Kawasaki Teryx fun for four

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“To boldly go where no man has gone before” were the words that drew in the Trekies quite some time ago so Kawasaki should have named their four passenger side by side a pseudonym of some sort as once you get behind the wheel of the Teryx 750, the exploration begins and with a 30 ltr fuel tank, you may as well go for the weekend.

Although I boldly went, I did run into more than one man in the backwoods of McCullough between Myra Canyon and Big White, and left no path untraveled. If there was a trail, I took it and when I got lost I simply kept going – a GPS would have been useful – especially when it all looks the same, with the same foliage, same rocks, and it is hard to tell, on a cloudy day, which direction you are going but I had a full tank of gas, company and a desire to discover.

The Teryx is designed on a double-X tubular carbon steel frame with a wide-body chassis and high-grade suspension to maximize cornering and stability. Both front and rear shocks are adjustable for compression and the front suspension is complemented by an anti-roll bar. You can adjust the rear preload to suit either two-person or four person riding.

With rugged 26” tires on 12” rims, there is rarely an obstacle this machine can’t tackle. Pair the beefy tires with a 318 mm ground clearance and a 17 degree break over angle, provides great opportunity to traverse without bottoming out.

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Even though the machine is a 4×4, electronically selectable 2WD/4WD and 4WD+front differential lock system, 95 per cent of the terrain I travelled was in 2 wheel drive. In fact, when riding at maximum speed of 80km/hr on the gravel logging roads, the ride is completely smooth – better than my Toyota Tacoma at the same speed. This machine drifts like a rally car and cornering is exceptionally fun in two-wheel drive. Passengers can enjoy the thrill of the ride and still feel secure as the inside cage is complete with roll bars, seat belts and grab bars for every rider.

Once you turn the key to start the engine, a seat belt warning light that will come on for 10 seconds after the engine is started but the first corner will be a natural reminder to buckle up. Gears are Forward (H), Forward (L) or Reverse.

The electric power steering allows the unit to move instantaneously. An unexpected branch, rock or mud puddle, and a flick of the wrist reaction avoids the oncoming hazard. Here is where a windshield would have come in handy and there are various styles to choose from as an option but I would strongly recommend putting one on before you take one home. The first puddle didn’t appear that deep until I was racing through it at about 60 km and it was coming over the top of the hood soaking us all. The doors are hinged high and the foot space on the floor is deep to avoid that water coming in on the side but once it does, there is nowhere for it to go.

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One common complaint with this unit is the gas pedal. The gas pedal is placed at such an acute angle that driver shin pain sets in quickly. The only way to avoid it is to step down onto the pedal – like in an old VW bug – rather than rest your heel on the floor as you would in a car.

The multi-function digital display on the dash comes standard in all models and offers up speedometer (although all you need is 0 and 80 km), fuel gauge, odometer, two and four wheel drive indicator, water temperature, gear LEDs, clock (like time is important in the woods) and oil pressure. Somehow my puddle jumping shorted out the electrical system during my two-day test run.

Although this unit is built with a ROPS (Roll-over Protection Structure), I wouldn’t ride off-road without a helmet on. You see the RCMP in units similar to these patrol the beaches of Kelowna in the summer without helmets but in the back-country, there are too many branches, rocks and other hazards to go without one.

There is plenty of cargo space for overnight wilderness camping with a 250 lb capacity cargo bed large enough to hold a 50 ltr cooler, spare gas and other camping supplies. If you plan to bring in a trailer, you have 590 kg (1300 lbs) towing capacity to play with.

Pack up, ride in and plan to stay for a while.

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