Another Polaris Recall: RZR, RZR Turbo & GENERAL Vehicles

The model year 2017 is the General 1000 EPS Hunter Edition in Polaris Pursuit Camo is one of the vehicles involved in the recall.

Polaris announced a recall of model year 2016 and 2017 RZR 900, 1000, Turbo and GENERAL 1000 utility vehicles. The recall involves approximately 13,500 vehicles. According to the notice, “The vehicle engine can misfire and the temperatures of the exhaust and nearby components can get too hot and cause the components to melt, and/or a contaminated brake master cylinder may cause unintended brake drag, posing burn and fire hazards.”

Relative to more recent Polaris recalls this one is not that large, but compared to more typical recalls in the industry that involve a few thousand vehicles, this is a large recall. The recall does include RZR 900, 1000 and RZR Turbo models that have previously been recalled. The GENERAL 1000 being involved in a recall is a new development.

Based on recent quarterly earnings calls with Wall Street analysts, the management has put a lot of money and manpower into fixing the underlying product development issues that lead to their recent massive RZR and Ranger recalls. The origin of the issues for this latest recall probably pre-date these efforts, but management is likely disappointed with this development as they have been trying to put these recalls behind them and repair damage to the Polaris brand. A recent report from BMO Capital Markets states that the recall is considered a ‘non-event’ by dealers who are having strong start to the year and think the recall will only have a ‘minimal impact’.

The following information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Units:  About 13,500 (The RZR Turbo and RZR 900 and 1000 have previously been recalled.)

Description:  This recall involves model year 2016 and 2017 RZR 900, 1000, Turbo and GENERAL 1000 recreational off-road vehicles (ROVs). “Polaris” is printed on the front grill and “RZR” or “GENERAL” is printed on the side of the rear cargo area. The ROVs were sold in various colors. Visit the CPSC website see a complete list of the models involve.

Incidents/Injuries:  Polaris has received 14 reports of vehicles catching fire related to the brake master cylinder and one report of fire and two reports of melting vehicle components related to an engine misfire. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ROVs and contact Polaris for a free repair. Polaris is contacting all known purchasers directly, and consumers can check their VIN on the Polaris website.

Sold At:  Polaris dealers nationwide from August 2015 through February 2017 for between $12,800 and $24,000.

Importer(s):  Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.

Distributor(s):  Polaris Industries Inc., of Medina, Minn.

Manufactured In:  Mexico and U.S.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Cub Cadet Expands Challenger UTV Line

The new Cub Cadet Challenger 750 utility vehicle

The new Cub Cadet Challenger 750 utility vehicle

Cub Cadet Challenger 550

The new Cub Cadet Challenger 550 utility vehicle

Cub Cadet has launched the Challenger 550 and Challenger 750 utility vehicles as they continue to expand the Challenger product line, which already includes the 400, 400 LX, 500, 700 and 750 Crew. The new models continue Cub Cadet’s theme of providing a value oriented offering with a solid set of standard features.

The Challenger 550/750 comes standard with what is essentially a partially enclosed cab with high-sided sealed doors, standard roof and sealed ROPS. Optional upper doors and a rear window are available to create a completely weather-sealed cab. The interior cab design features interior and exterior door handles, a tilting steering wheel, open storage, closed glove box and premium sculpted seats.

The new models are designed for customization with a front accessory mounting panel above the windshield and a rear mounting rack. The cargo bed has integrated attachment points or “T” slots for purpose built accessories. The vertical slots accept standard ¾-inch plywood for partitions and slots on top of the side rails to accommodate standard 1 x 3-inch furring strips.

“Customization of utility vehicles is extremely important according to the customers we continually talk with,” said Tom Mielke, UV Product Marketing Manager, Cub Cadet. “We’ve designed the Challenger Series with exclusive features that give owners the power to customize their utility vehicle for the challenges they face – at the farm, ranch, off-road or in the woods. These new additions continue to raise the bar on standard features, designed around what people want to do with their UV while also improving style, comfort and convenience.”

A growing list of accessories will be available in 2017 to customize the vehicle including:

  • Upper Doors (Pair)
  • Scratch-Resistant Vented or Folding Polycarbonate Windshields
  • Rear Window
  • Spare Tire Mount
  • Dual 11.5-Inch LED Light Bar Kit
  • Four Cube LED Light Kit
  • Rock Sliders
  • Rear Bumper
  • Front and Rear Turf Tires
  • 72-Inch Snow Blade

Key specs and features for the the Challenger 550 and 750 are as follows:

  • 546cc, 27.5 hp EFI engine (550); 735cc, 35.8 hp EFI engine (750)
  • Top speed 45 mph
  • On-demand 2WD/4WD and automatic CVT
  • Selectable locking front/rear differential
  • 3-way adjustable shocks
  • 12″ of ground clearance
  • 26″ tires
  • 500 lb. capacity dump bed
  • 1,200 lb. towing capacity
  • 3,500 lb. winch
  • Sealed windshield
  • High-sided doors
  • Roof
  • LED headlights
  • Available colors:  Cub Yellow, Blue, Red, Black and Camo
  • MSRP:  Challenger 550 – $9,999; Challenger 750 – $10,999

A quick comparison between the Challenger 750 and 700 shows that the 750 has a more powerful engine, larger capacity cargo box by 150 lbs., improved doors and windshield, LED rather than halogen headlights, slightly more ground clearance and a better drivetrain. The differences between the Challenger 550 and 500 are similar.

The new UTVs are available at local Cub Cadet dealers. Learn more:  Cub Cadet

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Can-Am Adds 2017 Maverick X3 Max Models

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3

Can-Am Maverick X3 X ds

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 X ds

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 X rs

2017 Can-Am Maverick X3 X rs

Can-Am recently announced their new four-passenger Maverick X3 Max family of vehicles for model year 2017. The lineup includes the Maverick X3 Max, X3 Max X ds and the X3 Max X rs and continues the company’s plan to launch new side-by-side vehicles every six months. Key specs for the Maverick X3 Max include:

  • 154 hp, Rotax ACE 900cc turbocharged engine with electronic fuel injection and Donaldson high-performance air filter
  • Quick Response System X (QRS-X) CVT
  • Selectable 2WD / 4WD with Visco-Lok X auto-locking front differential
  • Dynamic Power Steering
  • 20″ of front and rear suspension travel
  • 4-link Torsional Trailing-arm X rear suspension
  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM Piggyback with QS3 compression adjustment and bottom-out control
  • 13″ of ground clearance
  • Hydraulic brakes with twin-piston calipers
  • 28″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires and 14″ aluminum wheels
  • 64″ width
  • Integrated front bumper
  • HMW skid plate
  • Quarter doors
  • LED headlights and tail lights with unique Can-Am LED signature
  • MSRP:  $24,999
  • Available in White

The Maverick X3 Max X ds has many of the same features with the following differences:

  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM RC2 Piggyback with dual speed compression and rebound adjustments
  • 29″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 14″ Aluminum beadlock wheels
  • Slightly longer at 164.4″ vs. 162″
  • MSRP:  $27,399
  • Available in Triple Black and Circuit Yellow

The Maverick X3 Max X rs has many of the same features with the following differences:

  • FOX 2.5 PODIUM RC2 Piggyback with bypass, dual speed compression and rebound adjustments in the front
  • FOX 3.0 PODIUM RC2 remote reservoir with bypass, dual speed compression and rebound adjustments in the rear
  • 22″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 14″ of ground clearance
  • 30″ Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires
  • 14″ Aluminum beadlock wheels
  • 72″ width compared to 64″
  • Slightly more than 100 lbs heavier
  • Full roof
  • MSRP:  $29,099
  • Available in Triple Black and Gold & Can-Am Red

Learn more:  Can-am.brp.com

Arctic Cat Announces 2017 Special Edition Wildcats

Arctic Cat Wildcat Sport SE EPS

Arctic Cat’s new Wildcat Sport SE EPS

Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail SE EPS

Arctic Cat’s new Wildcat Trail SE EPS

Arctic Cat has announced two new special edition Wildcats for the 2017 model year, the Wildcat Sport SE EPS and the Wildcat Trail SE EPS. Special edition features on these models include:

  • Warn 3,000 lb. synthetic rope winch
  • Polycarbonate half windshield
  • Electronic power steering
  • Aluminum rims polished with black inlays
  • Infinitely adjustable tilt steering
  • TEAM Rapid Response clutch
  • Electronic 2WD/4WD front differential lock
  • 2″ receiver
  • Shocks
    • Trail SE EPS:  FOX premium gas-charged shocks
    • Sport SESEPs: King aluminum gas shocks with single-speed adjustment

The Wildcat Sport SE EPS retails for $16,499 and the Wildcat Trail SE EPS for $14,699.

Other key specs for the Wildcat Sport SE EPS include:

  • 700cc, 4-stroke, twin cylinder engine
  • 36 amp alternator
  • Double-A-arm front and rear suspension
  • 12.2″/12.6″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 13″ of ground clearance
  • 26″ Carlisle Trail Pro tires
  • Halogen headlights and LED brake/tail lights
  • Digital instrumentation
  • 300 lb. cargo box
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Full doors
  • Matte Black automotive-style paint

Key specs for the Wildcat Trail SE EPS include:

  • 700cc, 4-stroke, twin cylinder engine
  • 36 amp alternator
  • Double-A-arm front and rear suspension
  • 10″/10.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 10″ of ground clearance
  • 25″ Carlisle Trail Pro tires
  • Halogen headlights and LED brake/tail lights
  • Digital instrumentation
  • 300 lb. cargo box
  • 1,500 lb. towing capacity
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Full doors
  • Matte Black automotive-style paint

 

BRP Recalls Can-Am Defender UTVs

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

2016 Can-Am Defender

The 2016 Can-Am Defender is part of the recall.

BRP has issued a recall for about 780 model year 2016 Can-Am Defender utility vehicles because the vehicles can unexpectedly roll away when in the “park” position. The recall includes Defender, Defender DPS and Defender XT models. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free repair.

This recall is on the small size compared to what is typical in the industry. Luckily, no injuries have been reported.

The following information is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Recall Details

Units:  About 780

Description:

This recall involves model year 2016 Can-Am Defender, Defender DPS, and Defender XT model side-by-side off-road vehicles. The vehicles were sold in various colors and have four tires, two seats and a cargo box on the back. “Can-am” is printed on the side of the cargo box and the model name is printed on the side of the front of the vehicle beside the headlight. The model name and vehicle identification number (VIN) are printed on a label under the glove box. Contact BRP or a BRP dealer to verify VINs included in the recall.

Incidents/Injuries:  The firm has received six reports of the vehicles moving when in the “park” or “P” position. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy:  Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free repair. BRP is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Sold At:  Can-Am dealers nationwide from October 2015 through December 2016 for between $10,000 and $15,700.

Importer(s):  BRP U.S. Inc., of Sturtevant, Wis.

Manufactured In:  Mexico

Consumer Contact:  BRP toll-free at 888-272-9222 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET any day or online at www.can-am.brp.com and click on the Off-Road website and then the “Owners” tab at the top of the page and then “Safety” and then “View Notices” for more information.

Polaris Announces New UTV Models

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris General 1000 EPS Ride Command Edition Black Pearl

The Polaris General 1000 EPS Ride Command Edition Black Pearl headlines the mid model year UTV additions.

Polaris announced a number of new utility vehicles across their General, Ranger and RZR product lines. As is typical for these mid-year additions, the models are variations of existing vehicles and many are new color options.

Most notable is the Ride Command edition of the General 1000 EPS, the General1000 EPS Ride Command Edition Black Pearl. Ride Command was launched last year on a limited edition RZR XP 1000 EPS and met with enough success to carry over the technology to the General line. Ride Command “…enables riders to connect with other riders and provides centralized, seamless device control, including integration with mobile phones, cameras and audio.”

The RIDE COMMAND system includes the RIDE COMMAND mobile app and a weather-resistant, glove-touch RIDE COMMAND 7-in. display. The centralized display is the central hub for GPS mapping, listening to favorite music through Bluetooth® or AM/FM radio, controlling a GoPro® camera and to receive texts. In tandem with the RIDE COMMAND app, the display allows riders to track other riders in their group without needing to physically see them. The app also enables riders to map routes in advance, as well as track and share their ride directly to their social feed.

The Polaris GENERAL 1000 EPS RIDE COMMAND Edition Black Pearl features the RIDE COMMAND 7-in. display and several accessories that integrate into the system including front and rear cameras, and a MTX® Premium 8-Speaker Audio system. Other standard accessories include a front bumper, Polaris HD 4500 lb. Winch, Poly Sport Roof and FOX® QS3 Shocks.

The MSRP for this model is $21,499.

Ranger XP 900 EPS Silver Pearl

The Ranger XP 900 EPS in Silver Pearl.

A Ranger XP 900 EPS Silver Pearl option has also been added and features automotive style paint, aluminum wheels and electronic power steering (EPS) with an MSRP of $13,999. For the Ranger 500 a Sage Green color option was added with the MSRP remaining unchanged at $8,999.

For the RZR product line the new additions consist of new color options for various models with no changes to MSRPs compared to similar models. New color options include:

  • RZR S 900 EPS Titanium Metallic
  • RZR 4 900 EPS Titanium Metallic
  • RZR S 1000 EPS Spectra Orange
  • RZR XP 1000 EPS White Lightning with Reflex Blue
  • RZR XP 4 1000 EPS White Lightning with Reflex Blue

It is not surprising that there aren’t any big additions to their line-up. Not only is it mid model year but Polaris has been putting a lot of resources toward fixing their recall issues with Rangers and RZRs. The recall issue also impacts dealer inventory which Polaris is trying to closely manage and any major additions would require adding to dealer inventory. While Polaris is not likely to stop launching significant new models, they will probably be launched mid calendar year by which they hope to have resolved a majority of the recall issues.

Learn more:  Polaris.com

Should Autocycles Be Next For STOV Manufacturers

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Arcimoto SRK

The electric powered Arcimoto SRK is expected to be available later this year.

I have come across a number of articles recently focusing on autocycles and I thought this might be a potential product development direction for STOV manufacturers.

First, what is an autocycle? It is basically a three-wheeled vehicle such as the Slingshot by Polaris, or offerings from start ups such as Elio Motors and Arcimoto. There is no standard definition for an autocycle in the US or other countries. In the US, an autocycle is typically classified as a motorcycle, although not always, as Polaris discovered with their Slingshot. They have had to work with some states to develop legislation to allow their vehicles on the road. (See how the classification for the Slingshot varies by state.)

The benefit of being classified as a motorcycle is that the vehicle does not have to conform to more expensive automobile safety standards. This benefit is key to providing STOV manufacturers with a new product opportunity. In particular, I believe Polaris and the golf car manufacturers are well positioned to produce a more practical neighborhood electric vehicle that can provide a good value proposition in relation to street legal golf cars (new or used), low speed vehicles and lower priced highway capable cars.

Now Polaris already has the Slingshot, but this is more of a recreational vehicle designed for those interested in a motorcycle like experience with a greater sense of safety and requiring less driving skill. The Slingshot is highway capable, features a gas engine and pricing starts around $22,000. The not yet in production Elio Motors autocycle is also gas powered, highway capable and has a base price of $7,300. The electric powered Arcimoto SRK is expected to be available this year, has a top speed of 80 mph and starts at $12,000 for the 12kWh model which provides a 70 mile range. Like Slingshot, the Elio and SRK provide seating for two but they are placed front to back rather than side to side as in the Slingshot. All three feature two wheels up front and one in the rear.

While all three of these vehicles are capable of highway speeds, I propose that there is a real market opportunity for a medium speed vehicle (MSV). The medium speed, say up to 40-45 mph, would make the vehicles more practical to use for personal transport than golf cars or LSVs which top out at 19-25 mph. STOV manufacturers have pushed for a MSV designation but NHTSA has not been willing to budge on the costly safety standards for four-wheeled vehicles. This is why the motorcycle/autocycle classification is critical to this opportunity. A MSV autocycle would be a more viable second vehicle for many households and a more versatile neighborhood vehicle for those in gated or retirement communities.

The vehicle should also be electric powered to maximize the environmental benefits and also take advantage of electric motorcycle incentives where available. An electric autocycle would provide a significantly less expensive electric vehicle option to green consumers than the currently available electric cars. A MSV would also require a smaller battery pack than a highway capable electric autocycle, further reducing costs. Of course, a highway capable option could be made available but that would start driving up the costs.

Besides the aforementioned startups, who is positioned to develop these type of vehicles? Polaris is an obvious choice. They already have experience designing, engineering and producing an autocycle and they are innovators. They also have been acquiring electric drivetrain technology (Brammo) and electric vehicle brands such as GEM, Goupil and Taylor-Dunn. It is a vehicle that could potentially fit nicely into their portfolio of the brands that are sold internationally. The biggest challenge for Polaris would be distribution. A MSV autocycle would probably not be a good fit for their powersports dealers, as the customers would be more transportation than recreation oriented. Their brands such as Goupil, Taylor-Dunn and even GEM are geared more towards the commercial customer. Polaris might have to partner with another company to access the right distribution channels.

This brings us to the golf car manufacturers. They have the expertise in developing and selling electric vehicles, but not necessarily the three-wheeled variety and have been more focused on lead acid battery packs. One could argue that they also haven’t been that innovative. They do however have the right distribution network. Their customers are already coming to them for personal transportation solutions.

A MSV autocycle could find a home in Textron’s (maker of E-Z-GO) Specialty Vehicle division which encompasses a wide range of small, task-oriented vehicles. They have also been striking out into new territory with new ATV and UTV products under the Bad Boy Off-road brand. Another option is Yamaha Golf Car, although they are the smallest of the big three manufacturers. This leaves Club Car. As a subsidiary of Ingersoll-Rand they certainly have the financial wherewithal to develop a vehicle on their own, and they may be the best fit for a partnership with Polaris. Unlike Yamaha and Textron they do not compete directly with Polaris in the recreational UTV space. They are also considered by many to be the highest quality brand of the three and have over 600 distributors, dealers and factory branch locations.

It will be interesting to see if the autocycles from Elio and Arcimoto prove to be popular and encourage other manufacturers to join the fray.

Learn more:  Arcimoto.com

Learn more:  Eliomotors.com

 

Intimidator UTVs Added To SVR Database

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Intimidator utility vehicles just have been added to the Smallvehicleresource.com vehicle database. Intimidator UTVs are manufactured in Arkansas and include a Classic, Truck and Crew series of vehicles. Depending on the series a range of powertrain options are available including a 1000cc Kohler diesel engine, a 750cc Kohler gas engine, Intimidator’s own 800cc gas engine and a 48V AC electric motor. While the Intimidator UTVs are designed for work and trail riding, the feature set and lower top speeds indicate they lean more towards work applications. However, they do feature 27″ tires, 10″ of suspension travel and 12″ of ground clearance that should work nicely on trails. There is also an Enforcer model more targeted at trail riding which will be detailed later.

Intimidator Classic utility vehicle

Intimidator Classic UTV

The Classic series includes all four powertrain options and includes features such as a 1,200 lb. capacity cargo bed, 2,100 lb. towing capacity, 27″ tires with steel wheels, 12″ of ground clearance, dual A-arm suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and front brush guard.

Intimidator Crew utility vehicle

Intimidator Crew UTV

The Crew series includes all the powertrain options except for the electric powertrain. This series has similar features to the Classic series but seats six.

Intimidator Truck utility vehicle

Intimidator Truck UTV

The Truck series is available with either Kohler powertrains and has similar features as the Classic series but is outfitted with a 6-foot cargo bed that can fold-down into a flat bed.

Intimidator Enforcer utility vehicle

Intimidator Enforcer UTV

The Intimidator utility vehicles vehicle is designed for trail riding. With a SxS Gear portal lift the Enforcer features 4″ gear lift, 30% gear reduction, 32″ motoboss 6-ply tires, true beadlock MSA wheels, 18″ ground clearance, wide track width, Elka shocks and power steering. This model is powered by Intimidator’s own 800cc gas engine with EFI and 65 hp for a top speed of 55 mph.

A number of Intimidator dealers have also been added to the SVR Dealer Directory. If you are already in our directory you can create an account, link to your directory listing and enjoy a free trial of SVR’s Request for Quote service. If you aren’t in our dealer directory then join our directory and signup for SVR’s Request for Quote service for free.

Polaris Ranger XP 1000 Reviews

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The Ranger XP 1000 EPS in Nara Bronze.

The Ranger XP 1000 EPS in Nara Bronze.

This past summer Polaris introduced the Ranger XP 1000 lineup for model year 2017 that featured a 80 hp engine. The lineup includes a Ranger XP 1000 base model priced at $13,999, three EPS models at $15,999 and four special edition models with MSRPs ranging from $16,999 for the Hunter Edition to $23,699 for the Northstar HVAC Edition. The latter comes with a full cab and a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. There is also High Lifter Edition model for mud riding and a Ranch Edition for work. Similarly there is a new lineup of Ranger Crew XP 1000 models including one base model priced at $15,199 MSRP, three EPS models at $16,999 and High Lifter and Northstar HVAC Editions priced at $20,499 and $25,999 respectively. Key features of the Ranger XP 1000 include:

  • 80 hp, 999cc ProStar engine with EFI
  • True On-Demand AWD/2WD/ VersaTrac Turf Mode
  • 10″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 12″ of ground clearance
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 25″ tires on steel wheels
  • 1,000 lb. cargo box capacity
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity and 2″ receiver hitch
  • 3 person capacity
  • Tilt steering

The EPS models include the following:

  • EPS
  • 26″ tires on aluminum Black Xcelerator wheels
  • Pro-Lock On-Demand AWD/2WD/ VersaTrac Turf Mode
  • Adjustable driver seat

www.texasoutdoorsnetwork.com – Video walk through, first drive and review of the Hunter Edition which adds camo bodywork, winch, cut and sew seats, gun scabbards and active descent control.

  • Tilt bed has standard tailgate like a pickup truck
  • Industry leading horsepower
  • Engine behind the seat makes it less noisy and cooler
  • Lots of storage

Video review – Dealer walkthrough of Range XP 1000 Ranch Edition.  More of a walkthrough than a review. The Ranch Edition includes:

  • 4,500 lb. winch
  • Brush guard
  • Rear view mirror
  • In cab gun mounts
  • Poly sport roof
  • Maxxis tires
  • Headache rack
  • Wire spool
  • T-post hauler
  • Self-leveling suspension
  • Rear brush guard
  • Pro-Lock On-Demand AWD/2WD/ VersaTrac Turf Mode

Polaris – Video comparison of Ranger XP 1000 and Honda Pioneer 1000. This is produced by Polaris so obviously it shows the Ranger in a better light. More interesting is some of the comments left by users. First though, some of the advantages of the Ranger XP 1000 as pointed out by Polaris.

  • More horsepower
  • Better acceleration
  • Easier to use on-demand all-wheel drive
  • More leg room
  • Better throttle control
  • Better sealed cab system

As users point out, the comparison is between the three person Ranger vs. the 5-person Pioneer instead of the 3 person Pioneer, which users think is an apples to oranges comparison. Other comments include:

  • No mention of Honda Pioneer’s paddle shifters and dual clutch system which avoids blown belts and some consider more fun to drive
  • Some consider Honda to be more reliable and longer lasting
  • Shorter wheelbase of Pioneer 1000-5 vs. the Crew version of the Ranger XP 1000 and thus better maneuverability on trails
  • No comparison of towing, fuel or storage
  • General comments about Polaris skewing the comparison

 

Kawasaki Mule Pro FX Reviews

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

2016 Kawasaki Mule Pro FX on test ride at Paso Robles, CA

2016 Kawasaki Mule Pro FX on test ride at Paso Robles, CA

Kawasaki introduced the Mule Pro FX line for model year 2016 and it includes four models:  the base model, an EPS model, an EPS model in Camo and a LE or limited edition model. A Ranch Edition was added for the 2017 model year. Features on the base model include:

  • 812cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke, 3-cylinder, engine with fuel injection
  • Selectable 4WD with dual-mode rear differential
  • CVT with high and low range
  • 4-wheel double wishbone suspension
  • 8.7″/8.5″ of front/rear suspension travel
  • 25″ Maxxis tires
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 10.4″ of ground clearance
  • 1,000 lb. cargo bed capacity
  • Fits full-size pallet
  • 2,000 lb. towing capacity
  • Multi-function digital display

The 2017 models are similar to 2016 models. Prices range from $11,999 to $14,999 for the FX Ranch Edition.

Overall the reviews of the Kawasaki Mule Pro FX are very positive. Some of the common takeaways across the reviews include:

  • Good suspension delivers a comfortable ride
  • Powerful engine with smooth response and minimal noise
  • Large cargo bed
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Good brakes
  • Power steering is very good
  • Seating could be improved
  • Tilt steering with EPS model is preferred
  • Good work vehicle that is also capable on the trails

www.utvdriver.com – Test ride in Pasa Robles, California hills

  • Spacious cab
  • Wide perforated brake medal for wet or muddy conditions
  • Tilt steering only available on the EPS model
  • Comfortable
  • More seat bolstering needed
  • “The power delivery is very linear as well as effective yet it seems to have reached its peak by half to three quarter throttle so this might be an additional request.”
  • “…many great features and is sure to be a very useful tool…”

www.rideapart.com – Test ride in Pasa Robles, California hills of Mule Pro FX EPS and FXT Ranch Edition (FXT is a six passenger version)

  • Interior is comfortable and well laid out
  • Like the tilt steering wheel
  • “In two-wheel rear wheel drive mode, both vehicles are a hoot.”
  • 4WD drive worked well up steep inclines and through water
  • Overall good power steering but a “tad loose for performance driving”
  • Smooth and linear power delivery
  • Top speed of about 45 mph
  • 26″ Duro off-road tires (EPS model) provided good traction
  • Hydraulic disc brakes worked well in emergency stops and downhill but engine braking could be better
  • Could not bottom out suspension
  • Mule Pro FX preferred because of lighter weight, better acceleration, bigger cargo area, versatility and lower cost
  • Mule Pro FXT Ranch Edition better for more work oriented applications

www.fieldandstream.com – Test ride in Pasa Robles, California hills of Mule Pro FX EPS

  • Responsive engine
  • Easy access for engine maintenance
  • Like the built-in dividers and headache rack in the cargo bed
  • Cabin is comfortable but bolstered seats would be better
  • Engine noise is minimal and even less with cab system
  • No trouble handling rougher terrain and handled unexpected obstacles well
  • Good brakes

www.atvillustrated.com – Test ride in Pasa Robles, California hills of Mule Pro FX EPS

  • Like the styling – “The overall look is tough and ready for business.”
  • Half doors are nice but could open a little further for easier ingress/egress
  • Spacious cabin with well laid out controls and nice display
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Molded seats would be better than flat bench
  • Tight turning radius makes it nimble on trails
  • Improved suspension over previous Mules is better for trail riding
  • “On the trail the mule is so easy to drive it could almost be called intuitive.”
  • Capable climber and plenty of engine power for steeper gradients but some slippage on loose material
  • Excellent power steering
  • “…good balance between the fully loaded and unloaded ride characteristics”
  • Good tracking in rough terrain and absorbs large bumps well
  • Overall a good work vehicle that also performs well on the trails

www.outdoorhub.com – Test ride in Pasa Robles, California hills of Mule Pro FX EPS

  • Good throttle response and lots of torque
  • Large cargo bed
  • Good engine braking
  • Air filter remained clean under dusty conditions
  • 4WD and 26″ Duro tires worked well on steep sections
  • Top speed close to 45 mph
  • Good farm or ranch work vehicle but also capable on the trails

Video walkaround/review from Mainland Cycle Center

  • Great suspension and ride
  • Large cargo capacity and huge cargo bed
  • Convenient and easy to open half doors
  • Top speed 46 mph
  • Great running motor, good power and we have had no troubles with this model
  • 3 year warranty

Hunters Forum

  • Nice ride – better than older Mules
  • Large cargo bed
  • Good power
  • No problems reported
  • “Only complaint I have is the darn thing is so comfortable everybody wants to take it.”