Story by Brad Howe • Photos by Fonzi
It's hard to imagine a better place to test an adventure machine like the new Kawasaki Teryx4 than the Paiute ATV Trail. The Paiute, which has more than 230 miles of groomed trails, was the first all-inclusive and multi-use ATV trail in the United States, with major trailheads and ATV access to local towns across the beautiful state of Utah. Staging in Beaver, Utah, we loaded up a 2014 Kawasaki Teryx4 and embarked on our own 200-mile journey across the Paiute, covering all types of terrain from cruiser fire roads to black-diamond challenges.
Trails like the Paiute offer the perfect setting for an in-depth Kawasaki Teryx4 review. No, Kawasaki has still not broken the 999cc barrier and will not likely do so for some time. However, the 2014 T4's digital fuel-injected powerplant was bumped from 749cc to 783cc. This 90-degree V-twin pumps out 10 percent more torque over a broad spread of the rev band plus 8 percent more power, especially in the low-range and midrange. This was a noticeable improvement as we drove from 4,000 to 9,000 feet in elevation. This year's model was more responsive at 9,000 feet than the 2013 was at 4,000 feet. Power was peppy for the tight, sporty trails. Smooth and quiet for cruising your three passengers around, and fuel mileage was also improved. It took us much more than 85 miles of hard driving to get through 7.9 gallons of gas. The 87-octane fuel is fed via the Digital Fuel Injection system that is controlled by a 32-bit ECU, which continuously monitors coolant temperature, air-intake temperature and pressure, throttle position, vehicle speed, and crankshaft angle to properly feed the dual 36mm throttle bodies.
Selecting between two- or four-wheel drive is as easy as rotating a switch located on the dash. You can quickly choose between 2WD, 4WD, and 4WD with differential lock at speeds lower than 10 mph. This on-the-fly option is great! You can haul down a flat trail, flip the switch to 4WD, and climb up a steep, muddy hill. There are few obstacles the Teryx4 won't be able to tackle.
Kawasaki's Electronic Power Steering, which is designed by Showa, is very good on low-speed, technical trails. You can hardly tell Teryx4 had the extended wheelbase, and you could easily navigate in 4WD through trees with only one hand on the wheel. After 200 miles of driving, we were ready for 200 more!
Both the front and rear of the Teryx4 feature a double A-arms suspension with new gas-charged Fox Podium shocks. All four corners feature remote reservoirs, and adjustable spring preload and compression damping, and provide 8 inches of travel in the front and 8.3 inches in the rear. With a full load, there was little suspension sag, and there is a solid 11.1 inches of ground clearance! The ride was ultra plush with a full load, which is what it's intended for. The stock settings were a bit harsh on the rougher trails, but the Fox shocks have 24 clicks of compression, which allowed us to soften up the ride. There is also a front torsion bar, which did an excellent job of minimizing body roll. During our fast-paced Kawasaki Teryx4 review, the 1,587-pound chassis was surprisingly predictable and rarely pushed or rolled in corners. The stiff Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires helped in this department as well. These treads are tough as nails and provided great traction in every terrain the Paiute offered.
The interior of the Teryx4 is incredibly spacious for all four passengers. The latch doors are still the best of any stock UTV on the market, and getting in and out of the Teryx4 is super easy. Ergonomics are spot-on for the average 6-foot occupants. Taller or shorter driver/passengers can take off the seats and adjust them pretty easily. The four-bucket seats are as comfortable as any aftermarket seats we have tested, and the three-point harness feature anti-cinch straps. The front passenger gets dual handgrips, similar to Yamaha's Rhino, and the rear passengers share an easy-to-hold grab bar integrated in the cage. The dash features a full-function digital display, and the dual front cupholders were raised for a much easier reach. There are dual cupholders in the rear cabin as well.
Maintenance on the Teryx4 line is easy. The airbox does not require any tools for access or changing filters, and the oil dipstick is located under the driver's seat and is easily accessible as well.
Kawasaki's 2014 Teryx4 is wrapped with scratch-resistant, thermoplastic olefin bodywork. The standard model sports a bright Sunrise Yellow trim and runs for $15,799 without power steering, while the Limited Edition (LE) EPS models pop a bit more with an automotive-style paint that coats not only the plastic but also the A-arms and shock's springs in either Candy Lime Green or Candy Burnt Orange. They run for $16,999. Kawasaki has also teamed up with Realtree to offer a $16,299 Limited Edition Camouflaged Teryx4 wrapped in the disappearing APG HD pattern.
- Largest cc UTV from the Japanese brands
- New Fox Podium shocks have improved overall ride and comfort
- Electronic Power Steering settings are spot-on
- Candy Green and Burnt Orange are a snazzy improvement
- It's heavy weight caused some pushing
- Not very good mud protection
- Stock cargo space is limited for a "four-person" adventure vehicle
Utility UTV Comparison Chart
|Honda Pioneer 4||$11,699||Back seats turn into a 600-lb. capacity dump bed|
|Polaris Ranger 800 Midsize and 800 Crew||$12,199/$12,499||50 hp & Midsize fits in full-size pickup|
|Yamaha Viking 700||$ 11,499||Three seats, 600-lb. bed and 1,500-lb. towing capacities|
2014 Kawasaki Teryx4 UTV
Teryx4 LE $16,999
Teryx4 Camo $16,299
Type: SOHC (4 valves/cylinder) V-twin
Bore x stroke: 85 x 69mm
Fuel system: EFI w/ two 36mm Mikuni throttle bodies
Starting system: Electric
Drive system: Shaft, selectable 4WD w/ locking front differential
Transmission: Continuously variable belt-drive transmission w/ high/low range, reverse, a wet centrifugal clutch
Front: Dual A-arms w/ new piggyback reservoir coil-over Fox Podium shocks, adjustable spring preload, 24-way compression damping/8 in.
Rear: Dual A-arms w/ new piggyback reservoir coil-over Fox Podium shocks, adjustable spring preload, 24-way compression damping/8.3 in.
Front: 26x9-12 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0
Rear: 26x11-12 Maxxis Bighorn 2.0
Front: Dual hydraulic discs w/ two-piston calipers
Rear: Sealed, oil-bathed multi-disc
Wheelbase: 85.7 in.
Claimed curb weight: 1,567 lbs. / 1,586.9 lbs. (LE)
Ground clearance: 11.1 in.
Length/width/height: 124.8/61.6/77.3 in.
Fuel capacity: 7.9 gal.
Cargo bed capacity: 249 lbs.
Towing capacity: 1,300 lbs.
Instrumentation: Multifunction digital meter w/ speedometer, fuel gauge, clock, hourmeter, odometer, dual tripmeters; parking-brake, CVT belt, R/N/P/4WD, water-temp and low-oil-pressure indicators
Colors: Sunrise Yellow, Candy Lime Green (LE), Candy Burnt Orange (LE), Realtree APG HD (Camo)