Kawasaki just released the new Teryx KRX sport UTV. They’re the latest to jump into the sport UTV market after Honda took the plunge last year. The KRX is an all-new machine and an all-new platform, but the big question is, how can Kawasaki stand out in the ever so crowded high performance UTV market?
Let’s see what makes the KRX tick.
The KRX uses a 999cc 4-stroke twin parallel DOHC engine which is right in line with the RZR 1000, Talon 1000, and the YXZ 1000. When it comes to horsepower, the picture isn’t so clear. They’re not advertising the horsepower, but rumor is that it comes in at 112 HP. No big surprise there either.
That power is delivered through a continuously variable transmission with a centrifugal clutch which is pretty standard at this point. That means they have a lot of room to tweak the KRX’s power curve. If they get their clutch weights and shift ratios just right, it should pack some punchy power and enjoy high top speeds as well. And if they don’t get it right, may I direct your attention to SuperATV’s Clutch Kits.
They advertise 76 lb-ft of torque which outpaces the RZR XP 1000’s 73 lb-ft of torque by a hair, but with a 1896 lb curb weight (about 400 pounds more than the RZR 1K’s curb weight) you’re not going to have the most nimble UTV in the world. This machine is BIG. Which isn’t a problem when you take a look at the killer suspension supporting it.
The suspension is where this thing really shines—you can’t get the KRX’s combination of ground clearance, width, wheel travel, and wheel base for that price point anywhere else.
It’s got 14.4 inches of ground clearance and it’s 68 inches wide. That alone makes it a more than capable sport machine. With 18.6 inches of front wheel travel and 21.2 inches in the rear, it’ll take on most any obstacle with above average stability and performance. It’s even got 4-link trailing arms like the Talon R to help minimize bump steer.
Finally, there’s the 99 inch wheelbase. This is where the KRX’s preferred riding terrain starts to become clear. The wheelbase is long enough that the front edge 31” Maxxis Carnivores (mounted on beadlock wheels) extend past the front of the machine. That means the front wheels will make contact with a solid wall before the grill, AKA a rock crawler's ideal setup.
In fact, when you put it all together—the wheel travel, the width, the wheelbase, 31” tires with aggressive lugs, beadlock wheels, the emphasis on torque over horsepower, the heavy curb weight—this thing is made for rocks straight from the factory.
The Bells and Whistles
What this UTV does right (besides the killer suspension) is in the details. Kawasaki has thought of the little things that make the KRX a complete package from the factory. The seats are comfortable and adjustable and afford the driver good site lines. The doors are complete with a lower panel and a handle on the outside. The skid plate covers the floorboard under your feet. The A-arms and trailing arms are high clearance. It has a glove box and multiple storage compartments including some storage space behind the seats. And there are a whopping FIVE (5) cupholders. Three for the driver and two for the passenger, maybe? No matter how you split it, you’ll end up with more cup holders than hands.
It’s overkill in a way we can get behind.
It Looks Good
The Kawasaki KRX 1000 looks like a RZR and a Talon hit it off and got married, and we’re loving it. It’s not breaking any molds but it still looks good. It has a imposing stance thanks to its 99 by 68-inch footprint and 31-inch tires. It’s just hulking. To take the family metaphor too far, it could pass for the RZR’s big brother.
Why Does the KRX Matter?
In a world with computer-controlled suspension and differentials, skyrocketing horsepower, and eight thousand variations of the same machine (I’m looking at you X3), the KRX is refreshingly simple. It’s a solid machine that’s well built. It comes with all the standard upgrades you definitely want and none that you don’t. It’s Kawasaki putting all the best stuff in the box and not holding anything back for some future KRX SPX-Treme Turbo R Mud Edition.
That is to say, there’s no gimmick. It’s all braaap and no yap. They just made a good machine, and that’s awesome.