Moto123.com had the opportunity to test-ride the 2011 Kawasaki KVF 650i on a cold January day at Xtown
, near Mirabel, Quebec. We found out how the machine handles on steep, snow-covered trails – conditions that most Canadian riders know quite well.
|Moto123.com had the opportunity to test-ride the 2011 Kawasaki KVF 650i on a cold January day at Xtown, near Mirabel, Quebec. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)
The KVF 650i was the first ATV to offer a twin-cylinder engine. Later followed by Polaris
, it's now equipped with a fully-independent suspension and remains one of the most impressive and charismatic four-wheelers out there. What's more, this timeless beast has the looks of a modern sports star and actually appeals to fans of sport utility ATVs.
The heart and soul of the KVF 650i may not be Kawasaki's biggest engine, but it produces remarkable power and torque for unparalleled takeoff performance. As the raging sounds attest, the twin-cylinder comes to life and unleashes all its character at the slightest throttle input. The KVF leaps forward and reaches triple-digit speeds almost effortlessly.
The engine provides a great mechanical feel without making the riding experience unpleasant thanks to 90-degrees offset cylinders that improve balance and thus eliminate the need for a balance shaft, which in turn reduces weight and boosts power.
While most rivals use electronic fuel injection, this powerplant still relies on carburetors. Granted, we're talking about sophisticated CVKR-34 inverted carburetors that are vertically mounted to ensure the best possible air flow inside the intake manifold. The all-aluminum cylinders get anti-friction coating by electrofusion, making them more durable and improving heat dissipation.
|The engine provides a great mechanical feel without making the riding experience unpleasant. (Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com)