SUZUKI KINGQUAD UPDATE
At one time Suzuki seemed unstoppable. The LTR450 was putting a rider on the podium every race and was the focus of every ad campaign.
Then the market collapsed, the LTR450 got the axe and Suzuki more than any other Japanese manufacturers became withdrawn. Ad budgets disappeared, any sign of progression in its offroad division was sidelined and the most anyone heard were rumors of updated stickers. It didn't look good for Suzuki and like many in the offroad community; we'd begun to lose hope.
Last summer marked the first communication from a Suzuki representative to grace our inboxes since the QuadSport Z400 press event six years ago! We were invited to Georgia for a re-introduction of the KingQuad 500 and 750 and also to get a tour of Suzuki's Rome, GA assembly and manufacturing facility.
Our opinion of the KingQuad has been something our viewers and readers have been asking us about for years, however without press units available, we've been unable to properly evaluate one or compare it to other units on the market.
The KingQuad was always a great ATV and in its hay day stood shoulder to shoulder with any sport utility ATV on the market and it is still relevant today, though we do see some shortcomings.
Where we've seen advancements from other manufacturers over the past five years – even the smallest steps year to year over time have left the KingQuad feeling dated. Updates to front end geometry and suspension calibration is needed to put ride and handling at the level of a Grizzly or Sportsman and a bodywork update should definitely be on Suzuki's shortlist. That said, it is still a well-built and relevant ATV and there's something there for Suzuki's marketing team to work with, which will inject some much needed inspiration into its dealer network.
Takahashi Hayasaki was recently appointed President of Suzuki Motor Of America and appears to be driven to put Suzuki ATVs back on the map and re-establishing communication with the offroad media and highlight the KingQuad as the company's flagship ATV.
Our tour of the Rome, GA manufacturing and assembly facility showed us plenty of hard working Americans diligently assembling the KingQuad from the ground up. The 500 and 750 engines are both assembled in this plant, the bodywork is manufactured in Georgia and the whole ATV is assembled on its state of the art line.
There's clearly a dedication to the brand and as Suzuki works its way back into the hearts and minds of loyal Suzuki brand junkies we anticipate this newly found enthusiasm will result in new, and groundbreaking technology.
So what's new from Suzuki's ATV division? In a word, hope.
More Like This
UPCOMING DIRTTRAX AIRTIMES
LATEST VIDEOS View All
Can-Am Mud Build: Road To Redemption
August 15, 2018
The long-awaited successor to our most popular build in Dirt Trax Television has arrived. ...
Full REVIEW: 2018 CFMOTO ZFORCE 1000
August 14, 2018
CFMOTO goes all-in making a big impact to the sport side-x-side market as we review the 2018 ...
Dirt Trax Television 2018 - Episode 7 Sneak Peek
August 13, 2018
Luke overviews the evolution and influence of the Polaris RZR sport side-x-side lineup over ...
2019 Kawasaki Teryx4 LE Walk Around & First Impressions
August 3, 2018
Dirt Trax Co-Host Luke Lester is out filming Kawasaki's 2019 4-seater Teryx and gives you ...
Top Gear View All
August 13, 2018
ITP COYOTE TIRES
One tire we're particularly impressed by is its new 8-ply Coyote radial tire.
Ask Motorhead View All
April 18, 2017
WILDCAT TRAIL VS. WILDCAT SPORT
Would you be happier with a Wildcat Trail or would you go for a Wildcat Sport if you had your choice?
Headlines View All
August 2, 2018
Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative Awards $120,000 in Grants and Scholarships
The combined funding cycle is highlighted by a wide variety of projects supporting access to trails and riding areas for off-highway ...
Tourism View All
November 17, 2017
WIN AN OFF-ROAD FAMILY ADVENTURE GETAWAY
Win an Off-Road Family Adventure Getaway at Spearhead Trails in beautiful Southwest Virginia.