with a nearly maintenance-free shaft
drive. The suspension is basic as well,
but there is enough travel to take
the curse off of challenging terrain
despite having no preload adjustment. Naturally, starting is electric,
and on our machine the five-speed
is shifted via buttons on the left-side
handlebar switchgear. Just hit the up
arrow to shift up and the down arrow
for downshifting. Press the reverse
button and the downshift button at the
same time for reverse. The machine
must be in neutral to start. Like the
250 EX, the overall riding position is
compact and best suited for smaller
riders. The brakes are three sealed
drums: one on the solid rear axle and
one for each front wheel.
Kawasaki works with Kymco in
Korea to get the Brute Force 300.
Kawasaki claims that the Kawasaki-
badged machine has a different spec
than a regular Kymco. Whether there
is any difference in actual specifica-
tion or not, the 300 is a quality unit
with a lot to offer. It is physically larg-
er in feel than the Honda with a much
more natural standing/riding position,
but the size comes with a 100-pound
weight penalty. Like the Recon, it has
electric starting and a recoil back-
up. In a marked change from the
Recon, the little Brute’s engine is liq-
uid-cooled, and a CVT gets the power
from the motor to the driveshaft. For
the brakes, it has discs front and rear.
Both machines have racks for work or
carrying things when you play, but
the 300’s racks seem a bit larger. It
also boasts a drink holder and some
enclosed front storage.
The Recon has no suspension adjustments and hydraulic drum brakes. It
gets the job done.
We love the fact that both machines
have a back-up pull start, so a battery
issue won’t ruin the day.
There isn’t a lot of difference in the suspension. The Kawasaki has disc brakes
and a five-position preload adjuster.
The Kawasaki has a much roomier standing/riding position for a tall rider. You
will want to keep it level if you have the option. The Honda suits a smaller-stature