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BRUTE FORCE!!!

This is a discussion on BRUTE FORCE!!! within the General Discussion forums, part of the Public Forums category; I was wondering if anyone on here has experience with Kawasaki brute forces. I was thinking of getting one because it is really cheap and ...


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#1
07-12-2013, 03:26 PM
BRUTE FORCE!!!

I was wondering if anyone on here has experience with Kawasaki brute forces. I was thinking of getting one because it is really cheap and in good condition. What years should I stay away from? I heard 05 and 06 are really f**ked up. Do they have problems if you do general maintenance and and don't abuse them?

Reason for posting here instead of Kawasaki forum is to get a honest answer that's not so biased.
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07-12-2013, 05:11 PM
$3250 for an 05 brute with stock tires up front and 25 inch mudlights in rear.
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#3
07-12-2013, 07:19 PM
Brute Force are more maintenance, any Kawi owner will tell you that. It will however be an animal to drive compared to your Grizzly.
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#4
07-12-2013, 08:40 PM
I drove one of the earlier models and hated it. Loved the power but handle and rode like a hay wagon. 2012 and newer model are 10 times better!
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07-12-2013, 09:49 PM
i'm really thinking a 2012 eps or newer for myself getting tired of the same old same old if you know what i mean
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#6
07-12-2013, 10:36 PM
I owned 3 BF's and have a Teryx now.. Along with a 2009 800 grizzly..

The bf is a beast in the power department. My 2008 650i was the fastest of the 3 I owned. My 2008 650sra was as fast as my 2006 750i with the 750i having more torque..
The 650 sra ( solid rear axle) was the most durable of all.. 3000 mile and replaced nothing but oil, filters and tires.
I loved my 2006 camo 750i but it had a motor tick.
All of the " i " models have the same issue with front upper control alarm bushings.. They are Junk. I replaced with a set of machined polyurethane bushings from a fella on Nyroc forums. They were awesome.

The belts need attention often.. First 10 and at least every 100 hours after that you have to adjust the deflection. 22-27mm is the tolerance and if it gets loose it hurts performance ( still feels like an animal, just less snappy) and it will smoke easier.. And smoking is easy to do.. You MUST follow the rules of Kawi belts.. Never ever ever tow, mud, or slow trail in high range. Never ever ever ever tow in reverse ( its like high range). If you hit the gas and it does not jump like a cat in the tub, LET OFF!! You're burning the belt.
I got over 3000 miles out of all the belts on my Kawi's so they're not delicate.. It's just the motor is a beast and it eats belts for a joke if you don't respect it.



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07-12-2013, 10:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madkawi750 View Post
I owned 3 BF's and have a Teryx now.. Along with a 2009 800 grizzly..

The bf is a beast in the power department. My 2008 650i was the fastest of the 3 I owned. My 2008 650sra was as fast as my 2006 750i with the 750i having more torque..
The 650 sra ( solid rear axle) was the most durable of all.. 3000 mile and replaced nothing but oil, filters and tires.
I loved my 2006 camo 750i but it had a motor tick.
All of the " i " models have the same issue with front upper control alarm bushings.. They are Junk. I replaced with a set of machined polyurethane bushings from a fella on Nyroc forums. They were awesome.

The belts need attention often.. First 10 and at least every 100 hours after that you have to adjust the deflection. 22-27mm is the tolerance and if it gets loose it hurts performance ( still feels like an animal, just less snappy) and it will smoke easier.. And smoking is easy to do.. You MUST follow the rules of Kawi belts.. Never ever ever tow, mud, or slow trail in high range. Never ever ever ever tow in reverse ( its like high range). If you hit the gas and it does not jump like a cat in the tub, LET OFF!! You're burning the belt.
I got over 3000 miles out of all the belts on my Kawi's so they're not delicate.. It's just the motor is a beast and it eats belts for a joke if you don't respect it.



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thanks

i'm always busy with mine after every ride i usually have to fix somthing or change the diff oil
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#8
07-13-2013, 05:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madkawi750 View Post
I owned 3 BF's and have a Teryx now.. Along with a 2009 800 grizzly..

The bf is a beast in the power department. My 2008 650i was the fastest of the 3 I owned. My 2008 650sra was as fast as my 2006 750i with the 750i having more torque..
The 650 sra ( solid rear axle) was the most durable of all.. 3000 mile and replaced nothing but oil, filters and tires.
I loved my 2006 camo 750i but it had a motor tick.
All of the " i " models have the same issue with front upper control alarm bushings.. They are Junk. I replaced with a set of machined polyurethane bushings from a fella on Nyroc forums. They were awesome.

The belts need attention often.. First 10 and at least every 100 hours after that you have to adjust the deflection. 22-27mm is the tolerance and if it gets loose it hurts performance ( still feels like an animal, just less snappy) and it will smoke easier.. And smoking is easy to do.. You MUST follow the rules of Kawi belts.. Never ever ever tow, mud, or slow trail in high range. Never ever ever ever tow in reverse ( its like high range). If you hit the gas and it does not jump like a cat in the tub, LET OFF!! You're burning the belt.
I got over 3000 miles out of all the belts on my Kawi's so they're not delicate.. It's just the motor is a beast and it eats belts for a joke if you don't respect it.



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I just bought a Teryx yesterday and am learning the "Kaw Rules." The motors are incredible. With a little bit of work and these things come alive. I can only imagine having that kind of power in a quad!! I'm very please in the 10 miles I've put on it so far.

As for the Brute goes, I've heard that ride is not up to par with the Grizzly but not bad as long as you've got the "I" all the way around. It's like anything I suppose, give and take to have certain things.
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#9
07-13-2013, 07:00 AM
I wouldn't trade my grizzly to have my old brutes back, but that said.. It's not that the brutes were a bad ride... If I could have added power steering and fuel Injection to the 2008 bf650i I had, it would be a toss up. My brutes were reliable other than A arm bushings.. I also lived the Kawi belt rules and could adjust the belt in 50 minutes.. You don't have to remove the floor boards to get the cover off, so its quick to do.
I never put a single bearing, tie rod or end, or ball joint in any of my brutes. Plus with their awesome rear brake setup that has a service interval of 10,000 km, you know it's gonna last. They NEVER stopped working wet or dry.. Even I the extreme cold with all other machines in our group freezing up.
The reason I didn't get a new one with PS and Fi is because Kawi dropped the Ground Clearance to 9" in search of straight axle like high speed cornering.. You'd need a lift kit out the the box just to compare to a stock grizzly. And the new brute is kinda Fugly.. The front end is nasty looking. Lol.



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#10
07-13-2013, 07:01 AM
Oh.. And the Kawi diff locker is kinda crappy. I hate holding the lever in... And it never really worked great anyway.


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#11
07-13-2013, 07:45 AM
I have a 12 brute and my buddy has a 12 grizzly. Brute has a lot more power off the line. Stock, it rides rougher than the grizzly. Brute is easier to work on as u don't have to remove plastics to change oil. Brutes require more maintenance than grizzly also. My fil has a 06 brute and it rides like a dump truck. The 12 rides much much better. 05 and 06 brutes tend to have bus connector issues also. I love my 12 brute with aftermarket wheels and Elka shocks...it is a rocket on the trails and the grizzly can't keep up at all, but stock for stock, the grizzly is a better all around machine...it just isn't nearly as fun to drive on the trail
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#12
07-13-2013, 09:39 AM
'10 BF 650i

Bought it new, have a little over 7400 kms on it now.

Parts that failed/broke: (I'll come back to this point because I can't think of anything yet...)

Parts that wore out because that's what they do:
Front brake pads, replace once with Race Driven pads.

Parts that were replaced because I'm dumb:
Belt at 206hrs/3986kms.

Here's my story on the belts...and I'm not an expert but after 7400kms of trail/snow/mud/rocks/etc I can tell you my thoughts and you can do with them what you like.

The belt light will come on roughly ever 100 hours to remind you to adjust the deflection. The light turns on, nothing else, no limp mode, no walking home, just a little light that turns on. After you check/adjust, you unplug a connector, plug in a supplied jumper connector, cycle the key, it resets and goes away for another 100(ish) hours.
I got to 100 hrs, it was working fine, I reset the light without checking the deflection and life went on. I thought "I'll check it when I get time"..well, that turned into 200 hours. At 200, I dropped it off to a local guy that's good with brutes, asked him to check and adjust the deflection because it was jerking a little on a slow pull away, esp with two people on board. He called me, "you need a belt, it's a little too thin, ought to be replaced" I brought him a new belt, he put it on, without any adjusting, deflection was back to where it was brand new.
The new belt has performed exactly like the new one did that was on there when I got the bike new. It's now starting to jerk a bit on slow pull-aways again, but I expected that..the first one was replaced at around 4000kms. I'm getting close to 8000kms now.

My experience tells me that the way I drive mine, I can say to hell with the deflection, and toss a new belt at it every 4000kms. I get a new belt and peace of mind when I'm 100kms out in the woods, I'm not paying someone to tear it apart and fiddle with shims, or spending the time doing it myself....I've never smoked the belt, and don't plan to.
I have 25" bighorns and stop and think before I do stuff, so if a situation warrants low gear, I put it in low gear.

You can certainly check and adjust the deflection every weekend if you want, I'm just saying that I haven't and in 7400kms, no ill effects.

They don't have a wet clutch like the grizz...so, when you give it a little throttle, the primary immediately starts to close on the belt. It starts to pull, but it's slipping (it's supposed to). You pull away (ever so gently) and within about 5' you feel the primary squeeze to the point where hooks up, isn't slipping anymore and you're off. That first few feet is (IMO) where brute belts wear. I make it a habit to give the throttle a good solid bump when I'm pulling away, so it reduces that slipping time to next to nothing.

Just like pulling away with a standard car/truck, whatever. The clutch slips as you're getting rolling, once the slipping is over it can turn like that for a million miles and it will never wear one tiny bit. Ride the clutch a lot and slip it, you'll cook it quickly. Let it slip just enough to do its job and pull away like you mean it, it'll last nearly forever. Same way the BF belts work...if it's slipping, it's wearing. Avoid slipping it.

Just like a car clutch starts to grab hard when it's getting thin and worn, so does a brute belt. They wear a little thin and the primary can't squeeze it like it's designed to so it grabs and slips, grabs and slips...that's the jerking/chatter I mentioned...meaning...it's worn, replace it soon.


The rear brake...It's friction plates that run in the rear diff oil. It never sees water, mud, dirt, ice, snow, etc. You squeeze the brake and it works, regardless of the conditions, hot, cold, wet, dry, whatever. I've never had to adjust mine and it still works as well as it did off the showroom floor. And, they last darn near forever....no mud in them to grind them away.

Diff-lock. Love-hate. The lever's right there, quick and easy to grab when you need it. Get stuck and be over on the right side pushing and working the throttle and the diff lock lever is right....oh crap...it's wayyy the frig over THERE and you can't reach it. There is an easy mod that essentially involves adding a pin, so you can pull it all the way on and slide the pin down, locking the lever on.
As for the fact that you can feather it on and off quickly, not having to either have all or nothing, I like that. Some do, some don't...
My diff lock has also not required any adjustment or maintenance.

I have also not had to replace a suspension/steering part...INCLUDING the a-arm bushings/bearings....
But, I do have a little play in one upper ball joint, and a little slack in one rear wheel bearing..nothing that would stop me from going for a ride, but they'll need to be done shortly.
7400kms, I certainly can't complain.

As for more maintenance...I don't think so...at least in my case.
They do require a valve adjustment now and again, as the valves seat into the heads the valves will tighten up so you have no lash, and if ignored the valves will be so tight they'll hang open giving you backfiring and burned valves. If you can read a book and run a feeler gauge, the valve adjustment can be done yourself in a couple hours.

Oil is cheaper than metal, so I change fluids, etc way below what the manufacturer recommends. I change the oil, filter, and the front/rear diff oils every 800 kms. I check the front and rear after every ride in case water got in.
The front diff can easily get water in past the axle seals, so keep an eye on it. If it gets water in it, change it. It holds about 1/3 of a pint of 10w40. It's not gonna break the bank.
The rear diff takes TDH (Transmission/Differential/Hydraulic) fluid and it's about $18 a gallon at wally-world. All my oil changes and I'm only on my 2nd jug.

And no wet clutch so no friction modifiers and la-dee-da to worry about. Mine gets whatever brand name 10w40 is on sale.


My only complaint about my brute is the soft suspension in the rear and the lack of ground clearance created by it. It's not horribly, but when you're banging on stuff that the other guys drove right over, it can get old.....apples to apples though, the guy I usually ride with has a Cat on 26's. The Cat (if I remember) had the highest ground clearance of any stock bike for that year...) whatever....the ground clearance thing has never ruined my day. I wish there was more, but there isn't.

Blah blah blah.....not sure if you're still reading or if you passed out yet....anyway.....there's not as bad as people say. Treat them right, they'll return the favour.....or at least, mine certainly has.
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#13
07-13-2013, 10:23 AM
wow, another great write up by you guys.

I think with used brutes, 09' on up would be best.
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#14
07-13-2013, 11:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcfishguy View Post
'10 BF 650i

Bought it new, have a little over 7400 kms on it now.

Parts that failed/broke: (I'll come back to this point because I can't think of anything yet...)

Parts that wore out because that's what they do:
Front brake pads, replace once with Race Driven pads.

Parts that were replaced because I'm dumb:
Belt at 206hrs/3986kms.

Here's my story on the belts...and I'm not an expert but after 7400kms of trail/snow/mud/rocks/etc I can tell you my thoughts and you can do with them what you like.

The belt light will come on roughly ever 100 hours to remind you to adjust the deflection. The light turns on, nothing else, no limp mode, no walking home, just a little light that turns on. After you check/adjust, you unplug a connector, plug in a supplied jumper connector, cycle the key, it resets and goes away for another 100(ish) hours.
I got to 100 hrs, it was working fine, I reset the light without checking the deflection and life went on. I thought "I'll check it when I get time"..well, that turned into 200 hours. At 200, I dropped it off to a local guy that's good with brutes, asked him to check and adjust the deflection because it was jerking a little on a slow pull away, esp with two people on board. He called me, "you need a belt, it's a little too thin, ought to be replaced" I brought him a new belt, he put it on, without any adjusting, deflection was back to where it was brand new.
The new belt has performed exactly like the new one did that was on there when I got the bike new. It's now starting to jerk a bit on slow pull-aways again, but I expected that..the first one was replaced at around 4000kms. I'm getting close to 8000kms now.

My experience tells me that the way I drive mine, I can say to hell with the deflection, and toss a new belt at it every 4000kms. I get a new belt and peace of mind when I'm 100kms out in the woods, I'm not paying someone to tear it apart and fiddle with shims, or spending the time doing it myself....I've never smoked the belt, and don't plan to.
I have 25" bighorns and stop and think before I do stuff, so if a situation warrants low gear, I put it in low gear.

You can certainly check and adjust the deflection every weekend if you want, I'm just saying that I haven't and in 7400kms, no ill effects.

They don't have a wet clutch like the grizz...so, when you give it a little throttle, the primary immediately starts to close on the belt. It starts to pull, but it's slipping (it's supposed to). You pull away (ever so gently) and within about 5' you feel the primary squeeze to the point where hooks up, isn't slipping anymore and you're off. That first few feet is (IMO) where brute belts wear. I make it a habit to give the throttle a good solid bump when I'm pulling away, so it reduces that slipping time to next to nothing.

Just like pulling away with a standard car/truck, whatever. The clutch slips as you're getting rolling, once the slipping is over it can turn like that for a million miles and it will never wear one tiny bit. Ride the clutch a lot and slip it, you'll cook it quickly. Let it slip just enough to do its job and pull away like you mean it, it'll last nearly forever. Same way the BF belts work...if it's slipping, it's wearing. Avoid slipping it.

Just like a car clutch starts to grab hard when it's getting thin and worn, so does a brute belt. They wear a little thin and the primary can't squeeze it like it's designed to so it grabs and slips, grabs and slips...that's the jerking/chatter I mentioned...meaning...it's worn, replace it soon.


The rear brake...It's friction plates that run in the rear diff oil. It never sees water, mud, dirt, ice, snow, etc. You squeeze the brake and it works, regardless of the conditions, hot, cold, wet, dry, whatever. I've never had to adjust mine and it still works as well as it did off the showroom floor. And, they last darn near forever....no mud in them to grind them away.

Diff-lock. Love-hate. The lever's right there, quick and easy to grab when you need it. Get stuck and be over on the right side pushing and working the throttle and the diff lock lever is right....oh crap...it's wayyy the frig over THERE and you can't reach it. There is an easy mod that essentially involves adding a pin, so you can pull it all the way on and slide the pin down, locking the lever on.
As for the fact that you can feather it on and off quickly, not having to either have all or nothing, I like that. Some do, some don't...
My diff lock has also not required any adjustment or maintenance.

I have also not had to replace a suspension/steering part...INCLUDING the a-arm bushings/bearings....
But, I do have a little play in one upper ball joint, and a little slack in one rear wheel bearing..nothing that would stop me from going for a ride, but they'll need to be done shortly.
7400kms, I certainly can't complain.

As for more maintenance...I don't think so...at least in my case.
They do require a valve adjustment now and again, as the valves seat into the heads the valves will tighten up so you have no lash, and if ignored the valves will be so tight they'll hang open giving you backfiring and burned valves. If you can read a book and run a feeler gauge, the valve adjustment can be done yourself in a couple hours.

Oil is cheaper than metal, so I change fluids, etc way below what the manufacturer recommends. I change the oil, filter, and the front/rear diff oils every 800 kms. I check the front and rear after every ride in case water got in.
The front diff can easily get water in past the axle seals, so keep an eye on it. If it gets water in it, change it. It holds about 1/3 of a pint of 10w40. It's not gonna break the bank.
The rear diff takes TDH (Transmission/Differential/Hydraulic) fluid and it's about $18 a gallon at wally-world. All my oil changes and I'm only on my 2nd jug.

And no wet clutch so no friction modifiers and la-dee-da to worry about. Mine gets whatever brand name 10w40 is on sale.


My only complaint about my brute is the soft suspension in the rear and the lack of ground clearance created by it. It's not horribly, but when you're banging on stuff that the other guys drove right over, it can get old.....apples to apples though, the guy I usually ride with has a Cat on 26's. The Cat (if I remember) had the highest ground clearance of any stock bike for that year...) whatever....the ground clearance thing has never ruined my day. I wish there was more, but there isn't.

Blah blah blah.....not sure if you're still reading or if you passed out yet....anyway.....there's not as bad as people say. Treat them right, they'll return the favour.....or at least, mine certainly has.
Great right up. If I get a brute I will always treat it with care so I think it will last me a long time without issue as long as the previous owner didn't abuse it. I think the reason they get a bad reputation is people abuse the crap out of them and think the should hold up.
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07-13-2013, 12:04 PM
its sounds like the grizz would beat a brute in a 1000 mile baja race... -_-
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