Suzuki Canada just recently released the intel on what they describe as the “ALL-NEW KingQuad 750 and 500”. Known as the inventor of the 4-wheeled ATV, Suzuki has produced a handful of impressive new models over the last few decades, but has been pretty quiet lately. The KingQuad is Suzuki’s OG flagship 4×4; it got a little more motor and electronic power steering about ten years ago, and then a facelift in 2015. With the industry focusing most of its attention to the side by side market, we were more than excited to see Suzuki sticking to their ATV roots with a redesigned ATV.
SUZUKI MADE A HANDFUL OF CHANGES TO THE FRONT END TO IMPROVE HANDLING.
If you listen to the forum boards, you might hear a lot of consumers looking for a bigger bore, monster king quad to compete with the likes of the Commander or Sportsman 1000’s. They are insanely fast and powerful, but is that really what you’re looking for in a KingQuad? We don’t think it really is, and apparently Suzuki didn’t either. The new flagship KingQuad still features the same tried and true 722cc DOHC, 4-valve engine that is tuned to deliver low to midrange torque, yet still create plenty of power at higher RPM. This “All-NEW” 750 KingQuad might have the same tried and true motor, but it has proven to be a workhorse, and has always been fast enough to put a smile on your face while trail riding. What this same old “750” did get was completely revamped clutching that helps increase its towing capacity by 33%. Yes, the new KingQuad can safely tow an unheard of 600kg, which is 1/3 more weight than last year. Who really needs a UTV when you can tow 1300 pounds around the job site with the convenience of an ATV? While these motors appear identical, they have actually made a few minor but important internal upgrades. Durability has been further increased in both the 750 and the 500 power plant with the addition of a piston oil jet to the crankcases. This jet increases lubrication and lowers operating temperatures by spraying motor oil directly on the underside of the piston. The new KingQuad also gets a 20% larger oil pump to increase oil pressure and flow. The cam profiles have been revised and the ignition system has also been updated to create smoother and more useable low end torque.The same Suzuki Quadmatic, CV style fully automatic transmission is used in the 19’ KingQuads, but engineers have changed it to improve engine braking and low end torque. This new clutching allows the KingQuad to rev higher during engine deceleration, and build the additional torque necessary to handle a 600 kg trailer.
The KingQuad’s “all new” frame has been designed with thicker wall, main frame tubing and heavier duty, reinforced suspension mounting points. The new frame is stronger, more durable, and way more rigid than the previous KingQuad’s design. Along with the heavier duty frame and improved low end power, Suzuki also updated the “plate hitch” design to a real, (automotive type) two inch square hitch that can more than handle the 600 kg towing capacity. Rack capacity has also been increased, as the KingQuad is now capable of hauling an impressive 30 kg on the front and 60 kg on the rear.
Suzuki made a handful of changes to the front end to improve handling. We’ve always felt the KingQuad steering was little twitchy or unstable in the past, especially at speed. The EPS equipped models were definitely better, but still not great in this aspect. The newest EPS system is said to have 40% more output, and is still speed sensitive, getting stiffer at higher riding speeds. The steering geometry is said to be modified for more understeer, and the handlebars are taller. The new shocks feature larger bodies, and are said to have a better damping ratio with increased valving. While bigger diameter and gas charged, they are still non-reservoir shocks that are only pre-load adjustable.
The final and most noticeable changes were made to the aesthetics of the King- Quad, as it got a complete facelift. The new bodywork looks a lot more aggressive and modern. The original front fascia headlights are slightly thinner and they brought back the handlebar mounted third headlight. This third headlight turns with the handlebars for optimal vision while turning. It can also be shut off separately from the other two, should you be carry- ing a load on your front rack. The LCD instrument panel has also been updated with programmable service reminder capabilities and better visibility. Out back, the KingQuad gets a new LED tail light that is much brighter and more durable than the previous halogen unit.
THE 750AXI IS DEFINITELY QUICK ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU ON YOUR TOES, BUT ALSO SMOOTH ENOUGH THAT IT DOESN’T WEAR YOU OUT.
WHAT DO WE THINK? First off, at first glance the “All New” KingQuad looks a whole lot like last year’s model with an additional headlight and fresh looking new bodywork. There’s no monster 850 or 1000cc motor upgrade, but it doesn’t really seem to need it. We spent a week riding the freshly updated 750AXi, and it seems to offer plenty of power for both work and play. The 750AXi is definitely quick enough to keep you on your toes, but also smooth enough that it doesn’t wear you out. Acceleration is fast enough to be entertain- ing, but not the ‘set you back in the seat’ hit that you get from the bigger bore machines. It does seem to have enough on tap to lift the front end for log crossings or rocks when needed. Top end cruising was a similar story; the big 750 single is comfortable cruising along at a good pace, but it’s not quite as thrilling as the high revving v-twins like the Brute Force or Can-Am.
We found the seating and standing riding position to be comfortable for both slow trails and more aggressive riding. The faster you’re going, the more the t- shaped seat is really appreciated, as you comfortably use more body input to influence the ATV’s direction and attitude. The seat height in relation to the floor boards is also ideal for comfortably transitioning from seating to standing and back. The handlebars are taller than on previous models for more room, but still have a slightly awkward bend, (or sweep) that takes a little getting used to. The latest EPS calibrations seem to be better than last year’s, but still lacks in steering assistance at low speeds, and is little twitchy or unpredictable in the rough at higher speeds. The KingQuad could use a little more assistance at slower speeds, but really handles pretty well for slow to intermediate type trail riding. The suspension is super plush and comfort- able for the touring type riding we were doing. For this type of riding and definitely for working applications, you will have no complaints as to the handling, steering, etc. If you are a more aggressive type 4×4 quad rider that spends more time with the throttle matted than not, then this is probably not the machine for you. When ridden overly aggressive, you will quickly find that the suspension is too soft, especially in the rear. When pushing hard, the KingQuad will bottom, even with the compression cranked up.
THE KINGQUAD 750AXI HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SUPER DURABLE AND RELIABLE ATV THAT WILL LAST FOREVER, EVEN WHEN ABUSED.
WHAT’S IT NEED? First off, maxing out the preload on all four corners will give you a cost free improvement. It will better resist bottoming and also seems to steer better. If it were ours, the first thing we would purchase is new tires. The aluminum wheels were great, but the 2-ply Carlisle tires just don’t cut it. We know OEMs tend to lean toward the lightest tire possible for an increased performance feel, but they just flex too much. You can feel the sidewalls roll while corner- ing, and we’re sure it will handle better and be more resistant to flats with a slightly heavier tire.
The KingQuad 750AXi has always been a super durable and reliable ATV that will last forever, even when abused. We have always been big fans, just not when looking for over the top, aggressive riding. This was honestly a near perfect machine for the entire Ontario Trail System that we rode. The newest version has many improvements, and everyone of them is a valid improvement. The steering improvement probably the least noticeable, but is still an improvement over last year. The increased payload will be a huge selling point for the working, hunting, or camping crowd, as we’re talk- ing near UTV type capacities.
We also really appreciate Suzuki keeping the ATV alive, with the constant barrage of new UTV models we almost forgot how much fun it is to get out and ride an ATV. While this is not the best choice for the ultra-aggressive rider, it will be the perfect option for so many into destination tourism, AG, Hunting, and general off-roading realm. Suzuki didn’t bring the monster bore “All New” machine that some people wanted, but instead, updated and improved upon a great ma- chine that has already proven itself in the field and on the trail.