|2014 Kawasaki Teryx is Ready for Adventure
By Katelyn Crowley
Being part of a family where my Dad has seven UTVs in the shop tends to give me more opportunities than most sixteen year olds, when it comes to off-road adventures. He always seems to have the latest and greatest UTVs, some completely stock and others are completely modified.
Last summer I had the chance to get behind the wheel of his 2011 Kawasaki Teryx that I would put in the completely modified category. This Teryx was an extreme build with Muzzys Performance big bore power and dual exhaust, Lone Star Racing long travel, super big FOX shocks, I think ten different Rigid Industries LED lights, power steering, 30 STI tires and wheels and a custom cage that left it without a bed. This was by far his favorite UTV to rock crawl in, so I was eager to get behind the wheel.
I have had very limited experience to rock crawling, but my Dad figured it was time for me to learn. We loaded up for a day trip on the Rubicon Trail. My Dad drove through the first part of the trail, and I was amazed at how the Teryx made quick work of the big rocks. After the short introduction to rock crawling, I was nervous about getting behind the wheel.
First thing I noticed was the touchy throttle. My Dad told me to be careful to not add too much throttle because between the engine and big tires I could break an axle or snap a belt if I gassed it too hard. I struggled with the balance of too little and too much throttle as the Teryx lunged forward.
Over the course of the day, I started to get the hang of the throttle and my comfort level let me pay attention to other parts of the vehicle. Compared to a RZR, I noticed my seating position was much different. In the RZR I feel like I am sitting down lower in the vehicle. This helps keep the weight low, but on the Rubicon, I could really see how the more upright seat position in the Teryx gave me a better field of view to see the upcoming rocks.
Then there was the lack of storage. He had a plastic box strapped down in the back for tools and a cooler for our lunch on top of that. The stock bed would have been more practical, but I could see how it would be nice to have multiple storage areas to stash stuff away that we needed. Tools in one spot, cooler for lunch in another and somewhere else for his camera gear.
Fast forward six months, and my Dad sold his 2011 and bought a new 2014 Kawasaki Teryx. He has plans to customize this new vehicle as well (what a surprise), but thought it would be good to let me do a little driving while it was still stock to get my impressions.
The 2014 Teryx engine and clutch have been refined to increase torque and low to mid-range power. While it doesnt have the power of my Dads old Teryx, I found it more user-friendly. The 2014 model improves greatly in its new clutch system compared to the earlier model. When accelerating, the clutch engages quickly and grips firmly. I had no problem getting up steep hills covered with loose rocks in low gear. It grips firmly and climbs steadily with ease. Even while in high gear crawling up hills that should have been attacked in low range, the Teryx has excellent throttle response and can deliver through a greatly varied terrain. The 2014 Teryx also has great engine breaking. While driving down hills just by letting off the gas, the engine will continue to be engaged and maintain a slower speed down the hill.
The 2014 Teryx also has a new body style. With the chassis extended slightly and a wheelbase almost 10 inches greater than the 2013, the new Teryx offers much more stability. In addition, the frame was changed in this years model. The double-x frame is stronger and more ridged.
Like my Dads 2011 Teryx, the 2014 Teryx also offers great visibility for the rider and driver. With seats situated higher and coupled with a sloping hood, visibility is incredible. While driving, I could see everything before me until just before it slipped under the vehicle. This was especially helpful while tackling rocks and making difficult turns.
Another convenience is the large amount of storage area. Behind the seats there are two sealed compartments that together provide 48 gallons of storage. With this feature you dont have to worry about soaking or getting your cargo dirty while driving through dust, dirt, mud, creeks, in rain, or other wet conditions. For my family this is an incredible feature. We bring cameras almost everywhere, and with the sealed compartments we dont have to worry nearly as much about them getting damaged from the elements. Another great component to the 2014 Teryx is the bed. With a longer length than the previous Teryx, the bed is much larger and more capable. The bed can hold nearly 600 pounds of cargo with plenty of room to haul a variety of items. This is perfect for hauling camping, hunting or almost any supplies, making exploring the wilderness that much easier.
Another feature I found appealing was the Electrical Power Steering or EPS. My Dads 2011 Teryx had aftermarket power steering and it comes standard on the 2014. I found extremely useful while driving over obstacles like rocks, ditches, logs and more. The EPS gave me the ability to control the vehicle with ease, making impediments easier to confront.
The 2014 Teryx may not have the speed and suspension than other sports UTVs offer, however, this vehicles purpose lies elsewhere. I recommend this UTV for those with a sense of adventure, desiring to drive through a varied terrain. The 2014 Teryx would also be well suited for hunting. Equipped with ample storage and a large bed, the Teryx can haul large amounts of cargo while still being much more nimble than a truck or other larger vehicles. Without a doubt, the Teryx is well suited for around the ranch, at home, hunting, camping, or exploring.
Kawasakis 2014 Teryx improves on previous models in its clutch, torque, low to mid-range power and its many conveniences. It offers something different to the UTV industry, broadening the range of its use. I enjoyed riding this vehicle because it offered a new riding experience than what Im accustomed to. I look forward to further rides in the 2014 Teryx in eclectic locations and pushing it to its full potential in diverse situations.
My Dad has already started to customize his new Teryx and I am excited to see what he creates. I think the 2014 Teryx will make a great platform for camping trips and adventure rides. If you would like to follow along with his build, make sure to bookmark 2014 Kawasaki Buildup or Like UTVGuide on Facebook.