Friday, February 1, 2008

Suzuki KingQuad 450 vs Honda Rancher

Here is my summary of a shootout Dirt Wheels did between two top contenders in the cost conscious and feature driven mid-size utility ATV class - the Suzuki KingQuad 450 and the Honda Rancher 420.

Power

  • The Suzuki felt more like a carburetor fed ATV with a lag upon takeoff (although it is EFI)
  • Despite disadvantage in displacement, the Honda seems to take off much quicker and pulls harder through the powerband (it is around 45lbs lighter than the KingQuad)
  • That advantage is held back on the foot-shift model of the Rancher due to notchy shifting that requires much precision.
  • On the other hand, the KingQuad 450 has a very smooth automatic transmission

Handling

  • the Suzuki had a far superior suspension setup being IRS equipped
  • King Quad also has a huge advantage in ground clearance thanks to the IRS, and will pull away from the Rancher the gnarlier the terrain gets.
  • The Suzuki's 4x4 system is much more convenient for trail riding
  • The Honda was more predictable in 2WD mode
  • While the Suzuki was actually better behaved in 4WD (so most testers did not return to 2WD on the KingQuad)

Overall Winner - If you want to spend an extra $1000-1800, than the Suzuki is the clear winner of this shootout.

Not only for the above summary but for being a more comfortable quad and having more special features like extra storage and digital gauge.

The full article with lots of comparison pictures can be found on page 62 in the March 2008 issue.