There is an unwritten man rule in my house that Sunday equals sports. I get it. I respect it. I’ll see ya later as I jump on board a Suzuki King Quad 450 and leave the men to their peace, quiet and remote control.
There is nothing quite like a thin layer of dust and mud on your skin to give you the illusion of that sun-kissed glow. Even after you take off your helmet and goggles, you will have that definitive outline around your eyes that only the goggle clad spring skiers share.
The 450 is a great introductory model for those exploration expeditions that will return you to the cabin at the end of the day. Sturdy and steady for operation if you have to stand in rugged areas yet still maintaining the power required to climb the surfaces beneath the tires. Not too much power to send you flipping backward if you improperly navigate an obstacle but still enough torque to get you where you need to go.
A noticeable feature is the ground clearance. The Suzuki provides 10.2 inches of ground clearance – plenty of room to do some serious off-road terrain and still keep your feet dry traversing through puddles. The machine is light-weight and easily maneuverable over gravel and loose rock. With a fully independent front and rear suspension, the machine is balanced well and capable of getting you out of those tough spots.
For 2010 and 2011, the 450 offers fully automatic transmission, with an easy-to-use gate-style shift-lever for high, low, and reverse. Each model also has the front differential-lock feature which puts traction to all 4 tires. Should you be forced to navigate an unexpected water feature that surprises you with depth once your in it, the differential-lock will effortlessly assist you in returning to dryer land.
Fuel injection gives the engine that extra boost for rapid, yet smooth, acceleration. Steering is manual with the 450 but electric power steering is available with an upgrade to the 500 and 750 models. While we all love power steering, however, I found that manual steering allows you to feel the road through the machine and gauge your speed and agility better in challenging terrain.
The King Quad offers a transport rack on the front perfect for cargo or carcass if you have been hunting. With a 17.5 L fuel tank, you have plenty of time to track in-season wildlife. Same rack on the back means there is plenty of room for extra fuel and supplies should you decide to rough-it in the wilderness overnight.
Quads are perfect for families to experience the outdoors without having to learn to ride a dirt bike or spend those countless hours on your feet training for the journey with your backpack. If you have smaller children, parents can double up, and if you have teenagers, well, they are going to want their own. Spectacular scenery awaits you.
These machines, as much fun as they are, are also working machines. In the winter, for example, you can accessorize your quad with a snow-plow and become your neighbours’ saving grace when the snow falls (or use that option as an excuse to purchase a quad over a snow blower). Maybe you even start a side business so you can buy another quad in the Spring.
It has great torque for climbing those loose gravel roads while still providing enough traction to stay in control. Switching back and forth between 2WD and 4WD with the push of a button on the handlebar is very appealing.
Use your power responsibly when you go quadding and stick to the trails designated for the sport. Be aware that riding through a creek or riverbed is prohibited as it is home to a variety of riparian species. I contacted the Ministry of Environment for their official word on riding across riverbeds, creeks and streams but e-mails were never answered.