the option of two keys: a gray 40-mph
(learner) key and a black (
performance) key. Now that’s a good idea.
Kawasaki was one of the last man-
ufacturers to install EPS on their utili-
ty quads. But instead of just slapping
the system on, they redesigned the
Brute Force 750 for the better. The
engine has more bottom-end grunt
thanks to new cylinder heads, which
should be even more durable than
The shocks are much stiffer for a
reduction in body roll, and new front
A-arms contribute to a changed
steering geometry that offers a differ-
ent feel with or without EPS. Also,
Engine tweaks mellowed out the
800cc powerplant to a more manage-
able level, and the EPS system
received a third level of assistance.
We don’t know why. The old dual-
stage system was too light to begin
with. Can-Am’s DESS (digitally
encoded security system) remains,
and the ignition itself now gives you
Dual A-arms on the front of the Kawi
offer the least amount of wheel travel
at 6. 7 inches. We found the steering
was a bit twitchy at times on this
Cornering the Polaris hard is easy to do; it stays flat and
planted with very little body roll. It does have some shaky
steering components that was a cause for concern for some
of our testers.
Can-Am made huge improvements with this new Outlander
chassis. To get it to ride as good as possible, we cranked the
front preload to full stiff. It corners well, and the strong but
smooth power delivery adds to the list of improvements.
Kawasaki revised its solid V-twin motor
to power the 2012 Brute Force. It’s
tuned and clutched for lots of low-end
power and not for top speed. We like
that combo for big 4x4s. Leave the top-speed numbers for better-handling
The huge filter element on the Brute
Force is well protected from water. It’s
easy to get to and just requires a
screwdriver from the on-board toolkit
for removal. It’s also by far the cheapest to replace.
Dual A-arms in the rear of the Brute
Force offers 7. 5 inches of travel. Very
little body roll is noticed thanks to a
strong sway bar. We felt the Brute
Force gave the stiffest ride of the four
machines, and the rear brakes were a
bit soft for our testers.
The redesigned look for the new Brute
Force is a huge positive. It offers two
big cargo boxes and new racks that are
easier to attach cargo to.