It’s that time of year again kids, time for the new models to start appearing and rolling into a dealership near you. For 2018 Kawasaki is first out of the gate, and while much of the line-up returns unchanged, they did drop news of one new model, the Mule Pro-FXR. Following the same build standards and work ethic of other Mule Pro models, the new FXR adds more recreational attributes to the fold. Watch for a test ride report in a future issue of ATV World, but until then here’s the thorough and “long” official word from Kawasaki:
Following multiple accolades for its MULE PRO series, Kawasaki has upped its game once again with the addition of the MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side to the 2018 lineup. The new MULE PRO-FXR features increased recreational abilities and premium styling that further establishes the full-size, compact side x side as the customer’s dependable work partner.
Developed alongside the PRO-FXT™ and PRO-FX™ models, the new MULE PRO-FXR side x side shares the same engine and smooth acceleration, meaning it’s still the fastest most powerful MULE™ ever built, with independent suspension, powerful disc brakes, effective engine braking and Kawasaki’s acclaimed EPS, speed-sensitive power steering. All of that is packaged into a more compact design, shorter than the other MULE PRO models, with improved ground clearance and turning radius.
Designed to appeal to someone who likes to play as a hard as they work, the styling of the MULE PRO-FXR side x side has a tough, truck like appearance with a painted hood and grill, low-profile LED inner and halogen outer headlights, front and rear bumpers as well as seating capacity for three in its contoured two-tone seats. While it has a recreational side, the MULE PRO-FXR is still built Kawasaki STRONG with steel cargo bed that has a 1000-pound carrying capacity (600-pound carrying capacity in California) and the ability to tow up to 2000 pounds.
With this much capability, the MULE PRO-FXR is sure to impress your neighbors, even if the closest one is a half-mile away.
THE 2018 KAWASAKI MULE PRO-FXR™
- Premium styling with standard features including painted bodywork, contoured two-tone seats, cast aluminum wheels, rear bumper and finished rear wheel wells
- 812cc three-cylinder fuel injected engine that offers plenty of power with smooth acceleration
- Nimble handling for trails with a tight 14.1-foot turning radius
The MULE PRO-FXR™ is assembled with foreign and domestic parts in Lincoln, Nebraska as a part of Kawasaki’s expansive side x side family that continues to be Kawasaki STRONG. Built strong to play and work hard, while backed by a factory three-year limited warranty.
STYLING – The MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side is built to be noticed. The front end has been refined and features a painted grill and hood designed to resist scratches and UV fading. New front and rear bumpers complete the tough truck inspired look. The compact vehicle size and smaller Roll Over Protective Structure (ROPS) gives the MULE PRO-FXR side x side a sportier look.
Inside the cabin, the plush bench seat is contoured to help maximize comfort and facilitate entry and exit. The stitched two-tone seat also features FXR badging, further increasing the style. Topping off the MULE PRO-FXR side x side is the new hard suntop built with lightweight composite conformed construction, designed to divert water to its outside edges. The new suntop is also approved for trailering.
SPACIOUS CABIN & EPS – With the tremendous durability and versatility of the MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side, all-day driving comfort is a high priority, allowing the driver and up to two passengers to get on with the job at hand. The cabin is particularly spacious, providing ample leg- and headroom, as well as a thick-cushioned contoured two-tone bench seat for up to three occupants.
Conventional three-point seatbelts and handholds are provided for each occupant and doors are standard to ease entry. For the driver’s convenience there is a tilt-adjustable thick grip steering wheel, which provides up to 40-degrees of adjustment to ensure a comfortable fit. It can also be tilted out of the way to facilitate access to the cabin.
The MULE PRO-FXR side x side takes full advantage of Kawasaki’s advanced speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS) system that considerably reduces steering effort, but ensures the steering has optimal feedback as speed increases, enhancing handling. The EPS helps to reduce steering kickback, reducing driver fatigue. Furthermore, it helps the driver enjoy a tight turning radius of just 14.1 feet.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION – The strength of the Kawasaki MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side comes from its 812cc, three-cylinder engine with efficient digital fuel injection that has been tuned to deliver optimum performance throughout the rev range. With 48 lb-ft of torque, it has excellent pulling power when fully loaded, but also excellent acceleration and agility when combined with its four-wheel drive system. While the engine produces plenty of power, it runs quietly enough to hold a conversation in the cab.
Thanks to a high-output alternator, which delivers an incredible 60.8 amps at 2,000rpm (with the headlights on), occupants can power their accessories on all-day adventures and throughout the workweek with a pair of built-in, 12-volt outlets.
Transferring the engine’s performance to the ground is a specially tuned CVT transmission that delivers smooth acceleration, maximizing traction and contributing to precise maneuvering. The CVT also provides natural engine braking to help when descending slopes, with consistent engine hold-back to increase driver confidence, especially when the vehicle is loaded.
The CVT is combined with an electrically selectable 2WD/4WD system that has a dual-mode rear differential. Convenient dash-mounted switches allow the driver to instantly engage the systems, giving full control over the 4WD and locking rear differential.
INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION – Another element of the MULE PRO-FXR™ is the revised settings of its front and rear independent suspension. By soaking up the bumps it provides excellent comfort, and improves traction thanks to a generous 8.7 inches of suspension travel.
The suspension utilizes twin-tube, preload-adjustable shocks at each corner, with large diameter tubing for the A-arm design, ensuring Kawasaki’s legendary reputation for performance is maintained. Extra ground clearance (10.4 inches) also gives the driver confidence that the lower chassis will clear obstacles. The MULE PRO-FXR side x side has been designed to be more nimble with an overall length of 121.8 inches and a compact 81 inch wheelbase that provides a very tight 14.1-foot turning radius.
The suspension uses rubber bushings at the attachment points to enhance strength. The engine of the MULE PRO-FXR is rubber-mounted to reduce vibration and contribute to a high quality, comfortable ride.
BRAKES – Hydraulic disc brakes use 212mm rotors on all four corners and they combine with the dependable engine braking system to produce effective stopping power.
Dual-piston calipers in the front and single-piston calipers in the rear give the driver strong yet progressive stopping power. An easily accessible mechanical rear parking brake helps keep the MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side in place when stopped. A fuel injection control limits engine speed if the driver attempts to pull away with the parking brake engaged.
HAULING & TOWING – Because it is built Kawasaki STRONG, the MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side has a sturdy diamond-plate steel cargo floor with a maximum cargo capacity of up to 1000 pounds (600 pounds max in California). The cargo bed measures 37.5 inches x 53.3 inches x 11 inches and has integrated steel cargo rails and internal ridges, allowing loads to be secured using the abundance of available Kawasaki Genuine Accessories . The storage options of the MULE PRO-FXR side x side means you can pack it for any adventure or get the job done, no matter what the day brings. The cargo bed has a gas-assisted tilt feature that makes it easier to raise the empty bed to allow easy access to the engine compartment.
The tailgate is secured by two sturdy levers, which make it easy to open and close. The tailgate design also incorporates built-in cupholders, which come in handy when the tailgate is lowered. The cargo bed walls are designed with slots to accommodate cargo bed dividers, one of the many available Kawasaki Genuine Accessories. These allow cargo to be separated and stowed more securely.
The integrated 2” hitch receiver can enhance the versatility of the MULE PRO-FXR as it provides the ability to tow a substantial 2000 lb load (where permitted by state law)with the receiver, giving the new Kawasaki ultimate versatility.
DURABILITY – The MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side has a Shinari-tuned frame that balances rigidity and shock-absorbing elasticity. Shinari is a Japanese term for the elasticity that allows an object to bend without breaking and return to its original shape. A redesigned ROPS further increases the rigidity of the entire chassis.
The MULE PRO-FXR also has integrated inner wheel wells because Kawasaki wanted to keep mud and debris out of the engine compartment, protecting its vital components. The electrical equipment is also mounted high in the vehicle to keep it away from water, and the fuel tank is centrally mounted, away from the wheels to reduce the risk of damage from debris thrown up by the tires. Additionally, steel side guards help reduce the effects of side impacts.
Another thoughtful aspect is the single latch maintenance cover that provides quick and easy access to the oil dipstick, air filter and battery without lifting the cargo bed. The painted hood panel removes for easy access to ECU, fuse box and radiator.
The MULE PRO-FXR side x side features steel front and rear bumpers to provide both improved styling and a measure of protection as well as finished rear wheel wells that add style and durability to the vehicle.
STORAGE – Occupants will appreciate the storage space under the front seat. This allows users to securely store their equipment and gear in the standard 13-gallon storage bin with a water resistant lid.
In addition, there is a handy glovebox as well as three dashboard pockets – with the center pocket large enough to accommodate the audio system, one of the many available Kawasaki Genuine Accessories – and two cupholders built into the bodywork in front of the dashboard.
DASHBOARD – The interior features multi-function LCD instrumentation. It provides a large, intuitive, easy-to-read display that includes an array of information such as digital speedometer, odometer and hour meter, fuel gauge, dual trip meters, water temp, 2WD/4WD operation, clock and parking brake indicator to keep the driver informed at a glance. There is a light on the diff lock switch to indicate when it is selected. There are also two DC power outlets provided for convenient access to charge accessories and gadgets.
LIGHTING – The same high-power alternator responsible for charging smartphones and devices will also contribute to lighting with the new small diameter headlights. The MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side combines two halogen headlights on the outside with high-intensity, auxiliary LED headlights. The lights are controlled with independent switches to adjust to different lighting conditions.
ACCESSORIES – The new Kawasaki MULE PRO-FXR™ side x side can be fitted with a wide variety of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories to add a more personal touch to the vehicle while accentuating individual needs and style.
Owners wishing to accessorize the vehicle can take advantage of more than 60 Kawasaki Genuine Accessories including a new brush guard, roof mounted LED lightbar, audio system, flip-up windshield and a soft cab that integrates with the lower doors and ROPS to add to the appeal of the MULE PRO-FXR side by side. Owners can also add a winch package and skid plates. All of these Kawasaki Genuine Accessories were developed alongside the vehicle for installation, fit and finish.
MULE PRO-FXR owners can also choose from accessories such as a heater, bed extender, cargo divider, dual battery kit and so much more. The industry-leading Kawasaki STRONG Three-Year Limited Warranty remains intact after the purchase and installation of Kawasaki Genuine Accessories.
Consumers interested to see how their new MULE PRO-FXR side x side will look with Kawasaki Genuine Accessories in place will now be able to build their vehicle online. They then have the opportunity to print their custom build list and take it to their local Kawasaki dealer to purchase the vehicle they designed. Visit www.kawasaki.com for full details.