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Story by Matt Finley, photos by Matt Finley, Mark Kariya and Kawasaki

Kawasaki Motor Corp.

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS First Ride

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS
2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS
2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

Kawasaki has blurred the line between a utility quad and a sport ATV with the 2012 Brute Force 750 4x4i ESP. They took an already capable work-horse and turned it into something a lot sportier with Electric Power Steering (EPS), a more powerful V-twin 749cc engine that has much better low-end torque and double-wishbone suspension. Add to that a new set of spoke wheels, redesigned bodywork and trick headlights and you’ve got just about everything you need to make this Kawasaki utility quad look as good as it rides.

So when Kawasaki invites you to take that new Brute Force look and feel up to the snowy mountains of Medford, Oregon for a test ride you’ve got the potential for greatness. The Jackson Hills Staging Area, built by local OHV club the Motorcycle Riders Association, didn’t disappoint. They’ve built and maintain a great trail system that offers everything from fire-roads to rock crawling to super tight back-woods scrambles that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

Living in southern California means I’m used to riding ATVs in hot deserts and sand dunes, not wooded trails that are barely wide enough for a quad and sometimes covered with snow. The duel-range 4-wheel drive and electric power steering make it easy to navigate around those squeaky-tight tree-lined corridors while the 8 valve, 32-bit CPU controller measures speed, temperature, throttle position and crankshaft angle to provide precise, powerful low-end torque to get you over logs, rocks and up muddy and snowy hills.

The strong, easy to handle Brute Force 750 4x4i is highly desirable for a sport rider like me. New sportier grips with molded-in safety wire grooves give you a solid handle on steering and help reduce vibration feedback from the motor. The cushy new seat material sitting 35.8 inches high on top of 7-1/2 inches of independent rear a-arm suspension provides comfort, grip and resistance to cold.

One might think a utility quad this big and powerful would be hard to ride hard. You would usually be right, but the light throttle feel and electric power steering on the Brute Force help reduce fatigue, letting you spend more time playing (or working) instead of resting.

Speaking of working, the new Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i brings more to the table with a 12-volt electrical outlet to power your accessories and tools. The cargo racks are made from bigger diameter tubing making them stronger. They’ve also added a series of hooks to the cargo racks to make it easier to tie down your gear. A trailer hitch bracket and 1,250lb towing capacity are standard equipment on the 2012 Brute Force.

A newly designed double-cradle frame provides better strength and helps with rough terrain handling. It’s got 9.4 inches of ground clearance, AT 25x8-12 front tires and AT 25x10-12 rear tires and a new steering assembly that moves the bottom of the steering shaft off the differential, all working together to help remove the influence to steering while riding in 4x4 mode on older Brute Force ATVs.

Riding in the rain and snow turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought. And a lot more demanding. But when things get wet you have some things you want to keep dry. A dry storage area is a pretty important thing for some people and Kawasaki knows that. They’ve got a dry storage area that will keep things dry in some pretty bad conditions and a relocated air-duct helps keep out water, mud and snow.

The Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS has environmentally sealed rear brakes that keep out dirt, mud and other nasty’s that make it hard to stop and front disks that works with Kawasaki Engine Brake Control which helps maintain safe speed when descending steep hills.

The newly updated 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS is an all-around good looking and excellent handling utility quad that is reaching across the aisle into sport ATV territory. It takes the work out of riding a big-bore utility quad and adds wheelie-popping power and tight trail 4x4 handling that will get your attention without distracting you.

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS Specifications

  • Engine: Liquid-cooled, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin
  • Valve system: SOHC, four valves per cylinder
  • Displacement: 749cc
  • Starting system: Electric
  • Bore x stroke: 85 x 66mm
  • Compression ratio: 9.3:1
  • Fuel injection: DFI®; (2) 36mm Mikuni throttle bodies
  • Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
  • Transmission: Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse, and Kawasaki Engine Brake Control
  • Final drive: Selectable four-wheel drive with Variable Front Differential Control, shaft
  • Frame: Double-cradle, high-tensile tubular steel
  • Front suspension / wheel travel: Double Wishbone/ 6.7 in.
  • Rear suspension / wheel travel: Fully independent, dual A-arm / 7.5 in.
  • Front tires: AT 25 x 8-12
  • Rear tires: AT 25 x 10-12
  • Front brakes: Dual hydraulic 200mm discs with 2-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: Sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc
  • Overall length: 86.4 in.
  • Overall width: 46.5 in.
  • Overall height: 48.0 in.
  • Wheelbase: 50.6 in.
  • Turning Radius: 10 ft. 6 in.
  • Ground clearance: 9.4 in.
  • Seat height: 35.8 in.
  • Lighting: 35W headlights, 5W taillight, 21W stoplight
  • Rack capacity, front / rear: 88 lbs. / 176 lbs.
  • Towing capacity: 1,250 lbs.
  • Curb weight: 694.6 lbs.
  • Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal.
  • Instruments: Speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, engine temp, clock, hour meter and 2WD/4WD icon, plus indicators for EPS, neutral, reverse, belt, and oil pressure.
  • Color choices: Scout Green, Super Black, Metallic Tungsten Gray (SE)
  • MSRP / MSRP (SE): $9,999 / $10,349 (SE)

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