What makes the Kawasaki Bayou 220 an exceptional quad is its designation as one of the successful forerunners to other 4×4 ATV models during its introduction to the market. With the reverse gear and automatic clutch in its arsenal of convenient and estimable features, the Bayou 220 also comes with a bulletproof engine and an ergonomic exterior.

This ATV started from Kawasaki’s production line as the Bayou 185, which was released to the market three years prior in 1985. During that period, the consumers were having serious concerns with all-terrain cycles or ATCs because of the rising incidences of death-related accidents, many of which involved children. This led to a burgeoning demand for quads that were considered safer as compared to their three-wheeled counterparts. With the Kawasaki Bayou 220’s family-friendly, hard-working features, this 4×4 quad became a hit among ATV enthusiasts and consumers alike.

Of course, that wasn’t what catapulted the Kawasaki Bayou 220 into the spotlight.  There’s also the Bayou’s other features, such as the 215-cc, four-stroke, single overhead cam engine with a five-speed transmission and shaft drive system. All of which gave this ATV an overall remarkable performance. In addition, the vehicle’s independent suspension system provides smooth and reliable handling—a quality that ATV aficionados love when driving across off-road trails, as well as in swamp holes or muddy tracks.

Perhaps one of the Bayou’s most exceptional qualities come from the fact that it can be a recreational and utility vehicle in one package. With its decent speed and low torque, this quad is not just an ideal starter vehicle for beginners, but it also can become both a recreational ATV that can be used to perform heavy donkeywork. That shows that the Kawasaki Bayou 220’s rugged exterior isn’t just for the sake of design, but for handiness and versatility.

What Are the Different Models of the Kawasaki Bayou 220?

Released in 1988, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 had a considerable production run of 15 years. During that time, this ATV workhorse became one of Kawasaki’s longest- and best-selling quads in its record, thanks in part to its multiple capabilities and conveniences. In 2003, the low-maintenance, air-cooled, 228-cc Bayou 250 replaced the hard-working Bayou 220. Despite this, the latter maintained its status as one of the well-loved 4×4 ATVs both by consumers and aficionados alike. Below is a list of the different models of the Kawasaki Bayou 220.

1988 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A1
1989 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A2
1990 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A3
1991 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A4
1992 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A5
1993 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A6
1994 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A7
1995 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A8
1996 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A9
1997 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A10
1998 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A11
1999 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A12
2000 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A13
2001 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A14
2002 Kawasaki BayouKLF220-A15

How Much Is a Kawasaki Bayou 220?

Though the Kawasaki Bayou 220 is no longer in production, People can still purchase this ATV through different online channels. According to www.nadaguide.com, the list price of a 2002 Kawasaki Bayou 220 (KLF220-A15) is $2,999. Meanwhile, the low retail / average retail price for this quad is $845 / $1,110.

Below is a price list for the other models of the Kawasaki Bayou 220 from 1988 to 2001. All the details mentioned here are based on nadaguide.com.

YearList PriceLow / Average Retail Price
2001 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A14)$3,299$825 / 1,085
2000 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A13)$3,299$780 / 1,025
1999 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A12)$3,299$750 / $985
1998 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A11)$3,299$730 / $960
1997 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A10)$3,719$720 / $945
1996 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A9)$3,699$675 / $890
1995 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A8)$3,499$535 / $705
1994 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A7)$3,349$535 / $705
1993 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A6)$3,099$535 / $705
1992 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A5)$2,899$535 / $705
1991 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A4)$2,849$535 / $705
1990 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A3)$2,799$535 / $705
1989 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A2)$2,699$535 / $705
1988 Kawasaki Bayou (KLF220A1)$2,499$535 / $705

Apart from the abovementioned detail, several online channels that offer pre-loved Kawasaki Bayou 220s for sale. Considering the period in which the Bayou was manufactured, it is worth noting that some of these Bayous ay have had sustained an insignificant (or significant) amount of wear and tear.

Kawasaki Bayou 220’s Specifications and Other Technical Features


The air-cooled, single-cylinder, four-stroke, SOHC engine inside the Kawasaki Bayou 220 has a bore-to-stroke ratio of 67 mm and 61 mm (2.64 x 2.4 inches). With a displacement of 215 cc (13.1 inches), the Bayou 220 also comes with a Mikuni VM24SS carburettor and has a compression rate of 9.3:1.

Transmission and Driveline

This 4×4 quad has an automatic clutch,  five-speed transmission with a reverse gear, which is a knob located under the handlebar and in front of the driver’s left knee. The Kawasaki Bayou 220 has a drive shaft system. The following list includes the gear and reduction, including the respective values of the Kawasaki Bayou 220.

First Gear2.923 (38/13)
Second Gear1.684 (32/19)
Third Gear1.173 (27/23)
Fourth Gear0.923 (24/26)
Fifth Gear0.785 (22/28)
Reverse3.115 (27/13 x 33/22)
Primary Reduction3.450 (69/20)
Secondary Reduction4.680 (18/15 x 39/10)

Furthermore, this ATV has a primary and secondary clutch design. While both have wet automatic configurations, the former is a centrifugal-type and while the latter is a multi-disc.


The Kawasaki Bayou 220 has forced lubrication or wet sump design. The oil capacity of this quad is 2 litres (2.1 US quarts) with the inclusion of the filter and 2.1 litres (2.2 US quarts), excluding the filter.

Meanwhile, the lubrication requirement ranges from any of the following oil types: SAE 10W-30 to 10W-50 and 20W-40 to 20W-50. These oil types, however, should be based solely on the overall temperature outdoors.


The Kawasaki Bayou 220 has an electric/recoil starting system and a capacitor discharge ignition (CDI). The spark plugs used in this recreational ATV is NGK D8EA with a gap max of 0.6 to 0.7 mm (0.024 to 0.028 inches).

Meanwhile, the primary and final advance values for the ignition timing are 10.0° BTDC and 35.0° BTDC, respectively. Furthermore, the Bayou 220 can be equipped with 12V 12 Ah, YTX14AH/-BS type of batteries.

Suspension and Brakes

As for its suspension, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 has two different suspension configurations for its front and rear wheels. On the front, this ATV has dual-shocks, single A-arm suspension designs. On the other hand, a Quad-Link system with twin shock absorbers is connected to the rear.

Both the front and rear suspensions have a travel clearance of 114 mm (4.5 inches) and 124.5 mm (4.9 inches), respectively. In addition, the front and rear wheels have mechanical drum brakes systems.


Stock Kawasaki Bayou 220s have an independent suspension wheel offset in the front, while a straight axle offset in the rear. Typically, these ATVs are fitted with Dunlop tubeless tyres, with the following sizes: AT21 x 8-9 for the front, while AT22 x 10-10 in the rear.

Since the Bayou 220 were old models, the tyres that come with it are likely either used up or not popular. In cases like these, you may go for a different set of tyres. An alternate tyre size that can go with the rear wheels is AT21 x 8-9.


This ATV workhorse has a length of 1,745 mm (68.7 inches), a width of 1,020 mm (40.2 inches), and a height of 1,040 mm (40.9 inches). The dry weight of a stock quad is 183 kg or 404 lbs.

Moreover, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 has a ground clearance of 155 mm (6.1 inches), and a seat height of 730 mm (28.7 inches). The wheelbase of the Bayou 220 is 1,115 mm (43.9 inches), while the track measurements of the front and rear wheels are 764 mm and 776 mm (30.1 in and 30.6 in), respectively.

Capacity (Fuel and Weight)

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 has a fuel capacity of 10 litres (2.6 US gallons), as well as a 2-litre (0.53 US gallons) reserve tank. The reserve tank can be turned on manually using a petcock switch.

As a hard-working utility ATV, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 has a total load capacity of 130 kg (285 lbs). It also has two carriers each in the front and rear, and both have a weight capacity of 20 kg (44 lbs) and 30 kg (66 lbs), respectively. Moreover, the hitch tongue has a weight capacity of 14 kg (30 lbs), while the overall trailer weight cannot go up to 204 kg (450 lbs).

External Features

The Kawasaki Bayou 220’s rugged features give the impression that it’s made not just for trail-riding, but also to perform tasks like a workhorse. This 4×4 ATV comes with a steel chassis and plastic body, as well as front and rear racks.

On the left part of the Bayou 220’s handlebar are the low/high range headlight switch, engine stop switch, and starter button, including the choke lever and the rear brake lever. To the right, meanwhile, are the thumb throttle switch and front brake lever.

There are also indicator lights for the neutral and reverse gears, which are located under the handlebar. The Kawasaki Bayou 220 also comes with a fuel gauge, which is situated in front of the seat. This four-wheeler comes in two colours: firecracker red and hunter green.

How Fast Can You Go With the Kawasaki Bayou 220?

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 has a top speed that ranges from 43 to 46 mph. However, since the quad has no speedometer, most owners could only give an estimate of 45 mph. Whichever it is, that number is still right on the estimated mark.

This vehicle can generate power of up to 13 to 15 horsepower. Moreover, once the Bayou’s engine has reached 6,000 RPM, this 4×4 can generate a maximum torque of 17.7 Nm (1.8 kg-m, 13 ft-lb), which sounds relatively safe for beginners.

The latter feature is what makes this reliable ATV not just for riding along trails, but also as a lightweight utility vehicle. In short, even though the Kawasaki Bayou does not possess eye-popping speed, it has enough power to provide what its rider needs.

What Are the Kawasaki Bayou 220’s Perks and Technical Issues?


Impressive Handling Capability

Most websites claim that the Kawasaki Bayou 220 has an independent suspension system, which is not correct at all. In fact, the Bayou 220 has A-arm suspension rigs instead. Even though the former suspension system is way better than the latter, that does not mean things have gone sideways for this four-wheeler.  

In fact, the Bayou’s suspension design makes it an ideal ride not just for trail enthusiasts, but also for people, including children, who like to experience riding a 4×4 all-terrain vehicle. That’s because the Kawasaki Bayou 220’s suspension offers riders maximum manoeuverability and control, even in tight corners, rough off-road trails, or shoulders of a gulley or ravine. 

High Hauling Capacity

Though the Kawasaki Bayou 220’s top speed may only be that great, that doesn’t mean it’s not a decent ATV. Unlike sports ATVs, the Bayou is not made for speed. Instead, it’s a workhorse of a machine designed to carry or haul heavy loads. With the quad’s front and rear racks, as well as the tongue hitch that can take on a 450-lb trailer, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 is an all-terrain 4×4 that doubles as a utility vehicle. Anyone who argues that the Bayou 220 is a note-worthy, dual-purpose vehicle for that matter is in all counts correct.


Picky Fuel Requirement

The fuel requirement for the Kawasaki Bayou 220’s engine can be tricky. You will have to add a fuel stabilizer to the unleaded gasoline (PON 87 or RON 91 rating). Otherwise, fuel oxidation will set in and may result in deposits inside the tank.

This characteristic may not be a concern for most riders, considering the Bayou 220’s reputation as a classic, recreational ATV. However, for those who prefer to own a low-maintenance quad, this additional fuel requirement may prove to be too much to some.

Backfiring Issues

Though the Kawasaki Bayou 220 is fitted with a satisfactory bullet-proof, 4-stroke engine, there have been incidences in which the engine may backfire. This concern would become apparent when drivers thumb the throttle switch or when the vehicle is moving under 20 miles per hour or goes into fifth gear.

As for most Kawasaki Bayou 220 owners, they attribute the high idling problem to a disproportional air-fuel mixture, a faulty carburettor, or incorrect valve timing. Whatever the cause is, you will be wise to examine the issue meticulously since several factors that cause this mechanical concern. Also, in such cases, it is recommendable to enlist the expertise of a professional mechanic.

Additional Benefits and Disadvantages of the Kawasaki Bayou 220

Despite its designation as one of the highest-grossing ATVs in Kawasaki’s inventory, the Kawasaki Bayou is not one without shortcomings. Regardless, history is shaped by champions, so it wouldn’t be wise for anyone to disregard what makes the Bayou 220 an exceptional piece of equipment. For that matter, we have provided a list of what makes the Kawasaki Bayou 220 worth owning, as well as its disadvantages.


  • Impressive suspension design
  • Considerably-sized, heavy-duty engine
  • Safe and beginner-friendly
  • Automatic clutch configuration
  • Easy-to-operate reverse gear
  • Interchangeable parts with other Bayou models
  • Has a fuel tank reserve, which can come in handy anytime


  • Starter/ignition problem in 1994 models
  • No speedometer
  • Lacking oil temperature switch
  • Noisy engine

What Makes the Kawasaki Bayou 220 a Superb ATV?

Convenience and practicality are what makes the Kawasaki Bayou 220 an amazing quad. Also, with its lightweight and robust design, the Byou 220’s 4×4 drivetrain raises the bar in terms of quality and capability.

Indeed, some Bayou 220 models have minor issues, which range from fuel requirement to incorrect fuel-air mixture. Nevertheless, this four-wheeler’s four-stroke, single-cylinder SOHC engine performs considerably well and delivers a decent torque and a relative speed of 45 mph, at the most. Additionally, the automatic clutch design, five-speed transmission, and reverse gear option make the riding experience smooth and efficient.

Moreover, the Bayou 220’s recreational and utility capabilities make this equipment one of the most-sought vehicles, especially for people who are looking for a reliable ATV. Be it  snowy, muddy, or rocky terrain, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 can be used both for thrill-seeking activities and to perform donkeywork.

About the Manufacturer

The Kawasaki Bayou 220 is one of Kawasaki Heavy Industries’ best-selling quads. The firm, which was established in 1878, is one of the top Japanese manufacturers known for producing motorcycles, UTVs, and other consumer vehicles. The Kawasaki Motors Corp. in the USA spearheaded the Team Green programme and provided amateur motorcycle enthusiasts with the chance to showcase their racing skills. Currently, Kawasaki focuses on supplying technological equipment for aerospace, nautical, locomotive, and military use, among other industries.

Final Takeaway

Overall, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 is a superb four-wheeled recreational ATV which makes it suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike. Because of its maximum handling capability, thanks to its reliable and efficient suspension system, the Bayou 220 remains one of the most sought-after classic, lightweight vehicles.

Amidst these remarkable qualities, the Kawasaki Bayou 220 offers drivers a caveat. Its four-stroke, 215-cc engine isn’t one to be underestimated. That is, despite the engine’s minimal torque and moderately consistent speed. That this ATV serves multiple purposes that range from practical and leisurely is an aspect of the Kawasaki Bayou that demands admiration, first-learners and professional riders notwithstanding.