2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 4x4i EPS Review

October 23, 2012
By Stephen Anderson
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Believe it or not, the 2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS looks better in action. See the proof in the 2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS video.

What goes through your mind when Kawasaki invites you to come ride the 2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS “Special Edition” on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in Southern West Virginia?

My answer would be: BIG FUN!

Riding the flagship of Kawasaki’s four wheeler line up at the premiere ATV riding destination on the east coast was like a dream come true. I’ve ridden the Hatfield-McCoy Trails before, but this trip was different. The Hatfield-McCoy Trail Authority has just expanded its endless network of trails with the addition of the new Pocahontas Trail System, located in the historic town of Bramwell, WV.

A little regional history lesson is required: Bramwell’s high school mascot is the “Millionaires,” and for good reason. In the late 1800s, all the coal barons moved to Bramwell to raise their children and built elaborate estates that even by today’s standards exude wealth. Walking down the streets of Bramwell is like stepping back in time and the local hospitality you’ll receive there is refreshing. On any given day you might find Mayor Louise Stoker planting flowers on Main Street and greeting tourists from around the world. Some of their favorite visitors in particular are those who enjoy riding off-road.

The Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS has Electric Power Steering standard  making it easier for riders of all skill levels to maneuver on rough trails.
The Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS has Electric Power Steering, making it easier for riders of all skill levels to maneuver on rough trails.

The 2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS is the reason we have arrived at the new Pocahontas riding area. When I think about what I want out of an ATV, many things come to mind. I want an ATV that can be used for farming duties, basic trail riding or even some ATV racing if I get the urge. The Brute Force could easily fit any of those categories. The water-cooled and fuel-injected 749cc V-Twin engine has plenty of power for any ATV rider. The four-wheel drive system allows the beast to crawl up almost anything and the variable belt drive offers up smooth, constant power on tap anytime you need it. Make no mistake, with a curb weight of nearly 700 lbs. this is a big, man-sized machine and should be ridden with respect because it’s fast enough to have a heck of a good time on the flat, open roads but it’s nearly unstoppable in the hills, which means it can get you into some predicaments with its mountain-goat caliber climbing ability if you’re not careful. We rode all day on the Pocahontas Trail System and the term, smiles for miles kept ringing in my head all day.

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails in Southern West Virginia are known for their mountainous terrain, it isn’t called the “Mountain State” for no good reason as this region looks like a giant raisin on a topographical map: Steep hills, massive mountains, steep ravines plus lots of trees make up the majority of the trails in this neck of the woods. These steep hills were an opportunity to get a good feel for the Brute Force’s useful electronically–controlled Engine Brake Control system. I kept thinking to myself how much money this feature would save in the brake pads alone compared to other models without much of any usable engine braking. Kawasaki designed the engine braking tech to help slow the vehicle down during low-speed descents and we found it to be a nice addition to the Brute Force’s repertoire.

In rough conditions the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS excelled thanks to its powerful V-Twin engine and Electric Power Steering.
In rough conditions the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS excelled thanks to its powerful V-Twin engine and Electric Power Steering.

What stands out the most on the 2013 Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS is the standard equipment Electric Power Steering (EPS). The EPS is most useful in rough terrain where rocks, ruts and roots can cause sudden and abrupt twisting of the handlebars which experienced riders have come to learn how to deal with over the past decades as these 4×4 ATVs have evolved. Now, with this latest generation of EPS, companies like Kawasaki have smoothed out the trails and made it easier for a wide variety of riders to enjoy the OHV experience. When you turn the handle bars a signal is sent to the EPS initiating power assist. The amount of power assist is determined by the vehicle’s speed so when riding at slow speed the assistance is greatest and at high speed assistance is reduced. The inertia of the electronic motor acts like a steering stabilizer by reducing regular feedback to the handle bars when you’re riding rough terrain like we faced on the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. The EPS significantly reduces rider fatigue when you plan to ride long distances on the rougher trails. I had a great time riding the 750 in 4×4-mode through some gnarly mud holes with huge ruts. I was able to muscle my way through with little effort because of the combination of big V-Twin power and EPS.

When the dust settled and the mud dried out, one thing was clear: The Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS is a true do-it-all ATV whether you’re farming, hunting, trail riding or maybe even racing in amateur events or even the ATV classes in West Virginia’s annual Snowshoe GNCC. There is always a Brute Force 750 on the Saturday starting line of the Grand National Cross Country racing series here on the east coast and now we know why. If you are into using the Brute Force as a utility quad, you’ll be happy to know that it can tow up to 1,250 pounds. If hunting is your thing Kawasaki has a huge selection of Genuine Kawasaki Accessories available through their dealers or a Camo Edition that just might help you bring home the “Big One” on your next hunting adventure. For the average trail rider, you’ll find the luggage racks to be as big as on any other machines, but they have a high quality fit and finish. All accessories are well thought-out and integrated into the design so it doesn’t stand out at first glance like on other utility ATVs. Additionally, Kawasaki’s engineers must have spent a great deal of time in R&D to give this Sport Utility more of a “sport” look.

Kawasaki engineered an Engine Braking System which helps slow the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS on slow descents.
Kawasaki engineered an Engine Braking System which helps slow the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS on slow descents.

OK, so what did I like the most about the 2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS?

1. Like any other red-blooded American, I really like the bottom end power of the 750 V-Twin engine.

2. The Electronic Power Steering is awesome. After riding with EPS it seems unimaginable to go back to any sport utility without it–especially if you’re a rough-trail junkie like me.

3. I found the riding position comfortable and enjoyed the plush seat after long hours on the saddle. I’m 5’10” and never once felt like I was sitting on the gas tank, like I have experienced on some competitors ATVs I’ve tested in the past. There was also plenty of room behind me on the seat, so taller riders would be comfortable on this ATV as well.

4. I think the overall appearance is a big hit. The stylish six-spoke cast aluminum wheels really turn some heads out on the trail, and the dual wide-set 35 watt headlights bring the machine to life. I’m not kidding! The headlights look like eyeballs on a cartoon character that have you thinking of a name for your new toy. I called my 750 Demo “Bertha” and I rode her like a bat out of hell all day on the new Pocahontas Trail System in Bramwell, WV.

If you have never ridden the seven trail systems in the Hatfield-McCoy stable in Southern West Virginia, you’re missing out! When you plan your trip, be sure and check out the new Pocahontas System in Bramwell, WV. Who knows? You may want to let the good times roll into Bramwell on a 2013 Kawasaki Brute Force 4x4i EPS.