Suzuki King Quad 500
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- Last updated: 15/12/2016
Used, abused and often one of the most overlooked farmer’s tools is the ubiquitous quad or ATV. Usually taken for granted and purchased more on price and name, whilst value for money is one of the overriding considerations, a closer look at a small selection of what’s currently on offer could ensure your money is invested more wisely, and your needs better catered for. But before we head off to the far flung pastures its worth pointing out from the start that all quads and ATV’s need treating with respect. Don’t just jump on and open the throttle wide or you could find yourself enjoying hospital food… this type of working transportation is well known for catching out the unwary.
Both quads and ATV’s come in a variety of guises along with an ever expanding range of makes and models, the Chinese and Koreans especially now getting into the act. Likewise, both types are often available with petrol and/or diesel engines, the occasional LPG option, whilst development in battery technology now sees viable electric variants coming onto the scene. Equally, there’s the choice of either two or four-wheel drive although the former is more usually reserved for the sports or racing models. It’s also worth remembering that certain makes and models can with the addition of what’s usually referred to as a ‘road kit’ be upgraded or converted to road legal. This facility significantly increases versatility and the range over which the vehicle can operate, along with Special Concessionary Vehicle status for forestry, agriculture and horticulture that benefit from zero road tax.
It may seem nothing more than common sense but you’d be surprised how many people buy their quad or ATV on nothing more than looks alone, the showroom’s large engine camo version with every conceivable accessory is meant to look tempting and you’d be surprised how many fall for it. What you need to remember is the list of questions you drew up a day or so before that should include;
•Engine, fuel type and size
•2 or 4 wheel – drive or both
•Will it be used occasionally or daily and over what terrain
•Carrying and towing capacity
•Seating for one or more
•Will it accept the accessories you need
•Servicing and maintenance requirements
•Warranty and dealer back-up
•Reliability, longevity and obsolescence
•Initial and overall costs in relation to your budget
•Word of mouth and other owner recommendations
It’s also worth pointing out before we go any further that the makes and models outlined below are not definitive, various smaller manufacturers are constantly introducing new products. Also note that whilst some new to the UK products undercut the established makes they disappear from the market as quickly as they appeared leaving you with a machine you can’t repair when it goes wrong.