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SUZUKI KINGQUAD 750 TEST

 
(7/28/2013)
Suzuki never lets anyone forget that they invented the quad some 30 years ago, and, given the current ATV landscape, who could blame them for taking credit? While sport quads like the legendary Quadracer and Quadsport grabbed headlines, utility quads were also right there in the Suzuki mix. We wonder if those early engineers envisioned a 4x4 monster quad like the KingQuad? If any of the Suzuki 4x4 quads deserve the KingQuad designation, the 750 certainly does. This baby literally has features fit for quad royalty.

ENGINE BAY
Any rider considering a 750 4x4 will be interested in the heart of the KingQuad 750AXi—the powerplant. One giant piston accounts for that displacement. The bore is larger than the stroke, and the drive to the two cams switches from chain to gear to keep the top of the engine compact. Suzuki also canted the top end forward to keep weight low. Suzuki fuel injection is featured, and it works flawlessly. You might expect some vibration from the big single, but it is more than calmed by two balance shafts. There is none of the chuggy, massive single feel that you would expect at low-rpm crawling speeds, and the engine doesn’t feel out of breath when you twist it hard, either. Compared to some of the twins, and especially the 800s, the power feels tame for a 750, but the delivery is fantastic in technical riding. There is just a smooth, seamless flow of power that increases with the throttle opening. Acceleration is brisk and authoritative from a stop, and it makes the 500/550 class of 4x4s feel puny.
The final gearing feels a little taller than some of the competition, and we see that in the speed numbers. It doesn’t want to spin more than 32 mph in low, but will boost to 67 mph in high. If that 67-mph number interests you, then you may be looking at the wrong quad. Even on dead-smooth roads, the King gets a little nervous at top speed. The geometry is designed for tight trail work and ease of maneuvering knowing that top-speed running would suffer.
As is common these days, the KingQuad transfers power through a CVT. The drive is unobtrusive, though the engine and exhaust are so quiet that you do hear mechanical sounds from the CVT. This CVT provides ample, smooth and consistent engine braking. When transitioning from speed to a tight turn, you might even find too much in the rear. Dialing on a little throttle frees up the rear fine, and it soon becomes second nature.

UNDER CONTROL
While we had that small instance of the engine braking being enthusiastic, the actual brakes are smooth and controllable, with plenty of power for a large and powerful quad. The fronts are normal discs, but the rear is a sealed, oil-bathed multi-disc unit that stops the rear driveshaft. The internal parts look like a clutch with seven plates. We experienced none of the fade that we had with the Rubicon’s single rear drum last month. The King’s rear brake seems more powerful, better cooled and helped by the CVT braking.
The rest of the controls are nice. The shifter uses gates that require you to pull the handle to the side to engage a different gear so you don’t have to hold the brake to shift. The machine will start in gear when you hold the brakes in low range, but not in high. It must be in neutral in high range. The 4x4 and diff-lock functions are handled by a button and switch on the right switchgear. With the diff-lock on, the engine starts stuttering over a certain speed like most ATVs do in reverse. There is an override button on the left side that will allow more speed in reverse or while in diff-lock mode.
The light controls are a little more complicated than most. The key switch has four positions: off, on, on with headlights in the fenders lit, and on with headlights in the fenders and the headlight on the handlebar burning. A switch on the left side of the bar controls high/low, but only for the lights in the fenders. For work or stop-and-go technical riding where we were stopping and starting the engine, it was nice to have the headlights off to conserve the battery. That was especially true when the cooling fan was on.
LOOKING GOOD
Suzuki has the tough 4x4 look down with the almost-SUV front grill. The remainder of the plastic is nicely appointed and attractive. Unlike some brands, the upper-fender edges are glossy, but down near the footwell area is a black, rubbery plastic that attaches to the upper fenders. Fasteners with rubber grommets are used, and when stressed, they pull free, but you simply loosen them and reuse them. The standard colors are red and a shade of green, and like other brands, the camo version is more expensive. A large and amply padded T-shaped seat finishes up the bodywork. Above the body are front and rear racks. They aren’t giant, but adequate for most jobs within their weight limit of 66 pounds (front) and 132 pounds (rear). Suzuki also included a screw-cap storage compartment in the front fender, and another with a simple door under the rear fender opposite the exhaust.
The peg/footwell area aroused controversy. Pilots that are used to a sport quad will like the footpeg feeling that the KingQuad has. The footwell plastic is soft and flexible and keeps you from inadvertently getting your foot tangled with the wheels. If you attempt to actually put your weight on it, it feels odd. If you like a floorboard feel that allows more foot movement, you will feel restricted.
TRAILS AND WORK
We were fortunate to test this royal quad in everything from sand to solid rock and over a variety of elevations. As yardsticks, the Honda Rubicon and Yamaha Grizzly 550 accompanied the KingQuad. In all of our riding, we encountered very few negative traits. The only true complaint we generated concerned the tires. The Duro skins are simply too fluffy for a machine this capable. We felt that the Maxxis tires on the Grizzly outperformed the Duros in every situation. The Duros are wearing well, with little sign of the abuse they have suffered. They are reluctant to make headway in sand and are a little squashy at the recommended pressure. At 7 psi, the side roll was minimized, but traction suffered even more.
We did find that they absorbed the feel of abrupt rocks well, but also offered better traction when we encountered rock ledges and climbs. We were cautious, but the tires never flatted, and they held consistent air pressure. When the surface is loose and slippery, the tires allow the rear end to sweep out controllably with little tendency to catch and stand the quad up.
When you first start the KingQuad, it can sound stuttery, like it does when the ignition cut-out hits in reverse or diff-lock. That is just the EFI richening up the mixture, like running the choke on a carbureted quad. As soon as it warms a little, the engine response smoothes right out. It sprints from a dead stop with good thrust and pulls strongly up to around 45 mph while the CVT holds the rpm in the meat of the torque. Above that point the engine rpm climbs, but the acceleration tapers a little. As we mentioned earlier, though, top-speed runs and Baja rides are not what we would pick this quad for. That isn’t the correct Kingdom.
HOME ON THE RANGE
Certainly the seated riding position is open and roomy enough for long rides, but the Suzuki likes it best below 40 mph,and is stellar when the average speeds are below 10 mph. In the standing position, it’s not quite as happy. The machine is wide between your legs for best comfort and handling, but these are more notes in the ride book than true complaints.
CONCLUSION
For work or play, the KingQuad 750AXi can make you feel like part of the royal family. It has great power, a polished drive system, excellent clearance and fine low-speed handling. It is ready for whatever you are comfortable with. We hit areas of jumbled rock and ruts that we treated like a flat road; just stand up and floor it. The only time we stuck it was in running water with a sand bottom, and we attribute that to over-caution and not enough tire. It handles cambers amazingly well for an IRS quad. If you can’t tell, we are officially ready to serve this King. q

2013 Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi
Engine      722cc liquid-cooled DOHC
      4-stroke single
Bore x stroke      104mm  x 85mm
Fuel system      Fuel injection
Fuel capacity      4.6 gal.
Starting system      Electric
Final drive      Shaft
Chassis      N/A
Suspension/wheel travel:
  Front      Independent double-
      wishbone; 6.7"
  Rear      Independent double-
      wishbone/7.7"
Tires:
  Front      25x8-12
  Rear      25x10-12
Brakes:
  Front      Dual hydraulic disc
  Rear      Sealed oil-bathed multi-disc
      on driveshaft
Wheelbase      50.6"
Ground clearance      10.2"
Seat height      36.2"
Turning radius      N/A
Total rack capacity      199 lb.
Towing capacity      990 lb
Curb weight      672 lb
Color      Terra Green, Flame Red,
      camo
Price      $9499 (Terra Green/Flame Red),
      $9899 (camo)

 

Topic: Tests

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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
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