Brute Force 650i
If you need a trail machine that not only can get you through the back 40 but also cross deep creeks with ease, then we have something in common. Looking through the garage we selected a very capable 2009 Kawasaki Brute Force 650i as the base for our latest swamp buggy build. If comfort and reliability are on your mind as well as stout stump pulling, then we can agree on at least two things now. Our goal is to get the ride height up and-- with power adders, some waterproofing and sticky ground-gouging tires--send our latest 4x4 submarine to the deepest creeks we could find.
Having the basics nailed we pondered on the size of the lift for the machine and what would fit our needs. We wanted something that could be ridden all day and not have our teeth rattling out of our head. There was also the thought of off-camber hills and trails with stumps, downed trees and roots to consider. Everything just seemed to fall into place, and once we had our plan it was on!
The lift we wanted for our 2009 Kawasaki Brute Force 650i was a no-brainer. We knew that easy installation and quality products always come out of a company in West Monroe, Louisiana, known as Xtreme Products, or XPATV. We chose a two-inch lift, but with the tires we picked, we gained about three inches all together. These lifts have to be the easiest I've ever installed on a machine. Each set of parts had been sealed in its own bag, so there was no mistaking the placement for every piece. The kits are made from laser-cut 3/16 cold-rolled steel and are zinc coated for maximum durability and only require basic hand tools and a big jack for installation. The installation of our kit was so simple, it only took us about one hour to complete.
This Brute has the ability...
This Brute has the ability to go deep, very deep!
Now that our XPATV lift was installed, it was time to get the wheels and tires mounted so I could reclaim my large floor jack. The 28-inch Outlaw tires from High Lifter are one of the most popular models being used by people who do exactly what we're planning on doing. High Lifter not only manufactures these tires, but also offers a wide variety of products for the mud-bogging utility ATV owner. Being based out of Shreveport, Louisiana, High Lifter has swamps as their backyard, which have proved to be the perfect testing grounds for its products. The Outlaw tires feature extremely tall lugs that are perfectly spaced so we could get maximum traction in the nastiest mud pit. We opted to run a 9.5-inch-wide front and 12.5-inch rear combination. We were a little skeptical on the rear wheel size, but the people at High Lifter reassured us they would work just fine for our needs. Who are we to argue with the professionals in this industry?
When it came to which wheel we wanted for our Deep Creek Bogger, we turned to Vision Wheel. As a company renowned in the automotive world, Vision spent the last few years getting to know the ATV market and crossing over its products. While it has several designs for ATVs, we opted to use its Buckshot wheel design. The wheels are cast aluminum with a machined finish, while the center caps are stamped to look like a double-ought buckshot cartridge for a shotgun. Not only are these wheels tough, but with all of the attention to detail, they look great as well. Mounting the High Lifter Outlaws onto our new Buckshot wheels was easier than any tire/wheel combination I've ever used. A few squirts of soapy water and a couple of tire irons and we were done, almost as if the tires jumped onto the rim themselves.