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Story by Seth Fargher, photos by Adam Campbell and Kawasaki

Kawasaki Motor Corp.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 Side-x-Side 1st Ride Review

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4 overall seat space

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4 frame rails

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Amazingly, Kawasaki engineers managed to maintain similar ergonomics as a two-seater machine while doubling the carrying capacity with only ten inches of added overall length.  As mentioned, you won’t have to worry about your knees being crammed in your chest as there is plenty of legroom for both rear passengers.  One minor note is a small obstruction on the rear floorboard which forces longer legged passengers to position themselves with their knees pointed slightly to one side rather than straight ahead.  Regardless it is unlikely that your knees will be touching the seat in front of you. The rear passengers will also appreciate the grab bar that stretches the entire width of the machine, reminiscent of a ride at an amusement park.  The bar looks if it might get in the way or be too close to the passenger, but we preferred it to the traditional handholds that are usually near the outer edges of the cage.  The bar allows you to comfortably keep all of your extremities well within the safety of the roll cage.

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4 front seats

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 4 750 4x4 rear grab bar

Kawasaki engineers didn’t merely stretch out the Teryx frame but rather reconstructed it to feature a double-x design to make it stronger and more rigid.  A unique feature of the new frame are the exposed outer frame rails along the bottom portion of the machine.  At first glance the exposed frame rails might look unfinished or not as clean as other units who’s body work covers all exposed areas of the frame but it all made sense when our hosts encouraged us to use the frame to pivot around tight trees if we found it necessary.  The frame rails are the widest point of the machine and offer added protection from rocks or trees on both the underside as well as outer edges of the unit.  Rock crawlers will appreciate this feature as it will protect them from body damage if ground clearance is ever an issue.  However for our test, the Teryx 4’s 10.8 inches was more than enough for most of the terrain we saw throughout the day.

In terms of comfort features, three of the four models being offered feature electronic power steering.  We weren’t able to test the base model, the only one that doesn’t include EPS, however we believe it’s well worth the extra $1000.  There was never a threat of losing control or having the steering wheel yanked from your grip by an exposed root or rock as the EPS provides added dampening.  When exiting turns quickly we were able to allow the steering wheel to slide freely through our grip without the threat of it over steering.  In short, we felt in control at all times thanks to the EPS and we feel it’s well worth the extra money.  Between the digital fuel injection, centrifugal clutch and CVT transmission, smooth and precise is the theme of the new Teryx 4 and we think that you’d be short changing yourself to skimp on power steering.

Regardless of which of the four seats you find yourself sitting in, there was nothing that stood out that would make you uncomfortable or possibly fatigued on a longer ride.  At a stand still one driver felt the control pedals were a little too far to the right of the cockpit causing the center console to rub against his calf but it seemed to be unnoticeable once he put the UTV in motion.

Overall we felt Kawasaki exceeded expectations and more than satisfied the needs of their target demographic.  You can’t please everyone and racers or those content to carve dunes or run wide open in the desert might not find the Teryx 4 to be their cup of tea.  We’re confident everyone else will!

The folks from Kawasaki explained that the ideal Teryx 4 user is a family looking to explore and experience the outdoors, together.  They envision the typical user, a family with small kids or perhaps a group of hunters, loading up a cooler in the storage compartment, which accommodates a 100 qt cooler by the way, and having the freedom to take off for an entire day without having to return because of fatigue or even in need of refueling.

Engineers intended to provide sporty performance and top of the line handling while still providing the additional seating.  They did an exceptional job blending the two as not once did we feel like we were driving a four seater side by side.  One driver commented that every time he turned around he was surprised to see two extra seats behind him.

Sand duners and desert enthusiasts might prefer the extra horsepower and suspension travel of the Teryxs’ competitors but by and large we felt the Teryx 4 will appeal to a much broader audience.  With the longer wheelbase and precise steering and throttle controls, the Teryx 4 will likely be a hit with rock crawlers as well.

You can read more on each machines specifics at the below articles or on Kawasaki’s website but we’d recommend you get yourself into the drivers seat and see for yourself.  We did and we love what we found!

2012 Kawasaki Teryx4™ 750 4x4 - 11/21/2011
2012 Kawasaki Teryx4™ 750 4x4 EPS LE - 11/21/2011
2012 Kawasaki Teryx4™ 750 4x4 EPS CAMO - 11/21/2011
2012 Kawasaki Teryx4™ 750 4x4 EPS - 11/21/2011

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