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  Kawasaki ATVs
2012 Kawasaki Brute Force 300
An Economy-minded Sport Utility ATV That’s Handy – and Fun – Enough to Earn the Brute Force Name
Robert Boop

They say good things come in small packages. And in the case of Kawasaki’s all-new Brute Force® 300 sport utility ATV, that cliché rings true.

Replacing the venerable Bayou® 250 in Kawasaki’s highly acclaimed ATV lineup, the Brute Force 300 offers wide-ranging utility and sporting capability in a surprisingly affordable package. Here’s an all-around ATV that’s not only loads of fun to ride, but also delivers a high degree of work ethic and everyday versatility, whether you’re fence-fixing on the farm, plowing snow or trail-hopping with the family.

The versatility begins with an advanced, liquid-cooled, 271cc SOHC, four-stroke engine designed to pump out gobs of low- and mid-range torque – the sort of power that’s easy to use and plenty satisfying. Just push the throttle lever and away you go; no muss, no fuss.

Power is routed to the rear wheels via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with centrifugal clutch. The Brute Force 300 is the only machine in its class with this feature. Again, a push of the throttle lever is all it takes; once it’s in gear, no hassles. Transmission and CVT ratios are tailored for optimum power delivery in the speed ranges appropriate for a smaller-displacement ATV. These ratios also provide just the right amount of engine braking, which helps to tame tricky downhill trails and make slowing down an easier proposition.

Primary braking power comes from hydraulically activated triple disc brakes, one disc for each front wheel and a third fitted to the rear axle. All three 180mm discs are squeezed by single-piston calipers controlled by a pair of handlebar levers. Braking and acceleration traction is provided by grippy Maxxis tires jointly developed by Kawasaki and Maxxis for maximum traction, balanced handling and optimal wear characteristics.

Much of this balanced handling comes via the Brute Force 300’s double wishbone suspension setup with 5-way adjustable shocks up front and a similarly adjustable damper working through a swingarm in back. Optimized damping and spring rates result in a comfortable ride in a wide range of conditions, while one of the widest tracks in its class results in capable steering and confidence inspiring handling.

But what brings all this modern technology together is the Brute Force 300’s rugged, big-ATV styling, which was modeled after its larger Brute Force siblings. Whether you call it a family resemblance or sibling rivalry, the result is plenty impressive, with tall, beefy fenders that offer superb protection from mud and debris, and angular styling that looks both modern and aggressive.

Cockpit accommodations are generous and comfortable, with a wide handlebar for easy turning and enough room for larger riders. Grip weights help reduce engine vibration, while the half-waffle grips offer enhanced comfort even after hours in the saddle. And that saddle, by the way, sports super-thick cushioning – just the thing when you want to ride for a good long time.

The Brute Force 300 sports many other features, including a digital instrument pod showing all manner of useful information, a handy DC electrical socket, a gate-style shifter and a handy parking brake. There’s tons of overall carrying capacity, too, with dual rack carriers (44 pounds of capacity up front and 66 pounds in back) and a pair of handy compartments, one up front and another built into the right fender. Towing capacity is a surprisingly capable 500 pounds, and there’s even space and a mounting bracket behind the front grille for a Warn® winch. An electric push-button starter with a backup recoil unit offers maximum starting convienience, while the footpeg/floorboard design does double duty, offering riders plenty of room for their feet and helping increase the 300’s mud resistance when the going gets sloppy. Finally, a 3.2-gallon fuel tank means this stellar combination of fun and utility will last a good long time between fill-ups.

All in all, you won’t find a better outfitted ATV in the entry-level class. It may not be an open-class ATV, but there’s plenty of guts and ability to tackle just about any task or riding situation. See? Good things do come in small packages.

Authentic Kawasaki Accessories are available through Kawasaki dealers.

As with all off-highway vehicle recreation, Kawasaki encourages ATV riders to ride responsibly and to respect the environment. Kawasaki will pay first-time buyers of a new Kawasaki ATV $100 for completing an ATV rider safety course conducted by the ATV Safety Institute (ASI). Interested consumers can call ASI toll-free at 800-887-2887.

Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (KMC) markets and distributes Kawasaki motorcycles, ATVs, personal watercraft, utility vehicles and recreation utility vehicles through a network of more than 1,350 independent retailers, with an additional 8,000 retailers specializing in Kawasaki power products and general purpose engines. KMC and its affiliates employ nearly 3,100 people in the United States, with 300 of them located at KMC's Irvine, California headquarters.

Kawasaki’s tagline, “Let the good times roll.”, is recognized worldwide. The Kawasaki brand has become synonymous with powerful, stylish motorcycles for over four decades. Information about Kawasaki’s complete line of recreational products and Kawasaki affiliates can be found on the Internet at

2012 Kawasaki Brute Force® 300


Features and Benefits


Key Features

         Liquid-cooled 271cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine offers substantial power and torque, especially at lower rpm levels thanks to optimized engine tuning

         Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with centrifugal clutch offers easy control and a high potential for sporty fun

         ‘Big-ATV’ styling reflects that of Kawasaki’s flagship ATV – the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

         Carry racks in front and back hold 44 and 66 pounds, respectively

         Digital instrumentation is easy to read and offers a wide range of on-the-go info

         Heavy-duty steel-tube frame offers significant durability and competent handling characteristics

         Triple-disc brakes are easy to service and offer great power and feel at the levers

         Sturdy off-road tires developed jointly by Maxxis and Kawasaki offer an ideal combination of grip and durability


Four-stroke Liquid-cooled Engine

         Liquid-cooled 271cc four-stroke engine is designed for smooth power and optimum longevity

         SOHC engine is dimensionally arranged and tuned for an emphasis on low-end and mid-range power, the rpm range in which it will be used most. This power delivery makes the unit easier to control and ideal for utility and sporting roles

         Engine produces 20-plus horsepower and substantial torque, which ups the sporting and hauling quotients considerably

         Kawasaki Secondary Air system helps minimize emissions, allowing the Brute Force 300 to clear strict EPA and CARB standards

         Polished balancer gear teeth result in precise gear meshing, which contributes to low engine noise

         Air-cleaner duct opening is located high on the chassis, under the handle cover, which helps prevent water, mud, etc. from getting in


CVT and Centrifugal Clutch

         System offers an ideal combination of riding ease and control, especially for first-time ATV riders

         This CVT is based on the same general design used on our flagship ATV – the Brute Force 750 4x4i EPS

         Transmission and belt converter ratios were selected for optimum power delivery and the speed range appropriate for a smaller-displacement ATV

         Ratios provide the ideal amount of engine braking for this class of machine, which makes riding the Brute Force 300 easier in tricky situations

         High-strength CVT belt provides a large degree of durability and longevity

         Bevel gear surfaces benefit from a carbon-nitriding process (and shot-peening treatment) for maximum durability and longevity

         The CVT intake duct is located high on the chassis (under the tail) which helps prevent mud and water getting in

         Handy reverse gear makes slow-speed maneuvering easy

Sporty Yet Durable Chassis

         Steel-tube frame is lightweight and durable, and will withstand a pounding for years of utility or sporty riding

         Chassis hallmarks include excellent handling and straight-line stability, capable cornering characteristics via the wide track, and minimal bump-steer

         Long A-arms and rear axle give the Brute Force 300 one of the widest tracks in its class, which contributes to its ride comfort and exemplary handling manners

         Front track width is 850mm, while the rear track width is 830mm

         Front-to-rear chassis balance is optimized for stable cornering and maximum controllability

         Steering geometry and front and rear suspension settings have been coordinated and optimized for ideal balance, control and stability

         Optimized chassis tuning also contributes to light handling manners at slower speeds, where this unit will spend much of its time


Bodywork and ‘Big ATV’ Styling

         The Brute Force 300’s durable bodywork was styled after that of Kawasaki’s larger, category-leading Brute Force siblings

         Flush surface fit between the tank, seat and body panels contributes to comfort while aboard as well as a high-quality finish

         Large-volume bodywork (especially the fenders) gives the Brute Force 300 the size of an ATV one class larger, which adds value


Triple Disc Brakes

         Dual 180mm hydraulically activated disc brakes with single-piston calipers provide front wheels with prodigious stopping power

         A third 180mm disc with a similar caliper is featured in back

   A cable-operated parking brake system is also included for extra security when necessary

   Optimized master cylinder ratios offer riders an ideal braking balance between front and rear brakes


Grippy and Durable Off-road Tires

         These traction-maximized tires were developed jointly between Maxxis and Kawasaki

         Featuring optimized off-road grip and durability, these tires offer a blend of performance that’s hard to beat


Carrying and Towing Performance

         Equipped with robust carrying racks front and rear, the Brute Force 300 can carry 44 pounds of gear up front and 66 pounds in back

         Towing capacity is a substantial 500 pounds

         Behind the front grill is space (and a mounting bracket) for a Warn® winch, which greatly improves the unit’s utility and safety


Convenient Storage

         Front storage compartment is large enough to hold four 16.9-oz. bottles – more than the Brute Force 750 4x4’s front compartment

         A side pocket built into the right fender offers additional storage for smaller items


Digital Instrumentation

         Quality digital instrumentation console is ideally positioned and easy to read

         Features include: Speedometer, trip meter, fuel and temperature gauges, clock, and neutral/reverse/high-beam indicators

Mud Resistance

         The Brute Force 300 features a combination of footpegs and floorboards. The height difference between them is minimized to ensure rider comfort and greater freedom for foot placement

         The floorboards contribute to mud protection, while the holes in the floorboards are just large enough to prevent mud being trapped beneath the rider’s feet

         Small flaps on the front fenders, near the front of the floorboards, further protect the rider from mud and debris

         Front inner fenders help prevent mud from entering and clogging the engine compartment


Other Features

         3.2-gallon fuel tank and meager fuel consumption give the Brute Force 300 substantial range

         A DC socket located conveniently on the left side of the handle cover provides quick and easy power for accessories

         Cable-operated parking brake mechanically activates the rear brake without utilizing the braking system’s hydraulics

         Thick, cushioned seat offers a high degree of riding comfort

Reassuring recoil starter system offers a backup to the convenient electric start system


Liquid-cooled, four-stroke, single cylinder



Bore x stroke:

72.7 x 65.2mm

Compression ratio:



Keihin CVK32


Direct Current CDI


Two-speed automatic with reverse

Final drive:

2WD, Shaft


Double cradle, steel

Suspension front / wheel travel:

Double wishbone / 5.2 inches

Suspension rear / wheel travel:

Swingarm / 5.6 inches

Front tire:

Maxxix 22x7-10 tubeless

Rear tire:

Maxxis 22x10-10 tubeless

Front brakes / rear brake:

Dual 148mm discs / Single 148mm disc

Overall length:

75.3 in.

Overall width:

42.5 in.


45.8 in.

Ground clearance:

6.1 in.

Seat height:

33.3 in.


35 W headlights, 5W tallight and 21 W brake light

Rack capacity, front / rear:

44 lbs. / 66 lbs.

Towing capacity:

500 lbs.

Fuel capacity:

3.2 gal.

Curb weight:

535.7 lbs.


Speedometer, odometer, clock, fuel gauge and coolant temp light

Color choices:

Aztec Red, Super Black



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Composed: 10/09/2011 | Modified: 10/10/2011
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