2009 Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi EPS Review 0
The 2009 Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi EPS is the latest in a long line of Suzuki ATVs dating back to 1991. The big-bore version has only been around since 2005 when it started as a 700 before bumping to the current 722cc. The big news for this year is the power steering option now available on the KingQuad 750 and KingQuad 500 models. The KingQuad is also available in standard trim and Suzuki offers a camo version for the hunting crowd. Regardless of whether you haul guns and gear or tools and fence posts, the 750 EPS version that our friends at ATV on Demand sampled proved to have something for everyone.
Gaining power steering wasn’t as simple as adding some electronics. The system is very similar to the EPS found on Suzuki automobiles where differences in torque on opposite ends of the steering stem (rider input or trail impact) are monitored and reported along with vehicle speed to the ECU. The engine control unit directs the power steering system in order to minimize influence on the handlebars. Front A-arm caster was increased from 1.6- to 3.3-degrees and trail was reduced from 16.7mm to 3.4mm and it was given another 5mm of toe-out. Wheel offset was changed as well with the fronts gaining 7mm and the rears losing 5mm. Suzuki also gave the EPS model front end new steering plate and tie rods while the front shocks received increased preload.
Our testers thought the EPS was slightly underpowered when the ATV is at a standstill, but the action once underway is very pleasing. Feedback through the handlebars is enough to keep steering precise, but large jolts are filtered out. It also takes little effort to maneuver the bars. A redesigned sway bar helps control the rear end where five-way preload adjustable independent suspension uses A-arm lowers and I-Beam upper connection for stability while using the 7.7 inches of available travel.
Big power comes from the single electro-plated jug bearing a104x85mm bore and stroke. The DOHC motor sucks 4.6 gallons of gas through Suzuki’s fuel injection system. Straight intake ports and 36mm intake valves aid in throttle response. Rubber-mounted to dual balancer shafts, the cylinder is slanted forward at 48 degrees to help keep vibrations and the seat height (36.2 in) low. Total output isn’t as great as some of its twin-cylinder competitors, but the engine runs strong and flawless with almost no vibrations anywhere in the rev range.
“It’s nearly perfect power delivery makes the big-bore easy to handle in slow, technical situations,” say our testers. “There’s enough torque and horsepower on tap for serious work or trail riding.”
The automatic transmission uses high/low and reverse ranges operated by shift lever on the left-hand side of the steering column. Delivery through the powertrain is selectable 2WD or 4WD with a locked front differential option. Gearing on the KingQuad 750 is fairly tall which lends to low-rpm cruising speeds in high range and good fuel economy. The seamless power delivery makes the Suzuki extremely tractable, but our testers found that the stock tires fall short and leave the bike feeling less planted than it should. No “park” setting in the tranny means you have to use the parking brake located on the left handlebar.
Stopping duties are performed by sealed oil-bath rear and brake that our testers found extremely durable, if not the most potent stopper. Feedback at the foot lever is less than a disc system, but overall it was found to be competent. The 200mm front disc brakes with single-piston calipers are operated separately and provide much better performance than the rear. One thing that the back unit does have going for it is a very user-friendly layout at the foot control. Raised footpegs leave plenty of room to pivot without hitting the floorboards which gives the rider extra control and comfort.
At a claimed 672 curb pounds, the EPS version is only seven pounds heavier than the non-equipped standard KingQuad, and it’s much lighter than most of its competition. High-speed handling is predictable and it is more nimble than some of its non-Japanese competitors. Minor front-end body roll in corners and a tendency to dive on steep downhills were the only handling complaints.
Aesthetically there’s little to worry about. Our testers all felt that the KingQuad looks the part of a burly sport utility. The traditional Suzuki T-shaped seat rides on low-profile rear fenders for a sportier look, but rider coverage remains strong. The plastic front grill/bumper with integrated 30-watt halogen lights adds refinement while the steel racks front (66 lbs capacity) and rear (132 lbs) lend to its workman heritage. Colorways are limited – very limited – with the ’09 EPS version available solely in white. However, the handlebar-mounted digital display never left us wanting with tons of information (speedometer, odometer, twin trip meters, hour meter, clock, fuel gauge, drive range, drive mode (4WD, 4WD lock) and LED indicators for neutral, reverse, 4WD lock, FI/water temp). It has easy hand-operated controls and a 40-watt headlight is also mounted on the bars which add style and performance points to the front end.
With so many likable features it might seem like the Suzuki KingQuad 750AXi EPS would come with a hefty price. But like its weight, the price tag is surprisingly light with a retail cost of $8699, less than some non-power steering equipped machines. Camo will cost $8999 and a Limited Edition in black runs $9099. Durability has been a signature of the KingQuad heritage and after sampling the newest high-end offering, the Suzuki still impresses us with its long-term value and performance.
Engine: 722cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Bore/Stroke: 104 x 85
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel System: Fuel injection
Ignition: Electronic ignition (CDI)
Transmission: Automatic variable ratio (V-belt), with high-/low-range, and reverse
Lubrication: Wet Sump
Starter: Electric starter
Brakes Front: Disc brake, twin
Brakes Rear: Sealed oil-bathed multi-disc
Curb Weight: 672 lbs (claimed)
Final Drive: Shaft
Fuel Capacity: 4.6 gal
Ground Clearance: 11.0 in
Overall Length: 83.3 in
Overall Width: 47.6 in
Seat Height: 36.2 in
Suspension Front: Independent, double wishbone, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Fully independent A-Arm and I-Beam rear suspension with five-way preload-adjustable shock absorbers
Tires Front: AT25 × 8-12, tubeless
Tires Rear: AT25 × 10-12, tubeless
Wheelbase: 50.6 in
Warranty: 12 month limited warranty