By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Kawasaki’s Brute Force 750 has been known in the pages of Dirt Wheels as a powerful and capable 4×4, and this 2016 model is no different. A strong, torquey, V-twin engine; good handling; and a comfortable ride are all part of this Kawasaki’s repertoire. For this test we chose the $9999 750 4x4i model with Electronic Power Steering (EPS) versus the base model at $8999 for a thorough test and trail fun.
PLENTY OF POWER
The Brute Force puts out a lot of torque and can play with the big boys like Polaris’ $9999 Sportsman 850 SP that also comes with EPS. The Kawasaki holds a liquid-cooled, 749cc, four-stroke, V-twin engine that is fuel injected and has a single overhead camshaft for each cylinder. Paired to the engine is a fully automatic CVT transmission that has an Engine Braking System and utilizes driveshafts to power just the rear or all four wheels.
The 4×4 system has front differential-locking capability through a lever on the handlebars that you have to pull in and hold to utilize. While the standard four-wheel-drive system is very capable, it can be tiresome on your hand having to hold a lever in to use the diff-lock function. On the other hand, the harder you lock the front differential, the more reluctant the machine is to turn. We found we could use the diff-lock like a steering stabilizer in rocks. Two- and four-wheel drive can easily be switched on and off by a button on the handlebar.
This big-bore ATV comes with independent suspension front and rear. Coil-over shocks control the action at all four corners of the Kawasaki with the aid of dual-A-arm suspension. The front suspension has 6.7 inches of wheel travel, while the rear has 7.5 inches of travel. Yamaha’s $9699 Grizzly 700 has 7.6 inches of front travel and 9.1 inches of rear suspension travel. Surprisingly, despite the shorter travel, the shocks on the Kawasaki are smooth and soak up a lot of the terrain as well as 4x4s with higher wheel-travel numbers.
The Brute Force model we tested is the EPS version. The EPS makes turning the Kawasaki effortless. When the 4×4 system is engaged, it doesn’t hinder the machines turning, and the only time it might feel stiff is when the front differential lock is engaged.
Hydraulic front disc brakes help the Brute Force slow down. The rear has a sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc system that is operated with a foot lever. The right hand lever controls the front brakes alone, while the lever on the left side of the handlebars controls the front and rear brakes at the same time. The brakes feel a little tame for our taste, and we would welcome more braking power, but they will slow the big Brute down well.
Big 4×4 quads tend to be cumbersome and slow-reacting when it comes to handling. However, the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS doesn’t quite fall into that category. Turning the machine is easy, even in 4×4 mode. The riding position is comfortable while sitting or standing, even for taller riders. The seat provides a lot of cushion and is easy to move around on for cornering. One factor we don’t enjoy is that the Kawasaki feels wide between your knees.
The suspension on this machine is plush and preload adjustable on all four corners. Our test riders were surprised at how smooth the Kawasaki is over rough terrain; however, it isn’t meant to tackle whoop sections fast and isn’t good with jumps. On off-camber sections, the Brute feels a little tippy and has body roll like most big 4x4s we test.
The power output is strong on the Kawasaki and is the most noticeable feature. We never felt the need to have any more get-up-and-go, but in slow-moving and rock-crawling terrain the power can be a bit too torquey.
The EBS works very well on the 750. We were able to switch the machine into low gear and crawl down some descents without utilizing the brakes. In high gear the EBS helps slow the Brute down when you let off the throttle and keeps you in control. On occasion, when the braking system kicks in, it can cause the rear tires to slow down too quickly and want to slide.
The Brute Force 750 is a great trail-trekking machine, but it also has good work-oriented features. The machine can tow up to 1250 pounds and can hold 242 pounds between the front and rear metal cargo racks. There are tie-down points built into the cargo racks to easily strap items and equipment down. There is a watertight storage box on the fender of the Brute, along with another storage location in the center of the front rack. The Kawasaki has a 5-gallon fuel tank with a digital instrument gauge on the handlebars that give you fuel, miles per hour, an odometer and more.
If you want a powerful and nimble-handling 4×4 quad with that awesome V-twin exhaust note, the Kawasaki Brute Force is a good way to go. The base model starts at $8999, with a Camo 4x4i EPS model at $10,599. You can get the EPS model in three colors: Candy Lime Green, Bright White and Super Black. To get more info on the available models, go to www.kawasaki.com.
KAWASAKI BRUTE FORCE 750 4X4i EPS
Engine SOHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, V-twin
Displacement 749cc Bore x stroke 85.0 x 66.0mm
Transmission Fully automatic CVT w/ reverse
Final drive Shaft
Fuel system EFI
Fuel capacity 5.0 gal.
Ground clearance .9.4”
Estimated dry weight 688.0 lb.
Front Dual A-arms w/ 6.7”
Rear Dual A-arms w/ 7.5”
Front Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Sealed, multi-disc
Towing 1,250 lb.
Rack capacities 242 lb. (total)
Turning radius 10.5 ft.
Colors Candy Lime Green,
Bright White, Super Black