After more than 20 years of service, the Mule name has come to define a whole category of hardworking utility vehicles. For 2010, there’s an entirely new take on this beast of burden: The Mule 610 4x4 XC appears to have been crossbred with Kawasaki’s Teryx RUV. Aggressive 26 inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 radial tires mounted on 12-inch wheels give it newfound off-road ability—and a slew of upgrades designed to complement its suddenly more aggressive nature infuse the new Mule XC with something it’s never really been known for: This Mule is cool.
A New Mule for 2010
The 2010 Kawasaki Mule may look like its older brothers, but the important features include:
- Fits in the bed of a full-size pickup truck.
- Larger tires also result in 1.5 inches more ground clearance—now 8.1 inches.
- Standard skid plates for the front differential, engine and rear diff add protection and greatly reduce the chances of getting hung up on obstacles.
- A new seat, covered in new material for more all-weather comfort, provides a better, more secure perch for the driver and passenger.
- A repositioned front bumper and exclusive sporty graphics give the XC a bold new look.
- A sport steering wheel, lifted from the Teryx RUV, enhances control and appearance.
- Longer front and rear suspension arms provide greater off-road performance.
- A revised brake pedal ratio, stronger master-cylinder mount and new brake shoes provide increased braking performance.
- Stain and scratch-resistant special black texture paint in the cargo bed enhances looks and durability.
- Teryx-style tailgate has a simplified release for easy opening and closing.
- 26 inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 radial tires mounted on 12 inch wheels
The standard Mule 610 4x4 was nearly unstoppable, says Kawasaki, but the new 4x4 XC takes that a step further. Not only do those burly 26 inch Maxxis tires provide a bunch more traction, their greater width increases the Mule’s track by 1.3 inches and their greater height gives the new Mule a full 8.1 inches of ground clearance. To accommodate that new capability, new 1.1 inch longer front and 1.5 inch longer rear suspension help the 610 4x4 XC climb over larger obstacles than ever, while standard skid plates protect vital systems.
To make room for those new tires, the new Mule’s front bumper’s been kicked forward about 1.2 inches, and while they were at it the Mule team added sporty new graphics—also a new, more comfortable seat covered in a more pliable material, and a smaller-diameter sport steering wheel lifted straight from the Teryx. The front grille includes space for mounting a 3000-pound capacity winch.
In spite of its new capabilities and the fact the XC looks like an entirely new vehicle on the outside, you can rest assured that its legendarily reliable and economical drive train remains intact on the inside. A durable, 401cc fan-cooled overhead-valve engine mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) feeds power to all four wheels as needed, and simple, automotive controls mean it couldn’t be much easier to operate. An enrichening system partially opens the throttle for easy engine starts, hot or cold, and the Mule can be started in forward (Hi or Lo) or reverse gear, provided the brake pedal is applied. Select 2WD or 4WD, and away you go.
Transmission / Traction – The Kawasaki Automatic Power-Drive System (KAPS)
- Fully automatic transmission features selectable 2- or 4-wheel drive.
- An open-sided drive pulley cools better for longer belt life.
- Belt deflection can easily be adjusted by changing shim thickness of the adjuster bolt located on the outside of the driven converter.
- A die-cast aluminum belt converter has high silicon content for compactness and light weight, and offers excellent toughness and durability.
- The belt converter case is sealed to keep out contaminants.
- A long-wearing ATV-style double cog CVT belt provides long wear and minimal maintenance.
- The belt converter’s air cleaner cover uses a clip-type clamp for easier maintenance, and a revised sealing method provides an improved seal.
- A maintenance-free sealed bearing unit is used between the front and rear driveshafts.
- A simple CVT (continuously variable transmission) is fully automatic and keeps engine speed in the most efficient range for vehicle speed, load, and terrain.
MacPherson strut front suspension and Ackerman rack-and-pinion steering combine great bump absorption with light handling, and the Mule’s mid-engine layout and swingarm rear suspension provide great traction at the rear. An upgraded braking system brings it all to a reliable halt.
Fun as it looks, the XC is all about hard work, with a new special black texture paint applied to its 400-pound capacity tilting bed for even greater long-lasting looks and durability, and 1,100-pound towing capacity that means you can bring whatever you need. A dash mounted glove box can carry more than just gloves, and the front hood pops open to reveal more than 12 gallons-worth of storage. Popular accessories include an enclosed cab, snow plow, winch, and soft or hard tops, available through Kawasaki dealers. Top speed is limited to 25 mph, and seat belts and a certified ROPS enhance safety.
Titling Cargo Bed
A steel cargo bed covered in non-slip paint can carry up to 400 pounds, and tilts for maintenance and cleaning. A Teryx-styled tailgate with simplified release mechanisms makes loading and unloading easy.
|Engine||401cc Four-stroke, fan-cooled, single cylinder, OHV|
|Air filter||Snorkel-type with two-stage dry replaceable element|
|Oil filter||Automotive-type spin-on canister|
|Electrical||12V DC, 14 amp-hour battery, alternator|
|Transmission||Continuously variable transmission with high and low range, plus reverse|
|Final drive||Shaft-driven selectable four-wheel drive, dual-mode rear differential|
|Front tires||AT26 x 9R -12 Maxxis tubeless|
|Rear tires||AT26 x 9R -12 Maxxis tubeless|
|Front suspension / wheel travel||MacPherson strut / 3.1 in.|
|Rear suspension / wheel travel||Unit swing axle, adjustable shocks / 3.1 in.|
|Brakes||Four-wheel hydraulic drums, triple sealed|
|Fuel capacity||4.1 gal.|
|Curb weight||1,051 lbs.|
|Overall L x W x H||108.5 in. x 52.0 in. x 73.8 in.|
|Ground clearance||8.1 in.|
|Roll over protective structure (ROPS)||This structure meets ROPS requirements under SAE J1194, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, and 7.5 and also meets FMVSS 216 Roof Crush resistance requirement|
|Load capacity||926 lbs.|
|Cargo bed capacity||400 lbs.|
|Towing capacity||1,100 lbs.|
|Turning radius||11.8 ft. (differential unlocked)|
|Top speed||25 mph, governed|
|Instruments||Oil temperature meter, hour meter, 35w headlights, taillight and stoplight|
|Color choices||Super Black|