2021 Kawasaki KRX1000 SE Review
We had a chance to visit Sand Hollow, Utah to test out the new 2021 Kawsaki KRX1000 SE, which comes standard with a Hifonics stereo and WARN winch.
When we first laid eyes on the Kawasaki KRX1000 we knew that the legendary off-road manufacturing giant was really on to something. I have personally put in many hours of seat time riding the wilds of Utah’s Moab trails, known to terrorize other machines, and in that time, it was clear there was more than just another SXS in the market. Fast forward to the chilly month of November 2020 and a grand opportunity the drive the latest Special Edition version of this rig in the red dirt of Utah through the beautiful landscape of Sand Hollow.
It is abundantly clear that everyone who has a chance to drive a KRX is taken aback by the roomy adjustable cockpit, torquey power delivery and incredible looks of the machine first and foremost. I have always been told by my realtor friends that curb appeal is everything because if it doesn’t catch their eye you will not sell it. The 2021 Kawsaki KRX1000 SE does this perfectly.
For model year 2021 Kawasaki has brought us all a Special Edition of its sporty SXS and with color names like Metallic Moondust White combined with Metallic Onyx Black the view gets sweeter. Our specific ride at the Sand Hollow OHV park in Hurricane Utah we would join in on an event there with hundreds of other UTV fanatics. Our 2021 Kawasaki KRX1000 SE stood out and at a closer glance I began to notice the components that were added to make this the SE stand out from the base KRX. There are three specific accessories that make up the package and these are:
- New Hi-Grade Hifonics 600-watt Audio System
- New WARN VRX 45 Powersport Winch
- New Colors and Graphics
Having some type of audio system has become a requirement for many who own a UTV and to have a system with a separate sub-woofer in the mix draws in even more attention. Kawasaki stepped up the bass in the KRX with a 12-inch sub. The Hifonics stereo utilizes 6.5-inch speakers in the doors for those mids and highs, but lets the big boom in the room come from just behind the driver and passenger as its mounted in the center of the cargo space of the KRX rear deck. This very well integrated system makes itself known with illuminated badging on the sub-enclosure as well.
Packed neatly into the front end of the 2021 Kawasaki KRX1000 SE is a fancy product that quite frankly I think should be in every SXS. The new WARN VRX 45 winch makes a back-up plan where there isn’t one. This company has saved more rides from adventure ending events and given more drivers the confidence to stick their nose into situations knowing they had a plan B waiting to be used should they get into trouble. The WARN VRX 45 comes with 50 feet of steel cable and enough strength to work any rodeo. Using the corded remote or the dash-mounted illuminated rocker switch gets this recovery tool operating effectively.
Riding the trails at Sand Hollow in a KRX1000 SE is loads of fun and exploring this wild rugged terrain gives me a peace of mind like no other. Just dreaming of what might be around the next corner of these massive rocks or parking on the highest point of this OHV area and looking out into the vast property is something that has long drawn me to the off-road world. As we made our way through the sections of this landscape, I think we found most any type of terrain to test the Kawasaki KRX1000 SE upon. There is red sandy soil obviously, but there are also long runs of dune type trails that seem to turn into hard pack and even rugged gravel roadbeds for the 31-inch Maxxis Carnivore tires to dig into.
Sandy soil doesn’t seem to affect the brute torque of the KRX and the 31-inch tires provide ample traction. I found that when the trail slows down and the big rocks began to appear, the appreciation I had discovered in the KRX in Moab began to quickly come back to mind. Being from Georgia, I am not into rock crawling like some are in the west. It has always been interesting, but trusting your machine to do the things that some of these guys do in a SXS is somewhat difficult at times for me personally. But, I have also learned that the Kawasaki KRX1000 SE is a rig that I can trust to get me through any of the incredible situations we encountered. The slow linear throttle delivery is one thing that stands out in my mind as it lets you gently crest steep rocks and precisely delivers the power output. The engine braking in this machine is substantial. The low gear crawl down near vertical rock faces really reinforced my appreciation for the hard work that the Kawasaki engineers laid before us.
While much of our experience at Sand Hollow was generally slow going, there were a few times that we were able to stand into the 999cc parallel twin engine and let it eat. The power from low to mid-range is stunning and provides a great experience when bumping off the tops of those rutted and whooped lines along the trails there. I do still wish that there was something left in the box at about ¾ throttle, but I’m sure the dynamics of the engine performance will be tuned up more in the future.
Speaking of bumps, it was also very apparent that the suspension was working several times as deep washouts surprised us during the higher speed sections of trail. With a robustly built platform as an anchor, 18.6 inches of front travel and 21+ inches out, back the FOX 2.5 Podium LSC shocks soaked in the sudden hits and we were no worse for wear. There were a couple of times when the nose of our KRX was pointed down as the front was trying to stay ahead of the rear end before the next large g-out. I was sure it was going to be the moment I would dread, but as the front wheels contacted the ground the suspension just soaked in the hit and the rear wheels pushed the nose right out without issue. It is simply amazing how far suspension has come over the years and companies like FOX seem to have a good grasp of where it is going! The Kawasaki KRX1000 SE is set up to tackle rough terrain and it seems to prove it every time I drive the beast.
There was not one time that we needed the WARN VRX 45 winch, but the Hifonics stereo was turned on and scrambling our favorite tunes via Bluetooth during the stops along the trail. The looks of this Special Edition Kawasaki KRX1000 alone is sure to make any new owner very happy and give them years of use without fail.
To say I like the 2021 Kawasaki KRX1000 SE would be an understatement and while there are things I would love to see improved in the future, patience got us to this point, and I am sure Kawasaki is working on the next phase of this incredible platform.
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