opens its arms to welcome off-roaders to the area to experience it first-hand. The event offers trails for every level of enthusiast and continues to get bigger and better. From the beginner with no rock-crawling experience to the most challenging and demanding that test driver and machine. Each day offers numerous guided, UTV friendly, trails planned throughout the Moab area.  I actually went to the first UTV Rally back in 2007, and since then have only missed my annual trip to Moab twice.

This year, I brought my Son along with me so he could experience Moab, get his help taking pictures and also get him some experience behind the wheel in the rocks. We brought our newly built up 2014 Kawasaki Teryx to Rally on the Rocks this year and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how it performed. SDR Motorsports finished the build for us a few weeks before the event and this was our first chance to play with it.

In my opinion, the 2014 Teryx two seater screams adventure. The new design stretches the chassis for a better ride and more storage. The Teryx now shares the same frame as the Teryx4, but instead of four seats, it has a large bed and two super huge protected storage bins. There is plenty of room for camping gear when you want to camp out on the Rubicon, or ample space for spare parts and tools if you want to go rock crawling on extreme trails. 

The Teryx v-twin has been updated from 749cc to 783cc to give it more power and torque especially in the low- to mid-range. Plus the updated engine is more fuel efficient so you can travel farther between fuel stops.

One of my favorite features of the new Teryx is their Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT features a centrifugal clutch assembly that works quickly and firmly so there is no belt slip even with 30-inch tires on some pretty gnarly rock trails. Plus the three-mode electronically selectable 4WD system that let’s me decide when to engage 4WD+Front Differential Lock mode when I want it and off when I don’t. And the CVT features an engine braking capability that works really well on steep descents.

2014 Kawasaki Teryx
Our newly completed 2014 Kawasaki Teryx build

I took the base platform and decided to work with a few different companies to take the Teryx to a new level for more extreme rock crawling situations. SDR Motorsports built us a new cage and bumper for increased safety and style. Then SDR installed a Muzzys Performance dual exhaust, SSV Works audio system, PRP Seats and Harnesses, Warn winch with new Custom Splice synthetic line, Super Bright LEDs accent and rock lights, Lowrance GPS, Axia Alloys mirrors and Fire Extinguisher. Factory UTV UHMW skid plates and rock sliders and HCR Racing long travel suspension was added to gain wheel travel, ride height and width. This allows our Teryx to go faster in rough terrain, and the added ride height let’s us navigate large boulders while rock crawling. The UHMW skids protects the underside when we are going extreme in the rocks. To give our Teryx more ride height and ground clearance, plus added style points, we mounted up 30″ STI Roctane XD tires on their newest HD5 Beadlock wheels.

Once in Moab, we went out to Hell’s Revenge for a quick test to make sure everything worked properly, and as a little warm-up for tougher trails in the coming days. We  even played around on the Escalator for a bit to push things a bit further.

Kawasaki Teryx on Escalator
Climbing Escalator onHell’s Revenge

Tuesday we went on a guided ride on Cliff Hanger in the morning, then hit Moab Rim in the afternoon. More pictures fromCliff Hanger & Moab Rim.

Kawasaki Teryx on Cliff Hanger
My Son behind the wheel on “Cliff Hanger”

Climbing the stair steps at the end of Cliff Hanger

Kawasaki Teryx on Moab Rim
Climbing Moab Rim

On Thursday wePoison Spider and Golden Spike. Once again we did the first have of the guided ride, then split off after lunch to tackle even more difficult trails. At the end of the day, we hurried back to get the Teryx cleaned up and entered it in the SxSPerformance.com Show & Shine, and it won “Best in Show”!

Kawasaki Teryx crossing the Golden Crack
Crossing the Golden Crack on Golden Spike Trail

And then on Friday we tackledBehind the Rocks, which is another of Moab’s toughest trails.

Climbing Guardian Hill on Behind the Rocks

Kawasaki Teryx descending High Dive on Behind the Rocks
Descending “High Dive” on Behind the Rocks

Overall, our new Teryx thoroughly impressed us.  The longer wheelbase gives it more stability for steep climbs and descents, but is still nimble.  Power steering is the right amount of assist, even for big 30-inch tires. Absolutely love the large, sheltered storage bins for tools, jackets, compressor and tow strap. The clutch is amazing,  it just never seems to slip at all. The seat position is more upright than with other UTVs and gives you great visibility of obstacles. The engine has lots of low-end grunt that is well-suited to rock crawling. And all of the aftermarket accessories took a solid machine and turned it into a rock crawling dynamo! Check out the videos above and we tackled them with ease.

Next up for our Teryx is a family camping trip on the Rubicon Trail.  Stay tuned for more.

2014 Kawasaki TeryxKawasaki TeryxKawasaki TeryxKawasaki Teryx

Rally on the RocksKawasaki TeryxKawasaki TeryxKawasaki Teryx

Buildup Project Sponsors:

  • SDR Motorsports – Roll Cage, Bumper, Roof
  • HCR Racing – Long Travel Suspension
  • King Shocks – Shocks
  • Factory UTV – Skid Plate, Rock Sliders
  • SSV Works – Stereo
  • Warn – XT40 Winch
  • Custom Splice – Synthetic Winch Line and Billet Fairlead
  • Muzzys Performance – Dual Exhaust
  • VForceJohn – Power Commander V Tune
  • Axia Alloys – Panoramic Mirror, Side Mirrors and Fire Extinguisher/Mount
  • Rugged Radios – Radio
  • STI Tire & Wheel – Wheels and Tires
  • PRP Seats – Seats & Harnesses
  • SuperBrightLEDs – Rock Lights and Accent Lights

More Resources:

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