2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4×4 Review [Video]

Rick Sosebee
by Rick Sosebee
Surprisingly comfortable and pleasingly sporty

2012 Family UTV of the Year

Located in the northeastern mountainous region of Tennessee is a place called Brimestone Recreation. This is where the mountains meet the rivers and 300 miles of trails wind around the 19,196 acres of beautiful landscape. This is also a great place for families to get away and enjoy nature via ATV or side-by-side off-road vehicles. Kawasaki clearly thought the same way as it chose this location to showcase its new Teryx4 fun machine.

Kawasaki has stood by its slogan of “Let the good times roll” for years now and the engineers have built great equipment to allow the statement to ring true. With the production year of 2011 coming to a close, Kawasaki had one last surprise for off-road consumers and their families to ride off into model year 2012 in style. The Teryx4 750 4×4 has hit the dealer floors and the excitement is brewing.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

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Kawasaki’s all new Teryx4 has a roomy place for three of your besties to ride while you drive through your favorite off-road riding area. You can also haul a cooler and select gear for a day out in the wild. So before I get you thinking of the next great ride, lets dig into the specifics of the Teryx4.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 750

Kawasaki tuned its familiar 749cc V-Twin to make more peak horsepower in the Teryx4.

The powerplant in the Teryx4 is a familiar beast. The 749cc V-twin engine platform was indeed borrowed from its two-seat sibling, but a few modifications were made to help this motor push the extra weight around the trail. The Teryx4 engine has more overall peak horsepower than its T2 counterpart and Kawasaki does this with fine atomization 12-hole fuel injectors utilizing the 32-bit digital fuel injection system to control delivery. As well, the exhaust was also modified to assist in the power of the V-Twin. Cooling an engine that is mounted back in the center of the chassis can have its issues, but with a larger overall radiator as well as an assisting chassis fan to drive air through the floor and over the engine this Teryx4 should run with a cool head at all times. The under-chassis fan only runs when it’s needed, so you don’t have to worry about taxing the electrical system.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

Engine braking is a huge bonus on steep descents.

All the V-Twin power is delivered to the CVT transmission, which is tasked to putting the power to the ground. With a brand new CVT belt design as well as an all-new selectable front differential Kawasaki’s refining of the four-seat market hit its mark. With the V-Twin’s engine braking, Kawasaki is able to assist the driver in controlling the machine on steep descents. This is a confidence booster for the person in the pilot’s seat, which should help the passengers feel safe.

Safety is yet another key and even more important element when building a vehicle that can haul more than two people. The Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) is made of high tensile strength steel and wraps the passengers up to keep them safe on the trail. The key feature Kawasaki pointed out on the framework of the protective structure was the fact that the round tube upper chassis extends itself outside the edges of the plastics. This means that the round steel tube takes the majority of the abuse and keeps you from ripping the fenders off your Teryx4. So not only does the ROPS keep you safe, but it keeps your ride looking good.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

Despite a fairly short wheelbase, the Teryx4 comfortably accommodates four people.

When it came to accommodating two more passengers, it wasn’t as simple as Kawasaki just dropping an extra row of seats into a regular Teryx chassis. Kawasaki engineers spent many hours developing a superb ride to make the Teryx4 comfortable on the trail. Kawasaki claims the suspension on the Teryx4 is sport focused and it comes outfitted with high performance single chamber gas charged shocks up front that offer compression and rebound adjustments along with a pair of piggyback reservoir shocks on the rear of the machine. This is how the base model is set up, but if you go for the more expensive models you’ll get the upgraded shocks from the rear on all four corners.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

Piggyback reservoir shocks are come standard on the rear of the Teryx4 and are available up front on the EPS, Camo and LE models.

So what else could you possibly get with a four seat off-road vehicle that would help your friends and family enjoy the outdoors with you? How does Electronic Power Steering (EPS) sound for another optional bonus! Utilizing EPS in an off-road vehicle makes steering the beast a cinch and comfortable for less experienced drivers. When you lock a utility off-road vehicle into four-wheel drive or even full differential lock the steering can become extremely heavy. With EPS the load is lightened dramatically. As well, it makes the Teryx4 much easier to maneuver over rocky terrain and rutted out trails.

Test Ride

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

Kawasaki took a big step forward in rider comfort.

We were excited to roll into the Brimstone Recreation ride area and get our hands wrapped firmly around the steering wheel of Kawasaki’s new ride. The cool crisp morning made everyone bundle up and after a brief meeting we were searching for the machine we would spend the rest of the day in.

The seating in this new Teryx4 feels so comfortable. The seats were high-back wrap-around style and it really feels like you are sitting in high class. Kawasaki stepping away from the typical hard half seats was the first of many great features we were to find. A quick look over your shoulder reveals plenty of comfortable room for the friends you choose to take along for the adventure.

The Teryx4 started up without any trouble and the throttle delivery was as smooth as any thing I have ever driven. The smooth acceleration was a welcomed experience. As we cruised through the hills and over some seemingly difficult obstacles in the trail system it was apparent the Teryx4 wasn’t going to be held back by anything. If I had one request from Kawasaki it would be just a bit more front wheel coverage to keep the driver, passenger and extras in the back clean.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

Despite the Teryx4’s larger size, the engine felt plenty powerful.

The engine seemed to have enough power to pull a loaded cart and at times we actually forgot that there were other seats and even people behind us. This was when I knew the go fast sporty guy would really enjoy this machine. Engaging the driveline or gear selection was smooth. With a 7.9-gallon gas tank the fun will last for quite some time.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4

If you’re looking for a machine to take multiple passengers along for a comfortable, grin-inducing ride, the Teryx4 with EPS is hard to beat.

The times are tough for any extra cash to spend on off-roading, but with a machine like this one (base Teryx4 starts at $13,399, EPS is another $1000) it’s the only thing a family would need to have an absolute blast. Get out as soon as you can and check this ride out. Take the entire family to the dealer so you can fill the back seats up and get an idea for the next off road adventure.

Related Reading

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 750 4×4 Preview

2010 Kawasaki Teryx 750 FI 4×4 Review

2009 Kawasaki Teryx 750 FI 4×4 Sport Review

2008 Kawasaki Teryx 750 4X4 Review

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Rick Sosebee
Rick Sosebee

Whether he is in Mexico covering the Baja 1000, building ATVs for local racers, or out enjoying the trails, Rick’s passion shows in his stories. Learning to wrench his own machines from his grandfather, Rick also has an undying appreciation for the mechanics of off-road vehicles. Do not let the dirt and mud fool you, though, as Rick also has a deep love for street cars.

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