For two years now, Kawasaki’s Teryx has been a top seller in the SxS market. It’s still the only one to offer a V-twin powerplant, and that motor runs as nasty smooth as it sounds. Last year’s updates provided the Teryx with an ultra-responsive electronic fuel injection system and a large, tilting, rear cargo bed. The latest 2010 revamp includes more aggressive front-end styling that offers a hinged, forward-tilting hood for simpler front suspension changes and cooling system access. Sounds good.
There are few situations where we needed to test the front differential lock. It’s still great to know you’ll always have it handy.
POWER & DELIVERY
The Kawasaki Teryx offers a 749cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, eight-valve, fuel-injected, 90-degree V-twin. The motor is controlled by a 32-bit CPU, and the system continually monitors coolant temperature, air intake temperature, throttle position, air intake pressure, vehicle speed and crankshaft angle to meter the ideal amount of fuel via two 34mm Mikuni throttle bodies. The Teryx was originally designed with a Mikuni carburetor setup before the 2009 EFI upgrade.
The Kawasaki Teryx fires instantly by pushing in the brake pedal and turning the keyed ignition. It can be started in forward or reverse.
Before takeoff, we noticed a great new feature with the 2010 Teryx’s emergency brake. The emergency brake system activates the sealed, wet rear brake by locking the plates together inside. Last year’s Teryx E-brake was very easily left on. This made it possible for the plates to burn up, much like a wet clutch, and even blow out the wet brake seal and lose oil. The 2010 CPU also features a cut-off switch that will not allow the Teryx to be ridden away when the parking brake is engaged. This may seem like a small deal, but if you are one of the many who blew out the rear brake, you know the time required to replace it.
On longer roads, the Teryx makes its way up to 50 mph. Yet, it still gets a reasonable gas range of nearly 100 miles per 7.9-gallon tank. It is equipped with a high-pressure fuel pump located inside the fuel tank and features a reservoir chamber at the bottom of the pump housing to keep dirt out of the fuel system. This is especially needed for you sand warriors.
For 2010, upgrades were made to the engine’s cooling system as well. The radiator’s cooling fan (which switches on automatically when needed) is now larger and moves a greater volume of air, while a larger-diameter hose allows greater coolant flow to help keep the engine cool when the going gets slow and rough. Also, the coolant catch tank has been moved to the front of the machine, where it’s easily accessible under the very cool new tilt front end.
There is a locking front differential up front. The driver activates the system with a pull lever located on the center console. It is located to the left of the shift lever, which controls the high, low, neutral or reverse gear of the CV transmission. The driver also operates four-wheel drive by a 2WD/4WD switch located on the dashboard.
The Teryx features a smooth running automatic CV transmission. It’s one of the best in the side-by-side market, and also features Kawasaki’s CVT Belt Protection System, which automatically retards ignition timing if the system detects engine operation at high rpm for more than two seconds while the rear wheels are motionless—like if the belt is slipping—and warns the rider via a flashing belt warning lamp on the dash. This helps prevent tire freewheel, and reduces belt overloading when rock crawling, by adding a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) to the CVT’s sensor array.
The Teryx offers good power from bottom to top, and has plenty of torque for hill climbing and rock crawling alike. This will please many types of drivers from beginner to pro. Kawasaki also hooked up the Teryx with their electronic engine braking, which is good news for coming down from those torquey hill climbs. This system also helps for powersliding and controlling the machine through corners.
Kawasaki’s Teryx is stuffed with a 749cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC, eight-valve, fuel-injected, 90-degree V-twin. Fed via two 34mm Mikuni throttle bodies, the Teryx hits up to 50 mph. There are very few sections that will be asking for more throttle.
Kawasaki’s Teryx sits on a large, thin-walled (1.25-inch) tubular steel frame. Its roll cage is beefy, and it meets SAE requirements as a rollover protective structure (ROPS). It has a nearly 60-inch stance, and offers up an impressive 11.6 inches of ground clearance.
Both the front and rear of the Teryx utilize a long, dual A-arm suspension setup, and both ends have 7.5 inches of wheel travel.
On tight and technical trails, the Teryx is very stable. On rough, whooped-out trails, the Teryx rides soft and smooth. It is not as plush as the Teryx Sport, but it rides great for stock shocks. The Teryx Sport offers the same A-arm design, but runs on reservoir-equipped, gas-charged shocks with adjustable preload and adjustable rebound/compression damping. This setup makes the Teryx Sport cost over a grand more.
The engine position makes the front end of the Teryx lighter than the Yamaha Rhino. This light front end makes the Teryx push a bit under cornering, but a solid jumper. It flies straight and level, and lands plush.
The Teryx runs on 26-inch Maxxis meats. The tires worked great in all terrains, including sand and rock. Dual-hydraulic disc brakes slow the Teryx up front and the sealed multi-wet disc braking system does a good job on the back end. Even at 1,380 pounds, the Teryx stops on command.
The front and rear of the Teryx is equipped with long dual A-arms supplied with 7.5 inches of wheel travel.
The bodywork of Kawasaki’s Teryx had a small revamp in 2010. Its more aggressive new front end features a hinged, forward tilting hood, which offers front suspension and cooling system access and more simple maintenance. This is a much-needed addition. We’re still not certain why Kawasaki didn’t opt for a front storage system. There is plenty of room for one! The bodywork is made of high-gloss, scratch-resistant thermo-plastic Olefin. The steel skid plates and engine guards supply great protection, and the battery and electric parts are located high, out of the way of water and mud. The front of the bodywork features dual 40W headlights, while the rear sports dual 8/27W tail lights.
There is good shoulder and legroom space in the cockpit of the Teryx. It is equipped with form-fitting bucket seats and retractable three-point seatbelts to hold you and your passenger firmly in place. Another addition we would have liked to see is a more useful passenger grab handle. Both the Yamaha Rhino and Polaris RZR offer such systems. Check out www.proarmor.com for their solution to this problem.
The steering wheel is located in an ideal position, and there is a multi-function digital display. The Teryx Sport offers dual retractable cup holders. Again, we’re not certain why they aren’t present on the standard Teryx.
The display includes a digital fuel gauge, speedometer, clock, dual trip meters plus parking, 4WD, water temperature and fuel injection warning indicators. A few additional indicator lamps include CVT belt warning, neutral, reverse and oil pressure warning.
The rear features a gas-assisted tilting cargo bed. The bed also offers a substantial carrying capacity of 500 pounds, plus tie-down hooks in all four corners. It’s also conveniently large with a 44.2-inch width, 32.7-inch length and 11.1-inch height.
The shift lever and front differential lock are located conveniently by your right hand in between the driver and the passenger.
At $11,699, the Kawasaki Teryx is a great choice for the more aggressive UTV driver. It is great for carving fast trails, dominating hill climbs and exploring the sand dunes. The Teryx Sport ($12,699) offers aluminum wheels and fully adjustable piggyback shocks on all four corners. The Teryx is faster than a Yamaha Rhino ($10,699), slower than a Ranger RZR ($10,799) and right on par with the Ranger XP ($10,799) and Arctic Cat Prowler 700 ($11,629). Each of these UTVs come standard with front and rear dual A-arms, EFI and a tilted rear cargo bed. Look for a 2010 UTV shootout in the near future from Dirt Wheels.