Can't make up your mind which utility vehicle to buy? Well, let us complicate things for you. This is the brand-new Kawasaki Teryx 4x4 LE, and as you can see, it's totally bad (in a good way). It's unique because it boasts an eclectic combination of sporty ATV genes and working utility-vehicle traits, and the two coexist quite nicely.
The basis for the Teryx 4x4 LE is a largediameter, thin-walled tubular steel frame with integrated occupant protection. This chassis boasts an impressive 11.2 inches of ground clearance. Nestled into the durable chassis is a 749cc V-twin engine, which is the largest, most powerful engine in its class. The engine is mounted mid-ship for optimum front/rear balance, and Kawasaki says this configuration aids in cornering control and power slides (we like the sound of that!). Other cool powerplant facts: the radiator is high-mounted, there are cargo-bed ducts that direct cooling air to the engine, the engine can be started in any gear with the brake applied, and it has Kawasaki's Engine Brake Control to help slow the vehicle. Power from the V-twin is routed through a CVT transmission that features high and low ranges plus reverse.
The suspension reads like that of a sport ATV. Up front are dual A-arms with adjustable Kayaba shocks. This suspension boasts a generous 7.5 inches of travel. The rear suspension is independent with gas-charged remote-reservoir Kayaba shocks. The rear produces a decent 7.25 inches of travel. Ensuring that the Teryx can stop on a dime are a pair of 200mm front brakes (recessed into the wheels for protection) and a sealed, oilbathed, multidisc rear brake system.
But the Teryx isn't all about playin' around. When it comes time to work, it has a large gas-assist tilting cargo bed that is a foot deep and can carry 500 pounds. It comes standard with a cargo net and tie-down hooks in all four corners. Also standard is a rear receiver hitch so you can tow up to 1,200 pounds.
In our world, off-highway travel is king and the Teryx doesn't disappoint. Two- and four-wheel drive are selectable via a button located on the dash. There's a front limited-slip differential with manually operated Variable Front Differential Control, and the rear wheels are fully locked. Add to this a set of aggressive 26-inchdiameter Maxxis tires, and the Teryx is clearly ready to attack gnarly terrain.
So there you have it. Kawasaki has clearly raised the bar in the side-by-side market. The new Teryx 4x4 LE is definitely worth a trip to your local Kawasaki dealer. Try not to drool on the merchandise.
Vehicle model: '08 Kawasaki Teryx 4x4 LE
Base price: $9,699
Colors: Sunbeam Red, Woodsman Green, REALTREE Hardwoods Green HD
Type: Liquid-cooled, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin
Displacement (cc): 749
Bore x stroke (mm): 85 x 66
Compression ratio: 8.8:1
Fuel delivery system: Dual Keihin CVKR-34
Final drive: Shaft
Front: Adjustable dual A-arm with gas-charged shocks, 7.5 inches of travel
Rear: Adjustable independent with gas-charged remote-reservoir shocks, 7.25 inches of travel
Front: Dual hydraulic disc with two-piston calipers
Rear: Sealed, oil-bathed, multidisc
Front: Maxxis 26 x 8-12
Rear: Maxxis 26 x 10-12
Weight (lb): N/A
Ground clearance (in): 11.2
Length (in): 115.7
Width (in): 58.3
Height (in): 75.4
Wheelbase (in): 75.8
Fuel capacity (gal): 8.0
Cargo box length (in): 32.7
Cargo box width (in): 44.1
Cargo box height (in): 12
Cargo box load capacity (lb): 500
Towing capacity (lb): 1,200