Small but mighty Brute Force
Do you believe that good things come in small packages? Kawasaki is hoping you do, as they introduce their latest all-terrain vehicle: the 2012 Brute Force 300. The machine is built with economy in mind, yet it doesn't sacrifice power or performance.
“We put key features into this machine at the best possible price,” says Kawasaki's Jon Rall.
Priced at $4,199, this two-wheel drive, entry-level machine is designed to be easy to control yet fun for both work and play.
“There is a large segment of the all-terrain public that doesn't want a lot of features,” says Rall. “That groups wants a simple machine. The Brute Force 300 delivers what that segment wants.”
At the heart of this vehicle is an advanced, liquid-cooled, 271-cc SOHC, four-stroke engine designed to kick out low- and mid-range power.
Power is routed to the rear wheels through the continuously variable transmission (CVT) with centrifugal clutch, which is similar to the one powering the Brute Force 750 4×4i EPS. The Brute Force 300 is the only machine in its class with this feature.
“It keeps even tension on the belt, which means a smooth operating machine that's not jerky,” says Rall. “It also provides natural engine braking when going down hills to help make slowing down easier.”
The hydraulically activated triple-disc brakes (pictured bottom right) – one disc for each front wheel and another fitted to the driveshaft – deliver the primary braking power. All three are controlled by levers on each of the handlebars.
This machine is equipped with Maxxis tires, which were developed by Kawasaki and Maxxis, and are designed to provide maximum braking and acceleration traction as well as balanced handling.
Yet, the tires aren't the only component contributing to the balanced handling. A double-wishbone suspension system is responsible for much of the balanced handling. This setup features five-way adjustable shocks up front and an adjustable damper working through a swing arm in back. Steering and handling are easily managed on a variety of terrain thanks to the machine's wide stance.
The features of this machine aren't limited to what's under the body. Other key features include a digital instrument pod, a DC electrical socket, and a gate-style shifter.
There's plenty of overall capacity, with dual rack carriers (44 pounds up front; 66 pounds in back) and a pair of compartments (one in front; one built into the right fender).
Towing capacity is 500 pounds, with space and a mounting bracket behind the front grill for a Warn winch.
Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A. www.kawasaki.com