Kawasaki Trip Reports

2012 Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting

2012 Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting

Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4x4 EPS LE
Teryx4 740 4×4 EPS LE being unveiled at the 2012 Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting

By Jon Crowley,www.UTVGuide.net

I was fortunate enough to be invited by Kawasaki USA to attend their 2012 Dealer Business Meeting in Orlando Florida. Annual meetings like this are a chance for dealers to get up to speed on manufacturers’ new products for the upcoming model year.  And this year it was obvious to me that Kawasaki went all out. Several other ATV/UTV editors had been invited out for the event and I had the privilege of getting information on the new models under embargo before the reveal on Monday morning. Seeing images and specs in print can do only so much to satisfy my curiosity so I was really looking forward to putting my hands on the new Teryx4.

We all arrived on Sunday afternoon, and after quickly checking in to the hotel, we all took a bus over to the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center where the meeting was taking place.  This hotel is big (over 1,400 rooms), and Kawasaki had completely taken over all of the rooms and the entire convention center for this event. After a question and answer session with some of Team Green Kawasaki’s top riders, we were off to a welcome party. Food and drinks flowed and an excellent band played covers to lots of songs we all knew. The place was rocking and filled with a sea of Kawasaki clad dealers and corporate staff. Truly amazing to experience!

2012 Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting2012 Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting
Welcome party just getting started

The next morning hit bright and early for us west coast folks, but I was excited to see what Kawasaki had in store for presenting the new products to their dealers.  We all filed into a huge exhibition center around a circle facing a large area in the center that was concealed by drapes.  It was a little after 8AM and our embargo for posting the new 2012 models wasn’t lifting until 9AM.  It was interesting to watch all the editors sitting in the dark with their laptops, iPads and smartphones poised to release new model information while a Cirque Du Soleil atmosphere surrounded us.

Kawasaki Teryx4 "Off-Road Rated"

When the moment arrived, the drapes dropped and the entire corporate sales/support staff appeared.  I was expecting a bunch of new models to jump out but that wasn’t their plan. Several speakers talked about the market and there were a few key pieces of information that I gleamed from them.

  1. The ATV market continues to see lackluster performance.
  2. The UTV market continues to grow.
  3. Shoppers get 35% of their buying information from the internet, which is way more than magazines at 4%.
  4. Kawasaki USA is geared up big time to hit the web hard as a huge part of their marketing program – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

It is a good time to be focused on UTVs with a website as your outlet!

Finally 9AM arrived, and I hit send on my industry news posts and starting blogging about the new Teryx4. After presenting the new Brute Force 300,Ninja ZX-14R, Ninja 650, Ultra LX and theTeryx4 it was time to head over to the New Product Showcase to see the Teryx4 firsthand.

The Teryx4 display area was right where we walked in and people were climbing in and out of the half-dozen units on display. It was hard to get good product photos with all the commotion, but this was a time to touch and feel so we jumped right in.

Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4

Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4

Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4

 Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4

Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4

I crawled around a nice yellow EPS LE model for a while, then headed over to the Team Green area to get the skinny from Reid Nordin. I knew that Reid has spent a lot of time on this project so there would be no one better to explain all the new stuff. There was a nicely customized LE model that had been put together by Funco. It sported their new +6” long travel with King Shocks, harnesses, a new roll cage, wheels and tires and Muzzys dual exhaust. This Teryx4 looked tuff!  

Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4

Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4

Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4Funco Long Travel Kawasaki Teryx4

Here are a few things that I felt were important:

  • Although the engine is still a 749cc v-twin, it is completely new and puts down about 20% more horsepower than the 2011 Teryx. Parts are not interchangeable between the Teryx and Teryx4 and the output shafts and engine mounts are in different locations, so there won’t be easy drop-in upgrades for any of you that already own a Teryx. The good news for horsepower junkies is Muzzys Performance Products has had access to a unit for a while and already has exhaust ready to go and big bore kits designed.  Look for an 880cc kit with stock cylinders, and also a 916cc and 999cc with Muzzys’ billet cylinders real soon.
  • The CVT features an industry-first centrifugal clutch assembly. I believe this is a huge development which should virtually eliminate belt slip and really shine in the rocks. The centrifugal clutch assembly offers an extra degree of precision slow-speed power manipulation and smoothness, which is ideal for slow-speed where precise throttle manipulation is key
  • Differentials are all new and larger.  Axles and CVs are also bigger.
  • Suspension is completely new with nothing in common with the Teryx. Although the Teryx4 is about 6” wider than the Teryx, this does not equate to any increase in wheel travel. So those of you wanting a long travel suspension will have to look at the aftermarket for that.  Funco and Long Travel Industries already have their designs complete and I am sure a whole slew of others will follow suit.
  • The Teryx4 is pretty roomy.  I am 6’ 1” and sat in the back without having my knees hit the front seat.
  • Air filter sits up front and is easily serviceable and should have access to cleaner and cooler air
  • Power steering is a great option.  I have added power steering to several UTVs and I am a big fan. Drive a UTV with EPS, and you will be too.

For those of you that are looking at the Teryx4 as a RZR 4 killer in the dunes, it will take some work to get the Teryx4 there.  It is pretty clear to me that a four-seat dune machine was not the target for the Teryx4. Instead look at the Teryx4 as an adventure vehicle (seeKawasaki Adventure Hunters). Explore, hunt and even rock crawl with three others in comfort.Like other UTV enthusiasts, I would really like to see Kawasaki’s version of a sport UTV and I hope they have something up their sleeves that has more power, more suspension and is lighter than the current two-seat Teryx. I think the Teryx4 fills a void for Kawasaki and I am happy that they see value in expanding their UTV market offerings.

In closing, the 2012 Kawasaki Dealer Business Meeting was an eye-opening event for me. Kawasaki is truly energized and I am excited about their new products. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a new Teryx4  and hopefully add one to the UTVGuide.net stable so we can bring you more details.

Kawasaki Teryx4

Kawasaki Teryx4Kawasaki Teryx4
Dealers were able to get behind the wheel of a 2012 Teryx4

Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans4x4Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans4x4Kawasaki Mule

Kawasaki Mule 610 XCKawasaki Mule 610 XC

Kawasaki Mule 600Kawasaki Mule 610Kawasaki Mule 4010 Trans4x4
2012 Kawasaki MULE Line-Up

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4, Teryx and Mule line-up:

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.

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 Internet atwww.kawasaki.com.

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