Kawasaki recently introduced us to the new
Teryx4 750 4x4 at the Dealer
Meeting in Florida last month. After seeing it first-hand and casually
reviewing the specs and features, I still didn't have a good grasp on what made
this new four seat UTV special. It is one thing to sit in one and check out the
pictures, but until you drive and ride in a new vehicle, much of the important
features don't sink in.
Thankfully that opportunity came when I was
invited to attend the press introduction in early November. I had the pleasure
of traveling back to Tennessee with Kawasaki to try out the all-new 2012
Kawasaki Teryx4 at Brimstone Recreation. I teamed up with Joey D. from
UTVUnderground.com and explored the
tight trails, muddy roads and steep hill climbs in the new four-seater.
As usual, Kawasaki put on a great event. In my opinion,
Brimstone Recreation was the
perfect site selection to highlight the unique features of the Teryx4. There are
close to 20,000 acres with hundreds of miles of trails that dodge through the
tight, tree-lined backcountry, climb steep hills, over rocks, across creeks and
slop through mud. Brimstone Recreation is a very popular location for families,
and with the Teryx4, four can now experience it!
Here are some of the features I liked best:
The new Centrifugal Clutch is located between the crankshaft
and CVT drive pulley. It eliminates CVT belt shock and offers an extra
degree of precision slow-speed power manipulation.
While riding at Brimstone, we were able to notice this
functionality in a big way. First test was to start at the bottom of a steep
hill with loose terrain in High gear. Low should have been the gear of
choice to keep the belt from slipping. To our surprise, the Teryx4
went right up even when you could tell it was bogging down a bit. The
second test was to stop on the decent of a similarly steep and loose hill.
We then dropped the gear selector in Reverse and backed up the hill.
Again no belt slip and nothing but solid power application.
This clutch setup will be great for rock crawling and will
greatly extend belt life. We are HUGE fans of this setup and hope it will be
adopted in the Teryx soon as well.
I am a big fan of power steering in UTVs and the Teryx4's is
no different. Input from vehicle speed and torque sensors determine the
amount of steering assistance – more during slow-speed use, and less as
speeds increase, just like a good sports car.
We spent most of the day behind the wheel of an EPS equipped
model, but did get a chance to drive a standard model. Although not so
noticeable at high speeds, the EPS model really reduces steering effort and
fatigue at slow speeds. This was especially noticeable in the tight
sections of Brimstone.
The engineers at
Kawasaki really focused on creating a vehicle that is much more than a
stretched version of the Teryx. When you pay attention to the numbers, it
really starts to sink in.
The Teryx4 has a wheelbase that is almost 17" shorter than
the Polaris RZR 4 (86.1" vs. 103"). Kawasaki was able to keep the rear
wheels behind the rear passengers for better suspension performance, but
minimize the wheelbase for a more nimble turning radius.
One thing I would like to see that would help with turning
radius even more is a selectable rear differential locker. Most sport-minded
UTVs are always locked, and this makes the vehicle want to go straight.
Ground Clearance & Break Over Angle:
a vehicle, and your break over angle decreases which means you get hung up
on all sorts of obstacles. With the Teryx4's relatively short 86.1"
wheelbase and 10.8" ground clearance, it creates a vehicle with a 17-degree
break over angle.
Break over angle is measured from the bottom of the tires to
the undercarriage. If the break over angle is too small, the vehicle will
hang up. For a vehicle that can comfortably seat four, the Teryx has a good
break over angle.
The other thing you will notice is how the Teryx4 is
designed with no plastic hanging down below the frame. This keeps your
vehicle looking nice and the tube frame can take a solid hit on a rock
without concern. Super important for rock crawling on the Rubicon or
Unlike the more conventional designs found on many
lighter-duty two-seat RUV models, the Teryx4 features a
Double-X frame design with two X-shaped cross members bridging the box
structures from corner to corner.
Kawasaki engineers used detailed computer analysis and loads
of off-road testing when developing the Teryx4’s all-new square-tube steel
frame. And it shows. While you would think this would just be
something that would be of concern for long term durability, you can
feel how stout and solid the Teryx4 is when you drive it.
Room for Four:
Even with it's nimble wheelbase and shorter overall length,
the Teryx4 has a surprising about of room. Front seats have three
adjustments. At 6' 1", I felt most comfortable with the driver seat
all the way back. And I was able to sit in the back without having the
cram my knees to the side. I think the choices made on cabin size vs.
overall vehicle size are a perfect balance. More interior room would
dictate a longer wheelbase and the nimbleness of vehicle would decline.
Under the Hood:
Air filter has been moved up under the hood. This
helps reduce engine noise in the cab, and also makes it easier to service.
Fuses are also located up front where they are protected and
also easily accessible.
The Teryx4’s all-new 749cc V-twin four-stroke engine offers
15 percent more power than the standard two-seat Teryx. Plus the CVT felt
like it reacted quicker so the overall seat of the pants feeling was the
Teryx4 was right in line with the lighter and less powerful Teryx. While
we'd like more power in the open desert, or dunes, the Teryx4 has plenty of
power for hard pack trails.
I am really glad I had the opportunity to try out a Teryx4
at Brimstone. The Teryx4 is a comfortable, nimble, trail-capable four-seater.
Kawasaki did a great job in the research and development of this UTV.
Some southwest duners might feel the Teryx4 is a let-down
without understanding the design of this new UTV. In stock form, a RZR 4
would trump the Teryx4 in a fast dune or desert ride when it comes to power
and suspension. But in the tight trails found back east, and in the
rocks on the Rubicon Trail and in Moab the Teryx4 will shine. And this is
not saying that will a little suspension work and power upgrades that the
Teryx4 won't be a player in the dunes as well.
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki
motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, utility vehicles and recreation
utility vehicles through a network of more than 1,350 independent retailers,
with an additional 8,000 retailers specializing in Kawasaki power products
and general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100
people in the United States, with 300 of them located at KMC's Irvine,
Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.™”, is recognized
worldwide. The Kawasaki brand has become synonymous with powerful, stylish
motorcycles for over four decades. Information about Kawasaki’s complete
line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the