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Kawasaki Ridge 2024 and Ridge XR 2024: A presence in a new segment for this manufacturer!

Ridge 2024

The Kawasaki brand is, without a doubt, a hallmark of reliability. Its great reputation is based on vehicles that meet a high level of quality. The introduction of new models in the recreational vehicle category seems discreet. Nevertheless, we are witnessing the cyclical arrival of these. This is the case with the new Kawasaki Ridge 2024 and Ridge XR 2024 in the category of utility sports side-by-sides.

Kawasaki’s rich history is not recent. Its origins date back as far as 1878. It was at this time that Shozo Kawasaki, the founder, opened a shipyard to build ocean-going steel ships. The manufacturing of locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, and bridge girders began in 1906 at the new Hyogo Works company. Then, the production of marine steam turbines began at the shipyard the following year.

However, it was only in 1961 that we saw the arrival of the first motorcycles and the beginning of the commercialization of motorized recreational vehicles. Kawasaki gave birth to utility side-by-sides in 1988 when the company introduced the revolutionary Mule. The original Mule, an acronym for Multi-Use Light Equipment, was an open-cabin utility vehicle powered by a liquid-cooled 454 cc twin-cylinder engine.

Subsequently, we had to wait exactly two decades to see the Teryx model appear. Initially presented as a two-seat model, the Teryx4 made its debut in 2012. It was the industry’s first factory four-seat model. In 2019, Kawasaki shook up the industry with the introduction of its hypersport model, the Teryx KRX 1000.

The New Ridge 2024 and Ridge XR 2024

In light of these beginnings, 2024 marks the arrival of a new designation in the ATV category at Kawasaki. This launch also signifies its first entry into the competitive segment of utility sports vehicles.

ridge 2024 ridge xr 2024

A Surprising Engine!

A 999 cc inline four-cylinder engine, built by Kawasaki, changes the game. It pairs with high-end features inspired by the automotive industry. This double overhead camshaft engine utilizes a four-valve design with a pair of 29 mm intake valves and 24 mm exhaust valves on each cylinder. The engine employs a narrow bore and short stroke of 73.4 mm by 59.0 mm. This enables a broad high-rev power band.

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The exhaust ports are oriented towards the rear. They have been strategically designed to distance heat from the cabin and direct it straight to the muffler. This configuration produces the distinctive note of an inline four-cylinder engine. It allows everyone to speculate on the number of cylinders and the configuration of this powertrain.

According to the manufacturer, the XR version offers the greatest power among all Kawasaki side-by-sides produced to date. It achieves this feat with 87 octane gasoline. It offers 118 HP, compared to the 112 HP of the Teryx KRX 1000. The base version of the Ridge 2024, on the other hand, produces a power of 93 HP.

A CVT Transmission

The engine is supported by a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT transmission is not equipped with a centrifugal clutch. Thus, Kawasaki engineers have adjusted the vehicle to recognize when the Ridge 2024 is coasting. This means that the wheel speed increases while the engine speed decreases. When this situation occurs, the ECU (Engine Control Unit) slightly opens the throttle, which increases engine braking. The belt thus remains engaged until the vehicle comes to nearly a complete stop. This contributes to reassuring engine braking on descents.

Three Driving Modes

Three driving modes are available: Work, Normal, and Sport. Each mode adjusts the throttle response and engine braking to the current situation. The smoother throttle response offered by the Work mode contributes to superb low-speed control when transporting a load. This makes it easier to maintain a constant low speed using minimal throttle, even when driving on uneven surfaces. In Sport mode, the sharper and more linear throttle response is suitable for more spirited driving. The Normal mode offers a balance between the two with smooth engine response as soon as the throttle is opened.

Ranch Edition and HVAC

The base Ridge 2024 offers a distinctive version called the Ranch Edition. This edition stands out with its own emblem and colours. In contrast, the Ridge 2024 and Ridge XR 2024 offer an HVAC version. This edition provides a fully enclosed cabin with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.

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Ridge 2024 Ridge XR 2024

A High-End Interior

Both inside and out, the meticulous attention to detail is evident. The Ridge 2024 presents itself well, with a car-like cut and finish in its interior. From the inside, the Ridge and Ridge XR are nearly impossible to tell apart. The only exception is the seating configuration. The Ridge can accommodate up to three people along a split bench with low-back seats. On the other hand, the Ridge XR can seat two people in high-back benches. The seats are adjustable front and rear, and the vehicle features a tilting steering column.

Ridge XR 2024 backseat

The models equipped with the cabin offer several conveniences. A side-by-side equipped with power windows and windshield wipers with washer fluid is becoming a comfort we were not accustomed to in the past. Moreover, a version with ventilation, air conditioning, and heating (HVAC) is available. In my opinion, this is the ultimate for frequent use.

Its Ground Clearance

To navigate varied terrain, the Ridge 2024 has a high ground clearance of almost 13 inches. This feature allows accessibility during work or recreational activities. It also ensures superb driving comfort by reducing the likelihood of rubbing on obstacles in our path.

Suspension

The double triangulation suspension is used at the front and rear. It allows each wheel to overcome obstacles with minimal effect on the chassis. The large wheel travel (12.7 in.) contributes to both ground clearance and driving comfort.

In conclusion, although the presentation of this new model has almost gone incognito, it nevertheless remains a logical choice if you plan to own a side-by-side sport utility.

For more details, see the manufacturer’s website.

Ridge XR 2024

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