New model combines the Mule and Brute Force into side-by-side Â‘RUVÂ’
For 2008, Kawasaki is taking the success of its long-serving utility Mule and parlaying it into a side-by side called the Teryx. Using the same engine as the Brute Force, this ‘RUV’ (recreational utility vehicle) places the 90-degree 749cc V-twin engine mid-ship in the vehicle frame for optimum balance.
The Teryx will also use other standard Kawasaki components, such as a continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, reverse and the Kawasaki Engine Brake Control. The drive system will be a selectable four-wheel drive with a variable front differential control. These should be in dealers by the New Year.
Though completely new, the genius of the Teryx goes back to the 2005 introduction of Kawasaki’s Brute Force 750 4x4i. It was anything but subtle about its nature; it was (and still is) a brute. In a market where power attracts customers, Kawasaki went for the big cc displacement as a lure, but, this model also introduced the first Kawasaki 4×4 ATV to use a fully independent rear suspension along with a new chassis and suspension that gave the Brute Force 10.5 inches ground clearance. Today, the Brute Force is still one of Kawasaki’s best selling models.
In a world of big singles, the 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin engine was also unique—as was its design. It features plated aluminum cylinders, a reverse-facing air intake, 34mm downdraft carburetors and four valves per cylinder. It also featured a smaller, more efficient radiator mounted high in the chassis where it’s protected from mud and debris.
Another strong feature was the Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, which slowed the ATV (without braking) on steep down-hills. Rear braking on the Brute Force consists of internal components completely sealed to protect them from mud, dust and debris.
Moving the wheels is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) featuring high and low range, plus reverse. The rider can also select 2WD or 4WD with a handlebar mounted switch. In 4WD, the Brute Force uses a limited-slip front differential normally, but a Variable Front Differential Control can also be engaged to split torque equally between the right and left front wheels. The Brute Force weighs in at 604 pounds, can carry up to 265 pounds on its cargo racks and has a tow rating of 1,400 pounds.
In 2005, the new look of the body work (made of a scratch resistant thermo-plastic called Olefin) and front grilles were available in colours ranging from Aztec Red, Hunter Green, Desert Yellow to Realtree Hardwoods Green camouflage.
In 2006, Kawasaki made some minor changes and added new accessories choices for the Brute Force, thereby concentrating on illustrating its racing heritage by pointing out the Brute Force design’s ‘rider active’ traits. The company expected it to be driven aggressively. Small storage compartments in the front and rear fenders were made available; as was a variety of bags and racks available in hard woods camo patterns, gun boots and an overall camo pattern that could be attractive to the hunter and angler. To get in and out of rough terrain, Kawasaki uses a dual A-arm front suspension with adjustable shocks that have 6.7 inches of travel. In back that independent rear suspension provides 7.9 inches of travel.
Kawasaki introduced some new safety innovations in 2007 called the ‘vehicle down’ system. If the ATV is at more than a 65-degree angle, all fuel is cut to the engine in anticipation of a crash. The company has also tried new things with its engine, such as a 90-degree offset cylinder which eliminates the use of on engine balancer and offers a smoother running engine. But the biggest changes have come this model year with a host of updates to the Brute Force.
The V-twin engine gains a digital fuel injection system and the chassis and suspension have been reworked as well. Along with the EFI there is also a new seat urethane, increased storage, new bumper design, polished wheels, lighter aluminum footpegs, and tougher axle boots. The newest version also now has factory-installed plastic conduit for easy winch installation.
Adding fuel injection to Kawasaki’s four-stroke V-twin engine offers the advantage of feeding the engine the correct fuel mixture based on coolant temperature, air intake temperature, throttle position, air pressure, vehicle speed and crankshaft angle.
For 2008, Kawasaki adds an NRA Outdoors special (with Advantage MAX-I HD camouflage pattern) to the Brute Force stable. Chassis provides 10.6 inches of ground clearance and now comes with pre-routed tubing and mounting brackets for easy winch wiring and installation.
In the Mule family this year, you’ll find a transformer—the Mule 310 Trans4x4. The driver can transform it from a four-passenger 4×4 to a two-passenger 4×4 with an extended cargo bed with just a few quick adjustments. This Mule is 11.6 inches longer than that of the standard 4×4, but features the same styling, car-like controls, dashboard and front under-hood storage. It also comes with retractable rear seat belts and padded rear-passenger grab handles.
Combined with the DeDion/leaf spring rear suspension system, it has a cargo capacity of 400 pounds in four-passenger mode, and 800 pounds with the cargo bed extended forward. Plus, the Trans4x4 can tow up to 1,200 pounds with an optional towing hitch.