The UTV is a workhorse on many rural properties, but the asking prices -- $15,000 to $30,000 -- cause some farmers to baulk. So imported Japanese micro-trucks or conversions of more mainstream vehicles are gaining ground.
Its lineage dates back to the King Quad launched in 1991.
Nearly 30 years on, the latest King Quad is typified by a marketing line ‘Built tough for every ride’. On the 2019 machine, extensive changes have been made to styling, chassis, engine and electrical systems, and the list of genuine accessories just got longer.
It’s available in X, XP or XPZ configurations; the first is a base machine, the second has electric power steering and the XPZ has power steering and cast aluminium wheels.
Looking at the restyling, broader front and rear fenders combine with new side panels to declare the machine’s rugged intentions, and it has new storage areas at the rear, to the left side, and within the front right fender, all amounting to a useful 11L.
Under the skin, chassis upgrades are said to deliver better straight-line stability, low effort when cornering, and reduced shocks being transmitted to the rider. Towing capacity is increased by 150kg to 600kg, achieved by greater wall thickness in the main frame and greater rigidity and support in the rear suspension and final drives.
Power steering motors are bigger at 220W, meaning less effort required and giving more feel and comfort when cornering.
Upgraded shock absorbers (now gas-charged) help improve the general ride quality and make for better manoeuvrability in rough terrain, also aided by a beefier rear stabiliser bar mounted in softer bushes.
At the rear, the trailer hitch mount is changed to a receiver type fitting for quick changes.
Power for the range-topping 750 comes from the maker’s single cylinder DOHC unit of 722cc that with fuel injection delivers 37kW at 6000rpm and 67 Nm torque at 5000rpm. This is coupled to an upgraded CVT with changed pulley weights and spring rates to provide crisper acceleration from standstill and increased engine braking during decceleration.
Up front, a new handlebar-mounted headlight shows the way and there’s a bright LED tail light unit with a low power draw.
A new multi-function LCD display gives the rider clear information on the machine status, e.g. speed, distance, gear selection, temperature and service reminders.
A wide range of accessories includes windscreens, front and rear bumpers, rack boxes, winches and a vast array of underbody skid and bash plates.