Best Intro Class Utility ATV of 2011

Best Intro Class Utility ATV of 2011

2011.kawasaki.brute-force300.red_.front-left.riding.on-trail.jpgThe old saying is, “Good things come in small packages,” and one of the best examples of that in the off-road world is the new Kawasaki Brute Force 300. Though only slightly smaller than the other Brute Force models, it’s a huge overachiever.

To use another cliché, they say first impressions are the most important, and when we first saw the new Brute Force 300, we thought it looked great! Bodywork styling is very similar to its big brothers but with an updated look and the fit and finish is OUTSTANDING! Mating surfaces fit together perfectly and seams are extremely tight, especially in the area between the seat and the fuel tank. Underneath the bodywork, the Brute Force 300 is powered by a 271cc, Liquid Cooled, single cylinder, 4 Stroke engine that spins a CVT style transmission and power delivery was smooth and didn’t overpower the chassis. The Brute Force 300 doesn’t really have a big “hit” off the bottom, but it does pick up speed quickly and smoothly, and it’s very easy to control.

The first time we climbed aboard the Brute Force 300, we were comfortable and it was 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 floor boards 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 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, easy and fun to ride, handling is predictable, and it performs and delivers features of high-end machines at an intro machine price. Because of all it has going for it, the Kawasaki Brute Force 300 is our pick for the Best intro Class Utility ATV and ATV of the Year. It’s a great thing in a small package!

January 4, 2012

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