Suzuki will reintroduce the biggest utility ATV in its line for 2016: the KingQuad 750AXi 4X4 PS. It’s updated with improved engine performance, updated aesthetics, and added power steering. The KingQuad was first introduced in 1991, and for many years it was a dominant force among working-class off-road vehicles. However, a few years have passed since a vastly updated version of the King Quad has rolled out of the company’s facility in Rome, Georgia.
Beginning with model years 2014 and 2015, Suzuki began updating the KingQuad’s 722cc engine, adding a Twin Iridium spark-plug head and a multi-hole fuel injector to boost overall performance. With the 2016 model, the improved fuel-injection system makes the engine bounce to life with smooth power and a new catalyzer in the exhaust helps reduce emissions. Altogether, the engine is a reliable platform that’s easy to service, and it’s not brutal or pushy either—which is good news for both new and experienced drivers.
The KingQuad’s center of gravity remains low, thanks to the cant of the engine. While the base crankcase, transmission, and gearbox sit parallel with the framework, the engine occupies a low point on the frame, with the cylinder down and forward 48 degrees. This improves the chassis’ response during cornering and makes for overall better handling. Likewise, the twin balance shafts reduce the massive single-cylinder vibrations, making for a smooth ride.
Our time on the trail with the new KingQuad took us up hills and down steep descents, and the updated model has more than enough braking power for such terrain. In addition, the rear brakes are sealed, so water and mud won’t affect them, and Suzuki claims the brakes should last as long as the machine does.
The new KingQuad features subtle changes to the front plastics. The front bumper cover boasts aesthetic adjustments that refine its look, though the framework and overall structure remain the same as in years past. Unfortunately, a large third headlight is absent from the center of the bars. Suzuki says that, in order to keep the costs down on this big-bore machine, they had to sacrifice the headlight. Though the additional light was useful, especially when turning the handlebars to see down a dark trail, the twin 30-watt halogen headlights that remain provide ample illumination and will suffice for most riders.
The front and rear rack space is painted with a wrinkle finish, which provides extra grip for cargo, and the racks are nearly as wide as the fenders, so there’s ample room for gear. The front rack will haul up to 66 pounds and the rear can manage up to 132 pounds. The King Quad’s tow rate is set at 992 pounds, and a ball hitch mount is included with the vehicle. Welded steel mounts on the framework speed up the installation time if you want to mount a winch to the front of the vehicle.
The inclusion of power steering is a must-have feature for any working or exploring utility ATV. The KingQuad 750AXI that we tested was equipped with KYB-brand electronic power steering, a marvelous addition that seems like a crime to go without these days. Our slow pace on harsh trails revealed just how important this feature is, and the regressive steering assist kept us in control. Most ATVs get harder to steer as you engage four-wheel drive, but the KingQuad’s power steering takes that stress out of the equation.
—Predictable power steering
—Grippy rack space
—Almost tool-less air filter access
—No third headlight
Specifications: 2016 Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi 4X4 PS
$9,199 as tested; suzukicycles.com
Engine Type: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC single cylinder
Bore and Stroke: 104mm x 85mm
Compression Ratio: 9.9:1
Induction: Suzuki Fuel Injection (EFI), 42mm throttle body
Transmission: CVT (V-belt), L-H-N-R
Front suspension: Independent double-wishbone; 6.7 inches travel
Front brakes: Twin hydraulic 200mm disc
Front tires: Carlisle AT489 – 25 x 8-12
Rear suspension: Independent double-wishbone; 7.7 inches travel
Rear brakes: sealed oil-bathed multi-disc
Rear tires: Carlisle AT489 – 25 x 10-12
Length: 83.3 inches
Width: 47.6 inches
Height: 50.6 inches
Seat Height: 36.2 inches
Ground Clearance: 10.2 inches
Wheelbase: 50.6 inches
Turning Radius: 10.2 feet
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gallons
Colors: Terra Green, Flame Red, True Timber XD3 Camo, Matte Black
Curb Weight: 672 lbs