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2009 Kawasaki Mule 4010 Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

Since coming to market, the Mule lineup from Kawasaki has been offering consumers surprising off-road capability and hard-to-match versatility. For 2009, the 4000-series Mules are new and improved, much to the joy of rugged utility machine enthusiasts.

2009 Kawasaki MULE 4010 4X4

Completely redesigned
Every Mule 4000 model now boasts muscular, truck-inspired looks. The more serious work image is emphasized by squared-off, oversized bumpers and fenders along with a greater wheel-fender clearance. The new front section of the Mule 4010 4x4 incorporates a 60-liter, sealed storage compartment in addition to a revised dash featuring dual sealed glove boxes and cup holders on either side of the cabin.

Initially introduced on the 2008 Mule Diesel, Kawasaki's Electric Power Steering (EPS) is now found on all 4000-series models. It was primarily designed to absorb and filter trail irregularities creeping their way to the steering wheel and thus reduce rider fatigue. Turning the wheel causes a signal to be sent to the EPS electronic control unit, initiating assistance. The ECU uses input from a vehicle speed sensor and torque sensor to determine the amount of steering assistance required from the system's electric motor. This prevents the steering from becoming too light in normal conditions.

Powerful V-twin
Motivated by a powerful, 617-cc, V-twin engine, both the Mule 4010 4x4 and 4010 Trans 4x4 prove to be ideal partners for work and leisure. The 90-degree offset cylinders increase overall stability by lowering the center of gravity. The wide-open angle also limits engine vibrations and eliminates the need for a counterbalancing shaft. As a result, owners get all the natural feel of a V-twin.

For 2009, the liquid-cooled engine gets an electronic fuel injection system featuring dual throttle valves. The throttle body contains a 34-mm upstream (sub-) throttle valve operated through the gas pedal and a 30-mm downstream (main) throttle valve operated by a step-motor actuator which is controlled by the ECU. The latter uses throttle position input from the sub-valve to determine the ideal throttle position for the main valve. This cutting-edge technology, found on Kawasaki ATVs and Mules, ensures smooth inlet airflow in all conditions.

2009 Kawasaki MULE 4010 Trans
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