A New Era Of Premium Off-Roading Has Begun With The All-New 2024-25 Kawasaki RIDGE Side-By-Side

Published online: Jan 26, 2024 New Products
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Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., an innovator in the off-road vehicle industry, has announced the debut of its latest creation – an all-new groundbreaking side=-by-side that changes everything, the Kawasaki RIDGE® side x side. Designed to elevate the off-road experience for powersports enthusiasts and property owners alike.

The Kawasaki RIDGE is engineered with premium components and luxurious cab features, promising unparalleled comfort and versatility for riders navigating the trails, as well as those undertaking essential tasks on their properties.

Kawasaki Ridge Key Features

  • Kawasaki-Built 999cc Liquid-Cooled, 4-Stroke In-Line Four Cylinder Engine
  • Roomy Interior with Premium Comfort
  • Full Cab with HVAC (HVAC & Limited models)
  • Long-Travel Double Wishbone Suspension and High Ground Clearance
  • 27-Inch Tires with 14-Inch Aluminum Wheels
  • All-LED Exterior Lighting
  • Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  • Power Mode Selection
  • On the Fly Electrically Selectable 4WD & Rear Differential Lock
  • Chassis Designed for Comfort
  • 1000-lbs Capacity Tilting Cargo Bed
  • 7-inch Full-color TFT Instrumentation
  • 8-inch Garmin Tread (Limited model)
  • Adjustable driver seat
  • Automotive-Inspired Fit & Finish Exterior and Interior
  • Smartphone Connectivity via RIDEOLOGY THE APP POWERSPORTS
  • Kawasaki STRONG Three-Year Limited Warranty

Engine

In the realm of powersports engineering, the heartbeat of a vehicle is often found within its engine. Kawasaki, a name synonymous with innovation and performance, has once again raised the bar with its liquid-cooled, 4-stroke in-line four-cylinder engine—a technological marvel that seamlessly combines power, precision and comfort.

At the core of this engineering masterpiece is a 999cc DOHC, 4-valve-per-cylinder configuration that boasts a bore and stroke of 73.4 x 59.0mm. This setup translates to an output of 92 hp†, 65.6 ft lbs of torque†, delivering impressive power and torque across a broad spectrum of applications, from demanding work scenarios to exhilarating recreational pursuits.

What sets this engine apart is its ability to provide a silky-smooth power delivery with an exceptionally linear response. The accelerator pedal becomes a conduit to a controlled and comfortable ride, offering drivers a satisfying power feeling without sacrificing efficiency.

The distinct exhaust note of the in-line four-cylinder engine is not only a testament to its power but also a symphony of engineering precision. Remarkably quiet, it allows for uninterrupted conversations within the cab emphasizing a commitment to rider experience. The engine’s rubber-mounted design reduces vibrations contributing to a comfortable ride, even in the most demanding of conditions.

The snorkel-style intake, strategically located under the hood, minimizes the risk of dust or water ingestion. A high-performance Donaldson air filter provides superb dust collection performance for an added layer of reliability.

The engine's fuel injection system, managed by an electronic throttle valve, precisely controls both fuel and air delivery. This fine-tuned orchestration results in a smooth, natural response and an ideal output, ensuring a seamless driving experience.

The 29mm intake valves and 24mm exhaust valves play a crucial role in optimizing performance across different rpm ranges. The rear-facing exhaust ports not only contribute to heat management but also enhance low-end performance, showcasing the meticulous attention to detail in the design.

The engine is complemented by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that facilitates smooth responses. The engineers at Kawasaki went the extra mile to simulate the characteristics of a CVT and centrifugal clutch combination, providing an unparalleled driving experience, especially at low speeds and during precise driving.

The CVT is designed to allow engine braking, instilling confidence in drivers when navigating descents. Smooth gear selection, be it Forward-High, Forward-Low, or Reverse, further reinforces the refinement of this system.

The engine's cooling system, featuring a large-capacity radiator and a right-side engine cooling fan, ensures optimal performance and reliability. The 1,120 W generator adds practicality, offering abundant power for heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), and various accessories.

In essence, the Kawasaki-built in-line four-cylinder engine is more than just a powerhouse: it's a testament to the marriage of cutting-edge technology and thoughtful design. With a commitment to delivering unparalleled performance and rider comfort, Kawasaki continues to redefine the boundaries of what is possible in the world of powersports.

Power Mode Selection

The Kawasaki RIDGE offers the freedom to tailor your vehicle's performance to your preference and your driving conditions. With the choice of three distinctive modes – Work, Normal, and Sport – our system puts you in control like never before.

Work Mode: Enhancing Utility And Precision

Designed for utility and precision, this mode provides a milder response that is perfect for tasks requiring a smooth and constant pace. Whether you're carrying a load or navigating uneven surfaces, the programmed response minimizes the likelihood of sudden changes in vehicle speed or engine rpm.

One of the standout features of Work mode is its carefully selected throttle response and engine braking characteristics. At low speeds, experience unparalleled control using only the gas pedal.

Sport Mode: Unleash The Thrill

For those moments when you crave an exhilarating driving experience, look no further than Sport mode. Immerse yourself in the thrill of sharper, more linear throttle response that establishes a direct connection between the gas pedal and the engine.

Sport mode is engineered to cater to the driving enthusiast in you, whether you’re tackling the trails or indulging in spirited acceleration.

Normal Mode: Striking The Perfect Balance

When versatility is key, Normal mode steps into the spotlight. Striking a perfect balance between the utility of Work mode and the spirited performance of Sport mode, Normal mode offers a smooth engine response right from the moment the throttle is opened. It is the go-to setting for everyday driving, providing an enjoyable and responsive experience without compromising efficiency.

Normal mode seamlessly adapts to various driving scenarios, offering a harmonious blend of power and control.

On-The-Fly Electrically Selectable 2WD, 4WD & Rear Differential Lock

The electrically selectable 4WD and rear differential lock provide the ultimate flexibility in drive systems, allowing you to effortlessly transition between different modes to meet the demands of ever-changing terrain.

In two-wheel drive mode, experience light and responsive steering, as well as fuel efficiency and ease of maneuverability.

4WD Mode provides enhanced traction that minimizes ground disturbance. Feel the confidence as your vehicle navigates through gravel, dirt, or uneven surfaces, ensuring stability and control.

If you need to elevate your off-road capabilities, 4WD + Differential Lock mode engages both 4WD and the rear differential lock. This combination delivers maximum traction, ensuring you conquer the terrain with confidence. Navigate through mud, snow, or rocky landscapes with confidence, knowing your vehicle is optimized for peak performance.

With our On-the-Fly system, the transition between drive systems is seamless and instantaneous. As soon as you turn the switch, the vehicle responds promptly, giving you the control to activate 4WD or the rear differential lock precisely when you need it. No need to stop or slow down – adapt to changing conditions on the go.

Range And Maintenance

The nearly 13-gallon fuel tank provides a generous range between fill-ups, minimizing interruptions during tasks or allowing extended adventures on the trail. Positioned well away from the wheels, the fuel tank is shielded from potential impacts by flying debris, further enhanced by a protective steel guard.

Routine maintenance is achieved with easily located oil and air filter locations; the oil filter is easily accessed by removing the fender panel forward of the rear wheel. The air filter on the RIDGE is located under the seat and can be accessed by lifting the passenger seat.

Chassis

The RIDGE frame boasts a ladder-type construction, crafted from high-quality steel square tubes, ensuring a robust foundation. This design imparts highly predictable chassis performance and exceptional durability to the vehicle. High-strength material is strategically employed in high-load areas, such as the suspension mounting plates, reinforcing critical components.

Achieving an optimal balance between lateral and torsional stiffness, the frame not only provides durability but also allows just the right amount of chassis flex. This flexibility is crucial for handling the shocks encountered during off-highway riding, providing a superior level of ride comfort.

Utilizing rubber for three of the engine mounts and carefully tuning the CVT settings effectively minimized unwanted vibration, leaving behind only the pleasing note of the engine.

The RIDGE ROPS ensures high seal performance for doors and windows, enhancing the overall quality of the vehicle. The thoughtful design and material choices come together to create a structure that not only withstands the rigors of varied terrains but also prioritizes the driver's comfort.

The RIDGE was meticulously designed with a focus on comfort, evident in its wide-body chassis that contributes to a composed handling character and elevated ride comfort. The chassis was specifically engineered to accommodate long-travel suspension and a concurrently designed full-cab, ensuring a consistently high level of comfort during rides.

Even while in motion, the vehicle offers a serene and calm interior, thanks to its low noise and low vibration features. This translates to a quiet composure inside the cab, enhancing the overall driving experience.

The wide track significantly contributes to the vehicle's stability with a width of 64-inches. The highly composed chassis platform is further complemented by front and rear independent suspension, adding an extra layer of ride comfort for occupants.

With a wheelbase of 90.7-inches, the RIDGE achieves a perfect balance of composed handling and a spacious cab with ample legroom. Importantly, this is achieved without unnecessarily increasing the overall length of the vehicle. This thoughtful design choice allows for a relatively short 4.5 m (14.7 ft) turning radius, facilitating the negotiation of tight corners in wooded areas, or confidently navigating ridgelines.

The RIDGE has a high ground clearance of 14-inches (13.6-inches on Limited and Ranch models) at max preload and enhances accessibility during work or recreational activities while ensuring a superb ride comfort by reducing the likelihood of scraping its bottom. This feature is particularly beneficial in navigating varied terrains.

Additionally, the high ground clearance contributes to a favorable breakover angle, minimizing the risk of bottoming out when cresting a ridge or traversing over obstacles. This design choice enhances the vehicle's ability to capably tackle challenging landscapes.

Furthermore, the high approach and departure angles on the RIDGE play a pivotal role in optimizing its off-road performance. By minimizing bodywork overhang and positioning the wheels as close to the bumpers as possible, the design reduces the chances of hitting the bumper or scraping the tail when navigating steep slopes.

To ensure comprehensive protection, the wheel wells are made from steel, rather than plastic. These act as a barrier, offering the vehicle additional protection from rocks and other flying debris encountered during off-road adventures.

The RIDGE employs a double-wishbone suspension system both at the front and rear, allowing each wheel to navigate obstacles with minimal impact on the chassis. The shock absorbers, featuring single-rate springs on the front and dual-rate springs on the rear, complement the chassis' balanced flexibility, delivering excellent bump absorption and rough road performance. This ground-hugging suspension excels at following the terrain, ensuring a smooth ride within the cab.

To enhance ride comfort, the suspension settings are designed to minimize chassis roll speed, providing a more composed experience for passengers. The long wheel travel of 12.7-inches front and rear contributes to high ground clearance and optimal ride comfort.

The rear shock absorbers are mounted to the lower A-arms enabling a long shock stroke while maintaining a cargo bed height conducive to easy loading. Both front and rear shock absorbers offer 5-way adjustable preload.

The RIDGE is equipped with front and rear disc brakes, ensuring strong and precise stopping power. The hydraulic disc system delivers predictable performance, matching brake power to the input at the pedal.

The large-diameter 27-inch tires and 14-inch aluminum wheels contribute to the outstanding off-road capability and high ground clearance of the RIDGE. Spoke-style machining emphasizes the tough and durable image of the vehicle.

The cargo bed, measuring 35 x 49 x 12.8-inches with a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. is designed for substantial loads. Its flat design facilitates loading from three sides, and in models without a full cab, the cargo bed can be accessed from the cab. Four built-in hooks provide convenient tie-down points.

The gas-assisted tilting cargo bed features tilting-release levers on both sides, allowing easy access to the engine. The bed incorporates a single-latch tailgate release system for effortless opening and closing. The injection-molded tailgate design includes built-in cup holders, and the tailgate can be removed without tools. The cargo bed walls have slots for cargo dividers, enhancing secure stowing of items.

Octagonal slots in the cargo bed walls accommodate the new-style optional KQR™ accessory mounts, enabling snap-mounted attachment of a toolbox or other items to the cargo bed rails.

Additionally, the RIDGE boasts a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. and a standard 2-inch tow hitch receiver is compatible with a variety of accessory hitches.

Automotive-Inspired Fit And Finish

The RIDGE boasts a premium exterior design to match its rugged, sporty styling, featuring painted fenders and all-LED lighting. The front headlights (48.6 W / 22.2 W) with line-type LED position lamps create a fierce expression, complemented by a large aluminum Kawasaki emblem on the front grille and a solid-looking steel front bumper. On the RIDGE® Limited, a painted rear bumper adds to the tough appearance from the rear. Painted fenders contribute to the car-quality fit and finish.

Front wheel wells with a beveled leading edge effectively deflect mud away from the body, ensuring cleanliness. LED taillights with a pickup-truck-style design add to the car-quality fit and finish.

The roomy cab in the RIDGE accommodates three people comfortably, offering contoured seating for the driver and right-side passenger. Ample legroom for all is complemented by a lever-adjustable driver's seat and tilt steering, allowing the driver to fine-tune their position for control and comfort. EPS (Electric Power Steering) is standard, and sliding behind the wheel feels like getting into a car, providing a natural sitting position and easy access to controls.

Seat material with superb elasticity offers increased comfort and holding performance. The bench seat features contoured seating for the driver and right-side passenger, contributing to a higher-grade image. The driver's seat is lever-adjustable, with a superior total forward-rearward range of 5-inch, adjustable in ½ inch increments. Handgrips integrated into the ROPS frame for passengers contribute to comfort, and each seating position is equipped with a three-point seat belt. Anti-cinch seatbelts for the driver and right-side passenger enhance ride comfort.

Doors are a standard feature on all models, and feature both internal and external door handles, with a flat design on the inside to maximize passenger space. Wide space between the dashboard and seats allows easy movement through the cab and a standard plastic roof offers protection from the elements while contributing to a high-class image.

High-grade fit and finish details, including floor lighting, backlit switches, and decorative components, further contribute to the premium car-like interior. The high-grade automotive-style ignition key adds to the premium quality feel.

The factory-standard full cab on the RIDGE HVAC and RIDGE Limited models is equipped with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), offering a comfortable escape from extreme weather conditions. The full cab includes a glass windshield with a ridgeline graphic, full doors with power windows, a glass rear panel, a plastic roof with a roof liner, a windshield wiper and washer, a rearview mirror, and an interior ceiling light. Seal performance is excellent due to a reverse design approach, with the cab designed and engineered in conjunction with the rest of the vehicle, contributing to efficient climate control and passenger comfort.

The HVAC unit includes multiple vents with mode selection, adjustable fan strength, a choice of fresh or recirculated air, and fast-acting temperature control, providing a high level of convenience and comfort for the RIDGE driver and passengers.

Electric Power Steering

Every RIDGE model is equipped with Kawasaki’s high-grade electric power steering (EPS) system which operates most effectively at extremely slow speeds and when the vehicle is stopped. When turning the wheel, a signal is sent to the EPS Electronic Control Unit (ECU), activating assistance. The ECU utilizes input from the vehicle speed sensor and torque sensor to determine the required steering assistance needed from the electric motor. Assistance is highest at slow speeds or when stopped and decreases as vehicle speed increases to ensure responsive steering. Additionally, the EPS system acts as a damping system, enhancing ride comfort and control by minimizing kickback to the steering wheel caused by shocks to the wheels.

Tilted Steering Wheel

The RIDGE steering wheel features a tilting function, allowing drivers to adjust its position according to their preference and lift it out of the way to facilitate entry and exit. The high-grade D-shaped steering wheel not only contributes to comfort but also enhances the high-quality feel of the RIDGE.

TFT Color Instrumentation

A large 7-inch high-grade full-color TFT LCD screen integrated into the automotive-style dashboard adds to the truck-like quality of the RIDGE. Multiple selectable display modes offer customizable information presentation. The high-grade instrumentation includes infotainment features, such as three selectable display modes (Digital, Analog, Simple) and screen background options (black or white). The brightness adjusts automatically based on available light, with manual adjustments available for driver preference. LCD bonding technology minimizes glare for high clarity. The screen displays various functions, including speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, gear indicator, Driving Mode, Power Mode, clock, CVT temperature, and more. Surrounding indicator lamps provide additional at-a-glance information. When linked to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the instrument display indicates calls and messages received.

Smartphone Connectivity

Bluetooth technology in the instrumentation allows wireless connectivity with the side x side. Using the smartphone application RIDEOLOGY THE APP POWERSPORTS*, drivers can access vehicle information, log GPS routes, adjust instrument display settings, communicate, and share profiles and trip logs with other users. Compatibility is limited to iOS-type smartphones.

Storage

The RIDGE is designed with a focus on convenient storage solutions to enhance the overall driving experience. The dashboard features three covered compartments, each providing enclosed storage for small items. These compartments include a lidded storage area above the dashboard center console (on non-HVAC models), a passenger-side glove box, and another lidded compartment positioned above the glove box. Additionally, on the RIDGE Limited, a small pocket built into the ROPS A-pillar upper cross member offers space for sunglasses or other small items.

For easy access to small items, a handy pocket is incorporated into the dashboard center console on all models except the RIDGE Limited.

Cup holders built into the left and right sides of the dashboard are large enough to accommodate 30 oz. cups and feature a design that accommodates cup handles. The RIDGE Limited further enhances storage with a center portion of the seat back which folds down, providing access to two additional cup holders.

Underneath the passenger seats, storage space is available, and the center and right-side seats can be flipped up to facilitate the transportation of larger items beside the driver's seat. A gas damper smoothens the movement of the seat, adding to the premium quality feel.

Amenities

In terms of electronic accessories, the RIDGE features a DC socket integrated into the dashboard, providing power for accessory items or personal devices. Additionally, two USB ports are available inside the lidded storage above the glove box.

The RIDGE is equipped with terminal blocks and pre-wiring for accessories, offering convenient connecting points for various add-ons. A terminal block below the glove box provides a connecting point for accessories, while a second terminal block behind the front bumper serves as a connecting point for winch use on models without a pre-equipped winch.

For those requiring a winch, the RIDGE Ranch comes with the WARN VRX 45 Powersport Winch as standard equipment, featuring durable aircraft-grade steel rope. The RIDGE Limited is equipped with the WARN VRX 45-S Powersport Winch, featuring synthetic rope. Both winches are built with premium components, offering market-leading performance and features. Installation kits designed specifically for the RIDGE models ensure a well-integrated fit. Illuminated dash-mounted rocker control switches are complemented by corded remotes for user-friendly operation.

The RIDGE Limited further elevates the driving experience with the inclusion of an 8” Garmin Tread off-road navigation system as standard equipment. This navigation system, with group ride radio capability, provides large-screen navigation that can be easily viewed by both driver and passengers. The system's large screen size also makes it ideal for infotainment functions, offering features like audio track display when linked to an iOS-type smartphone. For a complete audio experience, the RIDGE Limited comes standard with an audio system that includes four 6.5-inch coaxial speakers built into the ROPS A-pillar upper cross member along with a full-range 300 W Class-D integrated amplifier that is designed to pair perfectly with the audio system’s coaxial speakers for clean, high-quality performance.

Kawasaki Genuine Accessories

A comprehensive range of accessories is available to enhance the overall experience with a total of 72 items to choose from.

In the COMFORT category, options include full hard doors (power), KQR soft upper doors, fixed windshields in glass or polycarbonate, vented windshields, flip-up windshields in glass, half windshields in polycarbonate, and various rear panel options. Comfort features also extend to a heater/defroster and windshield wiper with a washer.

Under CONVENIENCE, users can opt for a plow frame, a 72-inch plow blade, plow mount bracket, snowplow actuator, cargo bed multi-purpose rack, 2-inch hitch drawbar, 2-inch chrome hitch ball, and dome light. Also available are WARN VRX and AXON winches, each available with installation kits.

For CARGO MANAGEMENT, choices include a cargo bed lift, cargo bed storage box, and cargo bed KQR mount.

VEHICLE PROTECTION is addressed with accessories like a brush guard, rear bumper, front and rear A-arm guard sets, skid plate set, nerf bar set, and a storage cover that can be used when the RIDGE is being towed on a trailer.

In terms of APPEARANCE, users can choose from roof mount LED light bars and front bumper LED light bars, each with their respective installation kits. A premium roof liner is also available.

AUDIO options range from an interactive display and mount kit, interactive display audio kit, basic audio system, to a Stage 2 audio upgrade.

OTHER accessories include a horn, back-up beeper, rearview mirror, lighted wide-angle rearview mirror, premium side mirrors, front view camera, and rearview camera. These items provide a wide array of choices to tailor the vehicle according to individual preferences and needs.

Trim Levels

The RIDGE is available in four trim levels, including RIDGE Ranch Edition, RIDGE HVAC and RIDGE Limited, with the base model RIDGE becoming available later this spring. The base and HVAC models are available in Candy Persimmon Red with the Ranch Edition model available in Metallic Stardust White and the Limited model in Metallic Shadow Gold. MSRP for RIDGE models start at $23,999 for the RIDGE Ranch Edition, $29,999 for RIDGE HVAC and $33,499 for the RIDGE Limited.

To top it off, all Kawasaki RIDGE side-by-sides are confidently backed by the Kawasaki STRONG 3-Year Limited Warranty.

2025 Kawasaki RIDGE

Colors: Candy Persimmon Red

MSRP: To be announced

Availability: Coming this Fall

2024 Kawasaki RIDGE Ranch Edition

Colors: Metallic Stardust White

MSRP: $23,999

Availability: Now

2024 Kawasaki RIDGE HVAC

Colors: Candy Persimmon Red

MSRP: $29,999

Availability: Coming this Spring

2024 Kawasaki RIDGE Limited

Colors: Metallic Shadow Gold

MSRP: $33,499

Availability: Coming this Spring

Disclaimers:

*RIDEOLOGY THE APP POWERSPORTS is not intended for use during vehicle operation. Only use RIDEOLOGY THE APP POWERSPORTS when the vehicle is not being operated and it is safe to do so.

†This vehicle's HP was measured according to ISO standard 4106. This ISO standard measures HP differently than the SAE standards by which the horsepower of many cars is measured, and as a result the referenced HP measurement may be higher than if it were measured by an SAE standard.

For more information, visit www.kawasaki.com.