Optimizing Your Kawasaki Mule, Teryx, And KRX Battery Setups
Nov 01, 2022
Most riders don’t think twice about their UTV’s battery setup until either the stock battery dies, the engine struggles to turn over, or the addition of aftermarket accessories compels users to pay more attention to their machine’s electrical system. In addition to direct replacement batteries for the Kawasaki Mule, Teryx, and KRX that are the same size as the OEM batteries with identical terminals and equal cold cranking amps (CCA) / milliamp hours (maH), you can also opt for larger aftermarket UTV batteries, dual battery kits, or different wiring configurations.
For example, instead of wiring all your accessories directly to the battery itself, you can wire them to a fuse box, busbar, or other keyed power source so that they don’t draw down your battery when the vehicle is off. Alternatively, you can also use relayed wiring harnesses that come with a built-in fuse, a relay, and a switch so that your accessories don’t pull juice when the switches are off, regardless of whether the key is in the ignition or not. By using relayed wire harnesses with in-line fuses, or by running your rocker-switch-controlled accessories to a fuse box that is grounded and wired to constant hot, you can keep things like rock lights, interior lights, and sound systems running even when your rig is turned off. But regardless of whether you’re considering a Yellow Top Optima battery for your Kawasaki Teryx, a dual battery kit for your Kawasaki Mule, or an aftermarket alternator for your Kawasaki Teryx KRX, here is our advice on how to optimize your Kawasaki side-by-side’s battery setup!
Optimizing Your Kawasaki Teryx Battery Setup
Although the factory U1-H11L Kawasaki Teryx batteries are pretty good, they’re hardly the best option out there. You can definitely find some cheap Lawn & Garden batteries that’ll work in the Teryx, but we wouldn’t advise it. Lawn equipment batteries are not built for the shocks and bumps through which most Teryx riders put their UTVs. The last place you want to be is way back in the woods after your 4th beer break only to find that your battery lacks sufficient power to start your machine! So instead of cheap batteries made for lawn mowers, quality off-road batteries like the ones by XS Power, Optima, and Odyssey won’t let you down.
Some Yuaza batteries are direct replacements for the Kawasaki Teryx, while others require terminal adapters. Odyssey batteries are even easier to use as replacements for the Kawasaki Teryx, all you’ll need are longer bolts for the hold down. Additionally, Interstate gel batteries, LiFePO4 batteries, and Duracell batteries can also be used in the Kawasaki Teryx, but none are as popular as Optima Yellow Top batteries.
While you might be able to fit an Optima Yellow Top battery in the factory location backwards or on its side, a number of riders simply secure the battery in place with a ratchet strap. Alternatively, you could also remove the old Kawasaki Teryx battery tray and drill new holes for some monster J-bolts, and then add a small piece of rubber mat under the battery for slip / shock resistance. And if the ring terminals are too small, you can use a unibit step drill bit to open them up.
The Yellow Top battery by Optima is popular because you can use the top terminals to turn the engine during startup, and the side post for accessories. But be warned that this could result in an ark when excessive loads are applied, so keep that in mind.
Related to your Kawasaki Teryx battery are the vehicle’s stator and regulator. If your battery does not have enough power to start the machine, but once started it seems to run fine, it might be that that stator has burnt coils – this is a common phenomenon with the Teryx. It’s a good idea to check the voltage output from the stator if your battery keeps acting up. A healthy stator should produce around 14+ V after startup. Installing a voltmeter can also prove beneficial, as they’re both inexpensive and easy to install!
Optimizing Your Kawasaki Mule Battery Setup
Many of the same brands we mentioned earlier also make upgraded / replacement Kawasaki Mule batteries. But the best battery for your situation will depend on what you’re running off of it. Interstate batteries are good lead acid options, with Yuasa being quite similar if not identical.
AGM batteries are also an improvement over the 12ah lead acid batteries that come stock in the Kawasaki Mule. Some would argue, however, that switching to an AGM battery has limited benefits, as they’re more expensive, and when they begin to fail, they do so immediately instead of giving you subtle hints such as slow starting times beforehand. The charge requirements for AGM batteries are also different from those of the standard lead acid batteries that come from the factory. And since you cannot change the charging specifics in your Mule, many of the benefits that AGM batteries provide will be lost. If you have larger amp needs than the stock battery can provide, you might want to consider a lead acid battery with a higher reserve capacity, or even a dual battery setup!
Your Kawasaki Mule battery is important, but it isn’t an island. If your machine will fire up with a jump start but not by itself, the battery is the first place you should look. Most auto part stores will load test your battery for free, so doing that before anything else is a good idea. It’s also possible to check your battery voltage with a multimeter. You should get 12vdc when the UTV is off, and between 13-14vdc when it’s running. If that’s all good, move on to your devices to see the amount of current that each one is drawing. Worn out wires / battery cable insulation can also cause the battery to drain, and the key switch as well as solenoid connections could be the culprit as well!
Optimizing Your Kawasaki Teryx KRX Battery Setup
An important thing to do when optimizing your Kawasaki Teryx KRX 1000 battery setup is calculate the total amp draw of all your accessories and add this figure to the amp draw of the vehicle itself. If this number exceeds the stator output, you’ll need either a second battery or an alternator kit. The KRX stator can supply about 40 amps, anything more than that and you’ll want an alternator. Unless you keep your rig on a trickle charger / battery maintainer at home, it’ll take a long while for your low-output stator to charge two depleted batteries. While it is possible for alternator issues to arise due to mud and water, this isn’t always the case, and it can be avoided with a proper Kawasaki Teryx KRX alternator kit.
As far as KRX batteries go, Odyssey batteries drop right in, and although they’re a bit smaller than the OEM KRX battery, they’re much more powerful. With any AGM battery, however, make sure that you only use an AGM charger – high-amp trickle chargers work best for AGM batteries. The Full Throttle ft560 battery will also work in the KRX; all you have to do is delete the sleeves or trim them down by around a quarter-inch to fit.
There are many factors that one must consider when trying to optimizing their UTV battery setup. High-draw accessories like winches and stereos can lead some to upgrade their batteries or install dual battery systems, and the fear of getting stranded can also lead riders down the road of high-end / secondary batteries. When winching, you should always keep your vehicle running – even if you’ve got a deep cycle battery. And no matter if you have one battery or two batteries, it’s always smart to have a good UTV battery charger at the ready just in case! But regardless of the number of power-hungry accessories you’ve got hooked up, we here at Everything Kawasaki Offroad can sort you out with the parts, kits, and products to optimize your Kawasaki UTV battery setup!