|Exploring the Paiute Trail
with the 2014 Kawasaki Teryx4
By Brian ‘woody’ Swearingen
Kawasaki’s updates to the Teryx4 may seem like simple icing, but the addition of FOX Podium shocks, the new larger 783cc engine and the additional sound deadening certainly made a noticeable difference in trail performance and rider experience. Combine that with the new exterior colors and little enhancements like matching tricolor seat vinyl and color-matched suspension arms, and you have a machine that any UTV owner would be proud to show off.
The Kawasaki Teryx4 has never been brought to market solely as a sport or utility UTV it is instead a great combination of function and fun. The T4 combines a great drivetrain, four comfortable easy-access seats, a short wheelbase for maneuverability, and a spirited driving experience. Rear passengers benefit from a higher and in-boarded seating position (stadium style). Simply put, this is a FUN machine, either solo or with friends and family.
Kawasaki chose to take the 2014 Teryx4 and let several editors put it to the test on the beautiful Paiute ATV Trails between Beaver and Marysvale, Utah. This trail has a heritage dating back to the 1400’s and presently boasts over 238 miles of continual loop trails. Primarily located in the Fish Lake National Forest, more than 97 trails combine with forest roads for over 800 miles of available riding. Beaver is just shy of 6000′ of elevation and Marysvale is roughly the same the Paiute climbs to over 11,000 feet between these two small towns, making for some challenging climbs and descents.
This extensive trail system is a perfect for the Kawasaki Teryx4 the access gates are 60″ wide and the maneuverability of the machine was a benefit on many of the tight twisty sections. The FOX Podium shocks made a noticeable improvement in the ride, particularly on the smaller rocks, but they could benefit from a bit more rear rebound for those airborne moments. Compression adjustability was perfect, and allowed for each rider to select settings that best matched their own driving preference.
The twin-cylinder engine received the most improvements displacement rose from 749cc to 783cc with increases in torque and horsepower simply, lower RPM’s for equal power and less noise, combined with significant fuel economy improvements. Compression rose from 9.3 to 10.7 with revised piston crowns,crank weight/mass was increased, new cam profiles, and the exhaust collector was increased from 31.88mm to 35mm in short, when climbing, the Kawasaki Teryx4 held speeds better and felt more spirited at mid/low speed than the 2012 model I’m used to riding. Added to that was additional insulation for further sound deadening and heat management (some around the engine tunnel, but also some on the outside of the T4 under the front seats and outside bodywork). I wouldn’t call it a LOT quieter, but any little bit helps.
The final major improvement was in lighting if you’ve driven a 2012/2013 Teryx4, you know your headlamps are barely adequate in the confines of your own garage, let alone on a dark trail. Kawasaki has VASTLY improved this with the addition of standard LED headlights. These were bright enough to shine noticeable light on the trails under the shade of the trees I look forward to ordering a pair for my 2012 (yes, they’ll fit) and seeing how they work on actual night rides.
Lastly, style I am honestly a function person, and have already been impressed by the Teryx4 in that regard but the new Teryx4 LE is now available in Candy Lime Green or Candy Burnt Orange with color-matched suspension arms and seats these new machines really pop! MSRP on a base model comes in at $15,799 with the top LE models at $16,999 and all models include standard Electronic Power Steering and the root as well.
I’ve always been a big fan of my Teryx4 for the driving position the machine is comfortable to enter and exit, has a great driving position and is my favorite for everyday trail riding. The 2014 kept all the features I’ve admired in my 2012, and added the shock and engine improvements to make an already great machine even better.
Note: Ours was the 3rd trip through the Paiute Trail for these new 2014 Kawasaki Teryx4 machines within a week roughly 600 miles in 6 days on some challenging terrain other than a few tires, there were no mechanical or other failures, a testament to the reliability Kawasaki offers in their products, particularly in the hands of unforgiving media drivers!
Kawasaki Trip Reports