by Jon Draper - Monday, July 21, 2014
Roughly two years after its initial launch, the 2014 Kawasaki Teryx4 side-by-side vehicle boasts significant improvements in style, power and drivability that are sure to be noticed by enthusiasts and appreciated by all. Highlights of the latest Teryx include a new, stronger engine, standard electric power steering and super-bright, high-intensity LED headlights.
I was fortunate to be one of the lucky few invited to test the new machines last year on Utah’s Paiute Trail system. Maintained for primarily ATV use, the system consists of more than 900 miles of trails and logging roads that climb over rugged mountains and tear through sandy desert flats connecting many small towns that cater to riders who flock there seeking adventure. We spent two days going from Beaver, over the Tushar Mountain Pass, into Marysvale and back again. In all it was more than 150 miles round-trip, with ample opportunity for both technical driving and speed.
At the heart of the 2014 Teryx4 is a new 783cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twin engine, which puts out 8 percent more power and 10 percent more torque than the 750cc engine used in other Teryx models. Those who have spent time in a 750 will appreciate the extra horsepower and torque in this engine, especially in the low- and mid-ranges when digging in may be the only thing that gets you out.
Speaking of getting out, Kawasaki supports all four of the aggressive, Teryx-exclusive, 26-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires with premium Fox Podium shocks tuned specifically for the Teryx4. They are gas-charged and feature remote reservoirs to reduce oil frothing by keeping the shocks cool under strain, which helps resist fading. Preload is adjustable, with 24-way compression damping. Front suspension travel, with dual A-arms, is 8 inches; rear travel, with an independent setup, is 8.3 inches. A front torsion bar minimizes body roll. Electric power steering is standard on the 2014 Teryx4 (it was optional in previous models).
With a solid, thumping engine, capable suspension and slick steering, I was able to push the machine to the edge of the cliff, literally, finding my limit well before I reached the limits of the Teryx4.
Those who search out mud holes will appreciate real doors rather than nets; the doors not only make you feel a bit more secure but block mud and rocks. The cab sports amenities the modern hunter will appreciate such as multiple cup holders, 12V DC power outlets and an easy-to-read instrument panel. The 4WD selector is mounted on the dash, along with a front differential lock for slick situations. Though I gave the selector a quick function test, I found 2WD more than sufficient—and exciting—and held off making the switch.
Rather than just slapping a bench in the rear of the cockpit to accommodate additional passengers, Kawasaki addressed the four-man setup with stadium-style seating, placing the rear passengers in the same extremely comfortable high-back bucket seats as found up front. The rear seats are slightly raised, though. This not only adds room for guns and gear, but also provides better viewing options for rear passengers.
The cargo bed is rated for 250 pounds, and if you need extra room for supplies—or even better, meat—removing some bolts will allow you to take out the rear seats. For towing, the standard 2-inch receiver hitch has a capacity of 1,300 pounds.
Hunters should agree the 2014 Teryx4 has the power, ruggedness, space and fuel efficiency we need. Trail riders should appreciate its speed (it tops out at 50 mph), agility and, at just more than 60 inches wide, the fact it will fit on most ATV trails. If you’re looking for a four-seater with lots of upside, check out the 2014 Kawasaki Teryx4.
• Drivetrain: 783cc, V-twin, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, SOHC, 4-valve, fuel-injected engine; CVT w/high, low, reverse; selectable 4WD w/locking differential; shaft drive
• Suspension: front, dual A-arm w/8" travel; rear, independent w/8.3” travel; Fox Podium shocks front and rear
• Brakes: front, dual hydraulic discs with 2-piston calipers; rear, sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc
• Dimensions/Capacities: overall length 124.8"; width 61.6"; height 77.3"; wheelbase 85.7"; ground clearance 11.1"; fuel capacity 7.9 gals.; bed capacity 249 lbs.; towing capacity 1,300 lbs.
• MSRP: $15,799 (base); $16,299 (Realtree APG, tested); $16,999 (LE)
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