Hunting, transport, and commercial applications – these are just a few uses of the Kawasaki Mule 610. Short for Multi-Use Lightweight Equipment, this 401-class vehicle initially intended for agricultural needs also serves as an aid to medical personnel and those seeking outdoor adventures.
The Kawasaki Mule 610 is a side-by-side utility vehicle manufactured by Kawasaki from 2005 to 2016. This purpose-built quad combines a pickup truck’s load capacity and the agility of an ATV. Its selectable 4WD and spacious cargo bed make it the perfect vehicle for yard duty or recreation.
Reviews have a lot of positive things to say about the vehicle. From the time of its launch, this compact 4×4 (fondly referred to as the Baby Mule) instantly won the favor and hearts of many consumers.
A high-mount exhaust design, efficient ventilation system, emissions-compliant carburetor settings, and the Kawasaki Automatic Power-Drive System (KAPS) are among its key perks.
Read on to learn about the rest of what this capable vehicle has to offer.
About the Kawasaki Mule 610
First hitting the market in 1988, the Mule has come a long way from being a 1,000-class four-wheeler purely used on farms to evolving into an entire ATV line. Kawasaki introduced the Mule 610 series to the public in 2005.
Since its inception, the four-wheeler has found itself in the garage of many households that require lightweight and sturdy utility vehicles.
Unlike the nomenclature of its competition where ATVs are named after ferocious or symbolic creatures, the Mule in Kawasaki Mule 610 is an acronym that means Multi-Use Lightweight Equipment. The word not only embodies an animal known for hard work but is also a great and convenient way to remember the 4×4.
Through the course of its twelve-year production, the Mule had a total of six trims (including the ’15 and ’16 Special Edition ones) and 34 models. Base and Camo (KAF400 A and C series, respectively) had 12 each, the XC (KAF400D series) had seven, and the Special Edition trims had three.
Below is a complete rundown of all vehicles released under the Mule 610 lineup:
Kawasaki Mule 610 4X4, Base
Kawasaki Mule 610 4X4, Camouflage
Kawasaki Mule 610 4×4, XC (Big Foot)
Kawasaki Mule 610 4×4, Special Edition
|2015 XC SE (Bright White)||KAF400FFF|
|2016 XC Special Edition||KAF400FGF|
|2016 (4X4, Special Edition)||KAF400GGF|
The Kawasaki Mule SX replaced the Mule 610 in 2017. The overall design of the 4X4 was kept the same, with only minor changes to the cabin divider material and trim colors. Bright red replaced the maroon, and the ROPS had body-matching hues.
All models were available in moss green, blue, red, and black and cost between $7,299 and $9,399. Despite being a more compact UTV, several ATV publications and reviews considered this successor inferior to the Kawasaki Mule 610.
Kawasaki Mule 610 Specs
The 610 uses a four-stroke, air-cooled single-cylinder OHV engine. It has a bore-stroke ratio of 82 x 76 mm (3.23 x 2.99 inches).
The engine’s displacement is 401 cm3, and its compression ratio is 8.6:1. A NIKKI 6C1026 carburetor delivers fuel.
The tank has a capacity of 4.1 US gallons/15.5 liters. Its brilliant fuel tank location (under the rear of the seat) protects the fuel from water contamination during inclement weather.
Oil capacity with filter is 0.9 US quarts/0.85 liters and 1.5 US quarts/1.4 liters without a filter. Recommended engine oil viscosity is SAE 10W-40 with an API classification of at least SJ, SL, or SM, with no anti-friction modifiers or additives.
It should also have JASO MA, MA1, or MA2 standards met (API grades SG and SH are already obsolete). Depending on ambient temperature, you may use SAE 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-50, 20W-40, or 20W-50 engine lube. Oil level should be between H and L marks on the dipstick.
A dual-range belt-drive-torque-converter type automatic transmission inclusive of a reverse handles shifting, and the steering type is rack and pinion.
The Mule has a shaft-driven final drive and dual-mode rear differential, with a 2WD and 4WD driveline mode switch. This rear differential shift lever is on the dashboard, to the left of the steering shaft.
It has a magneto and transistor ignition with an electric starter system and an auxiliary mechanical recoil backup.
It uses an NGK BPR5ES spark plug, a 210-CCA 12V 14 Ah YB14A-A2 battery (view on Amazon) with assembled dimensions of 135 x 90 x 165 mm (5.3 x 3.5 x 6.5 inches), and a DC power outlet that provides quick, accessible power for electrical accessories.
Front and rear tubular wheels equip AT26 x 9-12 tubeless Maxxis Radial tires. Stock 12 × 7.5AT rims provide ample grip and excellent puncture resistance. Models before 2010 used Dunlop KT869M or Duro DI-K968M for the front and Dunlop KT869 or Duro DI-K968 tubeless tires for the rear.
These knobbies were 24 inches instead of 26 inches and were fitted on 10-inch rims for base and camo models. For tire pressure, 56 kPa (0.56 kgf/cm², 8 psi) for the front and 84 kPa (0.84 kgf/cm², 12 psi) for the rear.
Hydraulic front and rear drum brakes equipped with dual-piston calipers, an excellent brake-pedal ratio, and a powerful master-cylinder provide the Kawasaki Mule 610 stopping power.
There is also a parking brake comprised of a mechanical internal expansion drum, with the lever located on the driver seat’s left side.
MacPherson Struts with 3.07 inches of wheel travel comprise the front suspension, while the rear suspension utilizes an aluminum swingarm unit with 3.10 inches of travel.
Coupled with rack-and-pinion steering and a balanced mid-engine layout, this system provides excellent bump absorption with light handling, plenty of traction, and a 10.83-foot turning radius.
The overall dimension is 108.8 x 52.6 x 70.9 inches (2,764 x 1,335 x 1,802 mm – L x W x H). Ground clearance is 6.7 inches; seat height is 30.7 inches. Its wheelbase is 70 inches.
Curb weight is 461–469 Kg/1,017–1,034 lbs, depending on whether the trim is a base or camo model and if the vehicle was released in Europe, Canada, the U.S., or in California.
Front and rear treads are 1,051 mm (41.38 inches) and 999 mm (39.33 inches), respectively. Cargo bed dimensions are 1,044 × 900 × 245 mm (41.10 × 35.43 × 9.65 inches).
The maximum weight limits are 203–204 Kg (448–450 lbs) at the front and 258–265 Kg (569–584 lbs) at the rear. Kawasaki Mule 610 horsepower is 9.9 KW (13.31 hp/13.5 PS) @4 000 RPM, while the maximum torque is 29.7 Nm (3.0 kgf/m, 21.9 ft-lb) @ 2,400 RPM.
The loading limit is 416–420 Kg/917–926 lbs, dependent on trim and model year. Towing capacity is 498.9 Kg/1,100 lbs.
The cargo bed capacity is 181 Kg/400 lbs.
It has a tubular, ladder-type steel frame (with an 8° caster angle and 40-mm trail) and plastic body material that is easy to clean and personalize. The vehicle has a rounded front, except for the 2012 Kawasaki Mule 610 XC (KAF400ECF – 4X4) that featured a geometric drop nose.
For most of the models, the body color matched the ROPS, with only the lower fairing and base frame finished in black. The 2011 Kawasaki Mule 610 KAF400DBF, in particular, was the only model with silver ROPS.
For the XC series, however, the models sported a pure black bodywork with only the hood finished in two-tone colors.
What Makes the Mule Great?
The small size of the four-wheeler allows it to be carried conveniently in a full-size pickup truck. Its broad assortment of paint finish adds to its appeal with a wide range of riders and applications.
Selectable 2WD/4WD and dual-mode locking rear differential provide the Mule maximum traction on rough terrain. Not only do 26-inch Maxxis Radial tires improve the vehicle’s ground clearance by over an inch, but they also increase off-roading capacity.
In stock form, the Mule 610 4×4 can already perform a wide array of tasks – heavy hauling, carrying game during hunting season, and camping trip transport, to name a few. Tough, steel cargo bed, steel latches, and a secure tailgate make it all happen.
But if you would like to transform your four-wheeler into something more than just a ranch helper, aftermarket Kawasaki Mule 610 parts will do the trick. A performance exhaust, recovery WARN 95950 Zeon 12-S Winch (view on Amazon), Kawasaki Mule 610 windshield, protective equipment, and taller suspension are some of the things you can fit your quad with to maximize its performance.
Kawasaki Mule 610 Top Speed
The top speed of a Kawasaki Mule 610 is 25 mph. It is meant to haul equipment and safely handle tough terrain. Modifications such as replacing the exhaust or using different tires may increase the speed.
Kawasaki Mule 610 Price
The list price of the Kawasaki Mule 610 started at $6,699 and only increased by $1,100 for its 2014 to 2016 models. These trims were available in Super Black, Dark Royal Red, blue, and Timberline Green.
The 4×4 Camo series cost between $7,099 and $8,499, while the XC series range from $7,799 to $8,099.
The average retail price is between $2,610 and $5,805. Three Special-Edition trims came out in the last two years of the Mule, namely: Kawasaki Mule XC SE (Bright White) for $8,599, Kawasaki Mule 610 XC Special Edition (Black with white cargo stickers) for $8,599, and Kawasaki Mule 610 4X4, Special Edition (Sunbeam Red) for $7,999.
Despite technological developments, the Mule is not fool-proof when it comes to starting problems. When you encounter this dilemma, one of the following may occur:
- Starter motor is not rotating
- The engine is not turning over
- Fuel flow is restricted
- Performance is poor at low speeds
Should any of these symptoms happen, then you will need to check a few things. First, ensure there is no issue with the ignition or electrical components of the vehicle. Examine any suspected parts, say the spark plug, for wear or damage and replace them as needed.
Usually, the probable cause is any of these – relays not contacting or operating, a worn-out pinion or ring gear, or a blown fuse or fouled spark plug.
Low compression is seldom a dilemma by itself but indicates a need for re-torqueing or adjusting valves and gaskets. It is often determined after doing a wet and dry compression test and typically links to potential carburetor issues.
Ensure that you rectify the problem immediately, especially if you get a low reading from doing your periodic checks. Otherwise, you run the risk of experiencing misfiring, poor quad performance, or no start.
A decrease in Kawasaki Mule 610 top speed or power output is also a symptom of this problem, which could also be tell-tale signs of worn-out internal parts.
Incorrect Air-Fuel Mixture
The air-fuel mixture is one of the most crucial mechanisms of your UTV that needs to work right. At the very least, it may lead to a lean or rich mixture that would translate into excessive fuel consumption, poor engine performance, or restricted acceleration.
Similar to the first two problems, this too relates to a potential carburetor problem.
Drive Pulley Issues
High-mileage Mules or those within the range of 4,000 and 25,000 miles are prone to this problem. This issue may manifest in several ways, including excessive belt heating, belt slippage, or shifting challenges. Drive pulley components may be damaged, worn, or dirty.
Inspect the condition of the sheaves and belt, along with the rest of the V-belt assembly. Then do the needful to eliminate the problem. If the issue persists, seek assistance from a professional mechanic to help you rectify it.
Before Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. became a world leader in the manufacture of watercraft, ATVs, and side x sides like the Kawasaki Mule 610, it first mass-produced motorcycles based on the company’s acquired knowledge in shipbuilding and aircraft engine development.
Since its founding in 1878, Kawasaki has grown into a successful company that has helped shape the automotive and ATV markets by creating highly-engineered, revolutionary vehicles.
Today, the Japanese firm continues its legacy through innovations in aerospace and energy systems, hydraulic machinery, motorcycles, transit, personal watercraft, and off-road vehicles.
Conclusion – Kawasaki Mule 610
Indeed, the Kawasaki Mule 610 is more than meets the eye. This well-thought-of, highly-engineered quad may look unsophisticated for some. But it comes with features that make it the perfect solution for different job sites and industrial/leisure applications.
This versatile and uncompromising four-wheeler is king for both hardworking folks and thrill-seeking adventurers – a testament to Kawasaki’s continuous efforts in improving the usability, quality, and technology of its off-road vehicles.
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.