By Jon Crowley
While in Johnson Valley, Ca for King of the Hammers, I had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a 2023 Kawasaki Teryx KRX4 1000. I joined up with Jeremy McGrath and Maxxis Tire on a guided ride that lead us to the Giant Rock and then down Rattlesnake Canyon before returning to Hammertown USA. The ride was about 60 miles long and we hit some of the different types of desert terrain in Johnson Valley. Unfortunately, I did not get to do any rock crawling, but we did hit some big whoops, fast/smooth runs, and some slow-speed rocky trails.
The two-seat Kawasaki KRX 1000 was first introduced as a 2020 model year in October 2019. I was very impressed with this new trail machine and wrote about that here: Kwasaki KRX 1000 Review. The Kawasaki KRX4 1000 was just introduced last summer and opened the doors for families to enjoy outdoor adventures.
The KRX4 is powered by a 999cc parallel-twin engine that is paired with a CVT transmission. Plenty of power for trail rides, but if you primarily ride in the dunes, this is probably not the right machine for you. The CVT and centrifugal clutch give you good acceleration and very good control at slow speeds (excellent for rock crawling).
Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension takes the Teryx KRX4 1000 eS and eS Special Edition to the next level. High-performance FOX 2.5 Live Valve Internal Bypass shocks combined with a Bosch Electronic Control System are optimized with Kawasaki suspension settings to deliver a comfortable ride and enhanced platform across a wider range of riding situations. Dashboard switches on the Teryx KRX4 1000 eS and eS Special Edition allow drivers to select from three suspension modes (soft, normal, and firm) on-the-fly to suit different terrains and speeds. I really liked the ability to switch from soft to medium to firm depending on the terrain, it certainly makes for a more comfortable ride!
After we finished Rattlesnake Canyon, the sun was starting to get low, and a free for all ride back to Hammertown ensued. This was a great opportunity to really go at my desired speed and pick the terrain that I wanted to hit. Wow! I was truly impressed with how well the four-seter could bomb through big whoops at speed with ease. Very fun and really drove home the point I make often in the desert – shocks make you fast!
One thing I did not like about the shock setup is the noise coming from the crossover rings on the front shocks. When the dual-rate springs collapse enough for the spring divider to hit the crossover ring, it makes a clanking noise that sounds like something is falling apart on the vehicle. It took me a bit to determine what the noise was, and try to ignore it, but it is hard to shut your brain off.
The cabin of the KRX4 1000 has plenty of room for a comfortable ride. It features four high-backed bucket seats with three-point seatbelts. Legroom was decent (I am 6′ 1″ tall). Rear seats allow full-sized adults to sit comfortably.
Rear bed space is large enough to accommodate up to a 32-inch spare tire and has a load capacity of 350 pounds. which is very nice.
Even with the engine and muffler being farther behind the driver because of the four-seat chassis, I found the noise from the exhaust to be louder than I’d prefer for a trail machine. This is probably due to the engine being naturally aspirated with no turbo to help suppress the noise.
Overall, the Kawasaki Teryx KRX4 1000 is a very capable and comfortable vehicle and I am looking forward to more seat time in the KRX and KRX4!