If you, along with the team here at ATV Trail Rider, were one of the many waiting on the long-anticipated introduction of a Kawasaki sport side x side, that wait may have felt seemingly unending. Well, as we all know, that wait finally came to an end with the introduction of the 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 and I would say, its introduction has caused a notable stir in the industry.
Have you ever been in a situation, you know, one that has a perpetuating build up, only to leave you in a position of feeling completely underwhelmed, in total disappointment, one that then required a complete realignment of future expectations? Well, this is not the case with the Teryx. The group of engineers at Kawasaki Heavy Industries LTD were obviously very purposeful in assuring that the intro of the newest addition to the Kawasaki RUV family would be nothing less than eye-opening. This buggy will certainly leave an impression on even the most seasoned off-road enthusiast with its industry leading standard features.
Given its handsome prowess, first glance will likely embroil thoughts of desert racing, rock crawling and drifting hard through tight corners on an unassumed road, all of which the KRX has been equipped and for the most part can accomplish effortlessly. Kawasaki checked off a lot of the right boxes while taking the KRX from concept to reality, enough boxes to ask, what could be next?
The 2020 KRX is powered by an all new tough and reliable 999cc DOHC liquid cooled parallel twin four stroke engine, with an estimated 112hp that produces an established 76.7 lb-ft of torque. Dual snorkel air intakes sit at head level directly behind the driver and passenger seats, one intake for the engine, one for the CVT.
The power from the 999cc engine is transferred to the wheels through an automatic CVT with centrifugal clutch and high, low, neutral and reverse gears. The final drive system is basic but effective and effortless to use with selectable 2WD/4WD and locking front differential. In addition, the KRX has two modes, this allows the driver to set the power delivery to suit the terrain in which it’s being navigated. Full Power mode delivers a quick and powerful response, while the Lower Power mode offers even and consistent power at a lower speed, providing low-speed control. This is especially useful when crawling over rocky terrain.
The power is put to the ground with class-leading 31-inch Maxxis carnivores. Their 8-ply construction offers increased protection against punctures, mated to 15-inch aluminum bead-lock rims designed to hold the bead in place when navigating tricky rock crawls. This will also allow lower tire pressures if necessary. These larger diameter tires allow the KRX to easily grip and roll over obstacles that may challenge a lesser diameter tire.
The ladder type tubular steel chassis provides rigidity, while the integrated 8-point Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) provides protection for the occupants. The 99-inch wheelbase and 59-inch tread stance leave a large footprint that provides confidence in the stability of the KRX. All this is held together with beefy suspension. In the front, a double wishbone accompanied by Fox 2.5 podium LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, and 24-position adjustable compression damping 472 mm (18.5 inch) travel and a lower arched wishbone to allow additional clearance. The rear suspension is a 4-link trailing arm system with the same Fox 2.5 podium LSC shocks, but with 536mm (21”) travel.
Coming into the ring at an industry leading curb weight of 860kg or 1,896.3 lb, the KRX certainly needed adequate stopping power to slow the momentum. This was accomplished with Large-258mm diameter hydraulic disc brakes and 32mm twin-pistons on the front and 38mm single piston calipers on the rear. The front pistons engage first as the brake pedal is pushed towards the floor. The brakes are very predicable and show no signs of pulling or brake fade, even under the hardest braking conditions they perform flawlessly.
The well laid out and roomy cabin offers a comfortable environment for both the driver and the passenger with plenty of leg and headroom. Lever adjustable high back bucket seats include a slip resistant material that provide comfort and support. Six-point seatbelts (available through Kawasaki Genuine Accessories) keep you secured to the form-fitting seats, and for added security, the passenger is fitted with a large adjustable T-bar handle with the handle adjustment conveniently located inside the glove box.
The controls are well positioned and within easy reach of the driver. The well-organized LED display is situated on the top of the steering column and adjusts along with the height of the steering wheel, making it easily visible. The gate-style shift lever located in the center console is easily accessible and shifts with ease. Large letters appear on the LED screen that indicate what gear you are in, I found this to be helpful during night riding. Storage in the cabin is plentiful, including a water-resistant storage compartment located in the center of the dash, an easy-access pocket in the center console, a passenger-side glove box, adequate storage behind the seats for a soft cooler, five cup-holders including four in the center console and one in the passenger door, as well as a DC power supply located in the dash providing up to 120 W.
A standard feature on the KRX are the highly functional half doors which open wide and have a car like solid feel to them. With controls on both the inside and outside of the door, it allows the door to be opened from either side. Nicely finished off on the inside, the door panels include an armrest for added comfort and speakers if you opt for the HIFONICS stereo system.
When needing to top off with fuel, the cap is located below the passenger door. This allows easy access when the KRX is loaded on a trailer.
Time in the seat of the KRX allowed us to appreciate what this machine is capable of. With logging just over 300 km in the KRX over uniquely different types of terrain and weather conditions ranging from ridiculously hot to quite cool, our initial, and our overall impression of the KRX turned out to be somewhat different. The KRX has a naturally aspirated 1000cc 112HP engine, and although both smooth and powerful, you are not going to experience neck snapping acceleration from a dead stop or break any high-speed land records. This is in no way a negative because on the other hand, the mid range is always available when called on and powering through corners will leave you satisfied and excitedly anticipating the next corner. After rock crawling, trail riding and some time spent on the track, we quickly learned to appreciate the smoothness of the low-end torque that never seemed to let us down as we weaved through wooded trails or crawled up rock faces. The Electronic Power Steering with Variable Assist eliminates negative feedback to the steering wheel. The suspension, after a little tweaking, will confidently handle everything you throw at it.
Overall, Kawasaki has stepped up to the plate with the into of the Teryx KRX 1000 a well rounded RUV, one that has captured the attention of the off-road industry and quickly found its place in the side x side market.
Texte and Credit Photos: Paul Stewart