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2012 Kawasaki Teryx4 Test

Newly designed, dual A-arms front and rear, work in conjunction with new shocks at all four corners.

Kawasaki focused on maximizing rigidity, and keeping the larger vehicles’ weight down. They started with a double X style frame. Occupants are protected by a (ROPS) certified roll cage. The use of large diameter, thin-walled tubing adds rigidity and reduces weight. The engine was mounted mid-ship and is protected underneath by steel plates.

Newly designed, dual A-arms front and rear, work in conjunction with new shocks at all four corners. The base model features preload adjustable, non-reservoir equipped, gas-charged shocks up front, and fully adjustable reservoir equipped shocks out back. The EPS, LE,  and Camo models all feature fully adjustable, reservoir-equipped shocks at both ends. The new suspension package delivers 7.8-inches of travel up front and 8.3-inches out back. Kawasaki added a torsion bar to the front of the Teryx to help prevent front-end dive.

The EPS, LE, and Camo models all feature fully adjustable, reservoir-equipped shocks at both ends.

All of the Teryx 4 models, except the base model, feature Electric Power Steering. Their EPS system uses wheel and engine speed, plus ateering forces, to determine the amount of assistance needed.

An 86-inch wheelbase is only 10-inches longer than the one on the two-seat model. An overall length of 125.2-inches is only 8.9-inches longer. The 4-seater is 3.5-inches wider with a width of 62-inches. Ground clearance is good at 10.8-inches.

Premium quality 26-inch Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires mounted on 12- inch wheels are standard equipment on the Teryx4. They were a great addition to the vehicle’s handling and ride quality, rarely demanding the use of four-wheel drive, even in the slop. Despite abusing them with the throttle on rocky climbs, we never got a flat.

It is hard to fault the handling of the Teryx4. Perhaps the coolest thing about its handling is that it goes almost anywhere that the original Teryx goes.

It is hard to fault the handling of the Teryx4. Perhaps the coolest thing about its handling is that it goes almost anywhere that the original Teryx goes. Its longer wheelbase adds stability at speed, and makes steep climbs easy to deal with. Cornering stability was also quite good. All four wheels stayed planted on downhill, off-camber turns, thanks to the front torsion bar.

With an almost 17-inch shorter wheelbase than the RZR 4, the Teryx4 can negotiate sections in one pass that would have you looking for reverse on the Polaris. The Teryx4 goes where it is pointed responding well to wheel input. The Power steering models enjoyed light steering with a notable reduction in steering feedback. The EPS was its biggest asset in four-wheel drive with differential lock engaged.  For the short time we drove it, the steering on the base model seemed pretty light with low levels of bump feedback noticeable through the steering wheel.

One day is a short time in which to feel out a machine and start playing with suspension settings. The stock settings were good enough that we didn’t feel the immediate need to make changes. The shocks have a firm positive feel to them even when loaded with four occupants. We barely found the suspension’s limits on one or two occasions when fully loaded. With the back seats empty, the ride remains balanced. We never felt the suspension bottom with one or two riders on board, yet the shocks didn’t become harsh or bouncy.

Braking power is ample for steep descents or scrubbing off speed in a hurry.

Hydraulic disc front brakes with dual piston calipers and Kawasaki’s signature sealed, oil-bathed-multi-disc rear brake slow the vehicle. Power is ample for steep descents or scrubbing off speed in a hurry. Modulation is easy and they offer good feel at the pedal.

The Teryx4’s interior received some extremely significant updates. The new doors function well.They help keep legs in, trail obstacles out, and are a huge cosmetic upgrade.

Kawasaki tells us the 4 has class-leading occupant room and we believe it. The new high-back, bucket seats were comfortable and did a good job of keeping you in place. The front seats can be unbolted and moved forward or backward if desired. Anti-cinch seat belts were installed, reducing punishment on your collarbone.

There’s a grab bar for the rear passengers, and a nice, left, side-mounted handle for the front passenger. The right side handhold is mounted on the front downtube of the roll cage, not a location we’re thrilled about. Added interior features include a premium digital display with all the info you could ask for.  Storage includes a glove box; dual cup holders, front and rear; plus several small, open stash boxes in the back. The Teryx4 lost some of its rear cargo space and its dump bed for the four-seat model. The rear bed can still hold 249 pounds of cargo and can easily hold a large cooler, gas can, and a few other small items. A two-inch receiver offers 1,300 pounds of towing capacity.

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