We’re often asked which hard-working UTV we recommend, and there is always an easy answer: The Kawasaki Mule Pro. Yes, they’re that good, and we’ve never been more confident in a model’s capability, durability, and versatility. As much as we’ve been impressed with the existing Mule Pro models, for 2024 Kawasaki has given us three new Mule Pros and several trim packages all building on the Mule Pros already outstanding capabilities.
MORE for ‘24
Kawasaki has branded (appropriate for a mule) the new models as the MULE PRO 1000 series. The three primary models are the MULE PRO-FX 1000, the MULE PRO-FXR 1000, and MULE PRO-FXT 1000. With an entirely new series you can expect significant differences over previous Mule Pro models, and they are the most powerful and capable Mule Pros ever built. Kawasaki didn’t just confine them to a life of hard work though, and these Mules have a surprisingly strong recreational side. Highlights of the new models are:
NEW HIGH-PERFORMANCE ENGINE. A new 999cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, parallel-twin engine is designed for the high torque needed for hauling and towing, but also quick response. Kawasaki wouldn’t disclose horsepower, but since this engine is based on the engine used in the TERYX KRX 1000 sport machine, which comes in at nearly 115 hp, we expect this model to be near that number as well. In fact, the differences between the two models are mostly in tuning and clutching. The KRX is made for shredding dunes. The MULE PRO models are made for hauling bales and duck decoys, but top speed between the two models is surprisingly close as well. A large-capacity radiator is located behind the grille for maximum efficiency, yet hot air is ducted away from the passenger compartment.
NEW CHASSIS and SUSPENSION. If you’re going to build a model as big as the Mule Pro and yet capable of highway speeds you had better be sure it handles! The chassis on every previous Mule Pro is what we’ve found to be the toughest in the business. The new models carry that trait as well thanks to a ladder type, sturdy steel frame that is ready to haul any load, and independent suspension at each corner delivers a smooth, controlled ride. Ground clearance is a very respectable 11.6 inches to 13.2-inches depending on the model, but one unique feature is self-leveling shocks that compensate for bed load while maintaining normal chassis ride height.
With its higher speed, load carrying, and towing capability, the Mule Pro 1000 would definitely need strong brakes. Disc brakes at both the front and rear easily control the vehicle. Traction is provided by 26” tires on the MULE PRO-FX 1000 and PRO-FXT 1000 models, while the MULE PRO-FXR 1000 is equipped with 27-inch bias-ply tires.
CVT TRANSMISSION. A fully automatic CVT system makes operation easy, but also keeps the engine in the most efficient RPM range for the load, speed, and terrain. It’s also capable of providing engine braking when going downhill. Since the CVT system relies on a belt between the primary and secondary clutches and must haul incredible loads, Kawasaki gave the Mule Pro a high grade N8 class belt surrounded by aluminum cases. Unlike some manufacturers who leave aluminum components unprotected, Kawasaki plates their aluminum parts for corrosion resistance.
EASIER MAINTENANCE. A big part of ownership of anything is maintenance, and the easier it is to do, the more likely it won’t be skipped. Raising the cargo bed allows full access to the engine, and under a quick-release cover that keeps out mud and debris is the oil dip stick and air filter. We LOVE the spin-on oil filter access! You won’t burn your hands feeling around a hot exhaust or blind spaces on this engine, and a handy drip tray was cast into the engine cases. Brilliant work Kawasaki team! Kawasaki also designed the air intake to actually filter out grit before it ever hits the air filter! They’re so confident in the system they raised the maintenance interval from 50 hours to a whopping 200 hours! We appreciate the longer interval, but always keep a close watch on all fluids and filters. You can learn a lot by what you find in the oil and airbox. Under the front hood is the ECU, fuses, and radiator cap access. The engine was even rubber mounted to reduce vibration and stress on the mounts and chassis.
CAB and BODY. The Mule Pro 100 is one of the largest UTVs available and that left Kawasaki plenty of room for a comfortable cab. All Mule Pro models get composite doors to help keep passengers safely inside and everything else out. Inside the cab you’ll find cup holders, storage areas, grab handles, and seat belts for all. It’s just a matter of how many you want to haul. The standard front seat in every Mule Pro 1000 easily sits three, but the Mule Pro FXT 1000 model has a trick no other Side x Side can match; it can transform from a single bench seat to two rows of seats capable of hauling the whole crew! Called the TransCab feature, it accomplishes this feat by transforming the rear dump box, and it’s an incredibly clever design. Making the transformation is super easy, requires no tools, and we did it by ourselves in less than a minute! When configured for six passengers, there is still a good-sized cargo box in the back.
At its core, the Mule Pro 1000 is still built for hard work, and that means plenty of space for hauling. The steel 20-square-foot dump bed is ready for whatever you can pile in it, and if that isn’t enough, a trailer hitch allows it to tow another 2000 lbs.
SO, WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE? The Mule Pro models are very intuitive, with the controls within easy reach. Whether running across the farm or down the trail, the Mule Pro models have always been stable, comfortable, and predictable. With the added horsepower of the 1000cc engine these Mules are also quick. Kawasaki has long had the best Electronic Power Steering in the business and there is just enough feedback through the steering wheel to give you a feel for the trail, but the amount of steering assist is perfect. The ECU uses input from a vehicle speed sensor and torque sensor to determine the amount of steering assistance required. It also has a secondary benefit and the EPS absorbs any unwanted kickback from trail obstacles. The power steering is so good you don’t even really think about it. Kawasaki also does a great job with containing any engine noise and it’s possible to have a normal conversation while cruising down the trail. Ducting radiator heat away from the cab makes a huge difference in comfort as well. There is one feature we miss though. Kawasaki spend considerable time working on seat foam density for optimizing comfort, but then gave some models a flat bench seat seemingly borrowed from a 70’s era golf cart. This makes it easy to slide in and out of but does nothing to hold you in place. Only select trim packages get a sculpted seat. If they’ve already got a seat mold, why not run it for all models? We can live with the flat seat, but it feels a little out of place.
THE MULE PACK
There are three different Mule Pro 1000 base packages to start from, and several option packages within those. They are:
- Mule Pro-FX 1000 HD Edition – Seating for three, a long cargo bed, a rear bumper for extra protection, Kawasaki’s self-leveling suspension system, and a tilting cargo bed that uses an electric over hydraulic lift for added convenience. Available in Firecracker Red. MSRP: $18,299
- Mule Pro-FXR 1000 – Three passenger seating and a cargo bed measuring 37.5 x 53.3 x 11.0-inches, with a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. Available in a Metallic Sierra Blue. MSRP: $16,599
- Mule Pro-FXR 1000 LE – An upgraded Pro-FXR with painted grille cover that matches the bodywork and black cast aluminum wheels. Available in Ice Gray. MSRP: $17,699
- Mule Pro-FXT 1000 LE – The transformer featuring Kawasaki’s 3-to 6-passenger Trans Cab system. In three-passenger configuration the cargo bed measures 42.7 x 53.6 x 10.9-inches with a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. When the cargo bed is in six-passenger configuration it measures 22.0 x 53.6 x 10.9-inches with a load capacity of 350 lbs. Also gets Black cast aluminum wheels and is available in both Metallic Onyx Black and Metallic Sierra Blue. MSRP: $20,299
- Mule Pro-FXT 1000 LE Camo – A special Camouflage TrueTimber color scheme. MSRP: $20,399
- Mule Pro-FXT 1000 LE Ranch Edition – A high-end Metallic Titanium paint scheme with matching painted grill and special badging, cast aluminum wheels with machined finishing, and Kawasaki’s self-leveling suspension. A WARN VRX 45 winch offers 50 ft. of durable, aircraft-grade ¼-inch steel rope with a 4,500 lb. capacity. MSRP: $21,899
- Mule Pro-FXT 1000 Platinum Ranch Edition – The Platinum Ranch Edition features a special high-end Metallic Stardust White paint and LED outer headlights with headlight guards. Cab interior gets a softer “leatherette” cover and a premium rearview mirror and the TransCab system. Cast aluminum wheels with machined finish, Kawasaki’s self-levelling rear suspension, a rear bumper, and a WARN VRX 45 winch (4,500 lb. capacity) complete the package. MSRP: $23,399
MULE ON THE LOOSE
Kawasaki’s Mule Pro models have a lot in common with their four-legged namesake. They’re tough, dependable, and willing to work all day, every day. You simply can’t stop one. The capabilities of the new Mule Pro 1000 models will only build on that reputation in every way.
2024 Kawasaki Mule Pro 1000 general specs
Engine 999cc, DOHC, Liquid-cooled, twin cylinder, fuel injected 4-stroke
Transmission Continuously Variable belt-drive transmission with High, Low, Neutral, Reverse
Final drive Selectable 2WD/4WD with Dual Mode rear differential, Shaft drive
Front suspension / wheel travel: Dual A-arms – 11.0 in. travel
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Dual A-arms – 10.1 in. travel
Front tires 26x9-12
Rear tires 26x11-12
Brakes F & R: Hydraulic, 212mm discs with twin-piston calipers Front, single piston rear, mechanical parking brake
Ground clearance 11.9 FX model / 13.2 FXR model / 12.6 in. FXT model
L x W x H 135.8 in x 64.0 in x 80.9 in. FXT and FX model - 122 in x 64.0 in x 77.2 in. FXR
Cargo Bed Capacity 350 lb. (6-passenger mode) / 1,000 lb. (3-passenger mode)
Towing Capacity 2,000 lbs.
Turning Radius 14 ft on FXR. – 16 ft on FXT and FX models
Curb weight 1,735.3 lbs. FXR, 1913 lbs. FXT, 1891 lbs. FX model
Fuel capacity 7.9 gal
Instruments Multi-function display includes digital speedometer, fuel gauge, odometer, hour meter, clock, dual trip meters, 2WD/4WD indicator, water temperature warning indicator, oil pressure warning indicator, fuel injection warning indicator, CVT and EPS warning indicators, neutral, reverse and parking indicators, seatbelt reminder lamps
Warranty 3 Year Kawasaki Strong Limited Warranty