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2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 Test

Double the fun with Kawasaki’s four-seat adventure vehicle!

CLICK FOR VIDEO of the 2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 Test.

Perhaps the biggest contributor to the popularity of side-by-sides is their ability to bring a friend along for the ride. For 2012, Kawasaki is looking to double the fun all over again, with the introduction of their all-new four-seat Teryx4.

Kawasaki  invited us down to Brimstone, a ride area in Huntsville, Tennessee . They manage nearly 19,200 acres, featuring over 300 miles of trails and roads in the heart of Appalachia.  The trails offer offer varying degrees of tightness and technicality, providing a great first place to put the new machine to the test.

The Test

To boost performance, valve timing, lift, and ignition timing were all addressed in addition to a newly designed exhaust.

The Teryx4 is nearly all-new from the ground up, although it shares an enhanced version of the 749cc engine found in the two-seated Teryx. The 90-degree, v-twin engine features four valves and single overhead cams per cylinder. To boost performance,  valve timing, lift, and ignition timing were all addressed in addition to a newly designed exhaust.

To increase horsepower and reduce noise, the Teryx4 has a new intake system, now located under he hood.

The fuel injection’s 32-bit ECU determines the correct amount of air and fuel in varying conditions. Its payload is delivered through 36mm throttle bodies, now featuring 12-hole fine-atomizing injectors for consistent, stable power delivery.

To increase horsepower and reduce noise, the Teryx4 has a new intake system, now located under he hood. The intake’s new snorkel and duct design lead up to the new, easy-to-access air box, with nearly three times the volume of the one used on the standard Teryx. .

The cooling system was also upgraded to meet the demands of the larger vehicle. Larger capacity radiator hoses attach to a new, larger radiator. A new fan,  forces air directly over the t-twin-engine providing additional cooling.

The CVT transmission still features high and low ranges, plus neutral and reverse, but has otherwise gone through some major changes. The Teryx4 is the industry’s first model to make use of a centrifugal clutch–– located between the crankshaft and CVT drive pulley–– which eliminates belt shock and makes throttle control easier..

Overall power is quite adequate, even with four occupants on board.

The improvements in power were notable throughout the RPM range, most notably in the low-end and midrange. At 1,616 pounds, its additional 214 pounds compared to the two-seat model was virtually undetectable.  Power is crisp and smooth, accelerating well out of corners or up steep inclines. Overall power is quite adequate, even with four occupants on board.

The new CVT transmission worked superbly. Engagement is instantaneous and virtually undetectable allowing you to crawl along with good throttle control in any range. The engine braking system wasn’t overpowering, providing  a pretty natural compression braking sensation when letting off the gas or cruising down a hill. In low range, you can crawl some descent declines with little or no need to touch the brakes.

Kawasaki ditched their variable differential lock, replacing it with a more standard two-wheel, four-wheel, and four-wheel drive with differential lock design. A rotating switch on the dashboard selects drive settings.  While the control of the old system was neat, the three-position system simplifies things a bit and is just as effective.

The Teryx4’s all new chassis features a wide-body design, with the frame rails protruding at the outermost part of the body. This helps protect the body panels from encounters with trailside obstacles and seem to add to interior room.

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