2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i: More powerful V-twin, alloy wheels, an EPS version

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Kawasaki has upgraded the Brute Force 750 4x4i for 2012, giving it a more powerful V-twin engine, a new double-wishbone front suspension, six-spoke alloy wheels, and new bodywork featuring wide-stance styling cues. The model also is now available in an EPS (electric power steering) version.

The standard version comes in Aztec Red only and retails for $9,299. The EPS version retails for $9,999 and comes in Scout Green, Super Black, Metallic Tungsten Gray (an SE model retailing for $10,349), and Realtree APG HD camouflage (also $10,349).

Thanks to revised tuning, a new cylinder head and an increased compression ratio, the 750 4x4i’s upgraded four-stroke fuel-injected 90-degree 749cc V-twin engine offers more power than ever, with enhanced low-rpm performance. The twin cylinders have four valves each and are fed via 36 mm throttle bodies that are controlled by a 32-bit CPU. The system monitors coolant temperature, air intake temperature, air intake pressure, throttle position, vehicle speed and crankshaft angle to deliver the appropriate fuel mixture.

A light feel at the throttle lever is achieved by a low spring rate for the throttle return springs and ball bearings in the throttle bodies.

A new larger radiator is placed high in the chassis for protection against mud and debris, while a new larger radiator fan and larger-diameter cooling hoses and pipes help maximize cooling performance. A self-repairing circuit breaker and dedicated fuse for the new fan also help keep things cool.

For 2012, the entire steering assembly was repositioned so the bottom of the steering shaft no longer connects directly to the front differential housing. Movement of the differential due to throttle inputs in 4x4 mode no longer affects the steering assembly. Kawasaki says this isolation provides significantly smoother handling.

An upgraded fully automatic, dual-range continuously variable transmission (CVT) is mated to the engine. A new high gear ratio and a thicker belt made of stronger material contributes to longer CVT belt life and reduced maintenance requirements. Revised converter weight and drive spring tuning offers improved acceleration characteristics and increased control during low-speed operation, and a new layout and revised placement of the CVT air duct is more effective at helping prevent the intrusion of water and mud.

Two- or four-wheel drive operation is selectable by pressing a button on the handlebar. In four-wheel drive mode, the Brute Force ATV utilizes the limited-slip front differential to help maintain steering response and ease steering effort at the bars. The rider can manage the amount of power to both front wheels with Kawasaki’s Variable Front Differential Control by using a small control lever on the left handlebar.

The front drive shafts of the 750 4x4i feature Cardan joints. Similar to U-joints, Cardan joints help absorb torque fluctuations to the drive shaft, and the lightweight design helps to reduce vibration. The small and compact rear final gear case and sealed rear braking system are rugged and efficient, according to Kawasaki.

New six-spoke cast aluminum wheels replace the previous pressed-steel units. The wheels help give the Brute Force its 9.4 inches of ground clearance.

Completely sealed, the rear braking system’s components are protected from mud, dust and debris. Kawasaki says its compact size also provides more ground clearance than a conventional rear disc brake system. The sealed rear brake and dual front discs bring the Brute Force 750 4x4i to a halt. Enhancing the braking is the Kawasaki Engine Brake Control, which helps slow the ATV when going downhill.

The 2012 Brute Force 750 4x4i features a new stronger double-cradle tubular steel frame featuring reinforcements at key areas like the front A-arm mounts, rear stabilizer mounts, engine mounts, footrest mounts, etc., reportedly resulting in improved rough terrain handling and enhanced durability. “The frame’s improved ability to absorb shocks when sport riding on rough terrain boosts ride comfort and makes it easier to maintain a higher average speed in a wider range of conditions,” the company says.

A new double-wishbone front suspension layout features shock absorbers mounted at a more splayed angle between the upper and lower wishbones to help minimize sag and allow a higher ground clearance to be maintained once a rider sits on the ATV. The front suspension works in concert with an independent A-arm rear suspension. The front wishbones feature adjustable shocks with 6.7 inches of travel, while the IRS employs a leading torsion bar and provides 7.5 inches of travel. A combination of needle bearings and ball joints in the lower rear A-arms gives the IRS excellent suspension action, stability and rider comfort.

New single-rate springs replace the dual-rate units in the front and rear suspension. The use of single-rate springs is preferable due to the revised suspension geometry on the Brute Force 750 4x4i. Complementing the suspension, the urethane seat foam is “supportive yet comfortable for long hours in the saddle,” Kawasaki says.

“An upright and comfortable riding position enhances the rider’s ability to interact with the Brute Force 750 4x4i and allows the rider to effectively scan the horizon or check the easy-to -ead automotive-style instrument panel,” the company continues. The front bumper offers hand holds for manhandling the Brute Force when the need arises. Behind the bumper is a new set of bodywork molded from tough and scratch-resistant Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO). The hood, fenders, bumper and headlight surrounds were all re-designed to offer a wide and rugged appearance. Other new design touches include dual wide-set 35-watt headlights and a new covered hood storage compartment large enough to hold two 16 oz. bottles. New cargo racks featuring stronger tubing that is over 25 percent larger in diameter than previous versions and the addition of tie-down hook points on the cargo racks make it easier to secure a load. The cargo racks can carry a combined total of 264 lbs.

Underneath this strong bodywork is a factory-installed plastic conduit for easy winch installation. A five-gallon fuel tank is located beneath the seat to help keep the center of gravity as low as possible. Helping to keep weight in check, aluminum footpegs are surrounded by full-sized composite floorboards.

The 750 4x4i can also tow 1,250 lbs. — all it needs is a standard hitch ball. Other features include the waterproof storage box in the left front fender and a storage pocket in the right front fender. Owners can expand the versatility of the Brute Force with a variety of Authentic Kawasaki Accessories.

Kawasaki says the addition of its EPS system to the Brute Force 750 4x4i results in enhanced handling and improved ride comfort. Turning the bars causes a signal to be sent to the electronic power steering control unit, initiating power assist. The control unit monitors inputs from the vehicle speed sensor and steering shaft torque sensor to determine the amount of power assistance required from the system’s electric motor. At slow speeds or when stopped, assistance is greatest; assistance is reduced as vehicle speed increases to help ensure predictable handling. The EPS assembly enhances ride quality and control by also acting as a damping system. Even when steering input is neutral, the added inertia of the electric motor acts as a stabilizer. Likewise, it significantly reduces bump steer and kickback to the handlebars caused by wheel impacts.

The Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS is also available in an SE version featuring a Metallic Tungsten Gray automotive paint finish, unique graphics and a bright silver machined finish on the face of its cast aluminum wheels.

As with all off-highway vehicle recreation, Kawasaki encourages ATV riders to ride responsibly and to respect the environment. Kawasaki will pay first-time buyers of a new Kawasaki ATV $100 for completing an ATV rider safety course conducted by the ATV Safety Institute (ASI). Interested consumers can call ASI toll-free at 800-887-2887.

Kawasaki lists the following features and benefits for the standard 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i

Key Features

  • Upgraded fuel injected 90-degree 749cc V-twin Engine offers more power and enhanced low-rpm performance
  • New six-spoke cast aluminum wheels replace the old plain steel units and make a significant styling contribution while offering a more premium image
  • Re-styled bodywork (hood, bumper, fenders and headlight surrounds) are key elements of the Brute Force 750’s new wide and rugged design
  • Upgraded cargo racks feature stronger tubing that is over 25% larger in diameter than the previous versions and integrated tie-down hook loops for added convenience
  • New instrumentation is easier to read at a glance and features a multi-purpose digital display with speedometer, odometer, dual trip meters, fuel gauge, engine temp, clock, hour meter, and 2WD/4WD icon, plus indicator lamps for neutral, reverse, belt and oil pressure
  • New stronger double-cradle frame features additional reinforcement at critical points for increased ride comfort and enhanced ability to absorb shocks when sport riding on rough terrain

More Powerful Fuel Injected 90-degree 749cc V-twin Engine

  • New cylinder heads provide a higher compression ratio which contributes to increased low rpm torque. Mid-high rpm performance is excellent, as always, but the extra low-end torque enhances performance when launching from a stop
  • New camshaft profiles with revised timing and increased valve lift further contribute to the revised engine’s power delivery
  • New stainless steel exhaust pipes feature revised lengths and two additional pass-through holes inside the muffler to help boost engine performance
  • New rubber muffler mounts help minimize stresses on the exhaust system
  • New thinner auto compression release (ACR) shaft helps reduce friction where it meets the camshaft and a stronger ACR return spring offers improved starting characteristics
  • New starter gear is made of stronger material and uses deeper teeth for increased durability
  • Aluminum cylinders are Electrofusion-plated for light weight, long wear and excellent heat dispersion
  • Revised top and oil rings for the pistons (piston grooves were modified accordingly) help prevent oil consumption and reduce blow-by gases
  • New 33.5 Amp alternator offers increased output to help ensure sufficient current to operate the electrical system and accessories. Regulator capacity was also increased accordingly
  • New larger radiator is placed high in the chassis for optimum protection against mud and debris
  • New larger radiator fan and larger-diameter cooling hoses and pipes help maximize cooling performance from the new radiator
  • A self-repairing circuit breaker and dedicated fuse for the fan help keep things cool when the going gets tough
  • New tuning for the Digital Fuel Injection (DFI®) system matches the revised engine characteristics and helps improve off-idle and low-rpm response
  • Dual 36mm throttle bodies are controlled by a 32-bit CPU, which monitors coolant temperature, air intake temperature, throttle position, air intake pressure, vehicle speed and crankshaft angle to help ensure the perfect air/fuel mixture
  • Low spring rate for the throttle return springs and ball bearing-equipped throttle bodies minimize friction and enhance throttle action
  • Engine can be started in any gear when a brake is applied
  • Air for the CVT and engine enter from a reverse-facing snorkel located beneath the handlebars to help protect against water and mud
  • Access to the air filter requires removing only one cover

Upgraded CVT and Powertrain

  • Upgraded fully automatic Kawasaki Automatic Powerdrive System (KAPS) continuously variable transmission (CVT) has high and low forward gears plus reverse
  • Changing one of the CVT’s high gear ratios and using a thicker belt made of stronger material contributes to longer belt life and reduced maintenance requirements
  • Revised CVT converter weight and drive spring tuning offers improved acceleration characteristics and increased control during low-speed operation
  • Revised CVT duct layout and placement is more effective at preventing the intrusion of water and mud
  • Limited-slip front differential reduces steering effort under normal four-wheel drive operation, while Variable Front Differential Control permits rider to distribute torque equally to front wheels for maximum traction
  • Selectable two- or four-wheel drive operation is controlled by pressing a button located on the handlebar
  • Cardan joints on drive shafts absorb torque fluctuations and reduce vibration
  • Plastic front and rear axle boots provide protection from debris

Chassis

  • New stronger double-cradle frame features additional reinforcement at critical points (front A-arm mounts, rear stabilizer mounts, engine mounts, footrest mounts, etc), resulting in improved rough terrain handling. The frame’s improved ability to absorb shocks when sport riding on rough terrain and the increased ride comfort make it easier to maintain a higher average speed in most conditions
  • Offers 9.4 inches of ground clearance
  • Revised steering assembly relocates the bottom of the steering shaft so that it is no longer directly connected to the front differential. Movement of the differential housing due to changes in throttle application in 4x4 mode no longer affects the steering assembly, resulting in significantly smoother handling
  • Fitted with pre-routed tubing and mounting brackets for easy winch wiring and installation

New Six-Spoke Cast Aluminum Wheels

  • New six-spoke cast aluminum wheels replace the old plain steel units and make a significant styling contribution while offering a more premium image
  • Mounted with aggressive AT 25 x 8-12 (front) and AT 25 x 10-12 (rear) tires, the premium wheels help give the Brute Force its 9.4 inches of ground clearance

Independent Double Wishbone Front Suspension

  • Revised double wishbone independent front suspension design includes preload adjustable shocks, and features 6.7 inches of suspension travel for a comfortable ride
  • Front upper and lower wishbone pivot joints use rubber bushings to minimize maintenance requirements
  • Optimized suspension geometry provides light steering
  • Revised suspension arm/shock absorber layout (shock absorbers are mounted at a more splayed angle between the upper and lower wishbones) helps minimize sag and allows a higher ground clearance to be maintained once a rider sits on the ATV
  • With the revised geometry, single-rate springs were found to offer the best performance

Independent Rear Suspension

  • Double A-arms and a preload adjustable shock at each wheel provide superior ride comfort and ground following ability
  • Independent rear suspension provides 7.5 inches of travel
  • Re-tuned shock settings minimize sag and enable a higher ground clearance to be maintained once a rider sits on the ATV
  • Lower rear A-arms feature a combination of needle bearings and ball joints for smooth suspension action, stability and excellent rider comfort
  • Upgraded rear stabilizer rods use thicker-walled tubing for increased lateral stability
  • Torsion bar helps minimize body roll

Braking

  • Dual front disc brakes with two-piston calipers and Kawasaki’s sealed, oil-bathed, multi-disc rear brake system provide maximum stopping power
  • Electronically controlled Kawasaki Engine Brake Control helps to slow the ATV under certain conditions

New Wide and Rugged Styling

  • High-gloss, scratch-resistant Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO) bodywork offers a tough, scratch resistant surface to help it stay fresh looking for the long haul
  • New bodywork (hood, bumper and headlight surrounds) are key elements of the Brute Force 750’s new wide and rugged design
  • New covered hood storage bin offers additional convenience and is large enough to hold two 16 oz. bottles
  • New front and rear fenders complement the tougher-looking design
  • Waterproof storage box in the left front fender complements the easy-access storage pocket on the right side
  • New dual wide-set 35-watt headlights help provide excellent lighting for nighttime rides
  • New taillight design compliments the new wide-stance bodywork
  • New cargo racks feature stronger 25.4mm tubing that is over 25% larger in diameter than the previous versions. This enhances durability and helps contribute to the machine’s new tougher styling. Total combined rack capacity is 264 Lbs
  • The addition of tie-down hook points on the cargo rack tubes make it easier –and far more reliable– to secure a load
  • Revised exhaust covers and the addition of heat-resistant padding on the inside of the side covers significantly reduce engine heat transmitted to the rider, contributing to enhanced rider comfort
  • Revised deflectors and inner bodywork provide greater overlap between the airbox intake tube and snorkel extension, making it even more difficult for water and/or mud to get into the air cleaner
  • New protective shielding under the front hood helps prevent mud from reaching the air intake, and also helps protect the relocated electrical equipment from the elements
  • Larger wheel-well flaps help minimize water/mud intrusion into the engine compartment

Relaxed Cockpit

  • New instrumentation is easier to read at a glance and features a multi-purpose digital display with speedometer, odometer, tripmeter, fuel gauge, engine temp, clock, hour meter and indicator lamps for neutral, reverse, 2WD/4WD, belt and oil warnings
  • New sport style grips help reduce felt vibration and enhance rider control, as well as offering molded-in safety wire grooves
  • Comfortable, upright seating position combines with the independent rear suspension for a plush ride
  • New seat material has superb elasticity, offering increased comfort and holding performance. The material is also resistant to cold, allowing it to maintain its suppleness when temperatures drop and reducing the chance of tearing/ripping when exposed to extremely cold environments

Additional Features

  • 12-volt electric outlet offers convenient power for accessories
  • Aluminum footpegs help minimize weight
  • Trailer hitch bracket with 1,250-pound towing capacity is standard equipment

Posted by Arlo Redwine