It has been nine years since Kawasaki pulled the sheet off its Mule PRO lineup with there being no significant updates since then other than cosmetic changes. Change is now upon us because Kawasaki has unveiled a significantly updated Mule PRO with a 1000 engine. Yes, we say hello to the Mule Pro 1000. No window dressing here but a significant list of updates to the platform, most significantly the obvious powertrain upgrade to a parallel twin-cylinder Kawasaki built 999cc engine. All of the laundry list of updates make what has already been a great utility-recreation side-by-side that much better with us giving all of these changes a big “thumbs up”. The list includes the new more powerful engine, longer suspension travel, more ground clearance, self-leveling rear suspension, and improved access to service points along with new front grille styling. The guts of these changes to the suspension and engine make the Mule PRO competitive with other utility-rec industry offerings. We have always appreciated the ride and capability of the Mule PRO lineup with it’s 2000 LB towing capacity and large 1000 LB cargo bed. The updates make the Mule PRO more trail capable which is a welcome thing. Still wish it had a front diff lock option though! The entire press release is below.
Mule PRO-FX 1000- $18,299
Mule PRO-FXR 1000- Starting at $16,599
Mule PRO-FXT 1000- Starting at $20,299
A new Kawasaki-built 999cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke parallel-twin engine can be found on the 2024 MULE PRO-FX 1000, MULE PRO-FXR 1000, and MULE PRO-FXT 1000 model ranges. This compact 999cc engine delivers both high power and high torque with engine tuning set for low-mid torque in order to achieve driveability and enhance low-speed control. Featuring a bore and stroke of 92.0 x 75.1mm, this new fuel-injected parallel-twin engine produces significantly more power and torque than that previously found on the MULE PRO series.
With the new, more powerful engine, the 2024 MULE PRO 1000 is Kawasaki’s fastest MULE side x side to date. A new snorkel intake routes air to the engine via a new air filter which is 80% larger than on previous MULE PRO series models and offers excellent dust collection performance. Following the air cleaner, intake air flows through a single 38mm throttle body into an intake manifold that feeds both cylinders and contributes to a driver-friendly response. A separate intake for the CVT uses a mesh cover to help filter out rocks and other unwanted particles. The electronic throttle valve system enables the ECU to control the volume of both the fuel (via the injectors) and the air (via throttle valves) delivered to the engine. Fine atomizing injectors produce a droplet size of 75 µm and contribute to efficient combustion and engine response.
Further contribtuing to the engine’s low-mid range torque are 33mm intake valves and 28mm exhaust valves. The exhaust ports feature D-shaped cross-sections that efficiently produce increased performance. The D-shaped cross-sections feed into the 2-into-1 style exhaust manifold that connects to a long single pipe shortly after exiting the cylinder head. This design promotes low-mid torque and contributes to the low-speed driveability. The dual-wall exhaust pipe features a sandwich-type heat cover that helps minimize heat build-up in the engine compartment. A large, 8L silencer contributes to quiet operation.
Keeping the engine running at peak performance is a large-capacity radiator that is located at the front, behind the grille. This position was selected for optimal cooling and it is positioned far enough back so that it is protected by the frame, keeping Kawasaki’s tough, reliable, and durable build philosophy in mind. A radiator fan cover on the back of the radiator directs hot air down and away from the passenger compartment, aiding in rider comfort.
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.
Ease of maintenance has been improved with new access to the oil filter, oil dipstick, and air filter. The new intake duct system offers improved dust resistance and results in longer maintenance intervals.
Thanks to its 7.92 gallon fuel tank, plenty of the distance in the great outdoors can be covered between fill-ups, allowing family, campers, or hunters to travel deep into the bush and back. The fuel tank is positioned away from the wheels to help avoid contact with flying debris and features a steel guard for further protection.
The chassis found on the 2024 MULE PRO 1000 models feature rugged frame construction that benefits from durability as well as handling and ride comfort. The frame features a ladder-type construction and is built from high-quality steel square tubes. The frame components are joined together using a combination of welds and bolts to achieve highly predictable chassis performance and excellent durability. High load areas such as the suspension mounting plates utilize high-tensile steel for increased strength. Extensive stiffness balance testing was done, helping achieve the optimal balance between lateral and torsional stiffness. Chassis tuning was designed to deliver durability while allowing the ideal amount of chassis flex in order to handle the absorption of off-highway riding, ensuring ride comfort. Full rubber mounting of the engine helps keep engine vibration to a minimum.
A wide-body chassis design and relatively short wheelbase contributes to a composed handling character and riding comfort, while benefitting manueverability when on tight trails in the woods. The wide track contributes to vehicle stability and the highly composed chassis is complemented by front and rear independent suspension that adds to ride comfort.
The MULE PRO-FX 1000 and MULE PRO-FXT 1000 models feature a wheelbase of 92.3-inches, while the MULE PRO-FXR 1000 has a wheelbase of 79.7-inches. Combined with the higher ground clearance, the short wheelbase contributes to improved breakover angle, which reduces the chance of bottoming out when riding over obstacles. Ground clearance for the MULE PRO-FXT 1000 models ranges from 11.6 inches to 12.5-inches, 11.8 to 11.9-inches on the MULE PRO-FX 1000, and 12.2 to 13.2-inches on MULE PRO-FXR 1000 models. High approach and departure angles also contribute to the off-highway performance of these models. Minimal bodywork overhang reduces the chance of hitting the bumper or scraping the tail when going up or coming down steep slopes.
Long-travel double-wishbone suspension is used for both front and rear to enable each of the wheels to drive over obstacles with minimum effect on the chassis. Complementing the flex of the chasis are twin-tube shock absorbers that provide excellent bump absorption. Long wheel travel consisting of 10.9-inches on the front and 10.0-inches on the rear contributes to increased ground clearance and ride comfort.
Suspension settings were carefully selected to help minimize chassis body roll, providing a more composed ride for passengers. Large-gauge mounting bolts were used at the A-arm pivots and suspension upper and lower mounts were chosen specifically for their contribution to suspension durability.
The MULE PRO-FX 1000 HD, MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE Ranch Edition, and MULE PRO-FXT 1000 Platinum Ranch Edition models feature Kawasaki’s first self-levelling suspension that helps keep the vehicle level when carrying a heavy load. This allows the weight to be spread more evenly and benefits both handling and braking performance. The system uses the mechanical energy of the shock action to pump the oil as the vehicle is moving. The system is automatic and does not require any electronic systems or a compressor and the normal suspension movement over a regular road surface provides sufficient pumping action to level the vehicle. When the load is removed and the shocks extend above the optimum level, a release circuit is exposed, allowing the oil to return to the reservoir and the ride height to slowly decrease to its optimum level.
BRAKES & WHEELS
Front and rear disc brakes ensure strong stopping power and a hydraulic disc system offers predictable performance, delivering brake power that matches input at the brake pedal. Front discs measure 212mm and are gripped by two-piston calipers. The calipers feature 27mm pistons. On the rear, a 212mm disc is slowed by a single-piston caliper with a 34mm piston. Semi-metallic brake pads offer a balance between braking power and long brake life. Pulling the parking brake lever located on the dash to the left of the steering wheel activates the rear brakes. The ECU features a fuel injection cut control that limits engine speed in case the driver attempts to ride away with the parking brake still engaged.
The MULE PRO-FX 1000 and MULE PRO-FXT 1000 models come equipped with 26-inch tires that are mounted to 12-inch rims. The large 26-inch radial tires allow for obstacles to be easily conquered and contribute to the vehicle’s excellent handling. The MULE PRO-FXR 1000 is equipped with 27-inch bias-ply tires that deliver enhanced performance and excellent ride comfort. The tires also offer excellent cornering grip, matching the MULE PRO-FXR 1000’s nimbler chassis.
Thanks to the wide-body chassis, a roomy interior space is achieved and offers the shoulder and legroom for three adults to comfortably sit side-by-side with the six-passenger MULE PRO-FXT 1000 able to accommodate three more passengers in the rear. The seat material features superb elasticity, offering increased comfort and durability. The material is also resistant to cold, allowing it to maintain its suppleness when temperatures drop and reducing the chance of tearing or ripping when exposed to cold temperatures. On select models, the front bench seat features contoured seating for the driver and right-side passenger, while the center position is flat.
On the MULE PRO-FXT 1000, the rear seats are upright and rear-seat passengers have ample room for their legs behind the front seats, both features facilitating getting in and out of the vehicle. The MULE PRO-FXT 1000 features a rear bench seat positioned slightly higher than the front seats, contributing to passenger comfort and allowing them to see down the trail.
Grab handles and holds for the front and rear passengers contribute to ride comfort. Front passengers can take advantage of grab handles integrated into the frame, while a wide bar across the back of the front seats offers hand holds for the rear passengers.
Each seat is equipped with a three-point seatbelt to support the driver and passengers during operation. Anti-cinch seatbelts for the driver and front-right passenger on the MULE PRO-FXT 1000 Platinum Ranch Edition and MULE PRO-FX 1000 HD Edition contribute to increased ride comfort.
Doors are a standard feature on all MULE PRO 1000 models, offering mud protection while facilitating getting in and out of the vehicle. A simple latch allows the doors to be opened and closed. Also standard on each of the models is a plastic roof, offering passengers protection from elements while out riding and contributing to a high-class image.
ELECTRIC POWER STEERING
Kawasaki’s high-grade electronic power steering (EPS) system works best when you need it the most while at slow speed and when stopped. By turning the wheel, a signal is sent to the EPS ECU, initiating assistance. The ECU uses input from a vehicle speed sensor and torque sensor to determine the amount of steering assistance required from the system’s electric motor. Assistance is greatest at slow speed or when stopped and assistance is reduced as vehicle speed increases to ensure responsive steering. The EPS system also enhances ride comfort and control by acting as a damping system. The inertia of the electric motor significantly reduces kickback to the steering wheel caused by shocks to the wheels.
The steering wheel has a stepless range of approximately 40º, allowing drivers to set its position to suit their preference, as well as lift it out of the way to facilitate getting in and out of the vehicle. DIGITAL INSTRUMENTATION A multi-function display with white backlighting is built into the dash. A wide-range of features include: digital speedometer, digital fuel gauge, odometer, hour meter, clock, dual trip meters, 2WD/4WD indicator, parking indicator, water temperature warning indicator, CVT warning indicator, CVT temperature warning indicator, EPS warning indicator, neutral indicator light, reverse indicator light, and oil pressure warning light. A seatbelt-use reminder lamp comes on for eight seconds after the engine is started to remind the driver to buckle up. After eight seconds, the lamp continues to flash if the driver’s seatbelt is not fastened. STORAGE Ample storage can be found across MULE PRO 1000 series models. The passenger-side glove box provides enclosed storage for smaller items, while three dashboard pockets (left, center, right) provide additional storage. The center pocket is large enough to accommodate the accessory audio system. Two drink holders can be found built into the bodywork in front of the dashboard. MULE PRO-FXT 1000 and MULE PRO-FXR 1000 LE models offer two additional drink holders on the floor, located just below the center console. The six-passenger MULE PRO-FXT 1000 has two more drink holders for rear passengers that are positioned at knee height. A storage bin can be found under the driver’s seat and offers convenient storage while a steel plate helps protect it from rocks and hard hits. A second storage bin under the center passenger seat offers additional covered storage on the MULE PRO-FXT 1000 Platinum Ranch Edition and MULE PRO-FX 1000 HD. A small-item storage pocket for rear passengers that is positioned to the left of the cup holders can be found on the MULE PRO-FXT 1000. Two DC sockets integrated into the dashboard provide a power supply (up to 120 W) for accessory items or personal devices. Two additional DC sockets are available on MULE PRO-FXT 1000 models for rear-passenger use. STYLING All models now feature a front face based on that of the MULE PRO-FXR, including quad headlights. This new serious look reflects the vehicle’s ability to perform at work sites and in moderate recreation environments. Select models feature painted/colored parts and all models come with a silver Kawasaki emblem that adds to a high-end, premium image. The new front face is protected by a steel front bumper that has been painted black for a tough look. The compact 35W outer headlights are compemented by LED inner headlights and cut a bright path through the dark. Further adding a high-quality touch for all models is a new grille badge with a 3D Kawasaki logo on the grille cover. An aggressive tire pattern adorns each of the models, contributing to the tough looks. A clean dashboard design features switches for the headlights, selectable 4WD and rear differential lock, and additional spaces for accessory switches.
MULE PRO-FX 1000 HD Edition
The MULE PRO-FX 1000 HD Edition side x side is a powerful, high-capacity, three-passenger vehicle with a long cargo bed that’s built to take on the most demanding days. With dependable power and exceptional all-day comfort, this rugged side x side is the perfect companion for work and play and provides the reliable capability to finish the job. For 2024, it comes equipped with a rear bumper for extra protection, Kawasaki’s first self-leveling suspension system, and a tilting cargo bed that uses a switch-operated hydraulic lift for added convenience. The cargo bed switch is located below the cargo bed on the left side of the vehicle. The cargo bed measures 54.1 x 53.3 x 11-inches and has a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. The MULE PRO-FX 1000 HD is available in Firecracker Red colorway.
MULE PRO-FXR 1000
The Kawasaki MULE PRO-FXR 1000 side x side takes the rugged capability of the MULE PRO side x sides to the trails by turning everyday riding into an unrivaled experience with the combination of comfort, capability, and aggressive styling. Thanks to its compact size, high-capacity 999cc engine and three-passenger seating, the MULE PRO-FXR 1000 is ready to put in the work and then cut loose when the chores are done. The cargo bed measures 37.5 x 53.3 x 11.0-inches and has a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. It’s available in a Metallic Sierra Blue colorway.
MULE PRO-FXR 1000 LE
In addition to all of the MULE PRO-FXR 1000 features, the MULE PRO-FXR 1000 LE comes with a painted grille cover that matches the bodywork and puts off a high-class image and black cast aluminum wheels that add a high-quality touch. It’s available in an Ice Gray colorway.
MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE
The MULE PRO-FXT 1000 is a full-sized, high-capacity side x side that features Kawasaki’s exclusive 3-to 6-passenger Trans Cab™ system. Inspired by heavy industry, this reliable side x side is ready to transport heavy loads or transport the entire crew without breaking a sweat. Black cast aluminum wheels add a high-quality touch. In three-passenger configuration, the cargo bed measures 42.7 x 53.6 x 10.9-inches with a load capacity of 1,000 lbs. When the cargo bed is in six-passenger configuration, it measures 22.0 x 53.6 x 10.9-inches with a load capacity of 350 lbs. The MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE is available in both a Metallic Onyx Black and Metallic Sierra Blue colorway.
MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE CAMO
The MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE Camo comes equipped with most of the great features found on the MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE side x side as well as a special Camouflage TRUETIMBER® STRATA colorway.
MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE RANCH EDITION
A high-end Metallic Titanium paint scheme on the MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE Ranch Edition gives the vehicle a sharp appearance and the grille cover has been painted to match the bodywork. The sides of the front fenders feature MULE PRO-FXT 1000 LE Ranch Edition emblems to complement the vehicle’s premium styling. Cast aluminum wheels with machined finishing give an even higher-class look. It’s equipped with Kawasaki’s self-leveling suspension system and a WARN® VRX 45 winch that offers 50 ft. of durable, aircraft-grade ¼-inch steel rope with a 4,500 lb. capacity.
MULE PRO-FXT 1000 PLATINUM RANCH EDITION
The MULE PRO-FXT 1000 Platinum Ranch Edition has several features that makes its styling distinctive, including a special high-end Metallic Stardust White paint that adds to its premium, high-grade image and LED outer headlights that come as standard equipment. The front grille cover is painted to match the bodywork, while brush and headlight guards give its front end an even tougher, more aggressive appearance. A number of interior upgrades were selected to complement the colors and graphics, such as special soft seat leatherette, embroidered logos on the backs of the seats, front and rear shoulder guards and rear grab bar made out of the same material as the seats, and a premium rearview mirror. Three-dimensionsal MULE PRO-FXT 1000 Platinum Ranch Edition model emblems can be found on the sides of the front fenders. Cast aluminum wheels with machined finishing complete its stylish appearance.
Other features include Kawasaki’s self-levelling rear suspension, a rear bumper for added protection, WARN® VRX 45 winch that offers 50 ft. of durable, aircraft-grade ¼-inch steel rope with a 4,500 lb. capacity, and easy Trans Cab™ system.
For more information on the 2024 Kawasaki MULE PRO family check out the Kawasaki MULE PRO Website