This year, Kawasaki is introducing a new, sportier and better equipped Mule, the 610 4x4 XC (Cross Country). This is a machine built for both work and play and features a suspension system worthier of an off-road machine compared to the 610 4x4. What’s more, the 610 4x4 XC projects a sportier look, with new red and silver graphics over a black background.
|Wider fenders and tires give this new Mule model a more sporting look than on the older standard models.
Other changes enhance the XC’s handling, with an improved chassis and new, decidedly off-road 26-inch Maxxis Bighorn radial tires featuring a super aggressive tread. The larger tires increase ground clearance (205 mm vs. 168 mm of the other 610s), making it easier to tackle large obstacles.
The new suspension components, aided by a wider track and double the front and rear travel, increase the XC’s stability on uneven terrain, while the larger tires absorb bumps and ruts better and increase the overall comfort of the package.
In addition, these same bigger tires as well as the front bumper and larger mudguards give the Mule 610 4x4 XC a sportier attitude, somewhat reminiscent of the Bigfoot but on a more human scale.
It’s all in the details
Powering the new XC is the same 401-cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine coupled with the same CVT as the standard Mule. The wheelbase remains unchanged on the XC, but the designers didn’t hold back when it came to improving the chassis. To whit:
- The engine air intake has been raised and better isolated to improve protection from water and mud when the going gets rough
- New triple-seals for the brake drums, to improve isolation from water and mud.
- New, stretchier seat covers for improved comfort, resistance to cold and wear
- A new, larger and repositioned front bumper, to provide extra room for the bigger tires and offer better protection for the body
- A smaller three-spoke steering wheel identical to that of the Teryx, Kawasaki’s sportiest side-x-side, better suited to sport driving
|Kawasaki designers wisely kept the comfort and functionality that were a strength of the older versions.