KFI Winch for ATV & UTV – An Inclusive Overview

Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by ATVNotes

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Say, you’re exploring rugged terrains in your trusty ATV, UTV, jeep or truck. Suddenly, you find yourself stuck in deep mud or unable to traverse steep inclines. This is where having a sturdy and dependable winch becomes crucial. With its exceptional pulling power and durability, KFI Winch ensures that no obstacle on your path remains unconquerable.

As for winches meant for ATV/UTV, they play a crucial role in ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) and UTV (Utility Task Vehicle) operations. KFI winches, with their superior design and construction, provide ATV and UTV users with power and reliability. Off-roaders need that badly to tackle any challenge. Yes, KFI ATV winches are designed to deliver high performance in challenging conditions.

So let’s dive into all things KFI Winch – from discovering their flagship products to understanding why they are considered an essential addition for any off-road enthusiast.

KFI Winches History and Background

KFI Winches, a product of Kappers Fabricating Inc. (KFI), is one of the most reputable winch manufacturers and renowned for their high-quality construction and durability. Established in 1986 in Spring Valley, Minnesota, USA, KFI initially focused on manufacturing UTV vehicles. However, under the leadership of CEO Jeff Kappers, the company expanded its product line in 2002 to include winches, which quickly gained popularity among off-road travelers.

The company’s ATV and UTV winches are particularly noteworthy. These winches are designed to fit any model of UTV/ATV vehicles. This is the main reason why they have become a versatile choice for off-road enthusiasts. They are praised for their durability and solid construction. That also reflects KFI’s commitment to providing long-lasting, top-quality products.

KFI Winches have a rich history rooted in quality and innovation, with a particular emphasis on their ATV and UTV winches. These products embody the company’s commitment to providing durable, reliable solutions for off-road adventures.

KFI Winch Parts Accessories

Key Features Why KFI Winches Stick out

KFI winches are known for their superior construction and design, material quality, confident warranty statement, and moderate price. Here you go with briefs on the main features of these winches.

Construction and Design

KFI winches are built to handle the most challenging conditions. They feature a durable construction that can handle heavy loads. The winches are meticulously designed with a focus on durability and performance. High-grade cast aluminum and steel components are used to construct KFI winches.

Lead Screw Design: The lead screw design is a crucial feature of KFI winches. This design ensures smooth engagement with the drum, providing efficient operation and enhancing the Winch’s performance.

Patented Brake System: KFI winches also have a patented brake system. This system allows you to stop the Winch quickly in an emergency. It includes both dynamic and mechanical braking. It helps prevent rope slippage in case the power accidentally goes out.

Material and Durability

KFI winches are constructed with high-grade cast aluminum and durable steel components. This combination of materials ensures the winches are lightweight yet robust. That makes it capable of withstanding harsh conditions.

KFI ATV winches are known for their durability and ability to handle heavy loads. They are built to handle the most challenging conditions, making them suitable for serious off-roading.

The winches lead screw design ensures smooth engagement with the drum. Thus, it enhances their performance and ability to handle heavy loads. That’s what has earned the KFI a reputation for being dependable in tough conditions.

Easy to Install

KFI winches come with all the necessary hardware required for winch installation on ATV, UTV, or other vehicles.

The process involves mounting the Winch, assembling the Winch for generic installation, mounting the contactor, installing the handlebar-mounted mini rocker switch, mounting the hand remote socket, and wiring the Winch. This is to indicate that the KFI winch installation is not that overwhelming.

Read our descriptive and easy-to-follow the winch installation instructions for a more detailed guide. The product manual or the manufacturer’s official resources will help you avoid installation mistakes. 

Up to Two-Year Limited Warranty

KFI provides up to a two-year limited warranty on their winches. This may vary from product to product as some of their star products offer only 1-year limited warranty. They guarantee their winches are free from defects and faulty workmanship. This warranty is valid to any purchaser of KFI products.

In the event of a claim, the purchaser may be required to show the validity of the claim. That can be done by furnishing a copy of the original invoice for the product in question.

On top of all the features described above, high-quality parts are used, including water-resistant seals and metal switchgear. These two ensure durability and resistance against rust and corrosion. Despite these high-quality features, KFI winches are moderately priced, making them popular among off-road enthusiasts. 

KFI Winch Reviews: Flagship Products by the Brand 

KFI Products is a reputable company that offers a wide range of ATV winches, mounts, and accessories. Here are brief overviews of the most popular KFI off-road winches:

KFI A2000 Winch

The KFI A2000 Winch is a compact and reliable winch designed for ATV, UTV, or SxS applications. It features a robust construction with a 2000 lbs rated line pull, making it capable of handling heavy loads. The Winch is powered by a 12V DC, 1.0 hp Permanent Magnet motor. It has an all-metal planetary gear drive with a gear ratio of 171:1.

The A2000 winch also includes a dynamic and mechanical brake system for safety and an all-metal cam-activated free spooling clutch. The drum size is 1.5″ (D) x 3.15″ (L), and it comes with a 5/32″ (D) x 49’ (L) cable.

The Winch has a mini-rocker switch that can be mounted on the ATV’s handlebars for easy control. It also includes a heavy-duty electric contactor that protects the ATV’s electrical system.

A 1-year limited warranty backs the KFI A2000 winch. It is praised for its low power draw, smooth performance, and easy installation. It is a cost-effective choice for those looking for a high-quality winch.

KFI Assault Winch

This Winch is designed for ATVs, UTVs, or SxS. It comes with a cable (steel or synthetic), cable hook stopper, a dynamic and mechanical braking system, water-resistant seals to keep the elements out, a standard 4-hole mounting design, and a heavy-duty all-metal turn clutch.

Low draw winch, easy to install, powerful but quiet, fairly priced, can be used for mud riding. It comes with both a wired remote control and a dash rocker switch. You can easily pull out the rope using the free spooling clutch. The package also includes a non-integrated heavy-duty solenoid and a cable hook stopper.

KFI SE35 Stealth ATV Winch

This model has a rated line pull of 3500 lbs. It’s equipped with a 12V DC, 1.5 hp Permanent Magnet Motor. It has a gear ratio of 171:1 and an all-metal planetary gear drive. It also features a dynamic and mechanical brake, an all-metal cam-activated free spool, and a drum size of 1.5″ (D) x 3.15″ (L).

KFI SE-35 winch can be your go-to ATV winch as it is considered the best KFI winch for its exceptional pulling capacity, durable construction, and impressive features. It is suitable for challenging off-road terrain and provides reliable performance, making it a top choice for serious off-road enthusiasts.

KFI stealth ATV winches 3500 lbs offer a two-year limited warranty, underlining again the confidence about product quality on the manufacturer’s part. 

KFI SE45 ATV Stealth 4500 lb Winch

The KFI SE45 ATV Stealth 4500 lb Winch is a high-quality product from KFI Products. It features a synthetic cable and a cable hook stopper. The Winch has a dynamic and mechanical braking system, ensuring safety and control during operation.

Designed with water-resistant seals, it keeps the elements out, making it suitable for use in various weather conditions. It has a standard 4-hole mounting design and a heavy-duty all-metal turn clutch.

The Winch is backed by a KFI 1-Year Limited Warranty, reflecting the company’s confidence in its product. A reliable accessory for ATV users, this Winch provides the pulling power needed in various situations.

KFI A3000 UTV/ATV Winch

The KFI A3000 UTV/ATV Winch is a robust and reliable product from KFI Products. Equipped with a 12V DC, 1.3 hp permanent magnet motor, the Winch has a rated line pull of 3000 lbs.

It features quality cast aluminum and durable steel components. Designed with water-resistant seals to keep the elements out, it is suitable for use in various weather conditions. It has a standard 4-hole mounting design and a heavy-duty all-metal turn clutch.

The Winch comes with a Mini-Rocker Switch to be mounted on your ATV’s handlebars and a Handheld 14’ Corded Remote for control from a distance. It also includes a Heavy Duty Electric Contactor for power distribution.

Like other KFI winches, it is backed by a “KFI 1-Year Limited Warranty”, reflecting the company’s confidence in its product.

KFI Winch Parts for Rapid Backup on the Go

KFI winches are known for their durability and reliability, but even the toughest winches can eventually need replacement parts. KFI offers a wide variety of replacement parts for all of their winches. So you can get your Winch back up and running quickly and easily.

Here are some of the most common KFI winch replacement parts:

  • Winch solenoids 
  • Winch motors 
  • Winch gears 
  • Winch cable 
  • Winch fairlead 
  • Switches 
  • Hooks

When choosing KFI winch replacement parts, it is essential to ensure you are getting the right parts for your specific winch model. You can find the part numbers for your Winch in the owner’s manual or on the KFI website.

Once you have the right parts, replacing them is usually a fairly straightforward process. KFI provides instructions for replacing most of their parts on their website. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your KFI winch running like new for years to come.

KFI Winch Mounts for ATVs: Securing Your Pulling Power

KFI Winch Mounts are designed to suit a variety of ATV/UTV applications. Each winch mount features a steel constructed mount plate that is metal bead blasted before it’s powder-coated for the best possible finish prep. This process ensures the protective black finish delivering rugged good looks and extreme durability.

KFI Winch Mounts

Designed to fit any model of UTV/ATV vehicles, they are praised for their durability and solid construction. The company also offers a variety of winch mounts, including the Formed Steel Kawasaki KRX Winch Mount. To add to your convenience, it is easy to install and comes with universal mounting holes.

In summary, KFI Winch Mounts are known for their high-quality construction, durability, and versatility. All these make them a reliable choice for ATV/UTV users.

Prices of Different KFI Winch Mounts

The price of KFI winch mounts can vary depending on the model and the retailer. However, here are some general price ranges:

  • 1.25 inch Receiver Winch Mount: $66.95
  • 2 inch Receiver Winch Mount: $68.95
  • KFI ATV Winch Kit: $208.00 – $272.00
  • KFI Winch Mount: $38.95 – $179.95

Mounting Parts for Different ATV Models

KFI offers a variety of winch replacement parts for different ATV models. Some of these include:

  • A2000 Winch Parts
  • A2500-R2 Winch Parts
  • A3000 Winch Parts
  • U45-R2 Winch Parts
  • U45W-R2 Winch Parts
  • AS-25 Winch Parts
  • AS-35 Winch Parts
  • AM-25 Winch Parts

KFI Winch Remote: Lead Winch Accessory of the Brand

The KFI Winch Remote is a wireless remote control kit designed for ATV winch systems. Here are some key details about KFI Wireless Winch Remote:

KFI Winch Remote
  • Compatibility: It is compatible with most 12V ATV winch systems that have the standard contactor.
  • Range: The remote has a range of over 75 feet.
  • Power Button: It features a power button with a bright red LED power light.
  • Power In/Out: The remote supports both power in and power out functions.
  • Auto Shut Off: The remote automatically shuts off after 2 minutes to conserve battery life.
  • Grip: The remote has a texturized and rubberized grip for a no-slip application.
  • Included in the Kit: The kit includes a holster, AAA batteries, a transmitter, a wire harness, and hardware.
  • Price: The KFI Wireless Remote Kit is priced at $99.95.
  • Warranty: It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

This remote control kit integrates into existing winch wiring configurations that utilize a contractor block to replace the existing wired remote. The KFI Winch Remote control kit can be used in conjunction with your existing controllers. It also includes a keyring with a 2-1/2″ carabiner and a 23″ detachable KFI lanyard.

KFI Winch Solenoid works for A Host of Winches

The KFI Winch Solenoid, also known as a winch contactor, is a key component of the KFI winch system. Here are some important details about it:

KFI inch Solenoid
  • Function: The solenoid is essentially an electromagnetic switch that stands between the power source and the winch battery. It ensures the safe passage of power to the winch motor, preventing damage to either the switch or battery.
  • Compatibility: The KFI Winch Solenoid is a direct replacement contactor for several KFI winches, including models ST17, A2000, A2500-R2, A3000, U4500, U45-R2, U4500w, U45w-R2, SE25, SE35, SE45, SE45-R2, SE45w, and SE45w-R2.
  • Operation: The solenoid requires a correct rocker switch to operate. The rocker switch requires a switch with three wires, two wires to the contactor, and one to keyed power.
  • Price: The Replacement Winch Contactor is priced at $38.25.
  • Other Compatible Winches: This replacement contactor also works with several other winches, including certain models from WARN, RAMSEY, SUPERWINCH, MILE MARKER, MASTER LOCK, CYCLE COUNTRY, BADLAND, CHAMPION, KEEPER CORP. TRAKKER, SMITTYBILT, XGEAR, and VENOM.

Find if your ATV winch solenoid is okay or not. If it is malfunctioning, KFI winch solenoid can be the replacement.

KFI Winch Switch: The Mini-Rocker Switch

The KFI Winch Switch, also known as the Mini-Rocker Switch, is a crucial component of the KFI winch system. Here are some important details about it:

KFI Winch Switch

  • Function: The switch is used to control the Winch’s operation, including the power distribution of your Winch.
  • Compatibility: The switch is designed to be used with KFI winches.
  • Installation: The switch comes with an adjustable bracket for mounting on your ATV’s handlebars. This allows you to control your Winch with the touch of your finger without ever letting go of your handlebars.
  • Kit Includes: The kit includes a handlebar Mini-Rocker Switch, a heavy-duty electrical contactor, color-coded wires for both the Winch and battery, and an installation manual.
  • Price: The KFI Products Universal 12V Winch Switch is priced at $25.99.
  • Safety: The included Heavy Duty Electric Contactor protects your ATV’s electrical system and switches the power distribution of your Winch that is controlled from your switches.

Remember, every kit comes with convenient color-coded wires and detailed instructions for a quick and easy install. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or a professional for proper installation.

Strong and Lighter KFI Winch Rope

KFI Winch Ropes KFI winch ropes are known for their high strength and lightweight properties. They are equipped with heavy-duty synthetic rope, capable of pulling any object that comes in its way.

KFI Synthetic Winch Rope

KFI synthetic winch ropes are made from high-strength SK75 Dyneema. They are safe and easy to handle, with no binding or sharp frays. They are lighter than steel cable and have less velocity if they break compared to steel cable.

The synthetic fiber rope has a higher breaking strength than that of steel cable. It won’t bind up or develop those sharp frays that give nasty slivers. KFI 4500 Winch Synthetic Rope is designed for ease of handling of 4500lb winches. 

KFI Winch Cable Replacement

When replacing a KFI winch cable, it’s important to consider the diameter and length of the cable or rope. It will help you find out whether a steel cable or synthetic rope is more suitable.

KFI recommends a winch rope with 1.5x the break strength of the Winch. If switching from steel cable to synthetic rope, KFI also recommends replacing the spool on the Winch to steel instead of aluminum. That is to prevent the synthetic rope from breaking the aluminum spool.

KFI winch ropes, whether synthetic or steel, are designed to be strong, durable, and reliable for all your winching needs.

KFI Winch Troubleshooting Tips

KFI provides comprehensive troubleshooting guides for their winches, focusing on two main components: the winch motor and the contactor.

Test the Contactor: If there are 12 volts going to the contactor and it is still not clicking, contactor testing can begin. Unplug the green and black switch wires. With power still going to the contactor, take the black (OUT) wire (from the contactor) and touch it to the red post on the contactor.

It should make a clicking sound and operate the winch motor. Repeat the same step with the green (IN) wire (from the contactor).

Test the Winch Motor: If the contactor does not click and the winch motor does not move (or only works in one direction), try tapping the contactor on the side of the housing.

Test the Solenoid: Use a lead of 12 gauge wire and jump from the battery +12V and contact the green wire on the solenoid. The Winch should operate in one direction. Then apply the +12V wire to the black wire on the solenoid. If the Winch does not work in the other direction then the solenoid has a problem.

Check the Wiring: Compare the wiring on your machine to the diagrams in the manual. Ensure all wires are hooked up correctly, all nuts are tight, and plugs for the switch are fully connected. Check for damaged, corroded, or exposed wires.

Check the Voltage: There should be 12 volts coming to the contactor from the battery. This can be checked using a test light or a voltmeter.

Comparison with Other Brands 

KFI winches are well-regarded for their quality and durability, making them a suitable choice for various applications, including off-roading, trucking and farming. Already discussed, they are known for their robust construction that can handle heavy loads, and their lead screw design ensures smooth engagement with the drum.

Let’s compare them with two other winch brands – Warn and SuperATV – highly popular with all especially with off-roaders. 

KFI vs Warn Winch

When compared to brand like WARN, both KFI and WARN offer a wide range of quality products. However, KFI may have an edge in their warranties. While WARN offers a lifetime warranty on their winches, KFI provides a 2-year warranty. If the price is a crucial factor for you, KFI may be a better choice as they offer similar products at lower prices than WARN.

WARN winches, on the other hand, are known for their durability and performance. They feature a heavy-duty construction that can handle a lot of abuse. Their brake system is reliable and easy to use, and they come with a variety of mounting options.

In fine, both KFI and WARN winches have their strengths and can be used for different applications with added preference for ATV and UTV adventures. Your choice between the two would depend on your specific needs and budget. If you’re looking for a high-quality winch that can handle harsh conditions, then both KFI and WARN winches are worth considering.

KFI Winch vs SuperATV

SuperATV Winches is another reputable brand in the winch market and a competitor of KFI winches, with their unique strengths.

SuperATV Winches are recognized for their high pulling capacity and quality. The SuperATV 4500 Lb Winch, for example, is powered by a 1.3-horsepower electric motor and features a 50-foot synthetic rope. It also includes a wireless remote for easy control.

To sum up, both KFI and SuperATV offer high-quality winches suitable for various off-road applications. Your choice would depend on your specific needs, such as pulling capacity, price, and preferred features.

KFI Winches Meant for Serious Off-roading

KFI winches stand out for their robust construction, reliable performance, and competitive pricing. They are built to handle tough conditions, making them suitable for serious off-roading. With their user-friendly design and excellent customer service, KFI winches offer great value for their price.

They are known for their water resistance, stylish design, smooth operation, and quiet working. In fine, whether you’re an off-road enthusiast or someone who needs a reliable winch for utility tasks, KFI winches are a solid choice. Furthermore, KFI winches are built to handle the most challenging conditions, making them suitable for serious off-roading.

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