By Jon Crowley
I had the opportunity to test drive the all-new 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000 earlier this week during the Kawasaki Dealer Meeting in Palm Springs. We’ve all been waiting a long time for Kawasaki to jump into the sport UTV market and the wait is finally over.
Getting New Units to Dealers Stat!
The KRX1000 was unveiled on Monday morning, October 7, 2019 and a few things about this new model release really impressed me. First off, Kawasaki leveraged the excitement for the new KRX by delivering units to some of the dealers the very next day!
That is how it should be done! Manufacturers shouldn’t introduce something and then make buyers and dealers wait for months. Great job Kawasaki!
Demo Track at the Kawasaki Dealer Show
The next thing that impressed me about this release was the demo track. Kawasaki didn’t just dump some dirt in a hotel parking lot. They found some private land in Coachella that they spent a month building different courses on for different UTVs. One course for MULE and Teryx 800, and two others for the new Teryx KRX1000. We spent about 3 hours on the two KRX1000 courses and they covered a broad spectrum of terrain types including some pretty aggressive rock climbs and descents. Here is an in-car video of the two different loops we did.
On these loops, I was able to test high speed in a straightaway, and this told me that the KRX1000 taps out at 68MPH on the speedo. We also put it in low range, and tested the differential lock and a new Low Power mode that works well for people that aren’t experienced rock crawlers. The track was just missing two things that I would have liked to test: whoops and g-outs. We will just have to wait on that test until next week in Moab when we have the opportunity test more thoroughly.
Until then, here is a quick summary of likes and dislikes from our first ride of the KRX1000.
- Good looking vehicle
- Good wheelbase for rough desert terrain
- Cab room
- 8-point ROPS cage mounts to chassis in all 8 spots
- Adjustable seats for driver and passenger
- Low range is low enough for technical rock crawling
- Stout chassis and drivetrain
- Engine braking on hill decent is excellent
- Good wheel travel – 19” front and 21” rear
- 31-inch tires stock
- Parking brake
- Large bed can hold 32-inch tire
- Gauge cluster includes CVT Belt temp and Voltage
- Easily accessible air filter
- Site glass for oil level
- Factory full coverage half doors
- High Clearance suspension
- 4/156 wheel bolt pattern
- Dual-Rate Springs
- Aftermarket is already geared up ahead of release
- Heavy – 1900 lbs.
- Sluggish off the line.
- Tire flex while cornering is excessive.
- Suspension feels mushy (body roll).
- Sight line over the hood while rock crawling isn’t fantastic. Better than X3, but worse than YXZ, Talon and RZR.
- Steering does push more than I’d like in the corners.
- Not a big fan of steel/aluminum skid plates, unless you attach Factory UTV UHMW skids to the bottom.
- Brakes feel a bit soft.
- Clunking noise from crossover rings on suspension is annoying
- Low Power mode is worthless for experienced drivers.
While many people will complain about the lack of a turbo, Kawasaki has focused on the larger naturally aspirated market segment. Most internet racers have complained vehemently about this and they do have a point. While I have no doubt that a factory turbo will come at some point, it isn’t here today. I would have liked to see Kawasaki introduce both N/A and turbo at the same time. And it is great to see Kawasaki working with K&T Performance for an aftermarket solution, but I want a factory turbo.
Either way, it is exciting to have Kawasaki in the sport market finally and I cannot wait to see where the market goes from here!
Kawasaki brought key aftermarket companies into the release of the KRX1000 and many already have products available.
HCR Racing long travel suspension, Cage WRX cage and more