I’m an OG Suzuki KingQuad fan from back in the day. When the KingQuad 700 originally debuted back in 2005, it had some industry-leading features. In fact, I was so impressed with the features and durability that I decided to build a competition KingQuad to race one of the toughest ATV endurance events in the United States. We ultimately put that modified KingQuad 700, named “King Kong,” on top of the box at the 2006 12 Hours of ATV America endurance race in Greenville, Texas. Not only was it the first Suzuki to win the utility division in the series, it was also the first independent-suspension ATV to win this grueling race as well.
The original model was not without issues though. Although much of the current 2019 KingQuad 750 AXi can trace its lineage directly back to this model, Suzuki has made many improvements along the way. With a solid understanding of what makes the KingQuad tick, we’ll cover some of the basic model information and then provide the inside scoop on what the specs can’t/won’t tell you.
For the money, the KingQuad 750AXi is a good value when you consider the features you’ll get. Here’s the breakdown on the models available.
Power Steering SE+: $10,299 + $380 destination; Colors: Metallic Matte Colorado Bronze, Solid Matte Sword Black
Power Steering Camo: $10,990 + $380 destination; Color: True Timber XD3
Power Steering SE: $9,899 + $380 destination; Color: Solid Special White
Power Steering: $9,699 + $380 destination; Colors: Terra Green, Flame Red, Solid Special White
Base model: $8,799 + $380 destination; Colors: Terra Green, Flame Red
With a 723-pound wet weight (all fluids full), the KingQuad Power Steering SE+ model sticks with the Japanese mindset of keeping their machines as light as possible. For reference, the Yamaha Grizzly SE checks in at 692 pounds wet, the Kawasaki Brute Force 750 is 699 pounds wet, and Honda’s Rubicon Automatic DCT EPS is 719 pounds wet. Meanwhile, the Can-Am Outlander 850 DPS weighs in at 780 pounds dry (without any fluids), and the Polaris Sportsman 850 is 771 pounds dry. If weight is important to you, here’s the breakdown for 2019 KingQuad models.
Power Steering SE+ - 723 lb.
Power Steering - 725 lb.
Power Steering SE - 721 lb.
Base model - 706 lb.
One of the cheapest, easiest, and most beneficial modifications that could be made to previous KingQuads was adding a clutch kit. I’m a longtime fan of Dalton Industries’ clutch kits. By simply changing the springs and weights on the clutches, which is quick and easy for the DIY crowd, the performance improvements were outstanding! Suzuki claims it tuned the 2019 KingQuad’s Quadmatic CVT to strengthen and smooth acceleration from a dead stop and to raise rpm during engine-braking. No manufacturer will release their secrets, but I’d be willing to bet the CVT “tuning” was a clutching change. While the numbers don’t always tell the full story, a clutching change will definitely help the seat-of-the-pants feel on the KingQuad.
The rear, enclosed wet-brake system on the KingQuad was designed for durability. The essentially maintenance-free design provides years of service, even in wet, muddy conditions due to it being sealed from the elements. The main complaint about the rear brake has always been a “numb” feeling, providing no feedback through the foot pedal or hand lever. That’s because the rear brake is mechanically actuated, rather than hydraulically actuated. The front disc was always strong, and now the front disc is even stronger. The rear gets some changes to the mechanical bits and pieces that actuate it, but the rear brake is still mechanical. The feel is better, but until the mechanism is actuated hydraulically, it will never have the natural feel and feedback of hydraulics. That, however, doesn’t make it bad. If you buy a KingQuad, you’ll likely never have to mess with the rear brakes.
The big question for KingQuad loyalists is, did Suzuki remedy the dreaded “turn-in” issue that has plagued previous machines? While the original 2005 KingQuad 700 had incredibly easy steering effort, the handlebars had the tendency to go from straight to a full-lock left or right position when impacting a trail obstacle. This was especially noticeable when heading downhill under heavy front braking. The reasoning was simple. The front suspension geometry had too much positive caster. In simpler terms, when viewed from the side on a geometric plane, the upper ball joint on the KingQuad was located in a forward position of the lower ball joint. While this setup provides an easy steering effort, the positive caster can provide sketchy steering response at higher speeds or under extreme impacts. In the ATV world, the sweet spot for front end geometry should place the upper ball joint approximately 4–6 degrees behind the rear ball joint. When power steering was introduced on the KingQuad, it helped cure much of the steering issues that plagued the non-power steering models. The KingQuad’s geometry inherently provided easy steering feel, so the EPS essentially fought the negative characteristics of positive caster, if you will.
For 2019, the EPS module has a 30 percent higher output, so it should take out some of the bigger hits. As far as front suspension geometry goes, Suzuki was tight-lipped about whether the front geometry was actually changed. Once we get our hands on a long-term tester, we’ll have a better idea.
I think the 2019 KingQuad 750 is a step in the right direction for Suzuki. The company has a long history of building highly competitive, durable products. The reboot on the KingQuad shows Suzuki still has a pulse and a vested interest being taken seriously in the ATV market. We sure do wish it would dive into the UTV market. But, for now, we’ll be happy with the positive news of a new and improved KingQuad.