If They Asked Me What They Should Do Here’s What I’d Say - to Suzuki!
Not that they will of course, but if they did, here are my suggestions:
The King Quad is pretty much the best ATV on the market today – in my opinion of course! The revised front geometry on the new power steering models (caster in particular) has solved one of the few problems the King Quad faced. The biggest problem with the King Quad is that you can’t buy one that’s really ‘Trail Ready!’
So I say, let’s make some trail ready Special Editions that would include some real tires mounted on the stock wheels. A good set of 25” (or even 26”) Terra Cross, ACTs, or MT/Rs would be perfect. I’d also include a good winch, and perhaps a few other items like a rearview mirror and even a GPS. Then I’d add another Explorer package that would include good quality front and rear boxes and a RotopaX fuel pack or two.
The same holds true for the smaller King Quad 400. It requires little to make it great, but offering ‘Special Editions’ that are truly trail ready would be a real plus. And keep it the size that it is. I see so many people (especially wife’s and less-experienced riders) that ride ATVs far too big for them. Although this is really a topic for another blog, I’m always amazed at well riders do out on the trails when they are riding ‘smaller’ ATVs like KQ 400s and Ranchers.
But where Suzuki really needs step up is with their UTVs! Step up? How about just take a step?
Here’s my suggestion. In a perfect world you would need three UTVs. One pure utility machine for work, one sporty 4-seater for the dunes, and one specifically for the trail. But in today’s horrible economic conditions and poor market, and with all the competition that’s out there, I propose just one machine – one with only one competitor, a 50” trail machine!
Think RZR, but better, of course. Fix the faults. The King Quad 750 engine and transmission would be a great power package to build this machine around as it is powerful enough (especially with a revised ECU) and incredibly smooth and quiet in its operation. It would also have the perfect drive system (2wd, 4wd, and locker), and wonderfully effective engine braking for the downhills. Plus it’s very reliable!
It would (as stated earlier) have to be 50” wide, even with longer travel arms providing a minimum of 8 inches of travel front and rear. It would have to come with good 14” radial tires. And just as importantly it would have to be ‘Trail Ready!’ That means several things. It would have to have a fuel tank that holds at least 7 or 8 gallons. It would need good skid protection. And it would need a good rack-bed set-up to carry all the camping gear and additional fuel you would need to explore the longest trails.
It would be taking on the RZR, which is of course, the best-selling UTV made, but just like the King Quad, I know Suzuki can make the best machines out there if they are only given the green light by the Japanese management that control the very talented Americans at the company. If you don’t believe me just look at what those silly Americans have done when given the reins - with the Eiger, the Vinson, the King Quad, the LTZ, and the LTR! If only the management listened to the marketing guys and then unleashed the designers there is no imagination that could comprehend the machine they could make.
All wishful thinking from a guy who when he walks out of his office door has the enviable(?) decision as to whether to ride a King Quad or a RZR on one of the many 50’trails that await on the Paiute Trail system.
If only someone would listen?