no matter how hard you punch the
throttle on the Mule, it takes off nice
and smooth. We are confident the
six-seat Ranger wouldn’t be quite so
dominate. In this test, the Ranger used
up a little more gas than the Mule.
Both have a 120-mile range, but the
Mule does it using about 2 gallons
When comparing utility-type
machines meant for work and casual trail exploring, we don’t put them
through the same abuse we do a
high-performance sport machine.
What we do test is how comfortable
they are in slightly choppy terrain,
how well they do on smooth gravel
roads and how they act loaded.
If you look at the numbers, this
Ranger has slightly more wheel trav-
el, with 10 inches front and back com-
pared to 8. 7 on the Kawasaki. The
Ranger Crew (six-seater) 900 also has
10 inches of travel at both ends. Each
machine uses dual A-arms at all four
corners. Cam-type preload adjusters
are found on all shocks.
Like the Mule’s engine, its shocks
are super smooth. It floats over the
bumps and tracks perfectly straight.
When empty with only one or two
people on board, we leave the pre-
load at its softest settings. However,
when we load it up, cranking the pre-
load to full tight helps keep the han-
dling great. Even on bumpy trails, the
Mule does not find its limits as quickly
as you would expect for a 1900-pound
machine. For comparison, the Ranger
six-seater weighs about 1600 pounds.
Ground clearance was about equal
between the two test machines out on
the trail. This is one of the areas the
Ranger is not noticeably better than
Suspension action is good, but han-
We took the machines on a long trail
ride, and both performed great. Ground
clearance was never an issue, nor was
power in the hills, thanks to their low-range transmissions.
Both machines have a 120-mile fuel
range. However, the Kawasaki does it
using a little less gas. It gets right at 15
mpg driven at a quick pace. That mileage would be doubled if just cruised
around at half throttle.
KAWASAKI vs. POLARIS