Kawasaki Mule Pro-FXT Ranch Edition test

Traditionally, UTVs that could do serious hauling and towing work didn’t treat passengers much better than the payload. Kawasaki’s Pro-series Mules are different animals, offering comfort and refinement, along with massive work capabilities. Kawasaki’s Mule Pro-FXT Ranch Edition stands out with a highend look, but can work as hard as any other machine.

WHAT MAKES THE RANCH EDITION SPECIAL?
The Pro-FXT Ranch Edition is the top of the Pro-series Mule line. It has the Pro-FXT EPS LE’s easily convertible seating for three or six; power steering; alloy wheels and a roof; Metallic Titanium painted bodywork with special Ranch Edition badging; two-tone, colormatched seats; and a Warn winch with remote control.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The Pro-FXT Ranch Edition is $16,899. The Pro-FXT EPS LE and Pro- FXT Camo are $15,899. The base Pro- FXT goes for $12,999. The three-seat Mule Pro-FX starts at $11,999. Honda’s Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe is $17,199 and offers seating for three to five. Polaris’ six-seat Ranger Crew XP 900-6 EPS is $16,499. Yamaha’s six-seat Viking VI Ranch Edition is $15,499.

WHAT KIND OF WORK CREDENTIALS DOES IT HAVE?
The Ranch Edition has the same massive 1000-pound bed capacity and 2000-pound towing capacity as the other Pro-series Mules. The bed floor is steel for durability, and it’s 53.7 inches wide. Bed length is 22 inches in sixpassenger mode and 42.7 inches when the Mule is set up for three passengers. A sturdy steel guard keeps cargo from joining you in the passenger area.

The Kawasaki’s three cylinder, doubleoverhead- cam, 12-valve engine makes plenty of power, and its smoothness and silence are car-like.
The Kawasaki’s three cylinder, doubleoverhead- cam, 12-valve engine makes plenty of power, and its smoothness and silence are car-like.

WHAT POWERS IT?
It’s powered by an 812cc, inline, three-cylinder, double-overhead-cam, 12-valve engine. The Ranch Edition has the same powerplant as the other gas-powered Mule Pro UTVs, and its healthy power output and remarkable car-like smoothness and silence are fitting for a ranch’s head honcho. Diesel Pro series Mules are also available, but there’s no diesel Ranch Edition

WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A fully automatic, dual-range, belttype, continuously variable transmission. The entire transmission, from the clutches to the belt to the drive axles, is engineered for heavy work. The range selector demonstrates Kawasaki’s commitment to refinement; it works smoothly and has a solid feel.

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WHAT KIND OF 4WD SYSTEM DOES IT USE?
Selectable 2WD/4WD with an unlockable rear differential. The front differential doesn’t lock, but the Mule can conquer extremely difficult terrain in 4WD with the rear diff locked. Unlocking the rear differential allows tighter turns and is gentle on turf.

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HOW FAST IS IT?
It can cover a big spread in a hurry. The Ranch Edition gets up and goes; it can reach 45 mph.

A cover behind the right rear door gives you access to the air filter, battery and oil dipstick.
A cover behind the right rear door gives you access to the air filter, battery and oil dipstick.

HOW IS THE POWER DELIVERY?
Meaty but refined. The Mule has muscle, but the clutching and engine tuning are all about giving passengers a smooth ride. Precise throttle response and the engine’s ample low-end torque make maintaining traction and momentum in challenging terrain easy. The predictable way the Kawasaki responds to the gas pedal also helps keep cargo in the vehicle or on a trailer.

With double A-arms on automotive-like rubber bushings and 8.7 inches of travel, the Ranch Edition’s ride is outstandingly smooth.
With double A-arms on automotive-like rubber bushings and 8.7 inches of travel, the Ranch Edition’s ride is outstandingly smooth.

HOW IS THE SUSPENSION?
It rides like an off-road luxury car. The Ranch Edition’s 8.7 inches of travel provide a smooth, compliant ride at low speeds over small bumps and enough stroke for big impacts when you’re really moving. Kawasaki’s use of automotive-grade rubber bushings for the front and rear A-arms, along with the power steering’s bump-steer damping ability, adds an extra measure of refinement to the ride.

Don’t let the Ranch Edition’s high-end appearance fool you; it can seat six and work as hard as other Pro-series Mules, and it’s very capable in difficult off-road conditions.
Don’t let the Ranch Edition’s high-end appearance fool you; it can seat six and work as hard as other Pro-series Mules, and it’s very capable in difficult off-road conditions.

HOW DOES IT HANDLE?
Very well for a UTV that can seat six. Clever designing gives the Ranch Edition and other Pro-FXT Mules roomy seating for six on the same platform as the Pro-FX three-seater, so the turning radius is surprisingly small, and the vehicle feels agile for its size. It’s also reassuringly stable because of its 64-inch width. With no sway bars front or rear, there’s some body roll, but the Mule’s overall handling is remarkably good.

Kawasaki’s Mule Pro-FXT Ranch Edition has the speed to get you from one end of a big spread to the other in a hurry and in comfort.
Kawasaki’s Mule Pro-FXT Ranch Edition has the speed to get you from one end of a big spread to the other in a hurry and in comfort.

HOW IS IT IN CHALLENGING TERRAIN?
Just like four-legged mules, the Ranch Edition can go almost anywhere—but it’s not stubborn at all. Power solves all kinds of problems on hard trails, and the Kawasaki has a generous supply that’s easy to apply. Ten inches of ground clearance keeps rocks and rutted trails from slowing your progress. The brakes—discs at all four wheels—are strong and controllable. The only things that can keep your adventures from getting really extreme are the Mule’s lack of front differential lock and the engine air intake, which is well-shielded but lower than the bed floor.

Theater-style seating puts rear-seat passengers slightly higher than those up front for unobstructed sightseeing. One person can easily convert the Mule Pro- FXT from three to six seats.
Theater-style seating puts rear-seat passengers slightly higher than those up front for unobstructed sightseeing. One person can easily convert the Mule Pro- FXT from three to six seats.

HOW ARE THE DETAILS?
Excellent. The Ranch Edition has a truly rich look, and the entire vehicle— from its smooth, quiet engine to its plush ride—has a high-end feel to back up its premium appearance. This vehicle is so quiet, it’s easy to carry on a conversation with passengers. The bench seats don’t offer the support of something more sculpted, but they are roomy and comfortable, and the rear seats are higher than the fronts, so passengers get to enjoy the scenery ahead. One person really can convert the seating from three to six seats or back to three in about a minute, just as Kawasaki says. The bodywork provides great splash protection, and the doors open and close nicely and offer more security than nets. Look closer and you’ll find more attention to detail, like the automotive-like inner fenders that keep mud and dirt contained and easy to wash away. The Mule is easy to service too. A cover behind the right rear door gives you access to the air filter, battery and oil dipstick.

WHAT IS OUR FINAL ANSWER?
Kawasaki’s Mule Pro-FXT Ranch Edition is the opposite of all hat and no cattle. It has a high-end look, but it can also handle tough terrain and work as hard as any true utility UTV.

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SPECS
KAWASAKI MULE PRO-FXT RANCH
ENGINE/TRANSMISSION
Engine type …………… Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 12-valve,
4-stroke inline 3 cylinder
Displacement ……………………………………….. 812cc
Bore x stroke …………………………. 72mm x 66.5mm
Compression ratio ……………………………………9.5:1
Lubrication system …………………………….Wet sump
Fuel metering ………………………….34mm Mikuni EFI
Starting/back-up ……………………………. Electric/none
Starting procedure ………….. In neutral or any gear w/
brake engaged
Choke ……………………………………………………… NA
Air filter access ……Remove access cover and 4 clips
on airbox lid
Transmission ……… Dual range fully automatic CVT w/
reverse and EBS
Reverse procedure………..Move range selector to “R”
Drive system .. Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ lockable rear
diff
Final drives: f/r ………………………………… Shaft/shaft
DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS
Fuel capacity ………………………………………. 7.9 gal.
Wheelbase ……………………………………………..92.3”
Overall length/width/height …………. 135.6”/64”/79.5”
Ground clearance ………………………………………..10”
Wet weight …………………………………….. 1933.8 lb.
Hitch ……………………………………………………… Yes
Towing limit……………………………………….. 2000 lb.
Bed capacity ……………………………………… 1000 lb.
ROLLING CHASSIS
Frame ………………………………….. Square steel tube
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front …………..Double A-arms w/ preload-adjustable
shocks/ 8.7”
Rear ……………Double A-arms w/ preload-adjustable
……………………………………………………shocks/8.7”
Brakes:
Front ……………………………………… Hydraulic discs
Rear …………………………………………Hydraulic disc
Parking brake ……………….. Dash-mounted hand lever
Tires:
Front …………………………….. 26x9R12 Duro Radial
Rear …………………………….. 26x9R12 Duro Radial
ELECTRICAL
DC outlet ……………Waterproof automotive-style plug
Lighting
Front …………………………..Two 55/60W headlights
Rear ……………………………….. Dual tail/brake lights
DETAILS
Instruments Multi function digital meter with indicators
Colors ………………………………….. Metallic Titanium
Suggested retail price …………………………..$16,899
Contact …………………….. Kawasaki, (800) 661-RIDE

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