2003 Kawasaki 650 Prairie Specsby Rob Wagner
The 2003 Kawasaki Prairie 650 4x4 ATV is considered among enthusiasts to be one of the best engineered off-road vehicles available since the Prairie series was introduced in 1983. The Prairie 650 was the first V-Twin powered ATV and marketed specifically for hunters and farmers, according to ATVSource.com. Since 1997 with the debut of an automatic transmission, the Prairie series has been so popular that the motorcycle maker also began producing the 360, 400 and 700 models.
The 2003 Kawasaki Prairie 640 ATV is powered by a liquid-cooled, two-cylinder V-Twin engine displacing 633 cubic centimeters. The engine features a 9.9:1 compression ratio with fuel delivered through two Keihin CVKR-D32 carburetors from a 4.5-gallon tank. The carbs sit high on the frame and draw air from a snorkel intake system to allow the Prairie 650 to navigate stream crossings. The ignition system is electric with a manual pull start as backup. The engine’s bore is 3.14 inches, and the stroke measures 2.48 inches. A dual-range automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) transmits the power from the engine to the wheels. A CVT uses an infinite number of gear ratios to automatically adapt to any speed under any riding conditions to provide the best fuel efficiency and power.
The 2003 Prairie 650 is 84.4 inches long, 46.1 inches wide and the frame sits on a 51-inch wheelbase. The seat is 33.7 inches off the ground, with ground clearance of 9.5 inches at the center of the chassis. The ATV has a dry weight of 604 lbs. and can tow 1,250 lbs. It can carry 264 lbs. on its back.
Frame and Suspension
Kawasaki constructed the frame of tubular steel with adjustable foot pegs placed on floorboards and halogen headlamps. Front suspension features MacPherson struts allowing for 6.7 inches of travel. The rear suspension is a single-shock with an aluminum swing arm that offers 7.2 inches of travel. The front tires are AT25X8-12, and the rear tires are AT25X10-12. The tires ride on aluminum rims. The front brakes feature dual-piston discs, and the rear brakes are multi-discs. The vehicle also is equipped with an electronically-controlled brake system that automatically slows down the Prairie 650 on steep downward inclines.
The Prairie 650 features a full digital instrument cluster, including a speedometer, twin tripmeters, hour meter, odometer, clock, fuel gauge, reverse indicator lamp, drive belt warning lamp, low fuel and low oil warning lamps, neutral gear indicator lamp and an indicator lamp to display whether the ATV is in 2x4 or 4x4 mode.
Colors and Pricing
The 2003 model came in three color schemes: Camouflage, Aztec Red with bronze accents and Hunter Green. The vehicle in 2003 sold for about $7,000. Other standard equipment new for 2003 included a trailer hitch and aluminum skid plate.
Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.