PLEASE NOTE: This is a 2007 model available in 2006.
KAWASAKI FOLLOWS ITS OWN LEAD WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF THE MULE™ 3010 Trans4x4™ DIESEL
Transformable two or four-person UV with massive torque sure to find its own place in an expanding market.
A year ago, Kawasaki introduced the first four-wheel drive off-road utility vehicle giving users the option of simply transforming it from a two-passenger unit to one that will carry four people, plus cargo. As successful as the MULE™ 3010 Trans4x4™ has been, the company’s dealer network suggested that a diesel version of this MULE model would quickly find a home amongst both personal and work-related users who needed the extra power and convenience of a diesel engine. It would also satisfy the farm and industrial situation where only diesel fuel is available. The 2006 model year 3010 line-up answers those requests, as Kawasaki brings a new flagship MULE to its growing utility vehicle product stable—the all-new MULE 3010 Trans4x4 DIESEL.
Quickly responding to the dealer recommendation, Kawasaki plans to tap this part of the growing utility vehicle market, which seeks the utility and convenience of an easily transformable people and cargo carrier for both work and play. This off-road dynamo that features a fully automatic transmission with two or four-wheel drive options, takes only a few minutes to convert from a two to a four-person ride. While the cargo payload expands from 400 to 800 pounds in the two-person configuration, users have the ability to select between cargo and personnel carrying needs, depending on the specific job-at-hand.
This versatility, coupled with the legendary reputation of Kawasaki’s liquid-cooled, three cylinder diesel engine makes the MULE 3010 Trans4x4 DIESEL an immediate winner. The overhead valve design of the engine maximizes efficiency while the cast iron block and head ensure extra durability in all types of usage. Producing 38.3 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2,800 rpm, this unit has low-end pulling power to spare for the most rigorous of needs.
The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a highlight of the Kawasaki Automatic Power-Drive System (KAPS), which helps keep engine rpm in the most efficient range for any selected vehicle speed, load, or terrain. Strength and durability are aided by large torque converters which maximize belt engagement area, improving heat dissipation, as well as the use of a thick, strong drive belt.
Other features of the KAPS are:
Tuned specifically to accommodate higher payloadsOpen sided drive pulley cools better for longer belt lifeAdjustable belt deflectionThe CVT yields a wide drive ratio spread for ample pulling power and quick accelerationSheaves with high silicon-type material adding to this unit’s increased durabilityA high-flow cover helps cool the CVT while providing superb splash protection and water-proofing
The MULE 3010 Trans4x4 DIESEL also features a torque converter air filter that uses an efficient intake cooling fan to draw sufficient air into the CVT. Wear is reduced by cooling the converter with filtered air, courtesy of special air cleaner that uses an easily replaceable filter element.
The engine air cleaner is a cyclone-type Donaldson unit with a replaceable paper element. This design is effective and needs less frequent cleaning, even through repeated MULE utility vehicle use in extremely dusty off-road conditions. The MULE is equipped with a gauge that indicates when the filter should be changed.
Keeping the filter lasting longer—especially in the rugged conditions for which this Kawasaki was built—engine air and converter cooling air are drawn from the top of the cab frame, where there’s less dust. This makes for cleaner operating conditions, as well as a longer-lasting filter.
This MULE also lists among its many attributes a dual-mode differential, limited slip front differential, two-speed transfer case for the four-wheel drive, rack and pinion steering, independent strut-type front suspension, DeDion rear suspension, and four-wheel, self-adjusting sealed hydraulic drum brakes.
An improved ride—in conditions that oftentimes cry out for comfort—comes courtesy of the 23-inch tires with stiff sidewalls, improving both off-road travails and providing added ground clearance. The rear wheel bearings use two rollers in one large bearing, providing added durability.
Kawasaki takes pride in owner usability attached to all of its products, and this newest MULE model is no exception.
The simple, easy to operate controls for the MULE 3010 Trans4x4 DIESEL are all dash-mounted. In addition to the shift mechanism, they include a horn and 12-volt DC outlet with 10-amp capacity, a speedometer, and hour meter. A parking brake and coolant temperature warning light are in plain view, and the MULE has a sealed glove box, plus an open dashboard storage area.
Winch mounts are standard on the frame of this all-purpose UV, and users will be able to find their way in all kinds of lighting conditions by using the 35-watt, cat-eye headlights that are activated by the push of a simple dash-mounted button.
If the earlier versions of Kawasaki’s MULE family have proven to be a huge success for the company, there is little doubt that this newest addition will also set a new bar for an as-yet-untapped part of the ever-expanding market for these vehicles. Kawasaki’s dealers collectively drew the target for its development, and Kawasaki seems to have scored a bulls-eye.