Kawasaki’s flagship ATV, the 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS, has long been trusted by some of the most demanding ATV users on this earth. Favoured by many with a need for extra toughness, this powerful quad, first to bring V-Twin power to the table, now enjoys many intelligent improvements to maximize riding performance. Graced with a noticeable gain in power, a new double-wishbone front suspension, a precise feeling new speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering system and an important number of other upgrades for 2012, the Brute Force is ready to conquer just about anything. New body-work and six-spoke cast alloy wheels take care of reaching those new heights, in style.
Nature’s force is certainly all powerful. Recent weather disasters around the world are proof that nobody should underestimate its ability to transform this strangely aging planet we enjoy discovering so much. I keep trying to forget about this aging process thing. It is just so frustrating for me to have to admit that my bones, muscles, joints, are all transforming also, slowly degrading like the mechanical parts of the many rides that pass under me. Luckily for me and my tired shoulders, speed sensitive Electric Power Steering is now becoming common in the ATV industry. The green team just had to step up to the plate and add such a system on their flagship quad: the 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS.
On a more positive side, nature takes its time to create such wonders as this region, where volcanoes of the rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range push up beyond the lower clouds. It seems the Medford, Oregon area is prone to get some intense weather. I thought I was properly dressed for the occasion, wearing a TechFloat technology equipped CKX jacket from Kimpex, able to help me float if I were to be struck by some odd occurrence, like a flash flood. I somehow forgot about the bottom part.
Nobody could have dreamed of getting a better chance to test this cool new ride in such beautifully diversified conditions. In a single day, our Brutes would end up tackling every possible condition nature can throw at you, with noticeably more efficiency, and much greater comfort than past versions. Keep in mind that all the photos in this article were shot on the same day. Tight trails winding through dense woods, mud, rock climbs, and then full on winter time, for a few hours… to then finish this wonderful ride with a bit of carefully managed summertime fun, while drifting out of turns and skimming over some hot sandy trails. When we started out in the morning, it felt like late autumn, coldish with a light drizzle.
Colder rain quickly followed, which turned into incredibly dense snow. In a flash, it was winter all over again, with an abundant white blanket, gaining thickness at an incredibly fast pace. My MX style gloves only warm for short periods of time, after bringing them to a steamy boil at the tip of my shiny stainless steel exhaust pipe. I will let you guess what parts of me were most uncomfortable, in my much too ordinary pants. I got back to the Team Green tent for lunch, wet, frozen, seriously pleased with the whole experience! Some parts of me needed a bit of maintenance, in the form of a good blow drying with the big gas heater keeping the tent all cosy and warm. Yet my special edition 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS seemed unscathed, parked all pretty in dirt.
I just couldn’t believe my eyes when getting back out from under the tent. All of a sudden, it was spring again! The soothing warmth of the sun encouraged me to get back into my still humid gear for more brutal ATV action. Seriously, there couldn’t have been a better way of testing this completely revised and even sportier than it already was, Kawasaki big-bore sport-utility ATV.
I saw an eagle, or so I thought it could be, also intent on reaching new heights. It was soaring high enough to get a much better view of the majestic surroundings. For now anyway, I could only settle for the imposing angle in the mountain on one side and a deep gash, elegantly carved by a calm stream below, on the other. This great experience was getting better and better, in discovering the unknown about this nice new Kawasaki, and of course, this incredibly cool set of trails they have got going here; owned by a large group of ATV friendly families. Conquering this sort of challenging terrain on such a torque generous V-twin equipped quad, is right up my alley. The Variable Front Differential Control (that little yellow extra lever at the left hand controls) is something I still very much enjoy playing with while carefully ascending logical to climb inclines. Getting full traction up front in a very precise and user friendly way.
A half generous press of the throttle sufficed to be rewarded with a strong, yet smooth and controllable delivery of power. In other words, I climbed a rocky section at a good pace without too much risk involved. Another climb, much longer and maybe steeper at points too far up to judge safe or not, I passed on. Why risk totalling such a beautiful piece of machinery? Still, with this Brute, the front end will be easy to lighten up and steering always quickly pointed in the right direction. If you can avoid any steep incline; you must. If climbing is unavoidable; keep a slow but steady pace and choose to roll on the rocks that will minimize angle changes the most. Before you know it, the entire stretch of rock filled trail, that seemed intimidating at first, becomes a thing of the past too fast. So you catch yourself going back down just to do it for fun all over again. Of course, the minimalist dimensions mean that steep angles needing aggressive weight shifting, can occur more often than on a wider stance type quad, like the Polaris Sportsman XP for example. This ride is much lighter though and will be easier to correct and forced back into a comfortable position, during challenging moments. The Kawasaki’s power steering unit also has a less noticeable amount of assistance than the one on the Polaris, which I very much prefer. Its presence is not so obvious and it doesn’t seem to create as much rider overconfidence.
Strong and easy to handle, this completely overhauled 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS felt very different from past Brutes as soon as the throttle was pressed a mere half inch. This engine has suffered through a major overhauling from passionate and speed-hungry green clothed engineers. The extra power mostly generated by lifting up the compression ratio to 9.3:1. That was done by swapping the cylinder head for the one found on their 650 engine, and redesigning new camshafts that increase valve timing duration and lift, for a crisper engine response and more performance. What is most surprising is that this engine is at par to Kawasaki’s 366 cc in physical size. The Brute’s V-twin idles smoother than most in its class by the way. It also has better brakes than many; especially the impervious and low-maintenance multi-disc wet brake system for the rear. Standard equipment also includes a tow bar rated for 1250 lbs. and electrically selectable 2WD/4WD which allows easy switching between 2 and 4-wheel drive. The switch is well conceived to prevent inadvertent changing of modes.
They also have improved handling with a new double wishbone front suspension, which pivots on new rubber bushings to reduce maintenance. They made the double-cradle, high-tensile tubular steel frame sturdier by adding reinforcements and applied a few revisions to the steering column. This ride stability, in turns, was improved, but the extra power meant that this big-bore quad, despite its fairly compact and agile character, could take you by surprise when pressing on the gas a little more than needed, in an attempt to unhook the rear for a power slide. This should not be done with such large IRS equipped machines, but I needed to push it close to its limits, to figure out where they were. Remember, we do it so you don’t have to. It felt like an oversized race quad, when I jumped into intense mode, in roomy clearings and open sky trails. I was thoroughly pleased with the entire package. It did need some generous weight shifting at times, when the abundant torque output would find too much grip at the outside rear 25″ Duro tire, working solo for a very short but important lapse of time. My generous height and weight felt like it was more of a factor on this machine, than on any other big-bore. This meant that the ride did not feel intimidating in size and weight and I always felt in total control.
With the now much better and useful low-end torque, the CVT drive system needed some improvements as well. So, this Brute got a thicker belt made with upgraded material, and a longer gear reduction (2.884:1 final drive). Despite the extra load on the system, clutch engagement felt smoother than before. I would even say, better than most other rides in this big-bore class right now. New weight and spring settings insure better behaviour at low speeds, so not only was it more direct, but also very seamless in its operation. If it wouldn’t be for that cool sound created by the new front to back stainless steel exhaust system, or the few normal but present drive system noises, you could be fooled into thinking you were controlling the output of a powerful electric motor.
This excitingly upgraded new 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 EPS is truly among the best new machines on the market right now, to be reaching higher grounds that are extra challenging and rewarding to get to. To be climbing up majestic mountains in confidence, in your quest to discover some of the world’s greatest vistas, you might be in need of a strong, yet very agile machine, to get through some tricky areas. I believe the 2012 Brute Force 750 EPS is perfect for that kind of riding. Its tight turn radius, somewhat short wheelbase and low weight for a big-bore, are perfect for such adventures. Combined with the worry-free and self-adjusting character of electronic fuel injection, for more precision at the tip of your thumb, regardless of changes in elevation or temperature, as well as consistent starting, it becomes an ideal ride for reaching the top.
For more information on the above mentioned models, please visit the Kawasaki Website