Published on June 11th, 2013 | by Joe0
Kawasaki Teryx 4, Hoyt Archery, Hatfield McCoy Adventure Ride
Good people, exciting activities, and great equipment–– the “good times” people take us on the perfect outdoors adventure!
Story by: ATV on Demand
Photos by: Fotos By Fonze
Video by: Kawasaki
It was like a week at summer camp for grown-ups as Kawasaki brought together journalists in the powersports and outdoor industries at the Hatfield-McCoy trail system.Paired with representatives Realtree, Hoyt Archery, and Delta Mckenzie, our adventure consisted of a half day of riding Kawasaki’s rugged and maneuverable four-seat Teryx 4, dining in the local eatery, and an afternoon of bow shooting, complete with shooting tips from world champion, Jeremy Eldredge. The days were fast-paced and even those who begged their mom to stay home were left wanting more.
When it was all over, you had off-roaders who couldn’t wait to go home and buy bows, and seemingly everyone was in agreement that the Teryx 4 was the perfect four-seat side-by-side for West Virginia’s switchback mountain trails that are littered with tight 180-degree turns. At the 2012 Teryx 4 intro, we became familiar with all of the specifications of the machine as well as the differences between the two-seat and four-seat models. All of that information is available in our 2012 review. To recap our latest encounter with the machine, we wanted to focus more on the experience that the vehicle provides.
Our adventure took place on the Rock House Trail System, based in the City of Man, located in Logan County, West Virginia. We were fortunate enough to be teamed up with Mike Pinkerton, Marketing Director for the Hatfield McCoy Trail System, and Jeffery Trent, who works for the Hatfield McCoy Trail system and owns Big Bear Lodge, one of the local businesses that’s been established due to the economic growth in tourism, brought to the area by the Hatfield McCoy Trail.
Kawasaki had a fleet of Teryx 4s on hand for the event.Some of them were used for over a year by the Hatfield-McCoy staff as part of a loaner program Kawasaki does to help support the trail system. All of the units appeared to be holding up very well.“Iron Mike” Pinkerton can be a bit of a lead foot. Hearing that the Teryx 4 we were driving was over a year old and had only received routine maintenance, we got a good look into the long term reliability of these machines, as anything Mike drives has been well broken in. Our Teryx 4 still performed like a new machine.
While it may not rule desert whoops, the Teryx 4 could be the four-seat king of wooded trails.Kawasaki has been working with V-twin engines in their ATVs and side-by-sides longer than any other manufacturer. The 749cc, single overhead cam, four-valve, v-twin found in the Teryx 4 produces an impressive amount of power and performance. It easily powered the vehicle and nearly 700 pounds of occupants up long, and sometimes steep, inclines. We did switch to low and threw it in four-wheel drive one particularly wet, steep climb as good measure; however ,low range only seems necessary when getting rolling on a gnarly climb from a dead stop, or slowly picking your way through gnarly terrain.
The engine is very responsive to pedal input thanks to a well-calibrated fuel injection system and the centrifugal clutch-equipped CVT transmission. Driving up a long section of trail with a 180 degree hairpin, followed by another long, uphill section of trail, the responsiveness of the transmission performed beautifully on spirited drives, allowing you to greatly reduce speed for the corner, then providing instant response when you got back in the throttle. This also comes in handy when attacking rock ledges or logs at slow speed where you need a good, solid burst of power.
There is selectable two and four-wheel drive plus four-wheel drive with differential lock, although we rarely needed four-wheel-drive in the West Virginia mud, as many of the trails have a hard, rocky base. Controlling speed on rocky descents is easy thanks to the engine braking system and dual hydraulic disc brakes up front featuring 300mm rotors and dual piston calipers, along with Kawasaki’s signature sealed, multi-disc, rear brake. Braking performance was strong and consistent regardless of conditions and provided fade-free performance on our long, sometimes fast-paced, rides.
The Teryx 4 is based on Kawasaki’s Double X reinforced frame, which they boast as “super-strong”.Super-strong, of course, doesn’t mean indestructible, although the construction of the Teryx 4’s chassis looks rather beefy, compared to some of its competitors. On the trail, the chassis feels rigid, which encourages you to push the fun level a little. The extra length of the 4, combined with its sporty suspension settings, provides a predictable, sport-focused ride that is fun to drive.
Steering is responsive and the machine goes where it’s pointed. All of the Teryx 4 models feature electric power steering that reduces steering effort, and perhaps, more importantly, it reduces bump feedback felt through the steering.
While the suspension offers a forgiving ride, it is focused a little on the sport side. Mike had set up our unit’s shocks to his liking with a healthy dose of preload in the rear. He did this to reduce body roll, which didn’t stand out as an issue when driving hard through corners. The shocks did a good job absorbing shocks of various sizes. They take the edge off the hits while charging through brick-size rocks, soak up abrupt pot holes at speed, and both the vehicle and shocks do a surprisingly good job of dealing with a little air time. The radial construction of the Maxxis Bighorn tires also adds to the vehicle’s ride quality and overall handling.
At 62.5 inches wide with a wheelbase of only 86.1 inches, the Teryx 4 has a wheelbase that is 16.9 inches shorter than the Polaris RZR4 800, and 8.9 inches shorter than the two-seat Arctic Cat Wildcat. This allows the four-seat Teryx to maneuver more effortlessly through tighter sections like a two-seat side-by-side. The more compact wheelbase increases the efficiency of the 4’s 10.8 inches of ground clearance when cresting hills or traversing a rock ledge. For times that you do run out of ground clearance, tough steel skid plates protect the underside of the vehicle.
7.8 inches of suspension travel up front and 8.3 inches of travel out back proved to be sufficient on the trails at Hafield-McCoy, where the shocks provided good, all around performance. Desert riders may want a bit more travel.
The interior room and comfort on the Teryx 4 are praise worthy. The bucket seats help keep you in place, feel good when you first sit in them, and remain feeling that way on long rides. The front occupants enjoy ample room. The rear seats provide enough legroom that six feet tall occupants don’t have to straddle the seats in front of them while providing a less obstructed view of the trail ahead. With ample hand holds for everyone, there’s really not a bad seat in the house.
More Cool Features
Complementing the steel undercarriage skid plates is a tough, steel front bumper, which was tested and passed during our adventure. High quality doors help keep your feet and legs inside and unwanted things like splashing water, mud, and other debris out.
The LE model we tested comes standard with fully adjustable front shocks, in addition to the fully adjustable rears found on all models, 12-spoke mag aluminum wheels, plus a roof, which does a good job of protecting you from rain and sun.
Kawasaki has really carved out a niche for itself with the Teryx 4. Its compact wheelbase and good, overall sport performance would put it at the top of our list, were we in the market for a four-seat, side-by-side best suited for those rugged wooded trails found in many parts of the country. Heading out for a long, outdoor adventure is one thing, but at the end of the day when you’re worn out and tired, you want a machine that you can rely on to bring you back.
The rugged-build quality of the Teryx 4 stands out to us. The well-driven units used by the Hatfield-McCoy staff provided a valuable look at the long-term durability of these machines. If we were dropping our hard-earned money on a machine to ride in a place like Hatfield-McCoy, we believe that the Teryx 4 is a purchase we would be happy with for years to come.
Machine: 2013 Kawasaki Teryx4 EPS LE
2013 Kawasaki Teryx4: Ratings
Summary: Kawasaki has really carved out a niche for itself with the Teryx 4. Its compact wheelbase and good, overall sport performance would put it at the top of our list, were we in the market for a four-seat, side-by-side best suited for those rugged wooded trails found in many parts of the country.The rugged-build quality of the Teryx 4 stands out to us. The well-driven units used by the Hatfield-McCoy staff provided a valuable look at the long-term durability of these machines. If we were dropping our hard-earned money on a machine to ride in a place like Hatfield-McCoy, we believe that the Teryx 4 is a purchase we would be happy with for years to come.