Kawasaki’s all-new 2020 Teryx KRX 1000 made a bold leap into the sport UTV market with many innovations, heavy-duty construction and more horsepower than the Polaris RZR XP 1000. For 2021, Kawasaki adds two new versions of the KRX 1000—the Trail Edition and Special Edition. We’ll do the 2021 Kawasaki KRX 1000 SE test now and save a long-term test of the new Trail Edition for later in the year.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2021?
Teryx KRX 1000s are available in a new Vibrant Blue/Metallic Onyx Black color scheme for 2021, joining Team Lime Green and black. KRX models also get a new low-battery warning indicator. The new Trail Edition comes with bumpers, nerfs, KQR roof, a Warn VRX45 winch, and Fragment Camo Grey bodywork with yellow arms, springs, nerf bars, bumpers and cage. The Special Edition also has a VRX45 winch and adds a 600-watt, five-channel Hifonics AM/FM/Bluetooth premium audio system with LED dash-mounted radio, 6.5-inch door-mounted waterproof speakers and a 12-inch subwoofer with integrated five-channel system amplifier. The high-tech amplifier features Apple control and displays album art on the LED screen when files are present.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The Teryx KRX 1000 is still $20,499; the SE is $22,599; and the Trail is $22,999. Arctic Cat’s Wildcat XX is $19,999, while the identical Tracker XTR1000 is $17,999. Polaris’ 2021 RZR XP 1000 Sport is $18,599, while the Premium is $20,599 and the Rocks and Trails Edition is $23,599. Honda’s Talon 1000R is $20,999, and the Live Valve Edition is $23,099. Yamaha’s YXZ1000R Sport Shift is $18,999; the Special Edition is $20,699; and the XT-R is $21,799.
HOW FAST IS THE 999CC TWIN?
It’s fairly fast but not RZR-fast. Whereas the 112-horsepower KRX SE has a power-to-weight ratio of 17.59 pounds/horsepower, the XP 1000 has a P2W ratio of 13.636. The KRX-SE will top out slightly under 70 mph in High and 32 mph in Low. The 999cc inline twin has 92mm pistons with 11.5:1 compression, a stroke of 75.1mm, two 50mm EFI throttle bodies feeding eight valves, XZ-10R intakes and a Donaldson-style airbox. It makes 76.7 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm in Sport but is seriously limited in Low power mode.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/4X4 DELIVERY?
It’s Kawasaki strong and epic. The KRX has a centrifugal clutch between the crank and drive pulley to lessen shock to the CVT belt, and the final drive selector is a handy dial on the dash. The locking front diff is great for rock crawling and mud, and the axles are bulletproof overkill. The range selector is slick and positive, and the KRX has a parking brake and effective Engine Braking System. The tires are some of the best to come on a stock sport UTV—31x10R15 8-Ply Maxxis Carnivores on beadlock aluminum wheels. We aired down to 10 psi for Sand Hollow red rocks and dunes.
WHAT ABOUT TERYX KRX HANDLING?
The 2021 Kawasaki KRX 1000 SE test included plenty of high and low speed driving and it’s very stable and neutral. The KRX has a 46/54 weight bias for great handling and overall stability. With a 99-inch wheelbase and 20 inches of travel, the KRX is great in whoops and over high-speed chop. It has a lot of weight to turn, though, but has both front and rear sway bars to fight body roll in turns. If you back off of the shock compression to get a plush ride on chop, it transfers more of its heft in corners.
HOW IS THE SUSPENSION?
The 2021 Kawasaki KRX 1000 SE test included a variety of conditions and the machine handled most of it very well. Trick high-clearance A-arms and trailing arms and Fox 2.5 Podium LSC shocks provide 18.6 inches of front and 21.1 inches of rear travel. True dual-rate springs with adjustable crossover rings and 24-position low-speed compression adjusters on the shocks allow much more tuning for ride quality than the RZR XP 1000. Kawasaki did a good job on internal valving and spring rates for trail riding, and the adjusters are set at the halfway point of the adjustment range from the factory; however, hard driving in dunes will bottom both ends, even with compression cranked up. The arched suspension arms and high-clearance lower radius rods are awesome for rock crawling, too.
WHAT ABOUT ROCKS AND MUD?
Long-travel Teryxs have long been our favorite rock limos, and the KRX 1000 doesn’t disappoint. With more than 14 inches of ground clearance and the high-clearance arms mated with a great engine and CVT tuning, the sport Teryx rips in rocks, especially with the tall tires aired down. Its weight keeps it hooked up, too. In mud, the weight is more of an issue, and mud riders will definitely want Kawasaki’s accessory Over-Fender kit ($509.95). The Carnivores sling mud into the air, and it comes down inside the doors with the stock fenders.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Plenty strong! Twin-piston hydraulic calipers ride on all four 10-inch brake rotors; front calipers have 38mm pistons, and rear calipers have 32mm pucks. They’re backed by mechanical parking brakes on the rear calipers and a stout EBS system.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
The Teryx KRX 1000 has the roomiest cabin of any sport UTV. Seats offer a lot of support and gripper covers from the jet-ski division, and both are adjustable. There is plenty of storage space behind the seats, even when they’re slid all the way back. Elbow and shoulder room are ample, and the seat bases are removable to access the battery and EFI fuel pump. The air filter is accessed by removing a cover behind the driver, and it’s tool-less. The passenger T-bar is adjustable and has jet-ski grips, and the glove box is fairly large. The SE’s radio fills an otherwise usable bin in the dash, but cell phones and the like can ride in the top center bin with lid. There are seven blanks for accessory switches in the dash, too. We like the over-molded steering wheel and its tilt-ability, and the digital dash is very easy to read, with large analog tach, numerical speedo, and large bars for fuel and temps. We sometimes hit our knees on the center console, but PRP makes nice pads for that.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 has a lot going for it, and the Special Edition adds to rides with a high-performance sound system and winch insurance. The KRX 1000 has great suspension, handling, brakes, CVT delivery and cabin comfort. Although there are quicker-accelerating, normally aspirated twins on the market, the sport Teryx delivers plenty of usable power and is a great all-around machine. It’s a fantastic rock crawler with high-clearance suspension arms and lower radius rods, and it’s built to get you wherever you wish and back. Build quality is unmatched by any other manufacturer.
See the new KRX 1000 eS with Electronic Control Suspension here: https://utvactionmag.com/new-kawasaki-krx-1000-es-long-travel-t2-t4-s/
2021 KAWASAKI TERYX KRX 1000 SE
Engine type Liquid/oil-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC,
Bore x stroke 92.0mm x 75.1mm (x2)
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Lubrication system Dry sump
Induction 50mm Mikuni EFI (x2)
Torque 76.7 lb-.ft. @ 7,000
Starting/back-up Electric push-button/none
Starting procedure Turn ignition key w/ brake on
Type Pleated paper
Access Under cargo bed behind driver
Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ rev. & EBS
Reverse procedure Brake, move gearshift to “R”
Drive system 2WD/4WD w/ diff-lock
Final drive Shafts
Fuel capacity 10.6 gal.
Overall length/width/height 130.1”/68.1”/75.0”
Ground clearance 14.4”
Claimed curb weight 1,896 lb. 1,898.5 lb (CA),
SE 1,971.3 (CA)
Bed capacity 350 lb.
Towing capacity 1,300 lb.
Frame Round tube steel
Front Dual A-arms w/ prel-, X-over & comp.-adj.
Fox 2.5 Podium LSC shocks/18.6”
Rear IRS 4-link trailing arms w/ prel-, X-over &
comp-adj. Fox 2.5 Podium LSC shocks/21.1”
Front Twin-piston hydraulic 258mm discs/left pedal
Rear One-piston hydraulic 258mm discs/left pedal
Parking Locking lever on console
Front 31x10R15 8-ply Maxxis Carnivore beadlocks
Rear 31x10R15 8-ply Maxxis Carnivore beadlocks
Front High/low LED headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/taillights
Instrumentation Multi-function digital w/
bar-style tach, CVT temp and fuel; digital speedo;
drive mode, gear, Eco, clock, odo, hour;
icons for seatbelt, oil, engine check, water temp,
neutral, reverse, park, EPS & CVT belt
Colors Vibrant Blue/Metallic Onyx Black, Lime Green/
Black; SE Metallic Moondust
White/Black, Trail: Fragment Camo Gray
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $20,499; SE $22,599;
Contact Kawasaki Motor Corp., (800) 661-RIDE