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Kawasaki Bayou 220 Review

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 is one of the most popular ATVs on off-road trails and suits riders of all levels. The Bayou 220 is Kawasaki’s only all-terrain vehicle of its size and is among the most affordable ATVs out there.

This small but mean ATV was among the firsts to introduce advanced features to the market and successfully tread the ATV playing field. Looking for a Kawasaki Bayou 220 but don’t know where to start? Read on for detailed information about this mini-beast.

About the Kawasaki Bayou 220

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 was introduced in 1988. It is a rec-utility vehicle that was considered the most hardworking x in its class. It boasted a reverse gear, automatic clutch, and independent front suspension and enjoyed a 15-year production run.

This ATV was initially produced as a 185-class machine. The timing of its inception was accurate, as cases of ATC-related injuries and accidents increased, pushing riders to look for a more reliable and stable off-road vehicle design that would guarantee years of outdoor and riding fun.

With the Bayou 220, Kawasaki gave a smooth-riding suspension system, super reliable shaft drive, convenient reverse gear, and several low-RPM torques perfect for long trail explorations and rides. This wheeler was small and one of the most economical quads produced by Kawasaki.

Being a certified bulletproof classic, this small, light quad pioneered the four-wheeled ATV segment for Kawasaki. Its hardworking concept and straightforward design were enough to win the hearts of most consumers and Kawasaki enthusiasts.

This rec-utility vehicle gave the best as the manufacturer’s pioneer four-wheeler, even outdoing bigger-displacement rides in performance and handling. The Kawasaki Bayou 220 is the third generation of its series and has the same characteristics as the Bayou 185 and 300. However, it presented itself in a more compact chassis.

During its years of production, Kayou released a bumped-up 400 cubic centimeters 4×4 version in 1993. This massive upgrade gave Kawasaki a competitive edge in a market that was interested in big-bore machines.

Kawasaki Bayou 220 Specs & Features

Engine

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 is powerful, making it a great ride on mud bogs and technical trails. The Bayou 220 is powered by a 215 cc, four-stroke, shaft-driven, air-cooled engine. The engine bore measures 2.6 inches, and the stroke is 2.4 inches. The engine is bulletproof and has maintained its quality throughout the ATV’s production.

It has a relatively high compression ratio of 9:3:1 with fuel delivered through a Mikuni VM24SS carburetor. The fuel tank capacity is quite sizeable and is placed under the handlebars. However, this ATV is quite selective with the fuel it consumes. You should mix unleaded gasoline with a fuel stabilizer to reduce gummy deposits in the tank and inhibit fuel oxidation.

Ignition

It comes with a Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI). The ignition system of the Kawasaki Bayou 220 is one of the most sensitive parts. The Bayou’s charging system and rated output aren’t specified in its manual. Owners rely on Kawi forums to get information about the ATV’s voltage regulator and other electrical components.

Tires

This ATV uses the Dunlop KT856 AT21 x 8-9 tubeless front tires and Dunlop KT857 AT22 x 10-10 rear tubeless tires. However, it’s highly unlikely to get a secondhand unit with stock rubber nowadays.

Brakes

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 relies on mechanical drum front and rear brakes designed to offer reliable stopping power.

Suspensions

This ATV uses a single A-arms w/dual shocks front suspension type and quad-Link system w/dual shocks rear suspension type. However, it is not clear whether the front and rear shocks are preload-adjustable or not. Despite these aspects, this four-wheeler has superb handling and maneuverability over rough roads and berms. It also comes with light and responsive steering that permits a non-restrictive riding experience.

Weight capacity

The Bayou 220 is quite large and heavy and has a decent load capacity for its size. It comes with a dry weight of 404lbs, a carrier capacity of 44 lbs, and a vehicle load capacity limit of 285lbs.

Pricing

The price of the Bayou 220 ranges from $500 to $1,600. However, most resale units are 1999 to 2002 models and are hard to come by outside the U.S. At such a price point, expect an ATV with a rusty muffler, no title, and one that needs some modifications.

Battery

This ATV runs on 12V 12 Ah, YTX14AH/-BS battery formats. The ATV’s battery has a dimension of 5.2 x 3.5 x 6.5 inches (132 x 89 x 165 mm).

Kawasaki Bayou 220 Review

Known Issues

Backfiring

This problem may indicate a fuel or ignition system malfunction and can occur if the fuel pump fails to deliver sufficient fuel in time. The most common symptoms include riding speeds below 20mph, unusual noise when shifting to the 5th gear, and a difference in power output.

Conclusion

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 is a worthy ATV that’s surprisingly fast, reliable, and gentle to novice riders. However, this four-wheeler is not only for the untrained beginners, but all riders of all skill levels will have an enjoyable outdoor ride with excellent power delivery.

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