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2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 – First Ride

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 - First Ride- First Ride


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Kawasaki has just dropped the wildest side by side ever to hit the ground with their name on it. Team Green is letting the good times roll full throttle through any terrain! The aggressive stance and bright green plastics just seem capture your attention. Peering over into the cab will give you thoughts of wild rides in the outer most parts of the off-road. I guess you can say the Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 has captured our attention. By now you probably know all of the details and specifications for this machine and unless you are not from earth you might not realize that this is highly anticipated breaking news from Kawasaki.

Riding the new Kawasaki KRX 1000 would not only take us into the wild world of rock crawling and highspeed desert riding in Moab Utah, but it would surprise most everyone with its incredible ability right out of the box. This new KRX 1000 is built like a brick house and durability should not be an issue. From the super-sized axles to massive CVT components and suspension parts as well, Kawasaki wants the machine to last forever. Moab is known for terrorizing equipment, but I’d say it has its hands full with this KRX 1000.

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 - First Ride
2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 – First Ride

Just slipping into the cab of the big 999cc dual overhead cam parallel twin is exciting. The seats are bolstered to give comfort and to provide protection on the roughest trails but also slide forward or backward up to 6-inches. This does give larger riders a very comfortable spacious cab to secure themselves into. We found ourselves sliding all the way back to keep our knee out of the edges of the center console. One thing taller rider’s will also notice is the distance between themselves and the steering wheel once situated all the way back. Having a telescoping steering wheel would be awesome as the reach out to grab the wheel can wear on the driver on a long day. Sitting side by side, your passenger as well as yourself will immediately notice the shoulder room and even thought the seating foam is a tad on the firm side, the seat does give you plenty of support. This is especially noticeable in the tighter corners and highspeed switchbacks. One more notable item is that even though the seat was slid all the way back there was still a section behind me that allowed for storage of a gear bag. With no noticeable heat in that space our gear was safe all day.

The full doors click shut with a reassuring latch and provide ample protection from trail debris as well as a good place to rest your left or right arm. Getting situated in the cab we mounted our Lifetime Trail maps device to the passenger grab bar so we wouldn’t get lost in the hills and headed out on Seven Mile Rim for the first day of testing. With the engine fired up and sounding ominous, our first challenge section was a long straight of reasonably spaced whoops with soft loomy sand coating the trail. Hitting deep sections of rolling whoops at speed is sometimes a concern unless you really trust your machine. Although it seemed like a sketchy idea, we had to trust the car to do its job, so standing three quarters full on the go pedal, off we were. After entering the whoop section, we were pleasantly surprised of the performance. The KRX 1000 would handle the rough trail with pride and we never felt out of control. Our KRX 1000 tracked straight without stepping out in the rear or any crazy frontend tracking through the uneven sections of this run. The KRX never felt uncomfortable while turning but it was apparent that the rear end was pushing the front end through some of the rutted berms. The large 31in Maxxis Carnivores seemed to provide plenty of grip for straight line drags and we had zero issues in the short time that all of the journalists hammered on the rides. The suspension seems to be very controlled and body roll was managed well by the sway bars.

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 - First Ride
2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 – First Ride

One thing that did catch our attention was the power delivery. Starting out incredibly stout off the bottom and through the mid-range the KRX gives a driver some good punch but seems to taper off about ¾ throttle. We can always use more in these sections, but it doesn’t mean the machine is weak by any stretch. Getting hung up on horsepower numbers without driving this machine is a huge mistake as it does have plenty of good power for those weekend warriors.

Moving on down into the Seven Mile trail there were many smaller rock formations along the way, but it wasn’t until a real steep section of rock known as Wipe Out hill that we gained insight on just how capable the KRX 1000 was. Watching the lead KRX1000 in the group slip off into the distance and drop out of sight was quite an experience. Especially knowing that we were next to follow. The vertical drop proved to us that the low gear engine braking would hold onto the car as it descended but it was the climb back out that gave us the first real confidence in the KRX’s climbing ability. With stable and steady throttle, we walked the KRX right back up and out with no problem. The Maxxis Carnivore tires gripped the slick sections of stepped rock and the size of these tires allowed for impressive approach and departure angles so nothing but tire touched going in or coming out. The massive 31-inch tires make contact first even when you would think we would stand the KRX on its front bumper.

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 - First Ride
2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 – First Ride

We ventured on out into the Seven Mile adventure and we stopped for a quick lunch at Tusher Tunnel. After lunch it was back to the truck in anticipation of day twos ride. We documented every step of our ride on our Lifetime Trail Maps device so we can share these trails with everyone just in case you decide to go yourself. It turns out that most of the trails were already preloaded on the device so getting lost was not a concern at all. As we stepped out of the KRX at the end of the day it was apparent that the machine is well built, rock crawl friendly and a high speed SXS built for many different ride situations.

Day two found us at a more serious crawl fanatics trail known as Poison Spider. Hearing of the more well-known sections in the trail it was obvious that we were going to spend more time slowly navigating mountainous rock climbs on this day. This popular Moab trail follows the Colorado River gorge and the steep, slick, moon rock like formations make it one of the more popular trails with the jeep crowd.

This day would be a capability test like no other in the Kawasaki KRX 1000. Just getting a mile or so from the parking area into the trail was a serious challenge for any newcomer. We have to admit that it took a good bit of trust in the machine to follow the more experienced drivers up the sections of rock walls that were stepped like building blocks higher and higher. These first few sections provided near vertical climbs and keeping a good steady throttle was key to keep the KRX on its tires. Surprisingly, we did not air down the tires on our KRX (as they come with 12lbs front and 17lbs rear) for more grip and we found that to be a testament to the rubber compound in these Maxxis Carnivores. It turns out that we actually did not need to but in hindsight maybe that would have been a good test just for the experience.

2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 - First Ride
2020 Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 – First Ride

The long steep climbs up the flat rock faces were incredible and the security of our KRX 1000 cab helped us feel safe on the trail. The KRX 1000 is very confidence inspiring to say the least. When looking out the front of the KRX 1000 the sight line is good from about halfway across the hood on the driver side. Leaning out and placing eyes on the rocks just in front of the left wheel is a cinch and also helps the driver feel better about the crazy climbs and descents. Looking back to more memorable challenges in the KRX 1000, there was a part of the trail with three semi-vertical placements of rock that did get our attention. Especially as it pertains to the traction available through our Maxxis Carnivore tires. These 31-inch shoes simply reached out and held onto a rock that was determined to be about a 48-degree steep climb. The semi-round rock face had a pretty good consistent steepness and It was all or nothing right from the time the back tires made contact. Keeping slow and steady input on the gas, we were up on top with little to no issue. It was a great experience and a trust value added to the capability of this Kawasaki KRX 1000

So, what do we really think you ask? The newest member of the Teryx family handles well, is very fun to drive even at real high speed and climbs like it was meant to. We were impressed with Kawasaki’s efforts on this machine and it looks great! We are sure it will allow the Kawasaki loyalists as well as many converts to Let the Good Times Roll on and on!


  • Engine: 999cc, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve parallel-twin, liquid-cooled
  • Fuel System: DFI with two 50mm throttle bodies
  • Transmission: Automatic CVT with centrifugal clutch (H,L,N,R) w/engine braking
  • Final Drive: Selectable 2WD/4WD with locking front differential, shaft
  • Front Suspension: Double wishbone, FOX 2.5 PODIUM LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, 24-position compression damping/18.6 in. travel
  • Rear Suspension: 4-link trailing-arm, FOX 2.5 PODIUM LSC shocks with piggyback reservoir, fully adjustable preload, and 24-position compression damping/21.1 in. travel
  • Tires: MAXXIS Carnivore 31 x 10.00R15 8PR
  • Wheels: 15-inch Custom Aluminum Alloy with bead-lock
  • Steering: Electric Power Steering (EPS) / rack-and-pinion
  • Front Brakes: Dual hydraulic discs with two-piston calipers
  • Rear Brakes: Dual hydraulic discs with single-piston calipers
  • Ground Clearance: 14.4 in
  • Fuel Capacity: 10.6 gal
  • Cargo Bed: (L x W x H) 14.6 x 33.1 x 9.1 in, 351lb capacity
  • Lighting: (4) LED headlights, (2) LED taillights, LED brake light
  • Overall Dimensions: 130.1 in L x 68.1 in W x 75.0 in H
  • Curb Weight: 1896.3lb
  • Instruments: Multi-function digital meter with bar-style tachometer (2 display options), digital speedometer, bar-style fuel gauge, gear indicator (L, H, N, R), Power Mode, driving mode (2WD/4WD/4WD+Diff Lock) indicator, Economical Riding Indicator, clock, odometer, dual trip meters, hour meter, water temperature, digital battery gauge, bar-style CTV temperature, seatbelt warning lamp, oil warning lamp, engine check lamp, water temperature warning lamp, neutral indicator lamp, reverse indicator lamp, parking indicator lamp, EPS warning lamp, and CVT belt warning lamp.
  • Color Option: Lime Green/Metallic Onyx Black, Metallic Moondust White/ Metallic Onyx Black