It’s always exciting going to a manufacturer’s dealer show. It’s where they bring out their entire product line for dealers to get up close and personal with each model and there are usually a few surprises with all-new models. It’s just like Christmas for powersports lovers, and this year Kawasaki had the biggest box under the tree.
Two from the Green Team
It was only a few months ago that Kawasaki released the Brute Force 300 ATV. We think the newest member of the Brute Force ATV family will be a huge hit. It’s easy to ride, very capable, priced economically and just plain fun. As it turns out, however, Kawasaki was only getting warmed up for a really big surprise. Now Kawasaki is releasing the Side x Side model aftermarket builders have been creating since the moment the first TERYX rolled off the showroom floor. For 2012 there will be another member of the TERYX family and it has four seats rolling on an all-new chassis.
When the first, bright yellow TERYX4 drove into the cavernous convention center and up onto the stage for dealers to see for the first time, there was huge applause from the audience. The Side x Side market has been growing for years, but with a limited lineup Kawasaki wasn’t carving out as much of the pie as dealers would have liked. It was time for Kawasaki to introduce a new model and what better place to do it than in a segment of the market only served by one other manufacturer. Dealers were stoked! After all, any new model is something to get excited about, but when you have a growing market and a new machine that looks as great as the Teryx4, it’s really something special.
Teryx 4 Details
Bodywork Inside & Out
The most obvious feature of the new Kawasaki Teryx4 is the second row of seats. This is an all-new machine from the ground up, however, and it doesn’t take an engineer to find a whole list of features that are different than anything Kawasaki has built before.
Overall bodywork styling on the new Teryx4 is sporty. The lines flow nicely from one body panel through the next and it’s obvious it was designed as a package intended to appeal to sport lovers. We really like how the door panels were integrated into the design and most of the contours are smooth with few sharp, pointy corners or abrupt lines. Everything flows from the front to the rear and wraps into the rear storage box. Even the inside of the storage area has been sculpted to fit the overall theme. At the front the hood is very much like other TERYX models with deeply recessed lights that give it a “shark nose” look, and it’s hinged at the front for excellent access to the radiator, air box, brake master cylinder, and other front end components. On the base model the doors are standard black, but on the EPS (Electronic Power Steering) and LE (Limited Edition) models the doors have an outer skin that matches the rest of the bodywork. Whatever model you choose, though, the doors fit and close EXCELLENT with a sturdy hinge and the rest of the bodywork is tough, pliable, and scratch resistant.
Kawasaki went through great effort to restyle the inside of the TERYX4 as well. It’s very automotive like with a dash and center console that are sculpted to fit around the driver and passenger, and to provide some of the extra features they like to have. The gear shift lever rides on a sturdy perch, a 12V accessory outlet is there to power a gps, phone charger, or anything else you want to plug in, and there is a set of sturdy cup holders. On the dash the center mounted digital instrument cluster has been angled for easier reading by the driver, there is a sealed glove box, and every other switch is well placed and easy to reach. Passengers in the rear seats also get cup holders and another 12V outlet, but their seating is elevated slightly for better forward vision. They also get a handy grab bar to hang on to and knee room is very good even for passengers over 6’. Whether in the front or the rear, the seats are EXTREMELY comfortable. They’re sculpted to hold you in place and are well padded, with an integrated head rest. They also come with three point seat belts that won’t dig into your chest thanks to a flexible top mount. Finally, the front seats can also be adjusted due to a mounting system with three bolt hole locations.
Under the Skin
Our experience with the standard TERYX has been that it’s nearly indestructible. We’ve crossed vast stretches of barren territory with the Teryx and along the way we’ve hit endless whoops, sand washes, rocks, and other unseen obstacles - so hard at times we were sure the wheels would be passing us. On the race circuit it’s known as one tough chassis, and we were glad to see Kawasaki gave the new TERYX4 a chassis that looks to be every bit as durable as the original.
The chassis on the new TERYX4 is what Kawasaki calls a Double-X reinforced design rated to carry the extra weight of the four-seater, anybody that hops inside, and all their gear. Chassis tubing is a large diameter, thin wall steel tubing that helps maintain vehicle rigidity and strength but keeps overall weight to a minimum. Dual A-Arms are used at both the front and rear, and the stock shocks offer preload adjustability. Limited edition models offer shocks with even more adjustment.
One thing that differentiates the TERYX4 from the Polaris four-seater is the overall length. The TERYX4 chassis is definitely longer than a standard TERYX but it’s more than a foot shorter than the Polaris. Kawasaki wanted to give it a tight turning radius for woods riders, and the shorter wheelbase gives it a radius of less than 17 feet. That will make winding between tight trees a lot easier.
Engine & Transmission
Kawasaki gave the new TERYX4 an all-new engine designed for the loads of a Side x Side. That means it should respond well off idle and through the mid-range. A large capacity radiator is found at the front of the chassis but its mounted high to keep it away from any danger. Just behind the radiator is the huge, new airbox with a large, pleated filter and we really like the new airbox location. With the airbox mounted high and towards the front of the vehicle, it will have a much easier time breathing clean air, extending the air filter service life and ultimately reducing engine wear. Thankfully, the engine also comes with Kawasaki’s digital electronic fuel injection system. From the intake to the exhaust, the entire system has been designed for serviceability, performance, and long term reliability.
Kawasaki once again placed the engine between the two front seats on the TERYX4 which helps control weight balance. Mated to the engine is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and Kawasaki’s unique centrifugal clutch system. When the trail gets a little sticky, a dash mounted switch will get the front wheels clawing at the ground, and when things are really desperate, the TERYX4 has a differential lock to hopefully pull you out.
This is where we came up a little short. Kawasaki had a nifty little test course set up across the road from the convention center and dealers were invited to take the TERYX4 out for a spin over the small hills, whoops, rocks, and twisty turns of the course. Some of them did it several times and seemed happy at the prospect of driving the TERYX4 all day. The catch is, it was ONLY for dealers and the most we could do was sit in a stationary one to get the feel, but media members were not allowed to ride in or drive the new TERYX4 until the planned media ride. We understand but you can bet we’ll be there anxious for our turn! Until then, it was a little like watching the other kids play with their presents while we were grounded. Hey, at least we didn’t shoot our eye out!
|Engine||749cc, Liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valves per cylinder, 90-degree, 4-Sroke, V-twin|
|Fuel system||Electronic Fuel Injection, Dual Mikuni 36mm throttle bodies|
|Ignition||TCBI w/ electronic advance|
|Transmission||Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse and wet centrifugal clutch|
|Final drive||Selectable four-wheel drive with locking Front Differential, shaft|
|Frame||Double-X reinforced design using large-diameter, thin-walled, high-tensile tubular steel|
|Front Suspension||Dual A-arm with preload adjustable gas charged shocks / 7.8 in. wheel travel|
|Rear Suspension||Adjustable Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) with fully adjustable, gas charged, reservoir shocks / 8.3 in. Wheel Travel|
|Front tires||Maxxis 26x9-12|
|Rear tires||Maxxis 26x11-12|
|Brakes-Front||Dual hydraulic discs with 2-piston calipers|
|Brakes-Rear||Sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc|
|Dimensions||125.2 in. Long X 62.0 in. Wide X 77.3 in. High|
|Lighting||Dual 35W headlights, dual 8W taillight, 24W stoplight|
|Bed capacity||249 lbs., 47.6 W x 17.9 L x 8.7 in. H|
|Towing Load||1,300 lbs.|
|Curb weight||1,616 lbs.|
|Fuel capacity||7.9 gal.|
|Instruments||Multi-function digital meter with speedometer, fuel gauge, clock hour meter, odometer, dual trip meter and parking brake, CVT belt, R/N/P/4WD, water temp and oil pressure indicators|
|Color||BASE MODEL - Sunbeam Red, Scout Green|