2013 KAWASAKI BRUTE FORCE 650 4X4i
If you want serious performance from a 4×4 ATV, you usually have to pony up some serious prices. That’s because machines with muscle-quad power normally come with expensive extras like fuel injection and power steering. With Kawasaki’s Brute Force 650, you get one of the strongest motors in the 700 class, but you save a bundle with carburetors to handle the fuel and you to supply the steering power.
HOW DOES THE PRICE COMPARE?
At $8199, the Brute Force 650 is far less expensive than other 700-class machines like Honda’s $9199 Rincon 680, Yamaha’s $8899 Grizzly 700 and Can-Am’s $8699 Outlander 650. The power-steering versions of the Yamaha and Can-Am are in the mid-$9000 range.
WHAT POWERS IT?
One of the most powerful, most responsive engines in the 650 to 700cc category. It’s a 633cc, single-overhead-cam V-twin with four valves per cylinder and is fed by two 32mm carburetors. You have to use the manual choke for cold starts, but once the 650 is warm, it responds as crisply as any fuel injected 4×4.
WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A fully automatic belt type, continuously variable transmission with low, high, neutral and reverse. It’s simple to use, and the Kawasaki’s outstandingly smooth, positive shift lever makes selecting ranges easier than most.
WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM HAS IT GOT?
Selectable 2WD/4WD with variable front differential lock. A small lever on the left handlebar locks the front differential partially or fully. We normally go for full lock when we need serious traction, but the option to partially lock the front differential helps cut steering effort, which is handy on a machine without power steering. Unlike some front differential locks, there’s no speed or rev limiter linked to the front differential control, so you can gas it as much as you need to without a limiter cutting in.
HOW FAST IS IT?
It rips. The 650 has solid throttle response from sporty engine tuning and clutching, so it’s capable of forceful acceleration. It has no trouble getting away from some 700s in drag races. The V-twin also sounds mean and revs quickly.
HOW IS THE POWER ON THE TRAIL?
The power delivery is a great balance of muscle-quad aggression and tractability. It will wheelie if you like, and you can blast through and over all kinds of obstacles with sheer power. Be smooth with the throttle, and the Brute Force will let you finesse your way through insanely technical terrain.
HOW IS IT IN MUD?
It’s an ideal mud machine. Lots of power, plenty of ground clearance and an effective 4WD system give you all you need to conquer deep, rutted mud pits. If you like to blitz mud bogs on the trail, you’ll appreciate the lack of a rev limiter on the front differential-lock system. The Duro all-terrain tires work pretty well in mud, but more aggressive tires would be even better if you ride a lot of slick, sloppy terrain. If you ride in the wet a lot, you’re probably not going to care for the way splash from the front tires finds the unshrouded opening in front of the engine right by the footpegs. Without waterproof boots, it only takes a few puddles to soak your feet.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE HILLS?
It climbs and descends with impressive control. The 650’s instant acceleration makes steep climbs simple, even if you don’t have much of a run. Lots of reserve power and great stability make long, technical climbs a cinch, too, though the Kawasaki’s front end can get too light if you forget to keep your weight forward. Going back down is drama-free, thanks to the Brute Force’s powerful, controllable, dual-piston front discs. The sealed, oil-cooled rear brake doesn’t have the same impressive power and feel, but it works and never fades.
WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?
The 650 has double A-arms and preload-adjustable shocks at all four wheels. There’s just 6.7 inches of front travel and 7.9 inches in the rear, but it does the job. A rear sway bar helps control body roll.
HOW DOES THE SUSPENSION WORK ON THE TRAIL?
It’s smooth but firm enough to feel sporty. The settings are a little firmer than on the Brute Force 750, so the 650 feels a little more sporty and corners flatter. Big, high speed bumps will bottom both ends, but the suspension takes most rough terrain in stride.
HOW DOES IT CORNER?
It’s agile and accurate for a big machine. The Kawasaki’s suspension is a little lower and firmer than on many 4x4s, which gives this machine a nimble, sports car feel that is great for following twisty trails. It also helps the 650i’s stability on side hills and other weird, tilted terrain.
HOW DOES IT SLIDE?
It likes to get sideways. The Brute Force 650’s semi-low stance makes it impressively stable when sliding around turns. Snappy engine response and broad, strong power make it easy to bust the rear wheels loose and keep them spinning.
HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
There’s a lot to like and only a couple of things to gripe about. The Kawasaki is comfortable, but the midsection is wider than it needs to be. The bodywork provides very good splash protection, except for the way water gets by the opening near the engine and on the rider’s boots. The throttle, brakes and shift lever work so smoothly, it’s like they’re on jeweled movements. We like the rubber-net storage pockets and the easily accessible oil dipstick.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The Brute Force 650 is an ideal machine for purists who want a 4×4 with serious performance but don’t want to pay for every convenience feature technology has to offer.
Specs 2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 650 4×4
Engine type Liquid-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder, 4-stroke V-twin
Bore x stroke 80mm x 63mm (X2)
Compression ratio 9.3:1
Lubrication system Wet sump
Carburetion Two 34mm Mikuni CV carburetors
Starting/back-up Electric push-button/none
Starting procedure In any range, brake engaged
Choke location None
Type Washable Foam
Access Release seat, remove airbox cover
Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ variable diff-lock
Reverse procedure Move selector to “R”
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD
Final drive: f/r Shaft/shaft
Overall length/width/height 86.4″/45.9″/48.5″
Seat height 35.6″
Claimed curb weight 652.7 lb.
Frame Tube steel
Front Dual A-arms & shocks w/adj. preload/6.7″
Rear Trailing arms & shocks w/adj. preload/7.9″
Front Two hydraulic discs/left-hand lever
Rear Sealed oil-bathed clutch type/right-foot pedal/left-hand lever
Parking Rear brake lock
Front Duro 25×8-12
Rear Duro 25×10-12
Front 88 lb.
Rear 176 lb.
Towing capacity 1250 lb.
DC outlet Auto-style waterproof plug
Front Four 40W headlights
Rear Tail/brake light
Instrumentation digital speedo/odo/tach/trip/hour/fuel
Colors Dark Royal Red
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $8199
Contact https://www.kawasaki.com, Kawasaki, (800) 661-RIDE