Departments > Adventure Toys
story by Bruce Smith; photos by Kinney Jones
Kawasaki’s newest 4x4 ATV takes power and agility to a new high
It wasn’t an overly big or imposing obstacle. The log blocking the narrow ATV trail we were riding in the mountains near Ashville, North Carolina, was less than a foot in diameter. I’d eased the new Kawasaki I was riding over several of similar size during the past hour with nothing more than a passing thought — and a blip of the Brute 750 4x4i’s thumb throttle.
With a bit of “adventure” setting in — and curiosity how the 600-pound utility ATV performed in low-range — I slipped it into low-range, slowly eased the front tires to the log, and then blipped the throttle.
After picking my derriere up off the ground some eight feet beyond the log and clearing the cobwebs from inside my helmet (and head), I knew all I needed about just how much power a 749cc Kawasaki V-Twin engine develops. I was also keenly aware that Kawasaki’s claim that the new Brute, “is the most powerful, high-performance model in its class” was not just a smooth sales pitch.
The only riding companion who witnessed my aerial ATV antics said he’d never seen anything quite so amazing — and amusing.
“Geez, what a missed photo op,” said Off-Road Adventures’ editor and publisher Denis Snow, breaking into a head-shaking laugh. “You went straight up and over that log like you were going into sub-orbital flight. The rear wheels cleared that log by a good three feet. Then there you were lying flat on your back. That was something to see. Do it again so I can get a shot of it!”
With more than 10-inches of ground clearance and seven inches of suspension travel, along with its four-wheel independent suspension, the Brute Force 750 eats up rocky trails.
And something to feel; I was just thanking my lucky stars that the “rocket” landed on its wheels ahead of me instead on me. Lesson learned.
Once I knew the capabilities of Kawasaki’s flagship sport-utility ATV-with its fully independent four-wheel suspension, four-valve SOHC engine, and awesome four-wheel-drive system-the remainder of the day spent testing it against trail obstacles like logs, rocks, mud, rough terrain and water crossings was exciting, but uneventful.
A new seat adds to rider comfort, while the new sport-ute ATV’s luggage racks allow more than 260 pounds to be carried about. Camo pattern (right) will be a hit with outdoorsmen who hunt.
If you don’t like green on the Brute, there are three other color options for the plastic bodywork, including camo.
What I learned is the Brute Force 750 is nicely balanced, remarkably comfortable, and loaded with convenience features that makes it ideal for off-road adventures.
For instance, it features Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, which helps to slow the Brute when going down steep grades. This saves wear and tear on the Brute’s dual front discs and sealed rear brake as well as the rider’s peace of mind and giving better handling control.
Another convenient feature is, like the Prairie 700 4x4 from which many of the mechanicals are shared, the Brute Force 750 4x4i uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. The CVT has high- and low-range, plus reverse.
Fording water crossings isn’t a problem for the Brute 750 because air for the CVT and airbox enter from a reverse-facing snorkel located beneath the handlebars to help protect against ingesting water and mud.
Underbody protection keeps rocks, logs, and other potential trail hazards from damaging the transmission and differentials. Note suspension is four-wheel IFS-a first for Kawasaki 4x4 ATVs.
With a CVT transmission, hi- and low-range, plus options for selecting various levels of traction-control for the front and rear differentials, the Brute is a natural for exploring new trails.
A button on the handlebar makes it a snap to switch between two- or four-wheel-drive, and when in the latter mode, a limited-slip front differential improves traction. If conditions deteriorate to the point you need more traction, there’s a lever on the handlebar that allows you to engage the Variable Front Differential Control to deliver torque equally to the right and left front wheels. Pretty cool.
The Brute Force 750 4x4i utilizes a simple, yet sturdy double-cradle tubular steel frame similar to the Prairie 700 4x4. But the suspension is all-new for a Kawasaki 4x4 ATV.
Instead of the MacPherson struts and aluminum swingarm featured on other models, the Brute Force features front dual A-arms and IRS. This gives the new 750 more than an inch more suspension travel than the Prairie. More suspension equates to a better ride.
The new chassis and suspension provides the Brute Force with 10.6 inches of ground clearance — an inch more than that of the Prairie 700 4x4.
The rider’s position is more upright and sits nearly two and-a-half inches higher than that of the Prairie, enhancing the rider’s ability to scan the horizon. Plus, the new automotive-style instrument panel is positioned more vertically to suit the new riding position.
The plastic body work and front grille of the Brute Force also shows where Kawasaki’s future in 4x4 ATV design is headed: bigger, bolder-looking. (Available colors include Aztec Red, Hunter Green, Desert Yellow and Realtree Hardwoods Green camouflage.) In addition, the Brute Force wheels and tire combo is bigger and more aggressive than the Prairie.
Other notable features that we saw that have an impact on the adventure’s style of use: the ATV industry’s first four-bulb headlights, full-sized floorboards, 5.4-gallon fuel tank, storage compartments located in the left and right front fenders, and racks that can carry a combined load of 264 pounds.
Impressive, indeed. Just remember to wear a helmet and have a soft landing area if you decide to test the Brute Force 750 4x4i’s power by log-hopping in low-range. Read more about ATV Tires & Wheels
For more information, visit www.kawasaki.com or call 800-661-RIDE.
- 90-degree V-twin engine displaces 749cc — the largest, most powerful engine in its class.
- Air for the CVT and airbox enter from a reverse-facing snorkel located beneath the handlebars to help protect against water and mud.
- Access to the new airbox is simplified by removing only one cover.
- New radiator is smaller, more compact and placed higher in the chassis.
- Engine can be started in any gear when the rear brake is applied.
Specifications: Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i
Liquid-cooled, 90-degree, four-stroke V-twin
SOHC, four valves per cylinder
Bore x stroke
85 x 66mm
(2) Keihin CVKR-34
Continuously variable belt-drive transmission with high and low range, plus reverse
Selectable four-wheel drive with Variable Front
Double-cradle, tubular steel
Suspension, front/wheel travel
Dual A-arm, 6.7 in.
Suspension, rear/wheel travel
Fully Independent, dual A-arm, 7.9 in.
AT25 x 8-12
AT25 x 10-12
Dual hydraulic discs with 2-piston calipers
Sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc
(4) 40W headlights, 5W taillight, 21W stoplight
Rack capacity, front/rear
Speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, hour meter, fuel gauge, 2x4/4x4 indicator, neutral indicator, reverse indicator, low fuel warning light, low oil warning light