Another day in paradise means another day in the rumor mill.
After the fake news chants being heard across the nation from our leaked Honda Talon photos because an excited person spelled Honda as Hodna (not our photos by the way, we just shared them!) we can only hope for deafening silence after breaking this piece of news…
Kawasaki is FINALLY coming to the SPORT side by side market!
How do we know?
Kawasaki let the cat out of the bag by applying for some patents related to their new vehicle. Much like the Yamaha YXZ patents that literally broke the internet (and also were called fake before fake news was even a thing…) Kawasaki put a number of different patents out that show this new BEAST completely naked.
Lets see what we have here:
Initial impressions are WHOA!
This thing looks AWESOME! More specifically we see:
-8 point cage with a fully tubular frame, front and rear intrusion bars, and extended door protection bars!! UNREAL! This thing looks to be full race-spec right from the factory! With triangulation and nearly every connection point and truss structures throughout the frame it’s clear Kawasaki is NOT playing around with this machine. No other side by side on the market has EVER gone that deep with safety and design
-DUAL SHEAR EVERY WHERE! Every single bolted suspension component in these drawings appears to be dual shear. This means the bolt is supported on the inner and outer section of the bolt by a rigidly mounted tab. This helps incredibly with strength and durability.
-Essentially ZERO wheel overhang for exceptional approach and departure angles! This thing should be VERY capable in rough angular terrain.
-Race inspired front and rear sway bar designs. The frame integrated sway bars and horizonal links look like something out of a trophy truck! It should make for very flat handling!
-Front and rear shock mounting points appear to be ideal from a design perspective. Front mounts appear to be directly up and down for linear shock motion and better wheel control. The rear shock mounting point is far back on the trailing arm which reduces the need for heavy spring rates and valving and reduces the overall load on the shock for cooler and more reliable performance.
-3-link rear trailing arms in the rear. While not ground breaking technology Kawasaki has decided to use the tried and true methods of rear suspension as opposed to some other companies doing some outside of the box thinking. Kawasaki appears to have mounted the toe link in front of the upper and lower links on the knuckle. It also appears that the toe link is connected to the knuckle at a pretty good distance to give it more leverage over the knuckle to provide stable and strong toe control. The 2 rear links are also mounted far out on the knuckle to give good reliable camber support to the knuckle and wheel.
-Dual a-arms up front with a laid back design. Having the a-arm mounting points slightly tilted back allows for the a-arm to operate more like a trailing arm and helps with bump absorption when moving into a bump in the forward direction. Also the lower a-arm appears to have a very wide distance between mounting points which gives room for a shock mount and helps increase leverage and rigidity. The lower arms also look to be arched to help with ground clearance.
-Very forward mounted seating location with trailing arm attachment directly under the seat. The seating locations allows for a good view out of the front with a nice ability to place the front tires right where you need them. This design is very much like the RZR platform. Also, having the pivot point of the trailing arm directly under the seating position should minimize body movement within the chassis. The forward seating and forward mounted trailing arms allow for a compact design to keep long suspension travel and minimize unnecessary wheelbase gains.
-CVT with large clutches. If Kawasaki has learned anything from the competition it’s that larger clutches equal more cooling and better gear ratios for quicker acceleration. Kawasaki also has recently published a patent for CVT cooling fans on the inlet and outlet of the clutch cover which should aid in belt life. While not the indestructible belt-less transmission we all desire, a properly configured CVT is hard to beat.
-Top down views show what appears to be an inline 3 cylinder engine with plenty of space in front to add a rear mounted radiator. Ideally the radiator mounts in the rear for optimal cooling, little to no mud intrusion, and essentially no cabin temperature increase.
The more we dig into these photos the more excited we are! It’s very clear that Kawasaki started with a clean slate and designed this unit with safety and durability in mind!
Having said that, here’s our predictions for specifications on the new 2020 Kawasaki sport side by side:
- 64″ width (with hopefully a 72″ variant)
- 93.5″ wheel base
- 27″ to 29″ tall tires
- 13″ or 14″ ground clearance
- 16″ to 18″ front suspension travel, 17″ to 19″ rear suspension travel
- 3 cylinder 120-140 horsepower naturally aspirated engine, but HOPEFULLY it receives a forced induction engine with more power!
We got this numbers assuming that the lug pattern shown is a 4x156mm (not the typical Kawasaki 4x137mm) and estimating distances using line lengths within a photo editing program. These measurements absolutely have some error within them and could scale up or down based upon assumptions!
So that’s that folks! Kawasaki is coming HARD to the game with what appears to be a ground breaking design for the sport side by side market. With all patents there’s always the chance that this machine will never see the light of day, but with the market growing as quickly as it is we’re about 99.9% sure we’ll see this machine SOONER than later.
Until it hits the market, be sure to check us out:
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It is also important to remember that this article in no way reflects Kawasaki and is SXSBlog’s interpretation of publicly filed documentation.