Kawasaki Prairie 700 Specs and Review

Halfway through the production run of the famed Prairie machines, Team Green released the Kawasaki Prairie 700. Boasting features and a powerful engine heavily influenced by the V Force™, this 4×4 strengthened the series’ foothold in the sport-utility sub-segment. Undeniably remarkable, the Prairie’s short-lived production run stirred quite a conjecture among avid Kawie followers and general consumers.

The Kawasaki Prairie 700 is a big-bore sport-utility quad better known as the revamped version of the “King of Firsts” – the Prairie 650. Sporting the same powerful 697-cm3 V-Twin engine, rugged styling, and industry-leading features, it rightfully earned the moniker “The New King of 4x4s.”

More than just a descendant of Kawasaki’s breakthrough machines, the respected Prairie 700 marked the beginning of monstrous behemoths and 1,000-cc UTVs. Its V-twin power mill, fine-tuned automatic CVT, and lockable front differential were only the first of many design developments leading to highly capable, present-day four-wheelers. Continue reading and learn more about the quad that revolutionized current utility vehicles.

Person in Jeans Riding ATV

The New King of 4x4s

Those who have read into the making of the Prairie series know that the Kawasaki Prairie 700 is a V Force™-infused 650-cc Prairie. It is pretty much the same vehicle but given a 697-cm3 power mill, improved styling, and slightly bigger chassis. And this is not necessarily bad news. The “King of Firsts” still has the same features that both recreational and experienced riders have grown to love but with a more powerful engine.

Introduced in 2004, the KVF700 felt more like a continuation of the 650-cc machine’s run than a new Prairie model for avid Kawie followers. It cannot be helped – both big-bore machines had dual Keihin CVKR-D32 carbs and shared almost all other vehicular components. Not to mention that the 700-cc Prairie was launched in the market only three years since the inception of the KVF650. Nevertheless, the 3-year run of the Kawasaki Prairie 700 did not stop it from earning the title “New King of Big-Bore 4x4s.”

Dropping the KVF700

Despite its bigger engine displacement and improved features, the Kawasaki Prairie 700 was only in the ATV limelight from 2003 to 2006 – before the Brute Force completely took over 650- and 700-class machines and took its place as Team Green’s flagship utility vehicle. Many riders who were pleased with its performance were not too happy (if not left perplexed) with its short-lived production and can only speculate on the following reasons:

  • Kawasaki decided to stick with their mainstay 650- and 750-class utility ATVs.
  • The Kawasaki Prairie was a redundant vehicle, as most upgrades applied on the Prairie were also found in the KFX series and 650-cc straight-axle machines.
  • Prairie plastics were inferior in quality versus that of the Brute Force. Body panels and wheel fenders were flimsy and prone to breakage. To add, the Prairie was generally heavier than its SRA (straight rear axle) cousin.
  • Off-roaders believed the Kawasaki KVF700 was a shared bike sold under competitor brands Suzuki and Arctic Cat, as it had an uncanny resemblance to the Twin Peaks and 650 V-2 models.
  • Cessation of the Prairie 700s was a marketing strategy meant to give way to the 750s. Kawasaki needed a larger displacement gap between the big-bore quads. The performance differences between the 650- and 750-class machines were more noticeable. In the case of 700- and 750-cc UTVs, the 700-cc Prairies often performed better.

Consumers did not think that replacing the KVF700 with 750s and 750is was a clever marketing move. The 750-cc machines reportedly had more problems than the Kawasaki Prairie 700s. And while this may have opened more opportunities for upgrade kits and aftermarket Kawasaki Prairie 700 parts to flourish, it did not do well in helping improve Team Green’s brand image. Whichever the reason, it eventually proved to be a necessary step for Kawasaki to develop its product lineup.

Kawasaki Prairie 700 Specs & Features (KVF650 vs. KVF700)

Engine

The Kawasaki Prairie 700 carries similar large, 30-mm intake/26-mm exhaust valves, high-quality foam air filter, and dual Keihin CVKR-D32 downdraft carburetors that its smaller-displacement sibling has. This setup pairs with an improved bore-stroke ratio and 697-cm3 power mill, lending to the 4×4’s throttle responsiveness, fuel efficiency, and torque-heavy nature. Since fuel injection has not yet been introduced in the quad, adjusting the jetting is still a must when riding on elevations starting at 1,640 feet.

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Engine Type 4-Stroke, 90° V-Twin SOHC
Carburetion System Carburetor, Keihin CVKR-D32 x 2
Engine Cooling Liquid cooling
Engine Fuel & Capacity 17 L/4.5 US gal of unleaded gasoline of at least Antiknock Index/PON 87 or RON 91, containing < 15% MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether)/TAME/ETBE, < 10% ethanol, or < 5% methanol w/ cosolvents & corrosion inhibitors
Bore x Stroke Ratio 80×63 mm (3.15×2.48 in) 82×66 mm (3.23×2.60 in)
Compression Ratio 9.9:1
Valve Clearance – Cold (Front) 0.10 – 0.15 mm (0.004 – 0.006 in)
Valve Clearance – Cold (Rear) 0.20 – 0.25 mm (0.008 – 0.010 in)
Starting System Electric/recoil
Displacement 633 cm³ / 38.6 in³ 697 cm³ / 42.5 in³
Maximum Power 41.4 hp/42 PS (30.9 kW @ 6,500 RPM) 46.3 hp/47 PS (34.6 kW @ 6,500 RPM)
Maximum Torque 52.1 Nm (5.3 kgf-m, 38.33 ft-lb) @ 4,000 RPM 60.1 Nm (6.1 kgf-m, 44 ft-lb) @ 5,000 RPM
Top Speed 65 mph (105 km/h) – advertised 65 mph (105 km/h) – advertised
71 mph (114 km/h) – downhill, owners’ claim
Lubrication Forced lubrication (wet sump)
Engine Oil & Quantity 1.54 L (1.63 US quarts) – w/ filter
1.75 L (1.85 US quarts) – w/out filter
2.05 L (2.17 US quarts) – when completely dry
SAE 10W-40 w/ API grade of SJ meeting JASO T903 MA
Alternatives: SAE 10W-30, 10W-50, 20W-40, 20W-50
KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

Drivetrain

A dual-range automatic Kawasaki Automatic Powerdrive System CVT transmission with K-EBC™ and reverse handles the Kawasaki Prairie 700 shifting. To add, a limited-slip front differential with push-button lock and selectable 2WD/4WD driveline modes make for the wheeler’s superb handling on slick surfaces, tight corners, and twisty trails.

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Clutch Wet shoe, automatic, centrifugal type
Transmission Type CVT w/ 2-speed plus reverse & KEBC™
Drive System Shaft drive, 2WD 4WD/Belt converter, 29.2-30 mm
Primary Ratio 3.122 – 0.635
Final Drive Ratio 4.375 (35/8)
Overall Drive Ratio 42.32 – 8.61 (high); 66.02 – 13.43 (low); 55.01 – 11.19 (reverse)
Transmission Gear Ratio High – 3.098 (30/26 x 29/18 x 20/12)
Low – 4.833 (36/20 x 29/18 x 20/12)
Reverse – 4.028 (16/12 x 18/16 x 29/18 x 20/12)
KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

Ignition

Everything about the Prairie’s ignition system and electrical components remained unchanged, except for slight tweaks made to the primary and auxiliary fuses. KACR (Kawasaki Automatic Compression Release) and an electric-recoil starting system still bring the quad to life. Likewise, a trailer-type connector and receptacle outlet found at the handlebar base provide accessible power for electronic accessories. The battery required for the vehicle is still a YTX14-BS format. If you want to save on battery costs down the road, you can purchase a 5-Pack Maintenance-Free YTX14-BS Battery Replacement (view on Amazon).

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Ignition Digital DC-CDI (electronically advanced)
Ignition Timing 5° BTDC @ 1,100 ± 50 RPM – 28° BTDC @ 5,000 RPM
Spark Plug, Gap NGK CR7E/NIPPON DENSO U22ESR-N, 0.7-0.8 mm (0.028-0.031 in) gap
Torque specs: 13 Nm (1.3 kgf-m, 9.4 ft-lb)
Alternator Type Three-phase alternator
Rated Output 25 A, 14V @ 6,000 RPM
Fuse 30 Amp (main); 15 Amp (radiator fan); 10 Amp (auxiliary, controller/belt switch) 30 Amp (main); 15 Amp (radiator fan); 10 Amp (auxiliary, controller/belt switch, engine, brake control)
Battery 12V 12 Ah, YTX14-BS battery formats
Battery Dimensions (L x W x H) 6.00×3.44×5.75 in (150x87x145 mm)
KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

Tires & Brakes

Twin hydraulic disc brakes fitted with dual-piston calipers and an enclosed oil-bathed multi-plate rear disc provide the Kawasaki Prairie its stopping power and give the rider maximum control of the four-wheeler. As if that were not enough, the braking setup mates to a Kawasaki-exclusive K-EBC™ that factors in the vehicle’s ground speed and utilizes engine compression when slowing down.

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Front Tire, Air pressure Dunlop KT121 T/L AT25 x 8-12, tubeless
Tire Pressure: 28 kPa (0.28 kgf/cm2, 4 psi)
Rear Tire, Air pressure Dunlop KT127A AT25 x 10-12, tubeless
Tire Pressure: 35 kPa (0.35 kgf/cm2, 5 psi)
Tread Depth Limit (F/R) 3 mm (0.12 in) / 4 mm (0.16 in)
Front Brake Type Twin hydraulic discs w/ dual piston calipers
Rear Brake Type Enclosed wet multiplate disc
KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700
Green 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700 ATV

Suspension

Virtually no difference can be observed between the 650-cc and 700-cc Prairie models in terms of suspension. Both offer generous wheel travel (front and rear) and turning radius, lending to the 4×4’s stability and maneuverability, regardless of rider skill and terrain. Rear shocks are adjustable and already provide a comfortable ride. But if you want to convert your Prairie into a bump-absorbing monster, swap out stock shocks with ELKA Suspension Stage 2 Rear Shocks (view on Amazon).

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Frame Type Tubular, double-cradle
Caster, Trail 3.5°, 15 mm (0.59 in)
Ground Clearance 192 mm (7.6 in) – rear axle; 240 mm (9.4 in) – center of frame
Wheelbase 1,295 mm (50.98 in) 1,290 mm (50.8 in)
Turning Radius 3.1 m (10.17 ft)
Front Suspension Type, Travel MacPherson Strut, 170 mm (6.7 in)
Rear Suspension Type, Travel Aluminum swingarm w/ 5-way adjustable spring preload, 184 mm (7.2 in)
KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

Dimensions

Variances in the Prairie’s overall dimensions are almost negligible when compared to its 650-cc predecessor. Conversely, there are no changes to the wheeler’s capacities – trailer weight and payload capacity included.

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Length 2,155 mm (84.84 in) 2,190 mm (86.22 in)
Width 1,170 mm (46.06 in) 1,180 mm (46.5 in)
Height 1,150 mm (45.28 in) 1,175 mm (46.3 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 855 mm (33.66 in) 871 mm (34.3 in)
Track (F/R) 914 mm (35.98 in) / 910 mm (35.83 in) 906 mm (35.7 in) / 910 mm (35.8 in)
Dry Weight 274 Kg (604 lbs) 273 Kg (602 lbs)
Carrier Capacity (F/R) 40 Kg / 80 Kg
Vehicle Load Capacity Limit 215 Kg (474 lbs)
Hitch Tongue Weight 40 Kg (88 lbs)
Trailer Weight (including cargo) 567 Kg (1,250 lbs)
KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

Exterior

Kawasaki gave the Prairie 700 4×4 redesigned cargo racks, front bumper, and grille to match its V Force™ engine. A multi-function meter and tow hitch come standard with the vehicle and adjustable footpegs with full footboards that reduce stress on the feet during all-day trail rides. A Kolpin Gun Boot IV Realtree AP (view on Amazon) or ATV TEK Arch Series Padded ATV Cargo Bag (view on Amazon) are great additions to the quad, especially for hunting applications.

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Colors Aztec Red, Hunter Green, Realtree® Advantage™ Classic Camouflage, Smoky Blue, Super Black, Polar White Aztec Red, Woodsman/Hunter Green, Realtree® Hardwoods® Green HD™ Camouflage, Team Green™ Edition
Speedometer Standard, multi-function meter
Indicator Lamps Standard
Trip Odometer Standard, w/ odometer & hour meter
Fuel Gauge Light LED & LCD segments (A1/B1); LCD segments (A2/B2)
Engine Stop Switch Standard
Oil Temperature Switch N/A

KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

Lighting

Kawasaki Prairie KVF650 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700
Headlight Semi-sealed beam, 12V 45W/45W x 2
Brake Light/Taillight 12V 27W/8W
12V 21W/5W (KVF650A2/B2 models)
12V 21W/5W
Speedometer Light Standard
Indicator Lights (Drive belt check indicator, oil pressure, coolant/water temperature, 2WD/4WD indicator, reverse, neutral, battery)

KVF700A1/B1 models – 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700; KVF700A2/B2 models – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie 700

K-EBC™ (Kawasaki Engine Brake Control)

The K-EBC™ system is a supplemental braking system where the engine produces the additional braking force of the four-wheeler. It is a smart feature that applies automatically when the throttle is released under certain conditions, instantly becoming an added safety measure. It keeps riders safe regardless of the type of terrain or operating conditions and works best when going down steep declines.

Kawasaki Prairie 700 Price

Here is a full rundown of MSRPs for all Kawasaki Prairie 700 models and trims released from 2004 to 2006:

(Source: Nada Guides)

Year – Trim – Model NumberList PriceRetail/Trade-In Values
2004 – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700-A1/A2, 4×4$7,099$1,540 – $2,120
2004 – 2005 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700-B1/B2, 4×4 Camouflage$7,399$1,610 – $2,420
2005 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700-D1, Special Edition 4×4$7,399$1,845 – $2,430
2006 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700-A6F, 4×4$7,099$1,860 – $2,445
2006 Kawasaki Prairie KVF700-D6F, Special Edition 4×4$7,499$1,970 – $2,590

Unlike the 650-cc Prairie, auction listings for the KVF700 are hard to come by. There is usually only one item listed per trader site, with prices starting at $2,230. Otherwise, you will be hard-pressed to find owners willing to let go of their precious 700-cc quad. What are in abundance are replacement parts such as high-performance fans (view on Amazon), front differential drive, and fully rebuilt motor, valued between $670 and $2,300.

Kawasaki Prairie 700 Problems

On top of specific instructions found in your owner’s manual, here are helpful tips and tested-and-proven fixes for some of the Kawasaki Prairie 700’s more rampant issues:

Overheating

This issue is quite common across different makes and models of both ATVs and UTVs. But in the case of the Prairie 700, the occurrence of this problem is often attributed to the stock radiator fan breaker or buss connector’s tendency to malfunction. In instances where the fan breaker checks out, other areas worth inspecting would be a restricted radiator, faulty water pump or thermostat, or an out-of-range coolant.

Note as well if the issue only happens when riding on low RPMs as it would indicate an airflow problem (which may or may not directly involve your vehicle’s radiator). Interestingly, the best way to address this problem is to run the machine a bit, especially during hot weather – this would mean pushing back on hauling heavy loads and, instead, taking out your wheeler for a spin with only you on the saddle.

Delayed Ignition

Cold-starting was still an issue for 700-cc Prairies due to the delayed ignition caused by the CDI and airbox snorkel being too restrictive. Rust-prone fuse box connections only make the situation worse.

Thankfully, replacing the stock airbox snorkel with a Napa Hose or putting a 12-hole mod in the airbox lid (along with adjusting the carb jetting) helps improve airflow. Likewise, swapping the stock CDI with an aftermarket variant eliminates low/top speed ignition timing while increasing maximum ignition timing. To rule out fuel starvation, I highly advise checking for obstruction in the petcock valve and ensuring the under-seat valve is on alongside doing the above mods.

Defective K-EBC™ and 2WD/4WD Actuators

On top of cleaning, lubricating, and resealing stock actuators with silicone or gasket maker, many owners remove the K-EBC™ actuator fork or 2WD/4WD actuator and modify the setup to run manually via a choke cable setup. While doing this disables the K-EBC™ function, it also rids riders of the headache brought about by the faulty actuators.

Aside from defective actuators, mechanics have also identified faulty electrical components to cause the issue. Among these components is a shorted speed sensor, forward or reverse gear picking up incorrect readings from an open sensor, blown controller fuse, and disconnected battery.

Other Problems

  • Oil seals tend to leak due to misshapen, discolored, or hardened oil seal lips. Jumping the vehicle while in 4WD worsens the oil leak problem.
  • The timing chains and the auto adjusters on them tend to wear out quickly.
  • Front MacPherson Struts are not sturdy enough for high-speed riding.
  • Kawasaki Prairie 700 parts such as swingarm bearings and rear secondary clutch wear out too soon.
  • Problematic cams for ’04 models were only supplemented by new-style rockers and not replaced. (Veterans strongly suggest doing rocker mods on ’04 Prairies)
  • The rocker arm shaft mounting bolts tend to come loose, potentially resulting in severe damage to the motor’s top-end (prevalent with 2004 Kawasaki Prairie 700 models).

Compared to its 650-cc sibling, the initial model years of the Prairie 700 had fewer problems. The only remaining issues the vehicle had were the ones inherited from the Prairie 650. Indeed, design improvements done on the quad tremendously helped with making it less problematic, as the 700-cc machine fared so much better versus succeeding 750-class Kawie machines.

About Kawasaki

In his want to contribute to the Japanese shipping industry (after having survived offshore disasters at an early age), founder Shozo Kawasaki started his parts supply business in Tokyo in 1878. Little did he know that his move to Hyogo eight years after would signal the start of a Japanese multinational corporation known today as Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. At present, Kawasaki is a world leader in the manufacture of engines, motorcycles, heavy equipment, aerospace/defense equipment, rolling stock and ships, and ATVs/UTVs like the Kawasaki Prairie 700.

Conclusion – Kawasaki Prairie 700 4×4 Review

The moniker “New King of 4x4s” does not do the Kawasaki Prairie 700 enough justice. More than being a rightful successor to the Prairie 650, this mean machine has laid the foundation for big-bore four-wheelers and aptly defined what should be the norm in a utility vehicle. With a bit of help from mods and performance parts, its then top-of-the-line engineering and design can still go neck-on-neck with the best of today’s 700-class quads. Powerful, torquey, and timeless, the Kawasaki Prairie 700 will forever ride high as an off-road royalty – for many consumers and loyal fans.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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