Kawasaki is a company on the move. They’re constantly tweaking their ATV and Side x Side lineups to make every model better, and since the overall number of Kawasaki models is a little smaller than some competitors, they can really hone the fine details that can make or break a design. For 2016 the majority of their effort was focused on a model released only a little over a year ago.
TWEAKING the TERYX
We love the Teryx. It’s true there are models with a little more power and speed, but we’ve never had a machine with as much reliability. They simply do not quit, and the chassis is built like nothing else including our truck. “Tough as nails” does not begin to describe them. Day after day the Teryx is ready for whatever we ask of it, whether that is hauling firewood or exploring new trails. We’ve put thousands of miles on the Teryx and it never asked for more than the simplest maintenance such as oil and air filter changes now and then, and it’s ready to go again. While some models squeak and clatter right off the showroom floor, even with several thousand miles on it, the Teryx still feels like new, with no squeaks, groans, or other signs of old age. You might say they’re as tough as a mule, but Kawasaki makes those too! As much as we loved the Teryx though, like all models, there was room for improvement and Kawasaki addressed our few concerns with the 2016 Teryx.
The top item on our list was the shocks. The Teryx comes with good quality, FOX shocks, but we often found ourselves using the last portion of the stroke, and that can lead to bottoming. For 2016 Kawasaki revised the valving of the shocks to use more of the first part of the stroke, and then progressively stiffen as you get towards full compression. Just like in the past, the shocks are preload adjustable and offer 24 clicks of compression dampening adjustment as well. This was a big one on our list and we’re anxious to give it a try. It should help tremendously with any tendency to bottom in deep whoops.
Kawasaki also restyled and improved the passenger compartment of the Teryx with a new dash, and the driver interface has been improved for easier access to the controls. Thankfully, Kawasaki built in dedicated space for four accessory switches, and they’re the first to plan space for an audio system. We really like how the digital instrument cluster features large, easy to read numbers, and it’s even tilted towards the driver. Speaking of tilting, the steering wheel now tilts for driver comfort, and a thicker, beefier steering wheel gives a sturdy feel with little flex. Additional storage pockets are welcome as well since we always have tools, tie downs, and all manner of things to haul. One of the best interior changes, though, is right under your butt.
The driver’s seat on the Teryx was always adjustable, but it wasn’t always easy. Moving the seat required you to grab a wrench and loosen a couple bolts, but that is gone for 2016. A new rail system now allows you to adjust the seat where it fits best. However, the most noticeable change to the Teryx is on the front end.
Gone is the shark look, and the Teryx front hood, lights pods, and front bumper all present a meaner, leaner look. In addition, the lights are now dual, high-intensity LED units on the LE and Camo models, while the base Teryx and Teryx4 EPS models get four standard halogen units. Either way you get better, wider coverage and brighter illumination. Finally, both the Teryx and Teryx4 LE models receive 14-inch cast aluminum wheels while base units get heavy duty steel wheels.
2016 KAWASAKI TERYX specifications
Engine: 783cc, 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, OHV, 90° V Liquid-cooled, dual 36mm Mikuni throttle bodies EFI system, electric start
Transmission: Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse, and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
Final drive: Selectable, four-wheel drive with locking front differential, shaft drive
Front Suspension: Color-matched dual A-Arms with piggyback reservoir coil-over FOX Podium shocks, with adjustable spring preload and 24-way compression damping. 8 in travel
Rear Suspension: Color-matched Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) with new piggyback reservoir coil-over FOX Podium shocks, with adjustable spring preload and 24-way compression damping. 8.3 in travel
Front Tires; 27x9-14
Rear Tires: 27x11-14
Rear Brakes: Sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc
Ground Clearance: 11.2 in
Fuel Capacity 7.9 gal
Turning Radius 16.7 ft
Roll Over Structure (ROPS) ROPS meets the performance requirements of ISO 3471
Cargo Bed Capacity 600 lb
Load Capacity 1109 lb
Towing Capacity 1300 lb
Lighting (4) 20.4/10.2W LED headlights, (2) 5W taillights, 21W stoplight
Curb Weight 1578.1 lb**
Instruments Multi-function digital meter with speedometer, fuel gauge, clock, hour meter, odometer, dual trip meter and parking-brake indicator, R/N/P/4WD, water temp and low-oil-pressure indicators
Colors: Candy Lime Green, Metallic Flat Raw Graystone
Warranty Kawasaki Strong 3 Year Limited Warranty
Base model 2016 Teryx EPS - $12,999. Teryx Camo - $14,299. Teryx LE - $14,999.
Four Seat Teryx4 EPS - $15,799. Teryx4 Camo - $16,299. Teryx4 LE - $16,999.
SHOW of FORCE – The BRUTE FORCE ATVs
BRUTE FORCE 750 4x4i EPS
The 2016 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 is a serious utility ATV with the heart of a sport machine. It’s ready for plenty of work, but it also likes to run.
Kawasaki places a premium on their chassis design, and the Brute Force 750 gets a beefy frame with independent rear suspension for a smooth ride and excellent ground clearance. The chassis also gets low maintenance A-Arm pivot bushings and a torsion bar at the rear to help control body roll. Five-way, preload adjustable shocks do a good job on most trail obstacles and ruts; although it is possible to bottom them with severe hits. Overall, the suspension will get the job done and it’s only when really pushed do you begin to find its limits.
Like all Brute Force models, the 750 4x4i engine delivers outstanding power and instant throttle response. Everything from the throttle housing through the exhaust was designed for excellent performance and long life, which is just what you want with a utility ATV. Even the piston rings have been designed to help reduce oil consumption and blow-by gases. At any point in the power band, throttle response is excellent and it’s fun to crack the throttle and listen to the V-Twin rumble. At the front of the frame a larger radiator is mounted higher in the chassis for better protection, and because utility ATVs often run a lot of electrical accessories, the 2016 Force also gets a 33.5 amp alternator. Overall engine maintenance is easy thanks to a large, easy to read dip stick, a spin on oil filter, and an easy access air filter. Transferring power to the ground is the Kawasaki Automatic Powerdrive System (KAPS) CVT system. The transmission features High, Low, Neutral, and Reverse, and we thought the clutching was excellent. Both the air intake and CVT snorkels breathe from a location high in the chassis to minimize dirt or water intake.
The bodywork on the Brute Force 750 4x4i has proven to be tough and very resistant to scratches. From the rider’s seat everything feels natural. Controls are within easy reach, the handlebar bend is comfortable, and the thumb throttle has a good blade angle and range of motion. At the center of the steering column is an excellent digital display, and the seat has a nice, grippy surface. The floor boards drain water away quickly and splash protection is very good, but a taller foot peg would be a welcome feature on the next generation Force. Storage is also quite good, but the heavy duty racks are outstanding and we love the tie down loops welded onto the racks.
On the trail the V-twin engine delivers a throaty but not obnoxious sound. A jab at the throttle brings a lightning quick response from the engine, and clutching was excellent without any hesitation. 4wd is easy to engage and steering from the Electronic Power Steering is calibrated perfectly. The brakes can sometimes feel a little spongy, but the engine braking is outstanding and overall the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i is a blast to ride.
BRUTE FORCE 300
The old saying is, “Good things come in small packages,” and one of the best examples of that in the off-road world is the Kawasaki Brute Force 300. Though only slightly smaller than the other Brute Force models, it’s a huge overachiever.
The Kawasaki Brute Force 300 is a well-designed, well-built package! Bodywork styling takes its cues from other members of the Brute Force family and it fits together perfectly with tight seams between panels. Fit and finish is EXCELLENT! Powering the Brute Force 300 is a 271cc, single cylinder, liquid cooled, 4 Stroke engine. As with most utility ATVs, a CVT transmission is used and power delivery is smooth and well matched to the chassis. The engine and transmission don’t really have a big “hit” off the bottom, but they do pick up speed quickly and smoothly.
From the seat the Brute Force 300 is comfortable and it’s easy to reach all the controls. Handlebar bend is very good, and just ahead of your right knee is a smooth shifting, gated shift lever featuring High, Low, Neutral, and Reverse. In our experience, it always slipped into gear easily with positive engagement. At the center of the steering column is a small digital instrument cluster, and on the left handlebar are a choke lever and parking brake lever. We really like the foot pegs and floorboards on the Brute Force 300 which have a tube structure beneath that makes them feel solid. The pegs are also raised enough to help anchor your feet and allow them to pivot as needed. They’re excellent for hauling or towing. The Brute Force 300 also has front and rear racks, a small storage compartment, and a rear hitch.
On the trail, the Brute Force 300 was extremely easy to ride. Since it’s a little smaller than most full-sized ATVs, it’s super easy to maneuver through the woods and it responds well to rider input. It is confidence inspiring, stable, handling is predictable, and it performs and delivers features of high-end machines at an intro machine price. Even though it’s a smaller machine, it always gets picked for our trail riding adventures and it has never let us down.
The MISSING MAN
As much as we like the Brute Force 300 and Brute Force 750 4x4i, there is a huge difference between the two models, and we feel Kawasaki would do well to offer a 450 to 500cc machine. Market research has shown a resurgence of models in that range. There are many customers who feel the 750cc model might be too much to handle, but the Brute Force 300 would not meet their needs, and a mid-sized engine model would be a good fit. We hope to see a new member of the Brute Force family soon.
2016 Kawasaki Brute Force® 750 4x4i EPS Specifications
Engine 749cc, Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4 valve per cylinder, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin
Fuel injection DFI®; (2) 36mm Mikuni throttle bodies
Transmission Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse, and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
Final drive Selectable, four-wheel drive with Variable Front Differential Control, shaft
Frame Double-cradle, high-tensile tubular steel
Front suspension / wheel travel Double Wishbone/ 6.7 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel Fully independent, dual A-arm / 7.5 in.
Front tires AT 25 x 8-12
Rear tires AT 25 x 10-12
Rear brake Sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc
Overall length x width x height 86.4 in L x 46.5 in W x 48.0 in H
Turning Radius 10 ft. 6 in.
Ground clearance 9.4 in.
Rack capacity, front / rear 88 lbs. / 176 lbs.
Towing capacity 1,250 lbs.
Curb weight 683.6 lbs.
Fuel capacity 5.0 gal.
InstrumentsSpeedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, engine temp, clock, hour meter and 2WD/4WD icon, plus indicators for EPS, neutral, reverse, belt, and oil
Color Timberline Green, Super Black, Bright White, Candy Lime Green, Realtree Camo
Base model 2016 Brute Force 750 4x4i - $8,999. 750 4x4i EPS Camo - $10,599
750 4x4i EPS – $9,999, Brute Force 300 - $4,299