when you goose the throttle and has
very impressive 0–30-mph times ( 3.0
seconds), but all that power coming
on so fast can be a handful in delicate
situations (rock crawling, switchbacks).
Power flattens out on top, especially
in deep sand, so Kawasaki has better
numbers from 30 to 50 mph when the
Teryx hits the governor. The Gator will
eventually get to 53 mph (on harder
surfaces), but the 783cc Teryx motor
accelerates harder in deep sand and
mud with slightly more compression
( 10.7:1 versus 10.3:1). Also, the Teryx
800 engine got a 26-percent boost in
fuel efficiency in the upgrade, so it has
more range. Fuel capacity is 7. 9 gallons
on the Teryx and 7. 4 for the Gator.
WHAT ABOUT THE CVT/4X4 DELIVERY?
Both systems are amazingly close
in features, but the Kawasaki is more
refined. Both have dual-range CVT
with EBS and a knob on the dash to
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The base 2014 Teryx 800 EPS goes
for $12,999, while Realtree APG-HD
Camo models sell for $14,299, and the
Limited Edition with automotive Candy
Lime Green or Burnt Orange paint and
three-tone seats is $14,999. Likewise,
the Gator RSX850i Trail is $14,999,
and the Sport is $15,499, while the
base RSX is $12,999. The 2014 Polaris
Ranger 800 EPS LE is $13,299, the
Ranger XP 900 starts at $13,199, and
the EPS 900 is $14,199. The Can-Am
Commander 800 DPS starts at $12,899
and jumps to $17,499, and the Arctic
Cat Prowler XTX700 EPS is $13,299 to
$13,599. Our Gator is actually a Sport
with the Trail roof option.
WHO HAS THE BETTER V-TWIN POWER?
It’s close, but the Gator makes more
usable power, and it leaps ahead of
the Teryx out of the hole and maintains
its lead to top speed. The Gator leaps
Which is better, the Kawasaki Teryx 800
LE or the John Deere Gator RSX850i
Sport? Both V-Twin-powered UTVs have
identical prices, similar components
and features, and remarkably close
performance and handling.
square- and round-tube steel frame,
and a two-piece plastic airbox sits
above the engine. Suspension is
standard issue in front (dual A-arms
with sway bar like the Teryx), but a five-link, semi-trailing-arm system in back
uses aluminum top arms and cast steel
lowers to deliver 9 inches of travel, but
it feels like more on the trail. The Gator
RSX850i comes in a base model, Trail
or Sport in traditional green/yellow,
olive/black or camouflage, and is closest
to the new Teryx in price, performance,
features and fitment. Let’s see which is
the better sporty UTV!
Both have sport front bumpers with two auxiliary-light mounts and 26-inch Bighorn 2.0 tires,
but the Gator has 14-inch wheels for a wider contact patch and 34 more watts of headlight
power. The Gator has under-hood storage and the battery under the passenger seat, plus full-length A-arm guards.
The rear end of the Gator is trapezoidal for the trailing, five-link suspension, and Fox Podium
2.0 shocks provide 9 inches of quality travel. The Teryx uses similar Fox Podium X shocks for
its IRS dual-A-arm suspension, but it doesn’t have as much travel ( 8. 3 inches) or rear torsion
bar. Both have 2-inch receivers, but the Teryx tows slightly more (1300 pounds versus 1200).
The Gator and Teryx front ends are very
similar with Fox Podium X shocks and front
torsion bars, but the RSX850i has an inch
more travel ( 9 inches). We bottomed the
front end in whoops and went in three clicks
to eliminate the clank.