2021 KAWASAKI KRX 1000 TEST
Kawasaki continues to expand its Teryx line of sport UTVs, and the 2020 Teryx KRX 1000 was UTV Action’s UTV of the Year. For 2021, the KRX line grows to four, with the original KRX joined by the Trail, Special Edition and KRX 1000 eS with Fox Live Valve shocks for on-the-fly adjustment. While we await the KRX-eS, this 2021 Kawasaki KRX 1000 test will cover the base model. We tested it at Utah’s Sand Hollow State Park, and we also tested the SE there for the February issue.
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, a KQR roof, a Warn VRX45 winch, and Fragment Camo Grey bodywork with yellow arms, springs, nerf bars, bumpers and a 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.
The new KRX 1000 eS adds Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) with Fox 2.5 Podium Live Valve IBP shocks and a selectable three-mode, semi-active damping system, KQR roof, TFT color instruments, and Sport front bumper. KECS is a six-axis control system that reads throttle position, wheel speed, gear selection, and steering angle to constantly adjust shock damping to level the ride during acceleration, turning and braking.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The base model, the subject of our 2021 Kawasaki KRX 1000 test is still $20,499. The SE is $22,599. The Trail is $22,999, and the new KRX eS with Live Valve Fox shocks is $24,399. 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?
Fast enough to win the Parker 250 N/A 1000 class. The stock 112-horsepower KRX will top out slightly above 70 mph in High and 32 mph in Low range in Sport drive mode. 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, Superbike XZ-10R intakes, and a Donaldson-style airbox. It makes 76.7 pound-feet of torque at 7000 rpm in Sport, but is seriously limited in Low power mode.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/4X4 DELIVERY?
It’s as good as a CVT gets. The KRX has a centrifugal clutch between the crank and drive pulley to protect and extend the life of the CVT belt, and the final drive selector is a handy dial on the dash with servos quickly executing orders. The front diff adjusts on-the-fly and is great for rock crawling and mud, and the KRX axles are bulletproof. The range selector is slick and positive, and the KRX has a parking brake and very effective engine braking system. Tires are some of the best to come on a stock sport UTV—31x10R15 eight-ply Maxxis Carnivores on beadlock aluminum wheels. We aired down to 10 psi for Sand Hollow State Park’s red rocks and dunes.
WHAT ABOUT TERYX KRX HANDLING?
It’s very stable in all conditions. With a 98.8-inch wheelbase and 20 inches of travel, the KRX is great in whoops and over high-speed chop. The KRX has a width of 68 inches and a 46/54 (front/rear) weight bias for great handling and turning predictability. It’s 4.1 inches wider than a RZR XP 1000 and can be slammed into turns hard. It does have a lot of heft (1,900 pounds) to turn, but it has 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 girth in corners.
HOW IS THE SUSPENSION?
Excellent. 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 damping and spring rates for trail riding, and the adjusters are set at the halfway point of the adjustment range from the factory. Hard driving in dunes will bottom both ends, even with compression cranked all the way up. The arched suspension arms and high-clearance lower radius rods are awesome for rock crawling, too.
WHAT ABOUT ROCKS AND MUD?
Neither fazes the KRX. With almost 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 KRX’s weight is a factor, and mud riders will definitely want Kawasaki’s accessory Over-Fender kit ($509.95). The front Carnivores fling mud into the air, and it comes down inside the lined doors with the stock fenders.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Plenty strong! Twin-piston hydraulic calipers ride on all four 10-inch (258mm) brake rotors. Front calipers have two 38mm pistons each, and rear calipers have two 32mm pucks. They’re backed by mechanical parking brakes on the rear calipers and a stellar engine braking system. Carnivores provide plenty of braking traction, too.
WHAT ABOUT TRAIL COMFORT?
The Teryx KRX 1000 has the roomiest cabin of any sport UTV with lots of elbow and leg room. Seats offer a lot of support and gripper covers from the jet-ski division, and both are easily adjustable. Kawasaki designed the KRX with plenty of storage room behind the seats, and PRP makes great bags to optimize storage. Shoulder room is excellent, and both 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 service is tool-less. The passenger T-bar is adjustable and has jet-ski grips, and the tilt steering wheel has great over-molding for comfort. Cell phones and the like can ride in the top center bin with a lid, and the base KRX has a cubby hole below for gloves or radios. There are seven blanks for accessory switches in the dash, too. The digital dash is very easy to read, with a large analog tach, numerical speedometer, and large bars for fuel and temps. We sometimes hit our knees on the center console in rough terrain, but PRP makes nice pads for that. Our test unit had Kawasaki’s KQR roof ($499.95), which also adds greatly to cabin comfort.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
The Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 has a lot going for it with great suspension, handling, brakes, CVT delivery, durability and creature comforts. There are quicker-accelerating normally aspirated twins on the market, but 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 the hilt to get you there and back in comfort and style. Build quality and fit and finish are unmatched by any UTV manufacturer, and the base KRX is an awesome all-around performer at a good price.
2021 KAWASAKI TERYX KRX 1000
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 gear shift 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 1,896.3 lb.; 1,898.5 lb. (CA);
SE, 1971.3 (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
Rear 31x10R15 8-Ply Maxxis Carnivore
Front High/low LED headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/taillights
Instrumentation Multi-function digital w/ bar-style
tach, CVT temp and fuel; digi speedo;
drive mode, gear, Eco, clock, odo, hour;
icons for seat-belt, 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;
eS: Metallic Onyx Black/Red
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $20,499; SE, $22,599;
Trail, $22,999; eS, $24,399
See UTV Action’s KRX 1000 SE test here: 2021 KAWASAKI KRX 1000 SE TEST | UTV Action Magazine
Contact Kawasaki Motor Corp., (800) 661-RIDE