We were fortunate enough to be invited to the Kawasaki Dealer show in Dallas, Texas. As we all know, everything is bigger in Texas and the Dealer show was no different. Following the Kawasaki Dealer meeting, we had the opportunity to test out the new 2009 DFI Teryx. Many of the editors headed to a bus to be taken to a test track that Kawasaki set up in a pasture. They made the track one mile in length with lots of tight turns. There were a couple of areas where they piled rocks or 4 x 4 lumber to test the four-wheel drive. For the test, Kawasaki had their lime green Sport machines.
As we received our instructions from the Kawasaki team, we couldn’t wait to see if the new DFI system made much of a difference. The person in charge of the line of Teryx Sport machines said we should keep the four-wheel drive engaged and go slowly around the course. Well, you can’t blame the guy, as he had all types of drivers and wanted to make sure everyone was safe. But when you put a bunch of editors in a brand-new machine, you can’t expect them to putt around the course. As soon as I left the staging area, I selected two-wheel drive and nailed the throttle. Wow, what a difference over the carbureted Teryx. There was absolutely no hesitation. The Teryx growled and leapt forward. (We have always liked the sound of the throaty 750 motor.) The Maxxis 26-inch tires were grabbing for traction as I slid through the corners. They did a good job of hooking up and shooting towards the next turn. On last year’s model, there was a noticeable hesitation at take-off that lasted until the machine was around 18 MPH. Thankfully, this has been corrected with the introduction of DFI (digital fuel injection).
The course had very little straight-aways, but had very sharp turns so we couldn’t open up the Teryx at this time. Coming into the tight turns was a great way to test the brakes. They were just like the previous Teryx, outstanding! With its rear sealed breaking system, stopping has never been a problem for the mighty Teryx. Also pitching the machine into the corners as well as braking was a good way to get a feel for the excellent adjustable sport tuned Kayaba reservoir shocks. Once again, this is a feature we like very much. The shocks perform flawlessly. You may remember when we had a chance to air the 2008 Teryx out at Sand Hallow State Park where we were jumping the then brand-new 2008 Teryx 60 feet in length. The shocks were so good, the landing was almost Trophy Truck in feel. Even though we did not get a chance to air out this new Sport Teryx, you could feel the shocks help keep the side-by-side very stable.
Starting with the 2009 model year, all Teryx 750s now include a digital speedometer. In addition to speed, the meter has a clock, dual trip meter, a 2WD/4WD indicator that is easy to read, water temperature and a fuel injection warning lamp. This is a welcome addition to the entire lineup. When we tested the original Teryx our test units did not have a speedometer, and that was one of our complaints. It’s nice to see the manufacturers listen to input and make changes. In addition to these upgrades, Kawasaki now has steel engine guards for better protection. They also located the battery and electrical parts higher for better protection from harsh environments.
A COUPLE OF NEW SYSTEMS THAT IMPRESSED US
DFI, Digital Fuel Injection
This system is designed to automatically compensate for altitude and temperature changes. There are a mix of sensors that include throttle position, speed, crankshaft, air intake, water temperature and a vehicle down sensor. There is even a new fuel tank and fuel pump to go along with the sophisticated DFI system. Because of the addition of the DFI system Kawasaki changed the air box design slightly to increase the air intake.
BELT PROTECTION SYSTEM
Another improvement we like very much is the upgrade to the CVT. There is now a belt protection system that senses wheel speed, vehicle speed and engine speed along with a throttle position sensor. If you happen to be rock crawling, for instance, and you forget to put the vehicle in low and the sensor reads the clutch turning, the engine is revving but the wheels are not turning for more than 2 seconds, it automatically retards the ignition timing and a belt warning light on the dash comes on. This should be a great help in saving belt wear.
Even with the slower sales figures for the last year, Kawasaki continues to upgrade their machines. The Teryx is a formidable contender in the side-by-side market. With its work capabilities and its sporty ride, the Kawasaki 750FI is a real winner.
With the addition of the new upgrades, this machine is an absolute blast to drive. It cuts through the corners with precision. With the addition of DFI, you rocket off the turns as well. We didn’t have the opportunity to test the four-wheel drive other than to engage it to pull through the corners, but we like the ratchet hand lever on the console next to the gear shift lever to engage the full locker. We have found this to be very convenient, and it works great.
With the new improved power from the DFI system and the excellent handling characteristics, Kawasaki has a side-by-side that is worthy of a close look if you are in the market. All this and it will fit in the back of most pick-up trucks.
Teryx 750 DFI Sport MSRP $11,899
KAWASAKI TERYX SPORT MONSTER ENERGY
The Monster Energy edition has all the outstanding features of the Sport model with a few notable additions. The paint scheme is right out of the racing circuits with the bright green roll cage and the monster energy logo on the hood, along with green accents on the shocks and front bumper. The body is made of a thermo-plastic Olefin like you would find on the sides of some automobiles. This provides a high gloss finish that is scratch resistant. (Kawasaki uses this same thermo-plastic body on all their models) They also include a special black aluminum wheel package to give you a rugged look.
Monster Energy Model MSRP $12,199
NRA OUTDOORS EDITION
Along with all the standard features of the Teryx, Kawasaki has introduced a special hunters edition designed to get you out to your hunting grounds and back safely. The body work features the same scratch resistant thermo-plastic material with the added Real Tree APG HD camouflage design. The colors are so vivid that you will want to mark where you park your machine on your GPS so you can find your Teryx when you walk out of the woods. They even have a camo dashboard, front bumper guard, and wheels to complete the package, along with a strengthened camo hard top cover. Since this unit will be used by hunters, the engineers even included a half windshield to help keep you warm as it directs the wind up and away from your body, as well as dual Koplin gun scabbards to keep your weapons safe and dry.
NRA Model MSPR $12,149
There is also an LE camo model that has most of the features of the NRA edition but without some of the camo features. It comes in a Realtree Hardwood Green HD camouflage body.
750 FI-LE Camo MSRP $ 11,849
Teryx 750 FI-LE
All the great standard features mentioned earlier with the addition of a sun top cover, along with a half windshield. There are also several new painted colors available. This should help you have a more individual look as you add your own Kawasaki accessories to your new ride. Colors are Metallic Titanium, and Sonic Blue Metallic.
MSRP $ 11,549
Teryx 750 FI
Even the base model comes with the full instrumentation package along with the upgraded transmission and sport tuned suspension package. All models this year also include a gas assisted strut tilting bed with a carrying capacity of 500 lbs that features tie-down hooks in all four corners of the bed along with a cargo net. We found this to be an excellent feature to make it easy to keep your cargo in place.
Look for us to do a full, in-depth review of the Upgraded Teryx 750 FI as soon as we get our hands on our very own test machine. I’m sure the editors will be arm wrestling to see who gets the pleasure of being able to feel all the power and performance this side-by-side can throw at us.