By Jon Crowley
On our recent trip to Moab, Utah for the annual Rally on the Rocks event, I had the opportunity to check out the new 2016 Kawasaki Teryx. I joined up with Brad Goodfellow and we headed out to Hells Revenge trail to see how the Teryx would perform.
The Kawasaki Teryx we used was stock except for 28-inch STI Chicane tires mounted on STI wheels. Plus a Kawasaki aluminum skid plate and a-arm guards. And a Warn winch tucked up front.
The Chicane RX tire is a new offering from STI and features a unique split-knob non-directional tread design. The Chicane RX line is DOT marked and ready to hit the road for powerful performance and high-mileage value. The designs 8-ply carcass offers the perfect mix of durability, light weight, and smooth ride flexibility.
Hells Revenge consists of a six and one half mile roller coaster ride across the slickrock fins east of the town of Moab. There are steep climbs and descents and some edges that are not for the faint of heart. And the high vantage point offers great views of the La Sal Mountains.
The Teryx clutch really shines on this type of trail. Positive engagement makes it feel like you are driving a gear driven transmission instead of a belt drive CVT. The engine braking was predictable and confidence-inspiring on the steep decents found on Hells Revenge.
Front Differential Lock is activated on the dash.
The transfer case of the Teryx can be changed between 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with differential lock by rotating a switch located on the dash. We had to activate the differential lock once or twice on Hells Revenge. The plus is you get full lock on the front wheels for really tough obstacles. The minus is you have to turn the switch. Some people favor this setup, while others don’t.
The chassis for the 2-seat Teryx and the 4-seat Teryx4 are the same and this is a great concept from Kawasaki. The shared platform allows the two models to share many parts, and it still amazes me that Kawasaki fits 4 seats into such a nimble platform.
The Teryx and Teryx4 sports Electric Power Steering (EPS) and tight 16.7-ft turning radius that is remarkable for a 4-seat vehicle. The 85.8 inch wheelbase is very compact for the Teryx and Teryx4, especially when you compare it to the wheelbase on a Polaris RZR XP 1000 at 90 inches, a Polaris RZR XP4 1000 at 117 inches or an Arctic Cat Wildcat 4 at 124 inches!
The 2016 engine is a 783cc V-twin that is mounted between the seats. While it does lack the get-up-and-go found in a RZR or Maverick, it shines in the slow speed terrain in Moab. The Teryx is not built to bomb through the desert or dunes at high rates of speed. It is designed as more of an adventure vehicle with great storage, stout chassis, dependable drivetrain, with a more upright seating position well suited for exploring and hunting. With the engine mounted between the seats, there is more engine noise present than I have experienced with rear mounted vehicles like the RZR or Wildcat.
2016 Kawasaki Teryx Dash
The 2016 Teryx is all new and features tilt steering and room for accessory switches.
2016 Kawasaki Teryx Hood
The new hood on the 2016 Teryx gives owners easy access to fuses, airbox and radiator fill.
SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE 2016 KAWASAKI TERYX
- NEW Styling including hood, headlights and front bumper
- 783cc V-twin engine with strong mid-range and engine braking
- Stable body design with 50:50 weight distribution for confident handling
- OPTIMIZED Fox Podium 2.0 shock settings
- NEW Tilt steering column with thicker steering wheel
- NEW Tool-less drivers seat adjustment
- NEW Dash layout with extra accessories switches and storage pocket
- NEW 14 aluminum wheels on the Teryx LE model
- NEW Four LED headlights on Teryx LE and Camo models
- Versatile cargo bed, large storage area behind front seats
- Standard Electric Power Steering on all models
- Standard hard top on Teryx LE and Camo models
- Standard Kawasaki STRONG three-year limited factory warranty
- Longer wheelbase improves stability and ride
- Centrifugal clutch no belt slip is awesome for rock crawling
- Electronic power steering (EPS)
- Adjustable FOX shocks
- Sealed storage boxes
- Comfortable seating position with great visibility
- Stout chassis and bulletproof drive train
- Doors are easy to use, look good and work well
- Parking brake
- No turf mode for rear differential
- Engine noise level at mid to high speed
- Cannot fit a larger tire in the rear without rubbing on c-pillar tubing
- Needs more suspension travel for aggressive sport riding on rough terrain
- Ground clearance is low for rocky terrain found in Moab
Would like to see added:
- More suspension travel Longer arms without increasing track width by narrowing frame around differentials
- More power – The 783cc v-twin has more power than before and was plenty for the rock crawling trails in Moab, but an 850cc or higher would be nice for open desert or dunes.