Kawasaki’s 2024 North American Dealer Meeting
We get the inside scoop on an all new SxS and so much more for 2024
It’s been a week since I had the opportunity to travel to Phoenix, AZ as a guest at the Kawasaki North American Dealer Meeting, and I haven’t been this excited by one of these events in a long time. Since November of last year, we’ve been getting teaser videos and images of a new RIDGE SxS that Kawasaki was going to launch at this event (which you can read our first impressions on this machine here) but they are a company that offers much more than SxS’s. For 2024, the new RIDGE takes center stage, but will have plenty of company in the way of ATV’s, motorcycles, and more.
First and foremost, the top brass on stage at the dealer meeting wanted to emphasize how they truly cared about and wanted to support their dealer base in North America. It’s clear that while motorcycle sales dominated the industry makeup, SxS sales had the 2nd highest demand and fastest growing segment in the business. This data is not lost on Kawasaki so they emphasized how many different ways that they intended on supporting their dealers with the four “P’s” that would be focused on. The first of those is product, meaning that they were going to ensure that dealers would have the units they want with a strong emphasis on the manufacturing.
Not only do they have a large manufacturing plant in Lincoln, Nebraska, but have also built a large plant in Mexico to increase the number of units to meet consumer demand. Having these plants in full operation has allowed Kawasaki to get their inventory up across the board to pre-pandemic levels. The second “P” was an emphasis on place, which meant that they would get the units consumers want to the places they’re in demand.
Next on the list is in regards to promotions that Kawasaki was going to be pumping out to help their dealers. By partnering with lending companies like Octane and Synchrony, they’ll be able to offer special financing rates to help customers get into or onto the Kawasaki product of their dreams. The fourth and final “P” that they wanted to emphasize was price focused on the quick growing UTV market. For 2024, the popular MULE Pro and Teryx SxS models will get a $2,000 price reduction. To make things even better, their high performance SxS, the Teryx KRX 1000 and KRX 4 1000 models would see a price reduction of $3,000, which was well received by all the dealers in attendance.
With all of the business out of the way, it’s time to get to the hot new products that we can look forward to for the new year. If you’re interested in the new motorcycle models from Kawasaki, check out our sister site Motorcycle.com for all of the goods there, but we’re here to focus on the new ATV and UTV models. In 2024, their flagship ATV the Brute Force 750 is getting a bit of a makeover with new body styling, a new LED handlebar mounted headlight, and a 4.3” full color TFT instrument panel that will feature Bluetooth connectivity. The engine and drivetrain will remain unchanged, but with a proven package like that there isn’t any need to change it.
While this was great news, what really got the crowd pumped was the announcement of a new Brute Force 450. While there specifics weren’t announced at the time of the dealer meeting, it was big news for Kawasaki to jump back into the mid-size ATV market, which has been lacking competition. As soon as we have more information on this exciting new model, we’ll get it to you. We’ll also likely have a great first ride update as soon as we can.
When it comes to the SxS market, the RIDGE took center stage for the show, and you can read about my first impressions of this machine here. This doesn't mean that Kawasaki doesn’t have something up their sleeve in their Sport UTV division. Everyone in attendance was treated to a video that showed a computerized concept design UTV out in terrain that would appear to be Sand Hollow State Park, UT. This design looked very much like a high performance rock crawler and a heck of a lot of fun. While concept designs are cool, we want some real world excitement and Kawasaki is well aware of that.
Right after that video, we were teased with a video of a silhouette KRX 1000 with a revving engine that had been outfitted with a supercharger. Many consumers love the KRX 1000 platform, but have been wanting a more powerful engine package. Whether it uses the current KRX engine or maybe upgrades to the new 4-cylinder engine found in the RIDGE, it sounded mean and had a whole bunch of people really excited for what is to come possibly later this year.
While I am a diehard ATV and UTV enthusiast, there were some really cool things that Kawasaki announced and put on display at this year's dealer meeting. If you’re all about the E-life, the Ninja 7 Hybrid motorcycle was really cool to hear about. Not a totally electric bike, but a gasoline/electric hybrid that delivered long range fuel mileage and still had sport performance in a sporty package. It would be interesting to see this kind of technology packed into an off-road machine one day, but for now I'm impressed to see it in a street application.
Before the masses were released to the show floor to get a closer look at the 2024 models, Kawasaki had one last little surprise up their sleeve. Earlier in the show they talked about promotions to hype up the new RIDGE SxS, and they figured what better way to do it than in front of the largest TV audience in the world. Yep, they made a commercial to hype up this machine that you’ll see being played during this year's Super Bowl, complete with a cameo from none other than Kawasaki brand ambassador Stone Cold Steve Austin, who came out on stage after the commercial. I have to admit that it was pretty funny so check it out!
When all was said and done I left the show very excited about what Kawasaki had in store for 2024. With an all new recreational/utility SxS in the RIDGE, a new mid-size Brute Force 450 ATV, and a mouth-watering teaser for a supercharged KRX UTV, we’ve got some exciting stories coming in the future thanks to Kawasaki, but for now let the good times roll.
More by Eli Madero