Testing the lowest-cost KRX in Last Chance Canyon


With the introduction of the Teryx KRX 1000 for 2020, Kawasaki took direct aim at the venerable Polaris RZR XP 1000 and built a much more durable sport UTV with many reliability and strength upgrades, such as an ROPS cage with the B-pillars in line with the massive Fox Podium 2.5 piggyback rear shocks, belt-temp warning system, and beadlock wheels with M10 ring bolts. For 2021, Kawasaki added Special and Trail Edition models with many added features, and late in 2021 Kawasaki also unleashed the KRX 1000 eS with Kawasaki Electronic-Control Suspension and IBP added to the Fox Podium 2.5 shocks. The Base, SE and Trail Editions return for 2022. We tested the Base Teryx KRX in the Mojave Desert and Red Rock State Park.

Kawasaki’s Teryx KRX 1000 has proven itself a capable rock crawler with ample ground clearance and a well-protected underside. It is also a durable desert sled that has won in Best in the Desert Pro NA 1000 racing.



Base Teryx KRX 1000s are available in a new Sunbeam Red/Metallic Onyx Black color scheme for 2022, joining Team Lime Green/Metallic Onyx Black. The Trail Edition comes with bumpers, nerfs, a KQR roof, 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. It’s Turquoise/Metallic Onyx Black.

The 2021 KRX 1000 eS carries over for 2022 and 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. It’s Metallic Onyx Black with a red cage, bumpers, and suspension components, and the TFT screen has a KECS page that shows each shock’s damping rates for the three shock settings.

The 999cc inline twin makes 112 horsepower with two 92mm 11.5:1 high-compression pistons riding on a 75.1mm stroke. Torque is 76.7 pound-feet at 7000 rpm, and the engine is set up for an accessory alternator ($659.95) to power accessories. It even has an oil-level sight gauge.



The base Teryx KRX 1000 is $23,199. The SE is $25,699. The Trail is $25,199, and the 2022 KRX eS with Live Valve Fox shocks is $25,699. Arctic Cat’s 2022 Wildcat XX is $21,299 (up $1300), while the XX LTD is $21,999, and the SE is $22,699. Polaris’ 2022 RZR XP 1000 Sport is $19,499 (up $900), while the Premium is $21,499 (up $900), and the Rocks and Trails Edition is $23,999 (up $400). Honda’s 2021Talon 1000R is $20,999, and the Live Valve Edition is $23,099 (Honda hasn’t released ’22 info yet). Yamaha’s YXZ1000R is $20,499. The Sport Shift is $20,499. The Special Edition is $21,199 (up $1500), and the XT-R is $21,799 (up $1500).

Width is 68.1 inches, front travel is 16.8 inches, and the suspension has high-clearance lowers and gull-wing uppers with 10 degrees of caster built in for handling. LED headlights have eyebrow LED accents, and our test unit sports an accessory 38-inch LED K-Glow light bar ($475.95) combination spot/flood. It requires a $129.95 installation kit.



Its weight keeps it from feeling pin-you-to-the-seat quick. The 112-horsepower KRX will top out slightly above 70 mph in High and 33-34 mph in Low range in Sport drive mode, but it feels sedate getting there. 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, intakes from the XZ-10R superbike and Donaldson-style airbox. It makes 76.7 pound-feet of torque at 7000 rpm in Sport but is seriously limited in Low power mode. Our California base model weighs 1899 pounds, so it carries 16.9 pounds per horsepower, whereas a 110-horsepower RZR XP 1000 weighs around 1510 pounds wet for 13.7 pounds per horsepower.

Lower radius rods are arched for more clearance, and the rod plate is perforated for tie-down points. Below are the large and nice-sounding muffler and spark arrestor. Check out the small silver circle. That’s a back-up camera that’s standard on all KRX models. We recommend side mirrors as well.



It’s top-shelf. The KRX CVT has a centrifugal clutch between the crank and drive pulley to protect and extend the life of the 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. The KRX axles are bullet proof. The range selector is slick and positive, and the KRX has a sturdy parking brake and very effective Engine Braking System. Tires are some of the best to come on a stock sport UTV. They are 31x10R15 8-ply Maxxis Carnivores on beadlock aluminum wheels. Kawasaki recommends 12 psi in front and 17 psi in back for general trail riding, but true beadlock rims allow lower pressures for rock crawling and duning. We go with 10 psi all around.

Comfortable and secure seats have a lot of adjustment range in the oversized cabin, and the seats have jet-ski-division gripper and waterproof covers. There is lots of storage space behind both seats. The tilting steering wheel is sturdy and comfortable as well.



It’s very predictable and stable in all conditions. With a 98.9-inch wheelbase and OEM long-travel, the KRX is great in whoops and over high-speed chop. The KRX has a width of 68.1 inches and 46/54 (front/rear) weight bias for great stability and turning predictability. It’s 4.1 inches wider than an RZR XP 1000 and can be slammed into turns hard. It does have a lot of heft to turn, but it has front and rear sway bars to fight body roll. The front Fox 2.5 Podium piggyback shocks are set at 12 out (of 24), while the rears are set at the factory at 18 clicks out. If you back off the shock compression to get a plush ride on chop, it transfers more of its girth in corners, and going in for dunes tightens handling and reduces bottoming.

Hydraulic front calipers have two 38mm pistons and clamp 10-inch (258mm) perforated rotors that are 5.8mm thick. Maxxis 31x10R15 Carnivore tires provide plenty of steering, drive and braking traction, and have 8-ply construction.



Excellent for a base model. Trick high-clearance A-arms, 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 on the RZR XP 1000. Kawasaki did a good job on damping and spring rates for trail riding, and the front adjusters are set at the halfway point of the adjustment range from the factory. The rears are set at 3/4 of tuning range for better hookup. Hard driving in dunes will bottom both ends, even with compression cranked all the way in. The arched suspension arms and high-clearance lower radius rods are awesome for rock crawling, too. Note that these Fox shocks do not have Internal ByPass for plushness, only the KRX eS with KECS have IBP. Shock Therapy can convert these shocks to IBP for $5000 and can also convert to iQS for another $2075.

Slide the driver’s seat forward to access the air filter. Twist two latches to remove the airbox cover and undo two clasps to open the box and check or change the pleated-paper filter. Be careful not to lose the clasps. (We lost one.)



It’s a natural rock crawler and mud wagon. With 14.2 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) and KQR roof. The front Carnivores fling mud into the air, and it comes down inside the lined doors with the stock fenders.


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 sport two 32mm pistons. They’re backed by mechanical parking brakes on the rear calipers and a stellar Engine Braking System. Carnivores provide plenty of braking traction, and trailing-arm covers keep roost from getting between the wheels and trailing arms, protecting the brakes.

The KRX 1000 is fun and predictable in sand washes and on tight trails, and a 98.9-inch wheelbase provides good high-speed stability. Kawasaki offers KRX 1000 Lighting ($1,802.95), Mud ($3,869.95), Recreation ($2,456.95) and Cab ($3,463.95) packages for all models.



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. Both seats 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. Next to that rides a cover for the electronics. 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 other devices can be stored in the top center bin with the lid, and the base KRX has a cubbyhole 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, a 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. Also, the inner door liners have a shelf for resting outside arms on, but we occasionally smacked our elbows on the sharp ridge. We have also bumped our elbows on the ridge between the speaker blanks and front edge of the armrest. Maybe someone will offer a stick-on pad kit similar the one offered for the Yamaha RMAX. Our test unit had Kawasaki’s KQR roof ($499.95), which also added greatly to cabin comfort.


We have tested the Teryx KRX 1000 in Utah, West Virginia, Arizona, and California and did a long-range test the length of Baja with zero failures. After the Baja trek, we replaced the CVT clutch rollers. The KRX 1000 is a great rock crawler and long-range adventure machine, and it’s surefooted yet agile on Hatfield McCoy’s muddy switchbacks. We’ve done serious rock crawling at Moab, Sand Hollow State Park, and California’s Last Chance Canyon, and it has impressed us every time. The Teryx KRX 1000 has excellent power delivery, a high-end CVT and front diff-lock, balanced handling, excellent and tunable suspension, strong brakes and EBS system, excellent durability, high-clearance arms and rods, and a roomy, well-appointed and comfortable cockpit. What’s not to like? 





Engine type Liquid/oil-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC,

4-stroke I-twin

Displacement 999cc

Bore x stroke 92.0mm x 75.1mm (x2)

Compression ratio 11.5:1

Lubrication system Dry sump

Induction 50mm Mikuni EFI (x2)

Horsepower 112

Torque 76.7 lb-ft @ 7000

Starting/back-up Electric push-button/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition key w/brake on

Air filter:

  Type Pleated paper

  Access Behind driver, undo two latches on lid and

two clasps

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.

Wheelbase 98.9”

Overall length/width/height 130.1”/68.1”/74.8”

Ground clearance 14.4”

Claimed curb weight 1,896.3 lb., 2,022 lb. (CA),

SE 1971.3 lb. (CA)

Bed capacity 350 lb.

Towing capacity 1,300 lb.


Frame Round tube steel

Suspension/wheel travel:

  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 Twin-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; 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


Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $23,199

Contact Kawasaki Motor Corp., (800) 661-RIDE

See UTV Action’s KRX 1000, Yamaha YXZ 1000R and Honda Talon shootout here:  HONDA TALON 1000R VS. KAWASAKI TERYX KRX 1000 VS. YAMAHA YXZ1000R – UTV Action Magazine


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