2021 KAWASAKI TERYX S TEST
WHAT’S NEW FOR THE TERYX S?
In one word, suspension! Kawasaki’s goal was to increase cab comfort without designing a whole new machine. Kawasaki achieved this by widening the stance, extending the wheelbase and increasing wheel travel slightly in all areas. Our 2021 Kawasaki Teryx S test tells how well this new machine performs.
HOW DOES THE COST COMPARE?
Compared to the standard Teryx models, the “S” designation only commands an extra $500 at the dealership. So, if you compare that to a long-travel kit from companies like HCR ($3500-$5000) or SuperATV’s 1.5-inch forward A-arms ($830), the new Teryx S is a bargain. The two-seat Teryx S LE model we tested is $15,699; the four-seaters start at $15,999.
HOW FAST IS IT?
Just fast enough for a vehicle with this much travel. The 783cc V-twin tops out at 50 mph. It’s still peppy enough to be fun on any trail. The 2021 Kawasaki Teryx S test revealed the clutch tune is great for the stock tires, and it never feels like the machine is slow, like with some long-travel-equipped UTVs.
HOW TOUGH IS IT?
It’s as strong as ever. Kawasaki installs very robust axles, drive lines and differentials, and backs them up with a good warranty automatically. You can extend that warranty as well.
Furthermore, Kawasaki goes above and beyond in terms of protecting the machine’s vital components and occupants. This machine has full steel skid plates below the chassis, as well as steel kick panels up front to keep sticks from intruding into the cockpit.
HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
It’s really impressive at slow-to-medium speeds on a choppy trail. Washboards totally disappear, as do embedded small rocks and ruts. The seating position is very upright, and the driver can see over the dash well. This fact makes you feel like you’re driving even faster than you are. On our test ride, we aimed for the bigger bumps, and the Teryx took them well—to a point. You are not going to blitz a big desert whoop section, but you will have fun everywhere else.
IS IT WORTH THE EXTRA COST?
Definitely. We can only think of one reason you wouldn’t buy the S over the standard model, and that is size. Overall, the S gains a couple of inches of width, and if you have 60-inch-wide trailhead gates or bridges where you ride, this machine might not fit; however, if your riding is on completely smooth terrain, you can surely save that $500 and put it towards gas.
WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
When Polaris made the first S-version RZR, it set the UTV world on fire and changed the sport UTV game. Is the Teryx S going to do that? No. But, it will keep the machine relevant and competitive with machines like the Yamaha Wolverine, Polaris General and Can-Am’s new Commander. And at $3000–$5000 less than most of those, it’s going to fit into more customers’ budgets—and Kawasaki is banking on that.
2021 KAWASAKI TERYX S
Engine type Liquid-cooled, V-twin, 4-stroke
Bore & stroke 85mm x 69mm
Lubrication system Wet sump
Additional cooling Auto fan
Starting procedure Turn ignition switch w/ brake on
Type Paper pleat
Access Under hood, tool-less
Transmission Dual range w/ reverse
Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”
Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ locking
Final drives Shafts
Fuel capacity 7.9 gal.
Overall length/width/height 118.1”/62.6”/78.5”
Ground clearance 11.2”
Claimed wet weight 1600 lb.
Bed weight limit 600 lb.
Hitch 2” receiver
Towing limit 1300lbs
Frame Steel tube
Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0”
Rear Dual arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0”
Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal
Parking Park position on range selector
Front 27×9-14 Maxxis Big Horn
Rear 27×11-14 Maxxis Big Horn
DC outlet Console
Front 8 LED hi/lo headlights
Rear Dual LED brake/taillights
Instrumentation Multi-function digital meter
with speedometer, fuel gauge, clock, hour meter,
odometer, dual trip meter and parking-brake
indicator, R/N/P/4WD, water temp and
Colors Lime Green, Persimmon Red
Minimum recommended operator age 16
Suggested retail price $15,699
See the 2022 Kawasaki UTVs here: 2022 KAWASAKI UTVS – UTV Action Magazine