Synonymous with hard work, the Kawasaki Mule 3010 has come a long way from its 1,000-class predecessor. This multi-functional quad is no longer just for agricultural applications. Through the years, the rig has become popular with emergency-response personnel, outdoor enthusiasts, and thrill-seekers.
The Kawasaki Mule 3010 is a versatile 4×4 produced by Kawasaki from 2001 to 2008. This lightweight UTV features a pickup-truck design, 617 cm3 twin-cylinder engine, gas and diesel trims, and an open-cab chassis. Its roomy cargo bed and selectable 4WD made it a massive hit.
Dual- and triple-cylinder engines, rugged styling, Kawasaki Automatic Power-Drive System (KAPS), and a high-mount air intake design are among the highlights of this rig. A 25-mph top-end speed and unremarkable aesthetics are some of its drawbacks. Are you looking for a reasonably priced, highly capable quad? Then read on and discover what else this vehicle has to offer.
About the Kawasaki Mule 3010
The Kawasaki Mule 3010 is the 11th installment in the MULE (Multi-Use Lightweight Equipment) lineup since the launch of its first 1,000-cm3 quad in 1988. While the vehicle has kept true to its initial design (which is for ranch work), later-year models like the 3010 had slowly expanded their function to support hunting and recreation. This is especially true for this side x side, which offered customers different trims and the ability to choose between a two- or four-seater vehicle.
During its nine-year production run, the 3010 had a total of six trims and 28 models. Unlike its siblings Bigfoot and Baby Mule, it did not have any special-edition trims. If anything, only the base and four-seater models offered camouflage body panels. Curious? You can find a rundown of all vehicles released under the Kawasaki Mule 3010 lineup in this guide’s pricing section.
While all versions had the signature cargo bed, only the Trans 4×4 models had a transformable one. Its rear bench seat is foldable, allowing cargo bed extension. Similarly, the diesel trims had a 953-cm3, three-cylinder power mill, while gas-fed models had 617 cm3. Trans 4×4 and Trans 4×4 Diesel Mules were naturally longer than two-seaters.
The rest of the four-wheeler’s features remained unchanged until 2008 – when electric power steering was made standard on all models. Shortly after, the fuel-injected Mule 4010 replaced the Mule 3010 for 2009.
Kawasaki Mule 3010 Specifications (KAF620-J1/K1 Models)
It is propelled by a four-stroke, liquid-cooled V-twin OHV engine found underneath the manual tilt-bed. It has a bore-stroke ratio of 76 x 68 mm (2.99 × 2.68 inches). The engine’s displacement is 617 cm3, and its compression ratio is 10.3:1. Fuel tank capacity is 6.4 US gallons (24.2 Liters) delivered by a Mikuni BW26-18 carburetor.
The air intake lines the roll bar and is situated high, reducing dust and other contaminants that enter the engine. It then goes down to the snorkel-type air filter positioned underneath the bench seat.
Its brilliant fuel tank location (under the cargo bed, behind the under-seat fuel gauge) allows for unrestricted Kawasaki Mule 3010 fuel pump access and easy cleaning.
The Mule has a wet-sump (Forced lubrication) system. Oil capacity is 1.9 US quarts (1.8 Liters) of SAE 10W-40 engine oil with an API grade of at least SJ that meets JASO MA, MA1 or MA2 standards, with no anti-friction modifiers or additives.
Front gear case oil required is 0.4 US quarts (0.4 Liters) of API GL-5 or GL-6 Hypoid gear oil for LSD with a viscosity of SAE 85W-140, SAE 90, or SAE 140. Transmission oil required is 2.6 US quarts (2.5 Liters) of API GL-5 Hypoid gear oil.
Viscosity for said transmission oil should either be SAE 90 for ambient temperature above 5°C/41°F or SAE 80 for temperatures below it.
A dual-range belt-drive-torque-converter type automatic transmission with a H/L/N/R shift sequence handles shifting. Similar to the Baby Mule, this vehicle’s steering type is rack and pinion.
The Mule 3010 has a two-speed shaft-driven final drive with a 5.4 (81/15) reduction ratio and a dual-mode rear differential. The selectable 2WD/4WD driveline mode switch is on the dash. The locking/unlocking rear differential shift lever is located there, too, to the left of the steering shaft.
The 3010 has a battery and transistor ignition with an electric starter system and an auxiliary mechanical recoil backup. It has a triple-phase AC alternator with a rated output of 21 A /12 V @3,000 RPM providing accessible power to electrical accessories and a 12V DC outlet.
The Mule 3010 requires an NGK BPR2ES spark plug and a 12V, 18 Ah YTX20L-BS battery (view on Amazon) located underneath the parking brake with assembled dimensions of 6.88 x 3.42 x 6.10 inches (175 x 87 x 155 mm – L x W x H).
Front and rear tubular wheels use Dunlop KT869 23 × 11-10 tubeless tires. Steel rims provide ample grip and excellent puncture resistance. Duro DI-K968, KT869 Front/Rear 4-Ply Tires (view on Amazon), or Carlisle All Trail II ATV Bias Tires (view on Amazon) are good options should you need to replace stock tires.
Recommended tire pressure for the front is 69 kPa and 167 kPa at the rear. When seating tire beads, the maximum pressure allowed is 250 kPa (2.5 kgf/cm², 36 psi).
Hydraulic front and rear drum brakes with dual-piston calipers, an excellent brake-pedal ratio, and a powerful master-cylinder provide the Kawasaki Mule 3010 stopping power. There is also a mechanical internal-expansion-drum parking brake located on the left side of the driver seat.
For the braking system to work, ensure that the brake-pedal free play is within the 2 – 10 mm (0.08 – 0.39 in) range. Additionally, use only DOT3 brake fluid.
MacPherson Struts with 3.90 inches (100 mm) of wheel travel comprise the front suspension, while the rear suspension utilizes a semi-independent De Dion axle with 2.80 inches (70 mm) of travel.
Coupled with rack-and-pinion steering and a 46-inch wheelbase, this suspension system provides ample bump absorption, plenty of traction, and a 12.5-foot (150 inches) turning radius. Toe-in is 0 – 20 mm (0 – 0.79 in).
The Mule’s overall dimensions are 124.76 x 57.05 x 76.10 inches (3,169 x 1,449 x 1,933 mm – L x W x H). Ground clearance is 6.97 inches (177 mm); seat height is 34.17 inches (front) to 35.28 inches (rear). Its wheelbase is 45.67 – 46.46 inches (1,160 – 1,180 mm – front to rear track).
Curb weight is 695 Kg (1,532 lbs), while dry weight is 668 Kg (1,473 lbs). Cargo bed dimensions are 50.39 × 47.72 × 11.30 inches (1,280 × 1,212 × 287 mm – long) or 30.31 × 47.72 × 11.30 inches (770 × 1,212 × 287 mm – short).
The maximum vehicle load is 603 Kg (kg (1,330 lbs) – this includes occupants, cargo, and accessories. Towing capacity is 544.30 Kg (1,200 lbs). Cargo bed capacity is 363 Kg (800 lbs) for Mules with long cargo beds and 182 Kg (401 lbs) for those with short ones.
The Mule also has under-hood front storage. However, the front storage capacity is unspecified in the service manual. The Kawasaki Mule 3010 can seat two passengers, plus cargo. The Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4 can seat up to four people.
It has a tubular, ladder-type steel frame (with a non-adjustable 7.5° caster angle and 35-mm trail) and plastic body material available in Aztec Red, traditional Hunter Green, and Advantage® Classic™ camouflage that is easy to clean and protects against the elements.
The vehicle has a rounded front with a geometric drop nose and a square rear-end. Most models sported a ROPS-matching pure black bodywork with only the hood finished in one- or two-tone colors.
Kawasaki Mule 3010 Price
Here is a complete rundown of all Mule 3010 trims and their corresponding prices (figures based on NadaGuides and Kelley Blue Book data):
|Year – Trim – Model Number|
(** Trans 4×4 – Four-Seater)
|List Price||Retail/Trade-In Values|
|2001 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E1||$8,799||$1,605 – $3,250|
|2002 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E2||$8,799||$1,670 – $3,440|
|2003 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E3||$8,799||$1,765 – $3,675|
|2004 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E4||$8,799||$1,810 – $3,905|
|2005 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E5||$8,799||$2,330 – $4,160|
|2006 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E6F||$8,799||$2,610 – $4,455|
|2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E7F||$8,799||$3,220 – $4,785|
|2008 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4 -KAF620E8F||$8,799||$3,415 – $5,151|
|2005 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620H3||$9,299||$2,480 – $3,260|
|2006 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620H6F||$9,299||$2,650 – $3,485|
|2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620H7F||$9,299||$3,430 – $4,510|
|2008 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620H8F||$9,299||$3,620 – $4,765|
|2005 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4 -KAF620J1||$9,599||$2,580 – $4,360|
|2006 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4 -KAF620J6F||$9,599||$2,730 – $4,655|
|2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4 -KAF620J7F||$9,599||$3,520 – $5,015|
|2008 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4 -KAF620J8F||$9,599||$3,660 – $5,410|
|2005 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620K1||$9,999||$2,685 – $3,530|
|2006 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620K6F||$9,999||$2,860 – $4,655|
|2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620K7F||$9,999||$3,525 – $5,015|
|2008 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4, Camouflage -KAF620K8F||$9,999||$3,785 – $5,410|
|2003 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Diesel -KAF950B1||$9,999||$2,020 – $3,970|
|2004 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Diesel -KAF950B2||$9,999||$2,270 – $4,225|
|2005 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Diesel -KAF950B3||$9,999||$2,685 – $4,520|
|2006 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Diesel -KAF950B6F||$9,999||$2,895 – $4,850|
|2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Diesel -KAF950B7F||$9,999||$3,460 – $5,245|
|2008 Kawasaki Mule 3010 4×4, Diesel -KAF950B8F||$10,099||$3,655 – $5,675|
|2007 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4, Diesel -KAF950C7F||$10,799||$3,565 – $5,480|
|2008 Kawasaki Mule 3010 Trans 4×4, Diesel -KAF950C8F||$10,899||$3,885 – $5,905|
While retail pricing via dealerships ranges from $1,605 to $5,905, auction and trader-site listings fall between $850 and $7,845. Units valued at $3,500 or higher are typically in excellent condition, with great stock tires, and always kept indoors.
They have aftermarket Kawasaki Mule 3010 parts like a bed liner, hitch, and even an electric fuel pump. Some have a recovery winch – front and rear. Similarly, quads that cost over $5,000 come with accessories such as ROPS with canopy, cab enclosure, gun racks, and Kawasaki Mule 3010 windshield.
Most side x sides sold online are 2007 models. Not so much for 2003-2005 trims. But should you find one, they are usually in pristine condition and with lots of Kawasaki Mule 3010 accessories. However, there are resale units that are either non-working or strewn with lots of issues. Some are rough – cosmetically and mechanically, with engines that do not crank/run. Others require engine head work due to a cracked head after an overheating problem or would have broken axles and front-universal shafts that need replacing.
You’re in luck if your secondhand purchase only has a non-functional hour meter, a cargo bed with some rust holes, or a missing key and fuel cap.
Kawasaki Mule 3010 Problems
Older Mules (that have withstood a good beating and seen better days) are more likely to produce abnormal engine noise. While this is expected from a 20-year-old machine, know that this is not normal and is a sign that something is wrong with either your transmission, suspension, or drive pully components. Probable causes of this issue include:
- Worn or loose drive pulley sheaves
- Chipped transmission gears
- Damaged LSD clutch friction plate or spring
- A dented universal joint
Whichever you speculate, you will need to inspect the condition of the sheaves and belt and the entire V-belt assembly. Do the needful and swap out any part that warrants replacement. If the issue persists, pay a visit to your dealer or local mechanic.
An incorrect air-fuel mixture, along with high compression, dragging brakes, inadequate lubrication, converter engagement, and cooling system issues, lead to overheating.
If not rectified immediately, this problem would eventually escalate into excessive fuel consumption, limited acceleration, or sub-par engine performance. Like starting issues, this could also indicate a potential carb problem. Thanks to helpful videos and online tutorials, it is now easier to remedy and prevent your engine from overheating.
Starting or turn-over problems are usually indicative of clogged fuel lines or a dirty carburetor. Symptoms would vary and could be any of the following – non-rotating starter motor, restricted fuel flow, or poor performance at low speeds.
But before you jump into a carb rebuild, make sure that your vehicles’ electrical, air intake, and ignition systems check out. Do not hesitate to examine Kawasaki Mule 3010 parts to determine the degree of wear/damage or need for replacement.
If you suspect the probable cause to be electrical, then ascertain that relays are operational, the pinion or ring gear is not worn-out, and the spark plug is not blown or fouled.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. is a world-leading producer of watercraft, ATVs, and side x sides and is the maker of the Kawasaki Mule 3010. Before becoming known as an ATV/UTV manufacturer, it first made a name for itself in the world of motorcycles – perfecting its mass production by using its acquired knowledge in shipbuilding and aircraft engine development. Since releasing the 125-cm3 B8 motorcycle, Kawasaki has ventured into and helped shape other fields, evolving into a successful company that continues to receive high praise for creating highly-engineered, revolutionary vehicles.
Conclusion – Kawasaki Mule 3010 Review
Kawasaki Mule 3010 reviews are mostly positive – both testers and owners love the vehicle’s overall design and finish, ease of engaging driveline and rear differential modes, unrestricted access to engine and transmission, and cargo/storage capacity.
It is a charm to have on the farm and works exceptionally well for riders who love hunting and hauling. This mini-truck may not top the list in terms of speed and good looks. But it is packed with features and a lot of muscle, making it the go-to four-wheeler for various domestic and commercial applications.
The Mule series is, undoubtedly, among the best utility vehicles its manufacturer has ever produced – an ongoing testament to Kawasaki continuously striving for excellence.