Twenty-five years of ATV engineering has kept Suzuki in the front row of utility manufacturers. That's right, it's been 25 long years since the first four-wheeled Suzuki ATV rolled down the tunnel and out onto the playing field. Suzuki has forever adopted the phrase "first on four wheels" and rightfully so as many would duly note that the 1983 QuadRunner 125 was indeed the first. When we found out that there was a new 750cc fuel-injected utility with a claim to royalty in its wings, we could hardly wait to throw a leg over it and hit the trail. The new engine size coupled with fuel injection has become a lethal combination of power in the world of ATVs these days, but did Suzuki get the balance of fuel, air and power delivery just right on the newest member of the King's court?
And just in case you haven't noticed, there are some extra letters added onto the end of our KingQuad's description. These represent a few of the added features you might've become familiar with in years past. The description is "KingQuad 750AXi." The "A" is the mark of an automatic transmission. The "X" represents the independent rear suspension, and the "i" is an indication that this King is equipped with fuel injection. These are all significant characteristics and features that make the KingQuad what it is today: an innovative work of art.
What's New For 2008?
From the 750 marking the side of our KingQuad, it was clear that Suzuki had raised displacement in the engine department just a bit. The cylinder bore has been opened up to 104mm which brought our overall engine size up from last year's 695cc to 722cc. When you put large displacement with great fuel injection, the outcome is a smooth-running, cleaner and more powerfully tuned engine. Add to the fact that Suzuki has built the throttle body of its fuel injection system in a perfectly straight line with the cylinder for even more midrange grunt to the already hearty package for 2008. Suzuki claims that the most noticeable improvement will be the torque delivery from low to midrange and then a slight nod on the high end of the power spectrum. The air filter is similar to years past with a paper main filter, but a new foam washable prefilter has been added to make the maintenance of the air cleaner a bit more enjoyable as the main filter can be used longer with a simple wash. Digging deeper into the engine, we find that with bigger motors you must now strengthen the surrounding more submissive parts to handle the increased torque and torsion, and that's just what Suzuki has done. Counting in all the past features that have made the KingQuad a proven winner, you'll find that even more of the same features remain on the 2008 version.
Transmission And Drivetrain
The power in the new KingQuad is delivered to the "QuadMatic" continuously variable automatic transmission, or CVT for short. As the power on the KingQuad has drastically increased, the additional torque could put a strain on many of the moving parts. Engineers concluded that beefing up the driveshaft and everything around it wasn't just an option, but rather a must. When shifting the new KingQuad 750AXi, you'll notice the same gate-style shifter as last year's model with a high and low gearing as well as neutral and, of course, reverse. The '08 KingQuad 750 is possibly the best-shifting ATV on the market. The rev-limiter has changed this year for the reverse gear. The KingQuad will now get to 7000 rpm before choking out, and this will give riders better control in situations where there's not a lot of traction and more power is needed.
When it comes to putting the power to the ground, we found that the traditional torque-sensing limited-slip front differential was still in place as expected. Being that it's a favorite among Suzuki utility fans, this feature proves to be very useful in not-so-friendly thick mud or going over technical obstacles or when traction to a tire is lost. There's the two-wheel-drive mode for those who seek less adrenaline-filled terrains and four-wheel-drive mode for those who want to step it up to rougher obstacles. And last but not least is the full differential locking feature that says, "I'm ready to climb and conquer anything in my path!"
The braking system in the rear of the KingQuad is truly innovative and well thought out. Seeing that this trend of rear-sealed multiplate braking systems is on the minds of the Suzuki engineers is good because it means safety and longevity are priorities for our top ATV manufacturers. The multiplate system operates like a clutch system, only in reverse fashion. The brake lever or pedal is squeezed or pressed and the plates in the rear end come together, instead of separating as in the clutch configuration. This stops the KingQuad without slipping. The greatest thing about this type of system is that maintenance is virtually out of the picture and pad life, with periodic rear end oil changes, can be extended indefinitely. And there's also no more slipping and wearing of the rear brake pads due to mud or water on the calipers because they're completely sealed in the rear-end housing. This is a perfect solution to a common problem. Up front are the traditional braking calipers and pads with drilled rotors to keep things cool.
The front of the KingQuad is suspended by an independent suspension with multipositional shocks that can be set in different preload ranges to suit your use of the machine. There are a total of five changes in preload that can be made to get the stiffness out or put a little more in. Although the travel range only gets you to about 7.1 inches of overall travel on the front, it's still giving the rider a decent amount of ground clearance to get over the majority of obstacles. The rear of the new KingQuad 750AXi has the same independent suspension setup as the 2007 model with the A-arm and I-beam construction that also utilizes the five-way preload adjustable shocks. The height, however, has bumped up two-tenths of an inch from last year at 7.9 to this year's 8.1 overall travel. Getting these gains a little at a time doesn't seem like much, but it has to start somewhere. If you've been riding ATVs long enough, you'll remember when travel in the vocabulary of an ATV rider was a point-to-point thing. That's because there was no travel in the suspension in those very early days! There's one difference in the rear of this year's KQ and that's the addition of a stabilizer bar that's linked in to keep the quad stable and steady in the rough stuff.
With the traditional colors available, our red KingQuad 750 had looks to kill. The machine has a great shape to it, and before we could even get it to the testing grounds from the dealer, I had to roll the windows down three times and accept great compliments on how well the King looked nestled in the bed of my truck. The floorboards are huge and extend out beyond the reach of tire spray from the stock tires. The footpegs are serrated and are made of aluminum for weight savings with gripping power. The racks that come standard on front and rear have a wrinkle-style coating, which provides extended durability. There's a cool semisealed container for an extra pair of gloves or anything else that will fit just on the right side of the machine. The compartment is a decent size for smaller items but still won't hold a bottle of water, which is a bummer.
The newfound power of the...
The newfound power of the KingQuad 750AXi made blasting out of corners a load of adrenaline-filled fun.
The lighting on the 750AXi is getting better every year, and with the two huge beamers in the stock location and one additional in between the bar, there should be no reason to not see the deer stand on those early morning rides to deer camp. The digital instrumentation located in the center of the handlebar is easy to read. This digital dash gives you all kinds of information including speed, gearing, odometer and tripmeters. It also gives you the fuel level and lets you know when you're in 2WD, 4WD or full differential lock. This is great stuff to have on the trail, especially on long excursions.
The real question is, Is the new KingQuad just a great-looking machine, or does it live up to its name as the King? Well, read on! Piloting the new KingQuad was a breeze and we were quite impressed. Even in the harsh, cold temperatures of northern Georgia, which reached 17 degrees during the morning hours, it easily cranked and barked to life thanks to a great-performing fuel-injection system. Cranking in cold weather, that's the beauty of fuel injection, along with a crisp and responsive throttle, of course. Also, while riding the new KQ, I noticed how easy it was to steer. Even though I prefer an easy-steering quad, it seemed a bit too twitchy for my taste, especially when reaching higher speeds. It almost seemed as if the KingQuad could benefit from some sort of stabilizer mounted on the front of the machine. Now, put this quad in four-wheel-drive and the steering gets a bit heavier, and even heavier when four-wheel diff-lock is engaged. The extra drives locked in makes the KingQuad extremely difficult to steer, but those drives have their purpose, and general trail riding on the King isn't the time to use them.
The motor definitely has that extra bump in the low to midrange that Suzuki had promised for 2008. The power on this 750 is quite impressive and can even bring out the sport rider in you if that fulfills your needs. It's easy to lift the front tires from the ground when necessary or crawl up gnarly steep hills. In fact, we tackled some very ferocious terrains and felt that this new motor handled them with great ease. It has much better power than its previous models, and the extra cc really helped step the KQ up to a whole new level in engine performance.
The suspension is satisfactory but seems to be a bit soft for the weight of the machine even in the highest settings. This was the area of the KingQuad that probably let us down the most. When cornering, the front end has a bad tendency to roll, which kept us on our toes at all times. And when catching even a small amount of air with it, you can bet that the front shocks will fully compress and bottom out. And with the soft suspension setup, it often felt a little tipsy as you rolled through off-cambered terrains. We feel that the KQ could more than likely benefit from stiffer springs for extra stability and handling of the machine.
Bringing the KQ to a stop quickly and efficiently seemed to be a struggle at times, mainly when we were on hardpacked dry dirt. We think maybe the tires didn't get the type of traction needed on those drier terrains. But once the ground had a little moisture in it, the quad stopped with much more authority. We love the sealed brake in the rear and welcome any technology that keeps us out of the shop and on the trail.
The seating is very comfortable and well padded. The traditional T-shaped seat for which Suzuki is famous has just the right padding to make you want to sit on down and ride all day. The serrated gripper pegs also worked well as they easily grabbed and held my feet in place. And the large floorboards kept the mud off of my legs and feet all day long. The holes in the floorboards work effectively allowing mud, water and any other particles to fall back to the ground.
This KingQuad 750 has everything any utility lover would want with great looks, a powerful fuel injection and four-wheel-drive for any occasion. Even though the KingQuad has a couple of imperfections, we still feel very comfortable in recommending it to just about any type of utility rider. It's fun, tough and able to tackle any obstacle in its path with ease. Overall, this is a great well-rounded machine.
|+ ||Great looks, comfortable ride and |
plenty of power
|Twitchy steering ||- |
|= ||An awesome well-rounded utility ATV |
|2008 Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi |
|Retail price: ||$7599; camouflage, $7899 |
|Engine type: ||Single-cylinder four-stroke DOHC |
|Displacement: ||722cc |
|Bore x stroke: ||104x85mm |
|Cooling: ||Liquid-cooled |
|Carburetion: ||Fuel injection |
|Lubrication: ||Wet sump |
|Starting: ||Electric with recoil |
|Drive system: ||Shaft drive, 2x4/4x4 |
|Transmission: ||Automatic variable ratio V-belt with high/low range, diff-lock |
|SUSPENSION (TYPE/TRAVEL) |
|Front: ||Dual A-arms, independent, coil spring, oil-damped/8.1 in. |
|Rear: ||Dual A-arms, independent, coil spring, oil-damped/7.9 in. |
|Front tires: ||AT 25x8-12, tubeless |
|Rear tires: ||AT 25x10-12, tubeless |
|Front brakes: ||Dual hydraulic 200mm discs |
|Rear brakes: ||Sealed oil-bathed multidisc |
|Wheelbase: ||50.4 in. |
|Claimed dry weight: ||601 lb |
|Ground clearance: ||10.6 in. |
|Length/width/height: ||83.3/47.6/49.0 in. |
|Seat height: ||34.6 in. |
|Fuel capacity: ||4.6 gal. |
|Headlight: ||Three 35-watt |
|Instrumentation: ||Digital fuel gauge, speedometer, tripmeter, odometer, hourmeter, clock; gear position, high temp indicators |
|Colors: ||Terra green, solid black, frame red, Advantage Max-4 HD camo |