|Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4×4 Product Review
By Jon Crowley,UTVGuide.net
Kawasaki recently introduced us to the new Teryx4 750 4×4 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. fromUTVUnderground.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.
Electric Power Steering:
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:
Stretch 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 in Moab.
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 Teryx4s 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 Teryx4s 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.
And the good news is Muzzys Performance Products already has dual exhaust, as well as 88cc, 916cc and 999cc big bore kits available.
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.
About Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
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, California headquarters.
Kawasakis 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 Kawasakis complete line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet atwww.kawasaki.com.