Ride Reviews: 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i, Teryx 750 FI 4x4 LE Camo

Published online: Aug 18, 2011 Powersport News

We told you back in June about a ride we took in central Pennsylvania on a handful of different 2012 Kawasaki ATVs and Teryx models. Go here to see the write up and pics from that ride: http://www.dirttoysmag.com/powersport-news/display.cfm?ID=84.

 

Now it's time to dive into the details on the vehicles we rode and what you can expect for 2012. We're zeroing in on two models that we spent the most time on at the Pennsylvania ride: the 2012 Kawasaki Teryx 750 FI 4x4 LE Camo and 2012 Brute Force 750 4x4i.

 

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i

One of the big reasons we wanted to ride the Brute Force 750 4x4i in Pennsylvania was to see how it handled without electric power steering (EPS). Kawi did bring a 750 with EPS to Pennsylvania but we purposefully didn't ride it so we could get a feel for the non-EPS 750. We exclusively rode the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS in Oregon earlier this year and gave Dirt Toys readers a full in-depth report in our Fall issue of the magazine ["Kawi Uses Brute Force To Push The Envelope," Dirt Toys, Fall, 2011, page 18]. Here's a recap: It was awesome.

 

So we wanted a comparison. Well, here's a pretty lame comparison. It's like apple pie ala mode without the ice cream. Or the mashed potatoes without the turkey gravy at Thanksgiving. We really like apple pie and we really like mashed potatoes (we are from Idaho after all). But both of those foods are all the better with those respective toppings.

 

We really like the Brute Force 750 4x4i and it was a blast to ride the rocks, mud and through the water in Pennsylvania. Honestly, we had no real complaints. But the Brute Force is just that much better with electric power steering. Like the ice cream on apple pie ala mode. There were situations where power steering would have been nice to have and others where it really didn't matter. EPS would have been helpful when we were crawling through the rock patches and over downed logs and other debris.

 

At the end of the day's ride, we knew we had been riding a non-EPS ATV because our upper arms and shoulders were a little-not a lot-sore. When we got done riding the Brute Force with EPS after an equally hard ride in Oregon we weren't sore at all.

 

We're definitely not hammering on the 750 4x4i-not by a long shot. We really had fun and the vehicle performed extremely well in the conditions we were riding in. But it's obvious the EPS makes a difference. There are those riders who won't spend the extra $700 for EPS and that's fine. Maybe we wouldn't either if money was tight and it was the difference between not buying an ATV at all but we might work an extra shift to be able to afford the "luxury" of EPS.

 

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i

Specs

 

Engine: SOHC, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin with four valves per cylinder

Displacement: 749cc

Fuel System: DFI (direct fuel injection), 2 36mm Mikuni throttle bodies

Cooling: Liquid

Fuel Capacity: 5.0 gallons

 

Final Drive: Selectable four-wheel drive with Variable Front Differential Control, shaft

Transmission: Continuously variable belt-drive with high and low range, reverse, Kawasaki Engine Brake Control

 

Front Suspension: Double wishbone, 6.7 inches of travel

Rear Suspension: Fully independent, dual A-arm, 7.5 inches of travel

 

Brakes: Dual hydraulic 200mm discs with 2-piston calipers (front); sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc (rear)

 

Wheels: Six-spoke cast aluminum

Front Tires: AT 25x8-12

Rear Tires: AT 25x10-12

 

Wheelbase: 50.6 in.

Length: 86.4 in.

Width: 46.5 in.

Height: 48 in.

Ground Clearance: 9.4 in.

Curb Weight: 683.6 lbs.

 

MSRP: $9,299

 

2012 Teryx 750 FI 4x4 LE Camo

When we showed up at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area near Shamokin, PA, to ride the 2012 Kawasaki RUVs and ATVs, our guides told us if we chose to ride the Teryx it would be a tight fit on some of the trails. We read that (incorrectly as it turns out) to mean, "You're not going to have much fun if you ride the Teryx."

 

We were way wrong.

 

What the guides meant was that with the thick woods along some of the trails, the Teryx might scrap a few branches and there were a couple of spots where the Teryx wouldn't be able to make it through the trails due to the width of the vehicle. Aside from that, we took the Teryx through everything the Brute Force ATVs went, especially including ponds and mud.

 

It was awesome.

 

Two areas of our ride really stood out during the day. One was how impressive the Teryx performed in pretty deep water. We're sure there's some disclaimer there about riding a RUV in the water but we say use common sense-it's not a boat after all. It did amazingly well. Part of that performance has to do with where Kawasaki places the battery and some electric parts. These are located higher in the vehicle and thus further away from water or other things that might cause some problems. The pictures show the real story.

 

Second on our list of stand out qualities was the Teryx's ride. We rode over some very rough terrain, consisting of rocks (not boulder size but in the neighborhood of a foot or less in diameter in some spots), some downed logs and washed out sections of trail with mud and ruts. About the only surface we didn't experience was lots of sand. We carried some decent speed over several of the bumpy sections and found the Teryx able to handle the bumps well without jostling us all over and it was very stable on the uneven terrain.

 

The ride comes courtesy of high performance, single-chamber, pre-load adjustable gas-charged Kayaba shocks. They help give the Teryx 7.5 inches of travel, the same as what's offered by the rear suspension, which also uses pre-load adjustable gas-charged Kayabas. The rear Kayabas, though, feature piggy back reservoirs for really tough terrain. The Teryx also uses a torsion bar in the rear to minimize body roll. The narrow frame-the vehicle is 58.5 inches wide-was designed as such to maximize the length of the front and rear suspension's A-arms for better road-handling performance while also minimizing geometry change throughout the suspension's travel. The vehicle has 11.6 inches of travel.

 

It was also very handy to be able to quickly switch from two- to four-wheel drive. On the Teryx the change is made electrically by pressing the switch on the dash.

 

The 2012 Teryx is practically identical to the 2011 model with one exception: the weight. The 2011 LE model's curb weight is 1,428 lbs. while the 2012 Teryx LE is 1,434.8 lbs., an increase of 6.8 lbs. That bump in weight is due to what Kawasaki calls a Shoulder Bolster. Essentially it's a part that was added near where your shoulders go on both sides.

 

Other than that, the 2012 features the same strong 749cc four-stroke V-twin engine with digital fuel injection, Kawasaki Engine Brake Control (which helps slow the vehicle while descending hills), custom 26-inch Maxxis tires and 7.4-gallon fuel tank. 

 

The model of Teryx we rode was the LE Camo, which has the added features of Realtree APG HD camouflaged bodywork, dash, roof, wheels and bumper, a half windscreen, rigid and protective sun top and retractable cup holders. All that pushes the price of this Teryx to $11,599 compared to the base model's price of $10,499. The non-Camo Teryx LE has a suggested retail price of $11,299.

 

2012 Kawasaki Teryx 750 FI 4x4 LE Camo

Specs

 

Engine: SOHC, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin with four valves per cylinder

Displacement: 749cc

Fuel System: Fuel-injected, 2 34mm Mikuni throttle bodies

Cooling: Liquid

Fuel Capacity: 7.4 gallons

 

Final Drive: Selectable four-wheel drive with Variable Front Differential Control, shaft

Transmission: Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, reverse, Kawasaki Engine Brake Control

 

Front Suspension: Dual A-arm with gas charged shocks with pre-load adjustment, 7.5 inches of travel

Rear Suspension: Independent Rear Suspension, with gas-charged, reservoir shocks with pre-load adjustment, 7.5 inches of travel

 

Brakes: Dual hydraulic discs with 2-piston calipers (front); sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc (rear)

 

Front Tires: Maxxis 26x8-12

Rear Tires: Maxxis 26x10-12

 

Wheelbase: 76.0 in.

Length: 116.3 in.

Width: 58.5 in.

Height: 79.5 in.

Ground Clearance: 11.6 in.

Curb Weight: 1,434.8 lbs.

 

MSRP: $11,599