The Kawasaki Teryx is one of the best multi-purpose machines out there. Whether you’re putting it to work or putting pedal to the metal, the Teryx never disappoints.
This machine has consistently delivered power, performance, and versatility since its release over a decade ago. But with that consistency has come innovation and plenty of exciting new features. Kawasaki has either grown or improved upon the Teryx lineup nearly every year since 2008.
Today we’re taking a trip down memory lane to see where the Teryx came from, where it is now, and where Kawasaki is taking it next.
Kawasaki’s first recreation side-by-side was announced in late 2007. Before we get into the nitty gritty Teryx details, let’s take a minute and remind ourselves what the UTV scene looked like back then.
At this time, the only side-by-sides on the market were purely focused on utility. The only exception would be the Ranger RZR, which also made its debut in 2008. But even that was classified as more of a utility/recreation hybrid, rather than strictly sport. It still lived under the Ranger name and hadn’t yet branched off into the RZR realm that we’re familiar with now.
So any new machine that wasn’t 100% geared toward work was bound to cause a stir.
The very first member of the Teryx family, the Kawsaki Teryx 750 4×4, prioritized fun and performance over anything else. Kawasaki advertised the 500 lb. cargo box capacity and 1,300 lb. towing capacity, so initially the expectation was that it would be similar to the MULE. But riders soon realized the Teryx would be occupying more than just the utility sector.
The original Teryx featured a mid-engine design and wide stance that left it balanced and stable. High-performance suspension components and brakes made it a blast to ride. It had a powerful, sporty 749cc V-Twin engine that proved itself on any terrain, including mud and rocks.
Immediately, the Teryx made its mark in the off-road community.
As you can imagine, off-road enthusiasts didn’t have much to complain about with the 2008 Teryx. But one thing people did call for was a fuel-injected engine, and it wasn’t long at all before Kawasaki responded.
Less than a year after releasing the original Kawasaki Teryx, they introduced a new model with several upgrades—including Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI), which made a huge difference in throttle response.
Other additions to the 2009 lineup included upgraded intake and exhaust cooling ducts, revised shock settings, and a digital dashboard gauge.
This year saw six Teryx models total, including two new sport editions: the Teryx Sport and Teryx Sport Monster Energy. These editions featured adjustable preload, adjustable rebound, compression damping, and piggyback reservoirs on Kayaba shocks. Cast aluminum rims and a higher-grade suspension are two other factors that set these sport editions apart.
The Kawasaki Teryx revealed a fresh new look in 2010. A forward-tilting hood and more angular body style alluded even more to the machine’s tough, sporty character.
Other upgrades included new headlights, larger hoses, a relocated coolant reserve tank, and a more rigid frame on the tilt bed.
An LE model, another Sport model, and new color options were unveiled this year, as well.
The Kawasaki Teryx4, released in 2012, wasn’t the first four-seater UTV on the market—but that didn’t make its release any less exciting.
The Teryx4 was different than other crew models at this time because of its compact design. It was only 8” longer than the two-seater model, making it more trail-friendly than other big machines.
They had to cut some cargo space to make room for a second row of seats, but Kawasaki made up for it by placing an even greater focus on rider comfort. Despite the compact look, the Teryx4’s interior was roomier and more comfortable than competitor models.
High-backed bucket seats gave all passengers a clear view of what’s ahead. Kawasaki also added easy-entry doors to enhance the cab experience. Those doors kept the mud out, too, which was an added perk.
The four-seater Teryx was released with bigger tires (26” stock), more suspension travel, and a new square-tube steel frame.
The 2012 Teryx lineup also included an EPS and EPS LE model.
Both Teryx machines, the two-seater and the four-seater, received some notable upgrades with the release of the 2014 models.
The Teryx was given an advertised 26% boost in horsepower and 12% boost in torque. The cargo bed capacity increased by 100 pounds. Integrated cargo hooks and a tool mount system were added, all designed to work with Kawasaki’s quick-attach/detach accessories. They added two water-resistant storage bins, too.
The Teryx4 received a new 783cc V-Twin engine that boasted 10% more power and 8% more torque than previous years. A new partnership with Fox added gas-charged Fox Podium piggyback reservoir shocks. This was also the year when Electric Power Steering became standard across the entire Teryx4 line.
A more obvious change that occurred was the appearance of all 2014 Teryx models. The slightly altered body style was a bit sportier than before, and much less boxy.
Kawasaki began offering its industry-leading three-year warranty on all Teryx machines this year, as well.
The 2016 lineup brought on a slew of subtle changes. All Kawasaki Teryx machines received new styling in the form of a different hood, headlights, and front bumper.
Kawasaki also added a new tilt steering column and a thicker steering wheel. They improved the driver’s seat to make adjustments easier. A new dash layout added new accessories, switches, and an extra storage pocket.
At this point, the Teryx had made quite an impact in the off-roading community. By 2018, it was one of the most popular recreational side-by-sides on the market.
Despite this, changes were minimal for a couple of years. The only notable change to the 2018 models were some new color options.
Kawasaki’s next big announcement happened on October 7, 2019. They had been teasing the new release for a few months at this point, but it became official in the fall: There was a new Teryx in town.
The release of the Teryx KRX 1000 marked Kawasaki’s first time dropping into the strictly sport side-by-side market.
With an over-the-top suspension and powertrain, the KRX 1000 was built for thrills and nothing less. It boasted 14.4” of ground clearance with 18.6” of travel in the front and 21.2” in the rear. A full-coverage skid plate, large-diameter radius arms, and double wishbone front A-arms made it ready for any terrain and riding conditions.
Kawasaki’s motto during the KRX research and development phase was “calm in the cabin.” As much as they focused on high performance, they focused even more on comfort. They reportedly tested every possible suspension configuration to ensure the most comfortable ride possible.
Other notable features of the KRX 1000 included a naturally-aspirated 999cc engine, on-demand 4WD, four-link trailing arms, and Fox 2.5 Podium shocks.
This thing didn’t just act powerful—it looked the part, too. It had an aggressive profile that fit right into the sport UTV world. A tapered body and steep hood made it perfect for maneuvering around obstacles and through tight trails.
This year’s Teryx and Teryx4 are back with no noticeable changes, aside from updated colors and graphics.
The Teryx KRX 1000 received two new models, though—the Trail Edition and the Special Edition. They aren’t any different in terms of performance, but Kawasaki went all out in terms of the bells and whistles.
The 2021 Trail Edition is chock full of accessories. A Kawasaki KQR sport roof, accessory mounts, and winch all come standard.
And if you’re worried about blending in, don’t be. The front and rear bumpers, nerf bars, and all suspension arms were given a Pearl Neon Yellow powder coating to match the bright highlights in the plastic.
The Special Edition KRX 1000 is just as eye-catching, with its contrasting black and white accents, red A-arms, and silver shock springs. But what really sets the SE apart is the fancy Hifonics audio system.
A Bluetooth/AM/FM 600-watt, five-channel stereo system comes standard in all 2021 Special Editions. This kit includes 6.5” coaxial speakers in the door, a titanium dome tweeter, and a 12” subwoofer specially created for the KRX 1000. A high-contrast color LED screen is included, and Apple Controls allow you to control any compatible Apple device using the stereo. Pretty sweet setup, if you ask us.
From the beginning, innovation has been the name of the game for the Kawasaki Teryx. This machine has been a rider favorite for over ten years now, and with the way Kawasaki keeps growing and improving upon the lineup, we don’t see that changing any time soon.
But what’s next?
We’ve already gotten a peek at what’s to come for the 2022 Kawasaki MULE models, but the future of the Teryx remains well-shrouded. We expect an announcement sometime in the next few months, though. Will we see a four-seater Teryx KRX 1000? Only time will tell.