2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 First Ride Impressions- Review
2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 First Ride Impressions
We just got back from riding the new 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000, and what a whirlwind trip that turned out to be! I wound up driving the Teryx KRX 1000 for about 3 hours on a closed course with different obstacles to tackle. In retrospect this was a learning experience that left me with more questions than answers because of the limited time we had aboard the Teryx KRX 1000, but it did help me form some initial impressions that I want to share. I would think we will have a demo unit here shortly, which means I can cement my thoughts about Kawasaki's first sport side-by-side. My overall first impressions are positive because of the details of the Teryx KRX 1000, and I know this is a solidly built side-by-side. Here are some of my thoughts.
It Looks Really Good
There is no other way to put it in words but the Teryx KRX 1000 looks fantastic! I thought it looked good in the pictures, but it looks significantly better in person. When I first saw the revealed pictures, I will admit the front end reminded me of a RZR and Maverick X3 front-end combined, but in person it doesn't look as similar. The Teryx KRX 1000 looks the way I want a sport-side-by-side to look, which includes a rough-and-tumble look that is sleek at the same time. It is aggressive looking like a hungry wolf looking at a piece of raw meat. The grille combined with the LED light combination sticks out on its own, but throw in the eyebrow LED lights, and the look is naughty. The Teryx KRX 1000 is sleek and large with full half-doors, a good sized cockpit, and a large rear cargo area. With its large 98.8-inch wheelbase this side-by-side has a real "sturdy" look to it. The Teryx KRX 1000 just looks naughty. If you have any doubt at this point, I like the way it looks a lot!
The Teryx KRX 1000 Is Overbuilt In A Good Way
The Teryx KRX 1000 is clearly overbuilt when looking at all the components that make up this side-by-side. The suspension components look to have the largest diameter a-arms on the market, and the trailing arm looks like something that has been taken from a tank. All of the suspension connections that I saw were double-shear connections highlighting how heavy-duty the Teryx KRX 1000 is built. The chassis also has a heavy-duty build to it. Both when looking at the Teryx FXR 1000 and driving it there is a feeling of how-large-and-in-charge it really is. To prove this look no further than the wet weight which comes in just shy of 1900lbs. This is around 400lbs more than all the sport side-by-side's on the market with the exception of the Arctic Cat Wildcat XX.
Interior Is Nice, Roomy, & Well Laidout
Getting in and out of the Teryx KRX 1000 is very easy with the large full half-doors which have a handle on both the outside and inside. The doors also increase in size as the it moves towards the rear of the machine towards your shoulder. This keeps mud and dirt from hitting you as easily. The seats are padded well and contoured well to keep you planted in the seat, and they work pretty well in doing just that. The seats also easily slide forward and backward using a lever that is easy to operate. The tilt steering well is also easy to operate and doesn't flex or move while driving. The instrument cluster is Kawasaki's best instrument cluster to date with a polished look that fits the a sport machine. Not only does it tell you everything it should about what is happening with the machine, but also the CVT temperature which is a SxS first. The dash is substantital in size with a large open area in the middle for stuff or possibly an aftermarket satnav system. There are plenty of cutouts available for switches that control aftermarket accessories. There are 5 cupholders, and a center console holding the transmission shifter and cupholders along with a mechanical parking brake. The cupholders are well behind the drivers right arm in that center console, making them a little hard to get to. Foot-room is fairly substantial, but the dead-pedal for your outside foot rises out of the floorboards a little more than I like. This results in a causing my knee to rub on the door in a way that is uncomfortable after a long ride. The passenger has an adjustable grab bar that can be adjusted, but requires opening the glove box in order to do it. That seems a little odd to me. The grab bar doesn't appear to lock down super tight, which created play in the bar that doesn't help with making a passenger feel secure. The other thing I noticed was the rotary dial that controls the 2WD, 4WD, 4WD Diff Lock is too small and feels like it was a complete afterthought. This is literally the only piece on the entire side-by-side that didn't feel overbuilt. The true half-doors deserve an award in the industry because they don't have stupid holes in them. Also, the finish on the interior of the doors is complete with an armrest included in the finishing. It is that detail that shows the level Kawasaki went to give us a finished door. Finally, even with the seats all the way back, there is still some storage room behind the rear seats.
Rear Cargo Area Is Large
The rear cargo area is large and can hold up to a 32-inch spare tire, a large ice chest, or a bunch of general stuff. The lip and tie-down points make securing cargo easy. The tall side-walls on the cargo bed are a nice thing.
Engine & Power Thoughts
The engine has plenty of power available with a power band that seems to deliver power across the RPM range. According to the engine filings with emissions, this 999cc parallel-twin produces 112 horsepower and according to Kawasaki 77lbs of torque. I was told the engine revs out at 9500 RPM, though I still need to verify that. Based upon the driving I was able to do on the closed course, it was really hard to get a feel for the power band. From a standing stop the power comes on well if you put your foot to the floor and keep it there. I was able to get the Teryx KRX 1000 to 67 MPH on a straight but I know there is more MPH to have. In some cases I really felt the power come on strong coming out of a corner, while in other cases on the straights I noticed a lack of hard power at certain RPM spots. I really need substantially more time driving the Teryx KRX 1000 to get a handle on what is going on with the power band on this engine. I can tell you it lacks power in some situations, while in others it is very good. No, Kawasaki is not planning a Turbo, and yes an aftermarket company is already developing one with Kawasaki's "slight" help. The engine also sounds really really good, which puts a smile on my face.
Ride Is Good And Suspension Handles Itself Well
I am a fan of the overall ride and performance of the suspension on the Teryx KRX 1000, but I am still not one-hundred percent sure of what I think about it either. It is 68.1-inches wide making it different than the standard 64-inch or 72-inch width segments. With dual-a-arms up front and a 4-link trailing arm rear suspension with 19-inches of travel and 21-inches of travel respectively, the suspension has a lot to work with to over a great sport ride. The dual rate springs do a great job at soaking up small hits or "chatter" on the trail while the bigger hits are dealt with by the secondary rate of the springs. I found this to work well offering up a nice ride. Being able to adjust the compression rate on the FOX 2.5 piggyback shocks means you can adjust the ride for the terrain you want to tackle. In the corners it was hard to tell what was going on because of the course and the time we had to ride. My first impression on how it handles corners when pushed is that it stays flat and predictable. I felt comfortable trying to push the Teryx KRX 1000 in the corners, and it was fun to do so. The articulation of the suspension is also good, with 14.4-inches of ground clearance is a welcome thing making conquering very rocky terrain easy. The suspension keeps wheels on the ground making it feel very well planted. The one thing to note is this is a big side-by-side with a wet weight of just shy of 1900lbs, which makes it one of the two heaviest two-seat sport side-by-sides on the market. The Teryx KRX 1000 feels heavy when you drive it, but that has advantages in the corners and overall feel. Once you get a feel for it, it is a good thing. I NEED more time aboard the Teryx KRX 1000 on different terrain to really complete my thoughts on the suspension setup.
It Tackles Extreme Terrain Well
I tackled some truly "gnarly" (shoutout to Casey) terrain, and the Teryx KRX 1000 yawned through it. The traction system is a user-selected 2WD, 4WD, 4WD-Diff lock setup via a rotary dial. The suspension offers 14.4-inches of ground clearance, and arched a-arms for maximum clearance. Then the power is there to tackle extreme ascents, with really, really good engine braking for the descents. The transmission has high and low range to help with all of this. The 31-inch Maxxis Carnivore tires roll over seriously rough terrain. Then there is the Low Power selector, which remaps the throttle to give more user control over the power-to-throttle response. I used it and it allows more finite control over the throttle in Low range making tackling slow-crawling type terrain easier. I can summarize all of these capabilities and features to simply say the Teryx KRX 1000 can tackle any terrain without any issue.
Goodness Is In The Details
There are a lot of details on the Teryx KRX 1000 that make it a cut above competitors, and it is in these details this machines shines. There is a simple yet very effective transparent oil level gauge right on the side of the engine that lets you know how much oil is in the engine. The oil fill cap is very large and will hold a funnel with the space around the engine to use a funnel. The oil filter is right there on the side of the engine that is easy to get to and easy to remove without busting any knuckles. What a concept! In fact, all the serviceability points are easy to access without standing on one's head. There is a translucent drain plug on the CVT which allows you to see if there is any water in the CVT at all before removing the plug. There are small mud removal pieces of metal inside the wheels to you guessed it, remove mud and gunk from around the inside of the wheels and brakes. Suspension components are double-shear for durability. The list goes on with these details that make the Teryx KRX 1000 a well built sport side-by-side.
The Wrap Up
The Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 is a sport side-by-side that truly "knocks it out of the park". You know this the moment you see it, walk around it, examine it, and take it in. The quality is so obvious on this machine. I will say again I think Kawasaki knocked it out of the park with the way it looks, and then it is overbuilt in all the right ways. It is a side-by-side that you look at and feel like you could throw it on a trailer and go prerun the King Of The Hammers race without changing a thing other than adding harnesses to the seats. Fit and finish is top notch overall. Driving it feels "right" with the size of the machine being evident when you drive it. There is no doubt the Teryx KRX 1000 is completely capable to tackle any terrain, and it is built to handle more than 112 horsepower with ease once you throw a turbo on it. This is a good machine, and that is the feeling you have when you drive it or just look at it. I absolutely need more time behind the wheel to fully form all my opinions on performance details, but my first rodeo with the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 is very positive. I have no doubt we will be seeing this side-by-side in the racing circuits soon taking checkered flags alongside the other sport side-by-sides on the market.
Stay tuned for a video or two off of my trip, and we hopefully will have this machine soon to do a full video review on it.
For all the details on the 2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 including the intro video and specs, check out our article here https://www.atvescape.com/industry-news/kawasaki/1741-meet-the-kawasaki-teryx-krx-1000-with-video