The Suzuki KingQuad has been around for a long time. Growing from a minuscule 250cc four-stroke in a meagerly suspended chassis with a very cantankerous shifting system into the 750cc monster it is today. All of its original features made it a capable little quad that could outwork seemingly stronger and larger units with efficiency and a usable and durable package. Smart on Suzuki's part to make the selling features actually work as opposed to just seeming like a good idea at the time of purchase.
And as times have changed, so has the KingQuad. Growing in all the ways it needed to stay competitive with other manufacturers' options but at the same time keeping true to its roots of working as advertised. Bigger and now offering power steering, this is Suzuki's flagship workhorse that isn't afraid to throw a little fun into the mix.
Suzuki's power steering system...
Suzuki's power steering system makes navigating gnarly terrains an easy task.
Delivered to the ATVR West headquarters wearing a brilliant suit of white, the King had us drooling to get it dirty. And it is a willing partner. So the first thing we did was hook it to a Swisher power-mower and proceed to mow down two acres of sagebrush, a great break-in for sure. Here the work capabilities of the Suzuki shine. The power of the 750cc fuel-injected motor was never an issue, but overheating could have been; yet as expected the King kept its cool with a sturdy radiator and the electric fan doing their duty. Here, even on the inclines and in tight confines we never needed to go into low range; the power was easily put to the ground through the automatic transmission, and it never seemed like it was straining. Also, a finger flick on the bar can have you going from two-wheel-drive to four-wheel-drive in milliseconds; locking the differentials takes another finger move across another switch. We gave low a try and it seemed capable of driving up a tree, or at least ripping one from the ground if need be. Switching between speeds and reverse is simply done through a ratcheting hand lever when the quad is stopped.
But what takes the cake, especially for anyone who hadn't experienced it, was the power steering. Usually in low- or no-speed work the pushing and pulling on the bar in loose, brushy ground will resemble a gym workout. Not here. It was almost as if you were riding on a hard-packed road and keeping a little speed, the steering effort was so light, even when going only two to five mph. It is one-handed light-though we can't recommend that-yet not too loose as to lose feel. PS is the kind of sensation you don't want to experience if you ever have to go back to a non-power steering unit because then you will really feel how well the Suzuki steers.
Done with the grass we took the King out to play. Here we got to open up the motor and feel the power, all plenty of it. Yes, it will get up and go about as fast as anything this heavy should; it is about all the tires can do to keep traction on looser or sandy surfaces. In fact, the Suzuki is fast enough to warrant keeping it in four-wheel-drive all of the time to limit the spinning. Again power steering comes into play here. Whereas on a non-PS quad this would lead to heavy steering, on this KingQuad the feel stays as light as when in two-wheel-drive. The design of the power steering system is very similar to systems used in Suzuki automobiles and has a computer sensor solely dedicated to running the electric motor that assists the steering tube. It can sense the steering force from the bar and differentiate it from the inputs coming up from the wheels; in essence acting like a steering damper at the same time. So it is stealing the show again to some point. Or working its way into the package as an integral part of the system, actually.