The power of three
by Andy Bryenton
Kawasaki is no stranger to beating the competition with more power. On the road, their sports bikes are second to none when it comes to laying down horsepower in a game of superlative numbers. Winning hearts and minds in the rural backcountry take a different skill set. That’s why the key number for the new Kawasaki Mule Pro FXR isn’t in the hundreds or thousands — it’s the number three.
It all begins with a three-cylinder 812cc liquid cooled engine. More cylinders mean smooth power delivery, and Kawasaki is the master of the triple layout.
Bike fans will remember the 500cc Kawasaki Triple two-stroke from 1968, and the walloping power to weight ratio of that machine.
While this is a four-stroke engine, and fuel injected, the advantages are similar, and the legacy carries across to this new platform and new purpose, mated to a CVT box with both high and low ratios and reverse.
Rather than speed, the Mule is all about torque and the power to perform in rough terrain. It can tow more than 900kgs and pack 450 into its own generously sized flatbed.
Carrying capacity reveals another incidence of the magic number three.
The Mule Pro FXR can seat not two but three occupants in comfort, carrying an entire work crew where they need to go.
An extra pair of hands is nice, but many, as they say, make light work. Think about what could be accomplished with three experienced workers and all those hundreds of kilos of tools and equipment.
Now imagine that capacity deployed pretty much anywhere on the farm.
This go-anywhere capability is enhanced by a wide stance for stability even on sloping terrain, and a shorter wheelbase for agility and a tiny turning circle. With a two metre wheelbase, the Mule Pro FXR can turn within just a hair more than four metres.
That’s tight, and it makes it easier to access hard to reach places not only in the field but in the barn or the yard as well.