We had a chance to spend a day behind the bars of the 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 AXi to see how it performs after its first major upgrade in a decade.
When I first laid eyes on the 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 AXi, I was a little surprised. After 10 years without any notable changes to the KingQuad, I was expecting something…different.
Outside of a handlebar-mounted headlight and some differences in the plastics, the 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 looks an awful lot like the 2009 version. But looks can be deceiving. Under those new plastics, Suzuki made a lot of changes to its flagship Utility ATV…you just have to know where to look.
When it comes to updates on the 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 AXi, there’s not one specific thing that really stands out. Instead, Suzuki focussed on making small improvements all over the place. You can read more about the changes in our preview article, but I’ll touch on them below.
While the ATV shares the same 722cc single cylinder engine it’s had for years, its tuning has been refined. Suzuki says there is a slight bump in peak horsepower, but the real difference is improved acceleration and smoother power curve. Changes to the transmission also raise RPM during engine braking to offer better control during downhill riding.
Perhaps the biggest single change is a new frame with thicker main tubes and redesigned rear suspension brackets. These combine to boost towing capacity to 1,322 pounds – an increase of more than 325 pounds.
Another significant change focuses on the steering and handing. The electronic power steering module has a claimed 30% more output, which is designed to reduce steering effort. As well, the steering geometry has been tweaked by adding a bit of understeer to create what Suzuki calls a more “natural handling characteristic.”
Gas-charged shock absorbers are another change, as is a beefier rear stabilizer bar and updated front and rear brakes.
Other changes include the aforementioned handlebar-mounted headlight that is controlled separately from the dual headlights in the front grille, new low-draw LED taillight, new multi-function gauge that is easier to read, and a new rear storage area.
Suzuki invited the off-road media to North Carolina to spend a day riding the new KingQuad 750 on a pretty diverse set of trails built by the team at Joe Gibbs Racing MX, which runs Suzuki’s motocross team. While we got to ride a small (and admittedly tame) part of the motocross track where the JGRMX team practices, a number of trails of varying degrees of difficulty we cut out of the woods in the surrounding property.
From a simple dirt trail with some small obstacles built in to some tight, winding trails to mud crossings to rock crawling, we had a great area to put the new 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 AXi to the test.
With three different sealed storage areas now on the KingQuad, there are lots of places to put things. I kept a ball cap, cell phone and bottled water with me, but there was plenty of room for more.
After throwing a leg over the KingQuad, I was greeted by a familiar cockpit. The reach to the handlebar is natural and the riding position is quite comfortable, though a slightly taller handlebar would be nice for those of us standing over 6 feet tall. Of course, I could say that about most ATVs.
Starting up the KingQuad offered up a pleasant rumble with the 722cc thumper and I made my way to the easiest trail to get acquainted with the new ATV. Nothing in this trail tested the capabilities of the KingQuad, but getting comfortable on a new machine before opening it up is wise.
Moving to the tighter woods trails, we made our way down a fairly steep hill with an abrupt dip about two thirds of the way down that led me to unexpectedly test out the front suspension. Despite hitting the dip with more speed than I would have liked, the shocks held firm and didn’t bottom out. In fact, even as I got more comfortable and aggressive, I didn’t find the bottom of the suspension all day.
On several steep descents, the engine braking was put to the test. It doesn’t slow you down to a crawl, but just taking your thumb off the gas was enough to keep the ATV in control. If I was towing I’d still probably be friendly with the brake levers when going downhill, but the engine braking worked as it should.
No matter what was thrown at it, the KingQuad handled everything like a champ. I tried models with and without power steering. While the base KQ 750 was equally adept and hammering through the trails, my aging shoulders much prefer the power steering-equipped models. However, power steering assistance was not quite I expected. You can definitely still feel trail chop through the bars (especially in four-wheel drive), though it’s softened significantly. You’ll find lighter steering on other EPS ATVs, but I was happy with the overall performance and feel offered up by the KingQuad.
As for power, the 722cc single has always been a strong performer. It’s difficult to say how big of a difference the changes Suzuki made to the engine really make, but I will say that acceleration is crisp and the powerband feels very linear. It’s certainly going to be down on power to the 800 and 1000 class ATVs, but the 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 AXi did not feel underpowered in situation I found myself in. In fact, the power is not only ample for any needs I would ever have for a Utility ATV, but it’s also controllable, which is a key point for me. There’s plenty of oomph on hand to get you into trouble if you are bound and determined to find it, but in my experience there are no unpleasant surprises with this powerplant.
Overall, the new 2019 Suzuki KingQuad 750 AXi is a capable and controllable Utility ATV and is worth looking into if you are in the market for a vehicle in this class.