By the Staff of Dirt Illustrated
Kawasaki is hot right now. They have kicked butt on the moto scene for the last year. Ryan Villopoto has won just about every motocross championship there is. Their Pro Circuit race team won the 250 National title. The Kawie WORCs and desert race teams are running up front, and the Team Green program is still one of the most successful models of manufacturer supported race programs ever. So what’s left?
Handling on the new Teryx 4 is quite nimble. It corners nicely and is designed to handle with or without passengers aboard.Enter the 2012 Teryx4 750 4×4 EPS RUV. What is an RUV you ask? It is Kawasaki’s acronym for Recreational Utility Vehicle. We call them UTVs or maybe even Side by Sides, but RU’s? Not too often. They can call these things anything they want. You know why? They are going to be selling a lot of them.
The hand holds on the back are a convenient way for the passengers to maintain their grip. The rear seats are slightly raised to give the passengers in the back a better view of whats ahead.Why is that?Simple. Kawasaki has taken a good thing, their Teryx 750 RUV and added extra seating, more power, and a reinforced double X frame, and come up with a rugged, multi-use, four seat Recreation Utility Vehicle, or as they like to say – RUV
Kawasaki has taken a good thing, their Teryx 750 RUV, and added extra seating, and room for two more friends. The controls are all well thought out and it is a very user friendly vehicle.What’s New?The Teryx4 features a brand new chassis, and is not simply a modified version of the earlier Teryx 750 2-seater. It uses what they are calling their Double-X chassis design. It uses two cross members for added strength, with the place ment of the engine inside the frame, being taken into consideration, to help centralize the vehicle’s center of mass, and enhance the overall handling.
There is room enough for you and three full sized adults in the Teryx-4. Seats are comfortable and feature three way harnesses. The roll cage roof is also well thought out, as are the side hand holds.For power, a four-stroke V-Twin engine, with digital fuel injection, automatic idle adjustment and choke-free starting is standard equipment. Kawasaki claims the V-Twin powerplant offers 15% more power than previous two-seat 750 Teryx and the electronic fuel injection comes with upgraded injectors.
The seats are plush and have high backs for increased safety and support. The Teryx 4 comes in several different combinations, including a electric power steering model, and a camo version.
A Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gets the power to the ground on the new Teryx4, and makes shifting smooth and effortless. The oil-bathed clutch design is said to significantly boost the lifespan of the CVT belt. The CVT transmission has 2WD, 4WD and 4WD + front differential lock modes, engaged via a dash-mounted switch.
Odds & Ends
An Electric Power Steering (EPS) system is offered on some models, and offers low-effort steering and extra stability at speed and in rough going.
A set of rugged 26-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires, mounted to 12 rims, are fitted to both ends of the Teryx4. These are among the largest available in the RUV/UTV class.High-performance hydraulic disc brakes are mounted up front, with 200mm rotors and dual-piston calipers. A sealed multi-plate rear brake system handles braking on the back end.
We like the roomy interior on the new Teryx4, which allows the driver and passengers to stretch out and fit four full size adults without cramping.There is also plenty of cargo space on the back end of the machine, with four tie-down loops to cinch your extra gear down securely.
A set of full instrumentation is standard, along with convenient hand-holds, slick two-tone seats, nice touch over-fenders for mud protection, a opening front hood for ease of maintenance, and scratch-resistant material used throughout to help keep that new look longer.
Suspension & Ride
The Teryx4 comes with an independent suspension system (IRS) front and rear. Up front, it uses dual A-arms with fully adjustable, gas charged, reservoir shocks with 7.8 inches of travel. On the back, a fully adjustable, gas charged, set of reservoir shocks, with 8.3 inches of travel, soaks up punishment.
Kawasaki also claims that their IRS suspension system is designed to ride like a sporting RUV either solo, or with passengers. While we can’t say how it holds up in the long run, from our initial test impression, we can say even when fully loaded with four adults, or just the driver, we felt the suspension was plush, smooth and always controllable. We will reserve our long term verdict on suspension and handling on the Teryx4 until we get a long term test unit for further evaluation.
Kawasaki has a winner in the new Teryx4. While the price is high at $14,399 for the 2012 Teryx4 750 4×4 we drove, it does offer twice the capacity of its two-seat cousin, and that means 4 times the fun. The EPS version, with its electronic power steering, is one that ranchers, farmers, or working men will appreciate, especially when using the machine for long stretches.
All in all, the new Teryx4 will simply give Kawasaki one more reason to brag about their product lineup for 2012