Get tough with the Rugged Edition By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Suzuki made its biggest ATV-related release of the past decade with the fully redesigned 2019 KingQuad 500AXi and 750AXi. Since then, Suzuki hasn’t needed to make any updates due to the great quality and handling of the platform. It did, however, come out with Rugged variations of the two KingQuads that gain heavy-duty bumpers and a 10-inch LED light bar. We picked up a 750i to refresh our readers and ourselves on the machine. The 2020 Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi Power Steering with the Rugged package, in a solid special white scheme, showed up on our door ready for our rugged testing regimen.
Suzuki’s KingQuad 750AXi holsters enough power and engine performance to get around the trails at a quick pace. It certainly isn’t the most potent in its class, but it was designed with a smooth and relatively even delivery through its rev range. The engine is a single, and the cylinder and head are canted forward to help achieve a lower center of gravity. That allowed Suzuki to maintain a reasonably low seat and fuel tank height. The 722cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke powerplant has a four-valve, dual-overhead-camshaft design and is fed gasoline through an electronic fuel-injection system. If you are planning to take this machine into mud and water, the intakes are mounted high up in the KingQuad body. There is an engine braking system that avoids the freewheeling effect. When you chop the throttle, your momentum is slowed via the engine compression.
As the industry has shown throughout most current model lines, a CV-style transmission makes a good pairing with a four-stroke 4×4 machine. The belt-driven, continuously variable Quadramatic trans has high and low forward gearing, along with neutral and reverse. Capability is crucial for a 4×4, so Suzuki designed the KingQuad with a fully lockable front differential. You also get the options of a torque-sensing limited-slip front diff or two-wheel-drive only. Attached to the thumb throttle housing is an easily accessible switch cluster that controls this system. All four wheels are shaft-driven out of the front and rear differentials, which are also shaft-driven out of the transmission. Shaft drive operates with far less maintenance than a chain.
ON YOUR MARK
Suspension systems are a common equation across most all platforms of recreational utility ATVs. The more comfortable riding and capable ones come with independent front and rear suspension with a dual-A-arm design. The KingQuad was designed with this technology. All four shocks are gas-charged and have five-way spring-preload adjustability. The front corners offer 6.7 inches of wheel travel, while the rears have an inch more travel. A large-diameter sway bar was included in the rear to increase stability and improve handling characteristics.
What may help make this ATV handle well is its chassis. Suzuki built this frame with similarities to the previous KingQuad design, but enhanced it greatly for more strength and sturdiness. The tubing is thicker-walled material, and reinforced brackets were placed in areas key to the structural integrity.
There is no such thing as perfection in any form of off-roading. There is always room for improvement, and we place the KingQuad’s steering in that category. Suzuki designed their system to promote more understeer, which makes turning the machine easier, and tightens the turning radius. However, when you pick up the pace, the AXi begins to feel a little twitchy. This is a result of a sharp-steering angle. If the angle was more relaxed, the KingQuad wouldn’t feel so twitchy when plummeting down trails at a quick clip. If you ride in tight terrain, say no more, this machine will dice through trees and carve corners easily. If you are a desert dweller, take care to watch your pace until you are comfortable with its ease of steering.
On top of that, this model comes with electronic power steering. You may have read in previous articles that we always prefer spending the extra coin to gain EPS. Well, that is still true. We have piloted this machine without steering aid, and it handles much better with the electronic assistance. The EPS helps keep the bar pointed where you want and reduces the effect of hard hits on the wheels that transfer through the handlebar.
Say hello to one of the slimmest-feeling 4x4s on the market. The forward-canted cylinder and head of the engine allowed Suzuki to have a slim and low-sitting 4.6-gallon fuel tank. The paneling surrounding the tank is thin as well, so your hips and knees can thank you for a comfortable seating position. An easily operated gated gear shifter rests below the left side of the handlebar. The T-shaped seat is plush and thin between the legs, but offers a wide and supportive surface area in the rear. Moving down to the full-coverage body panels that are easily removable for maintenance purposes, the wide footwells have protruding metal pegs that offer more moveability around the footwell.
Moving back up, the handlebar has a rear and downward sweep. We understand how beneficial a swept-back handlebar is to easy steering, but bar ends that tilt downward were difficult to process. The bar isn’t the best for spirited riding, or while standing. If this rig is purely a workhorse or casual recreation tool for you, the bar is quite comfortable in a seated position. The front and rear brake levers are operated separately from each other. The right bar holds the dual front hydraulic disc-brake lever, while the rear sealed multi-disc brake is controlled from a left bar-mounted lever. The rear brake can also be controlled by a foot-actuated pedal on the right side.
The Suzuki is well known for its durability, but also its capability. For starters, the steel cargo racks are coated in a wrinkle paint finish, and the front can hold up to 66 pounds, while the rear has a 132-pound capability. A 2-inch hitch receiver is designed into the back of the frame that offers a towing capability of 1322 pounds. If you are looking for storage, the KingQuad has a 2.8-liter water-resistant twist cap bin on the front fender. The back of the ATV has a centrally located 4.0-liter cargo compartment, which will get warm since the exhaust runs next to it. Opposite of the exhaust side is another 4.0-liter compartment. If you need to charge items on the go, a sealed 12-volt DC outlet is mounted below the right handlebar.
Finally, we get to the Rugged package. Suzuki included three new items on this model of the KingQuad. A heavy-duty front bumper runs from the front cargo rack and ties into the frame down below the grill. A 10-inch, 2,700-lumen, LED light bar is mounted to this bumper that offers a brighter and whiter beam than the three 35-watt standard lights. Two lights are placed in the front body of the machine, while the third is mounted on the center of the handlebar. And last, another heavy-duty bumper protects the entire rear of the KingQuad.
GO, GO, GO!
We won’t go as far as calling this rig the king of all quads, but it is a king of its environment. It hails as a great all-around recreational utility machine. The power output comes on subtly but pulls with force through the range. It takes a quick push of the thumb throttle to break the 25-inch-tall Carlisle tires loose, which we suggest replacing with a more aggressive tire later on to gain more traction. Curbing momentum is done by hydraulic disc brakes up front that grab quite well, and the rear-sealed multi-disc outfit functions smoothly. The engine braking system didn’t activate too strongly, but some riders prefer the freewheel feeling for aggressive riding styles.
As we pushed the Suzuki through our rough-terrain tests, we noticed the front-end dive in corners. That was fixed with upping the spring preload a notch. If you plan to load this machine down, get used to changing spring preload to maintain ride quality. The AXi cruises smoothly over chop, but big or hard hits aren’t its strength. The steering feel is nimble and quick. While the electronic power steering aids in stability, it also allows you to turn through tight terrain with ease. As we stated before, the handlebar sweep is a little too tilted downward for most of our tastes. The controls are all ergonomic and well-placed, and the gauge resting in the center of the handlebar offers a bunch of useful readouts.
The Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi Power Steering with the Rugged package starts off at a price of $10,349. It could be worth the extra coin to get the SE+ version with aluminum wheels instead of stamped steel ones, and the automotive-style painted bodywork is a nice touch for another $600. There are three color schemes that you can pick. Flame Red, Terra Green and Solid Special White are your options. Go to www.suzuki.com for more info on their entire ATV lineup for 2020!
SPECS: 2020 SUZUKI KINGQUAD 750AXi EPS w/ RUGGED PACKAGE
Engine DOHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder
Bore x stroke 10.4mm x 85mm
Fuel system EFI
Fuel capacity 4.6 gal.
Transmission Automatic CVT
Final drive Shaft
Front Dual A-arms w/ 6.7”
Rear Dual A-arms w/ 7.7”
Front Dual hydraulic discs
Rear Sealed oil-bathed multi-disc
Ground clearance 10.2”
Curb weight 758 lb.
Front 66 lb.
Rear 132 lb.
Towing capacity 1322 lb.
Colors Solid Special White, Flame Red, Terra Green