Kawasaki had never let us down with any vehicle they’d built. When word got out they were soon to release a high-performance Side x Side, we were more than anxious to climb inside and see what the new model could do. Today was the day, and we were not disappointed! Rather than reading from the spec sheet, we’ll tell you how it feels, drives, and is built. Here is our top-ten list of great features and what we learned about the 2020 Teryx KRX 1000.
10 - The 8-ply, 31-inch MAXXIS CARNIVORE tires are a good all-around choice. The tires will fling dirt everywhere when the terrain is soft, but a large contact patch also gets a bite on hardpack. They’re a good stock tire considering the Teryx KRX 1000 will be headed to the desert, mountains, snow, and even mud depending on the proud owner. They’re heavy, but they work in most any situation, and we really like the 15” beadlock wheels.
9 - The KRX chassis is very well made. With 1.75” tubing used for most frame members, the chassis is very much like a custom-built Baja racer. It’s heavier than other units but the chassis is very beefy and built to last! It’s also very clean, with no extra brackets, tubes, or attachment points and plates installed seemingly for no reason. The welds are all clean and the cast tubing joint at the top of the roll cage makes a stronger intersection of all the tubes in that area. Not that we ever want to find out, but one gets the feeling you could toss this machine on its lid without the stock cage folding over and trying to grind your nugget into the dirt. It’s a solid chassis built on the Teryx legacy of toughness.
8 - Kawasaki continues to be the gold standard of Electronic Power Steering. The KRX EPS feels so intuitive at any speed we never even thought about it until our day was practically over. It’s exactly the right amount of input without taking away feel! It’s PERFECT! While we love the steering input and feel, we do feel the steering ratio could be slightly quicker. It’s two turns from full lock to full lock, and when railing through corners that means lots of hand motion. The only downside to a quicker ratio is some less experienced riders will oversteer easier, however, to us that also means it’s easier to get out of trouble.
7 - CVT temp is no longer a guessing game! On most high-performance Side x Sides the only way you learn of a CVT belt problem is by the smell of burnt rubber and the thud-thud-thud of a belt coming apart. Kawasaki definitely improved on that in a big way. We love how they included a CVT temperature indicator on the KRX. This can really save you a long walk back and a ruined weekend. A warning light on the digital instrument cluster lets you know if you’re about to have a problem. Since the KRX also comes with a much larger clutch, enormous vent ducts, and supersized belt we doubt it will be an issue.
6 - Maintenance was no afterthought. Kawasaki really nailed this part! One of our favorite features on the entire KRX is the oil sight glass on the right side of the engine. According to Kawasaki engineers, when developing the new engine, they installed a sight glass to help monitor oil level and condition. It was a great idea then, and it’s a fantastic way to help the customer as well. Making things even easier, the oil dip stick is right above the sight glass, and it features an oversized fill hole, meaning you can pour straight from the bottle without searching for a funnel. The spin on filter sits approximately 6” above that, and there is absolutely nothing in the way. You could change the oil in the KRX while wearing a catcher’s mitt. We can’t tell you how much we LOVE it! The enormous CVT cover is also very easily removed on the left side, and carrying over the ease of maintenance theme, even the radiator coolant reservoir ahead of the front left tire features a view window. You can find it without taking any plastic off. Way to go Kawasaki engineering! Job well done!
5 - The rock crawling mode works on any terrain, and in any direction! The HIGH/LOW power button on the dash lets you select a power delivery mode, but in fairness, it’s not actually LOW power, just a much more controlled power curve. It’s incredibly linear and when you slip the transmission into Low gear, then hit the LOW button, throttle modulation is MUCH smoother. Any foot / throttle bounce over rough terrain is completely eliminated. It also works when you point the Teryx downhill, and even on very rocky, steep terrain it will walk down the hill as sure footed as a mountain goat. The rocks might be rolling past you or underneath, but the KRX will stay in control.
4 - The new center digital gauge is awesome! Everything you need to know about your adventure and your machine is found on the digital instrument. The large numbers make it incredibly easy to read at any speed, and the display features white backlighting with three selectable brightness levels. There are 23 different functions found on this instrument package, and the entire unit pivots with the steering wheel.
3 - The KRX is deceivingly fast! Mash on the throttle and the engine howls like a scalded dog as it picks up speed quickly. Thanks to ECU calibration and a very smooth transmission there isn’t an abrupt hit like with some competing models, but time and time again we were amazed to glance down and see we were at highway speeds. The KRX 1000 tops out at a smidge under 70mph, which is plenty fast enough almost anywhere.
2 - It’s very comfortable. The entire cabin of the KRX is incredibly roomy thanks to a dash that sits forward, generous shoulder room between seats and even the doors, and ample leg room. Riders 6’ tall can still stretch out their legs easily. A good-sized open area behind the seats is perfect for a gear bag, and the door interiors provide an arm rest. The seats are slightly bigger than they are on many other Side x Sides. The seat foam is firm, yet the seat contours and grippy, textured surface holds you in place even when pitching it into a corner. The seats also sit slightly higher off the floorboard than they do on many other models, and the seat back angle is slightly more upright, giving you better sightlines over the hood. Both seats are adjustable. There are 5 cup holders, and we believe this, along the large rear space and two cup holders that are nearly behind the seats hint at a 4-seat unit that is surely coming. The cabin is very well done!
1 - The new Teryx KRX 1000 is incredibly smooth, confidence inspiring, and comfortable. The engine runs extremely smooth. We tried to find vibration points throughout the RPM range and could feel nothing in our feet, the seat, or through the steering wheel. The rear mounted motor also makes it much quieter and we like the sound it cranks out when you mash on the throttle. The suspension floats through whoops smoothly, and even though the KRX carries a little extra weight into the corners, (a large part of which can be attributed to the 31”, 8 ply tires) the sway bars front and rear control body roll very well. We could slide it through a corner with a little throttle control and a flip of the wheel. Sight lines over the hood are very good, and we appreciate the highly adjustable seat and steering wheel. Overall, the Teryx KRX 1000 feels very smooth, well built, and it’s a blast to drive!
To check out our review of the Kawasaki Teryx 800: atvillustrated.com/content/ride-test-teryx-winter-adventure
Or, for a review of the TERYX 4: http://atvillustrated.com/content/first-ride-family-four
2020 Kawasaki TERYX KRX 1000 Specifications
Engine: 999cc, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve parallel-twin, liquid-cooled
Fuel System: DFI with two 50mm throttle bodies
Transmission: Automatic CVT with centrifugal clutch (H,L,N,R)
Final Drive: Selectable 2WD/4WD with locking front differential, shaft
Engine Braking: Yes
Suspension -FT: Double wishbone, FOX 2.5 PODIUM LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, 24-position compression damping/18.6 in. travel
Suspens - REAR 4-link trailing-arm, FOX 2.5 PODIUM LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, and 24-position compression damping/21.1 in. travel
Tires (F & R) MAXXIS Carnivore 31 x 10.00R15 8PR
Wheels: Alloy with bead-lock wheels
Steering Electric Power Steering (EPS) / rack-and-pinion
Brakes – Fnt Dual hydraulic discs with two-piston calipers
Brake – Rear Dual hydraulic discs with single-piston calipers
Gnd Clearance 14.4 in
Fuel Capacity 10.6 gal
Turning Radius 19.4 ft
Cargo Bed (LxWxH) 14.6 x 33.1 x 9.1 in, 351 lbs capacity
Lighting (4) LED headlights, (2) LED taillights, LED stoplight
Overall Dim 130.1 in L x 68.1 in W x 75.0 in H
Curb Weight 1896.3 lbs (1898.5 CA)**
Instruments Multi-function digital meter with bar-style tachometer (2 display options), digital speedometer, bar-style fuel gauge, gear indicator (L, H, N, R), Power Mode, driving mode (2WD/4WD/4WD+Diff Lock) indicator, Economical Riding Indicator, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, hour meter, water temperature, digital battery gauge, bar-style CTV temperature, seatbelt warning lamp, oil warning lamp, engine check lamp, water temperature warning lamp, neutral indicator lamp, reverse indicator lamp, parking indicator lamp, EPS warning lamp, and CVT belt warning lamp.
Warranty: 6 months. Optional Kawasaki Protection Plus™ 12, 24, or 36 months
MSRP: $20,499 U.S.