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Monday, July 5, 2010

If They Asked Me What They Should Do Here’s What I’d Say - to Suzuki!

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?


  1. I think Suzuki should put you in charge. You are right about the King Quad. Great machine, but you can not leave it stock. You think these companies would realize this and start adding these options most of us add anyways. I guess that makes too much sense.

  2. I don’t think there is one ATV manufacture that puts together a “trail ready” ATV; oh yeah they do have limited editions that include fancy wheels and tires, and perhaps a trick paint scheme. Now I agree with Doug on this, why can’t the ATV manufactures come up a show room ready machine with the boxes and bags, winches, good trail tires (not those goofy mud tires), built in GPS, spare fuel packs, mirrors (I use mine all the time), flag holder and don’t forget the hand warmers for those chilly days, and call it the trail ready machine.
    I have a Suzuki 700 KingQuad and I really like it. However, it not a fast or powerful as the 800 Sportsman or 850 Outlander, but I can go twice as far on a tank of gas, whereas the Sportsman and Outlander can go about 80 miles (I know this to be true as I have rode with people who have these machines). I have yet to find any big bore machine that can beat the fuel economy of my KingQuad. The group I ride with is always checking with me to see how much fuel I have used on our trips. I carry two extra gallons of gas and I have never had to fuel my quad on the trail; there are two reasons for this, one the Suzuki just gets good fuel economy, and second the Suzuki has a large enough fuel tank (4.6 gallons) to ride all day and get you back to home base and still have fuel left over (I have gone as far as 125 miles and a single tank of fuel and still had fuel in the tank).
    Is the Suzuki a perfect quad… No it still needs some refinements, such as the seat could be more comfortable, larger racks, improved suspension (softer), and that cute little box on the right front fender, make it larger to be more useful, and have it lockable.


  3. I think Suzuki should put me in charge. Then I could hire Doug and give him a great big fat bonus for making all the right changes to our product line up.

    IMO, the right tires and a winch would make most ATVs trail ready. Anything rides smoother than mine does and I don't mind the way it rides. LOL I'm not so sure that extra gas tanks and little items need to come on the ATV.

    I think they could never go wrong with bigger gas tanks, if you carry extra gas on the racks it raises the center of gravity so it might as well be a bigger factory tank. We went for a ride the other day and I got 29.7 mpg, if I had a 5 gallon tank that would have given me a 150 mile range. I usually get closer to 18 mpg, I still have no idea why I got such great mileage. It was up almost 2 mpg from my best so far, it must finally be breaking in, I can hardly wait until it's fully broke in. Maybe it's those Bad Land tires??

    I still prefer to ride over drive. I have driven a RZR and I really wish that someone else would manufacture a 50" SxS, it wouldn't be hard to make something that's a whole lot better. I like driving the RZR S better but it's too wide and that makes it useless to me.

    IMO, any other SxS other than the little RZR is waist. It's tough trying to find a trail worthy of being a trail that the bigger machines can maneuver, 50" is a must and the only one made is a really poor choice to me.

    I can't imagine loading a RZR and taking off out into the wilderness all by yourself.

  4. Been a long time fan, Doug. But I have to say, I really don't like the RZR.

    First off, let me say. I don't have any UTV's, I do own a Vinson, but that really is irrelevant here.

    My beef with the RZR is, it's small. Like tiny small for us big guys. I am 6'5, I can get in the rzr with a passenger anyway. Maybe, with a child beside me, or a baby. But with another man. It's like were having a intimate relationship. I really like the idea of the RZR but for us big guys. It's a pretty dramatic downsizing, from the wider UTV's.

    I will admit, I am holding out for Suzuki to release a side by side, so I can buy it. I just hope that they either make it to compete with the Teryx/Rhino etc. If they could some how make 50"s roomier. You might think i'm crazy about the room in the RZR, but I live in Canada, and most of my Friends are 6 footers, and like cheeseburgers. It just needs to be a few inchs wider some how so shoulders arn't bumping.

    (also, I am hoping suzuki has an edge in the side by side market. From there auto sector, but we will have to wait and see)

  5. Jason, Being 6'5" isn't as big of a problem as the 'cheeseburgers' ;-)

    I just don't think it's possible to make a 50" machine big enough to 'easily' accommodate two guys your size. That's unfortunate as a 50" wide SxS really has a lot of value - at least down here where we have a lot of INCREDIBLE! 50" trails.

    Sorry to go against your wishes, but I hope the new Suzuki IS 50"!