Our first day of riding started out with fast, tight sandy trails on the Seven Mile Rim side. The Kawasaki KRX 1000 handled great in the tight, twisty trails. When we got to the straight areas, I hammered down to see how the KRX would handle whoops over 50 mph. The first fast section I drove a bit conservative and the car felt great, really stable and almost no rear bucking. Once I felt comfortable, I started pushing the KRX harder and picked up the pace through the sandy high speed whoops. We bottomed out a couple of times in the bigger holes but that is merely an easy shock adjustment. I was able to floor it without any fear of loss of stability. Now I am curious to see what this car will do with a turbo and larger tires on it. We made a lunch stop at the famed narrow cave you can walk through. After lunch we want back to the same trails backwards which is always fun. I am always amazed at how switching directions completely changes the feel of a trail. The day ended with unwinding the tight trails we had come in on. We took some brief rally roads back in where I took the opportunity to hammer down and slide the car around a bit. Again, the car felt incredibly planted. I never felt like the car was going to tip over. We got back to our base camp and headed back to town for badly needed showers.
My co-dawg for the second day was Kawasaki PR superwoman Joslyn Petty, aka #offroadmom. She has ridden street bikes, moto bikes, and UTV’s, so she was game. The second day would be mostly rock climbing and tighter trails starting with the famous Poison Spyder to Golden Spike trail. This meant less fast trails and more technical crawling. We started heading up the Poison Spyder trail and immediately started coming to small ledges and waterfalls. The KRX made quick work of the first obstacles. As we got to larger, more technical climbs, I switched into the crawl mode and focused on choosing good lines. The Kawasaki crawl mode function is like cheating. You shift to low, click the power to low and lock the front differential and point the car. It really takes the stress and fear out of some of the more technical climbs. It’s not a solution for every climb. Some climbs you want to approach the section with a bit of momentum, but for most climbs the crawl mode is an easy solution. We made our way through some of the more famous obstacles with ease. Clicking off the obstacles Launchpad, Skyline Drive, and Zuki Hill. Another feature that stuck out to me about the KRX was the ground clearance. We were not getting hung up on the skid plate anywhere. There were a few spots where we were able to go fast, but not many. We had awesome weather – warm, but overcast. We stopped at the Gold Bar Rim lookout briefly to take in the beauty. One of the things I love about this trail is all the twisted Moab juniper trees which resemble life sized bonsai trees. In fact, part of the reason I am so passionate about off-roading is that it forces you to get off the pavement aka “The Black Doom” and get out into nature. After a couple other stops, we headed back down Gold Spike and Poison Spyder back to our start/finish area at the Poison Spider trail head.
Overall I was really impressed with the Kawasaki KRX 1000 platform. The stability, handling, steering, balance, suspension and especially the crawl feature were all impressive. For most users, this vehicle will be perfect as is. I am curious to see how it performs once we add 32’ tires and a turbo. Go out and test drive a Kawasaki KRX 1000 and decide for yourself. Personally, I think Kawasaki did a hell of a job with their first sport model UTV.