The new Kingquad 500 AXi isn’t a replacement for the excellent KQ 450 AXi but rather, a supplement to the KingQuad model line in this class.
Its displacement bump of 39ccs over the 450 gives this wheeler a significant increase in power and torque and, with Suzuki’s built-in smoothness, there’s enough grunt here to give even the competition’s new 550s fits.
Suzuki’s EFI equipped 493cc SOHC single is a strong engine for pulling or carrying large loads and there’s definitely a noticeable difference in its power delivery. Keep in mind, though, the 450 has always been an impressive mill and, with EFI, has been a top performer against Yamaha’s carbureted 450.
The real meat with the 500AXi is its unique power steering system. This is the same setup introduced on the 750 Kingquad with torque sensors located in the steering head that trace the magnitude of steering impacts, say, from hitting an underwater stump at twenty miles per hour, and transferring the data (or change in wheel speed on either the right or left) to a central processor that instantly compensates at the handlebars.
This is a very sophisticated system and is definitely an observable benefit to off-road riding.
The best features of the 750 AXi are present in the 500’s 4-wheel drive system, too. It uses electric diff-lock and 4×4 selection with a simple compound switch located on the handlebars and, one feature we really love in the mud… built-in lightness.
Not only does the 500AXi feel light when you’re riding it – it is light. With a curb weight of 661 pounds including all fluids and full of gas, this KingQuad is a featherweight compared to some of the others in this displacement category.
Suspension calibration is more akin to the 450 than the 750 and we’ve always been fans of that ATV’s suspension compliance. There’s 6.7-inches of travel up front and 7.7 at the rear – not the highest numbers in the biz but nevertheless, well damped and adequate.
When you compare the invoice on this 500 it does match closely with the new 550s we’ve mentioned here. It appears that Suzuki’s ace is the additional benefit of adding power steering to the mix.
The 500AXi comes in only one chassis configuration and that includes PS on all 500 models. We think this spells great value whether some of the others have more displacement or not.
Also see: FIRST RIDE: Suzuki KingQuad 500 AXi
Photo By: Kyle McDougall