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Thread: King Quad 300 Clones

  1. #1

    Question King Quad 300 Clones

    I put off getting an ATV for a couple years but have pried open the wallet and am ready to get serious.

    The only 4 Wheeling I've ever done was one trip of about 30 miles on an older Suzuki King Quad 300. It did a great job both in the steep and in the mud and I would like to take a look at new machines like it. The things I really liked (sort of in order) were: 1.) dependable, air cooled engine 2.) front differential lock 3.) high/low/super low (transfer case?) ranges 4.) manual transmission 5.) light weight 6.) small displacement (didn't have to carry a lot of gas) 7.) comparatively inexpensive.

    I understand Arctic Cat had a real close machine a few years back (thanks Doc) but I hear they've gone away from the Suzuki engine now. We only have one dealer (Honda) here in town and it doesn't look like they've got anything close.

    Does anybody know of new machines that are comparable to the old King Quad 300's??

  2. #2
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default Yamaha Big Bear 400

    The Big Bear 400 is similar to the old King Quads, except for the dual-range. I'm not aware of any machines with high and low range except the auto trans madels. If you want the foot-shift, the Big Bear is an excellent machine. Five speed, and first gear is LOW. Under normal riding, you're better off starting in second. It is bullet-proof reliable, air/oil cooled engine, has push-button selectable front differential lock, back-up pull start. It is an excellent do anything machine.

    In '07 Yamaha went to an independent rear suspension setup on the Big Bear, which gives very good ground clearance. It's MSRP on performance Yamaha's website is $6299. You could also opt for the Grizzly 350 auto 4X4 for $5499. It has a straight rear axle, and the dual-range auto trans. Yamaha has arguably the best auto tranny on the market. My 08 Grizzly 700 has the same tranny and I've experienced zero problems, still on the original belt after 2300 miles of hard riding.

    Honda still has some good, reliable air-cooled models as well, but they don't have a diff lock.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I picked up a used 2008 Yamaha Big Bear 400 earlier this year. I've had it out several times and so far have been very pleased with it. Everything AKSoldier told you is right on the money. 1st gear is very low, 2nd gear will get you through most situations. My only complaint, and it was no surprise to me, is that it lacks top-end. The push button 4wd and diff lock work great. I put a set of 26x9/26x11 Maxxis Zilla tires on it and it seems to be handling them without issue.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member sigabrt's Avatar
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    Default Take a look at the KingQuad 400

    The KingQuad 400fFS has manual transmission, air cooled, high/low range, 4/2wheel lever and it's pretty reasonably priced (as wheelers go).

  5. #5
    Member BAR300's Avatar
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    Default do it right

    there is nothing on the market like what you want, find an old one for $2000 and fix it up, then you have exactly what you want, the Yamahas are fine, I have one for the wife, but it's not like the old 250's or 300's that Suzuki used to make.

  6. #6

    Default King Quad 400

    Smallest King Quad 400 is really nice. low price, strong air/oil cooled motor. It has a 5 speed high/low range trans. Small package, very reliable.

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Good Information!

    Thanks to all for the good comments and especially to AKsoldier for carryin' the load (glad you can access internet!).

    I'll put the Big Bear and King Quad 400 on the short list.

    BAR300, I thought about getting an old King Quad and might still do that just to get a little more experience and for use around the house for plowing/hauling if it isn't dependable enough to use 50 miles back in. Past experience with cars/boats says parts will get hard to find soon (if they aren't already) and that even with a lot of attention/time (that I don't want to invest) an older machine won't be as dependable as a newer one. Still, they're cool old machines and it's tempting!

    Any recommendations for good Yamaha or Suzuki ATV dealers/service in Southcentral?

  8. #8
    Member flyfishak30's Avatar
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    Default I have one

    The 97 300 king quad I keep thinking I want another untill i see the price on these new ones. My king quad is just about to turn 8000 miles and she still keeps on going.

  9. #9

    Default 8,000 Miles!

    Quote Originally Posted by flyfishak30 View Post
    The 97 300 king quad I keep thinking I want another untill i see the price on these new ones. My king quad is just about to turn 8000 miles and she still keeps on going.
    8K!!! That's a pretty good recommendation!

  10. #10
    Member atvalaska's Avatar
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    Thumbs up "Take a look at the KingQuad 400"

    i have one of these too, (eiger) only thing thats a down side is u do not get a "low" reverse gear.other than that pefect. Ran many a mile with a big bear .... the only thing missing on it is one more high gear/up shift.
    WHEN IN DOUBT> THROTTLE OUT.......

  11. #11
    Member flyfishak30's Avatar
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    Default here she is

    i have to find a parking brake in the steep parking areas. She aint much to look at but she always gets me home.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Default

    I have two mid 90's KQ's that I bought used and all beat up. I have abused them more than they deserve and they both still run great. Weak points in my experience are the rear braking system, CV's and front drive axle/differential...that being said...

    Those weak points were probably due to being abused and not maintained both prior to me and by me. But the motors are golden...

    BTW, the Suzuki u joints are expensive to replace. Go to Napa with the dimensions you need and there is an automotive version that matches exactly...I believe it is from a Peugot...They cost like 20$

  13. #13

    Default You're right BAR300

    Quote Originally Posted by BAR300 View Post
    there is nothing on the market like what you want, find an old one for $2000 and fix it up, then you have exactly what you want, the Yamahas are fine, I have one for the wife, but it's not like the old 250's or 300's that Suzuki used to make.
    After talking to the dealers it looks to me like there really isn't anything out there that replaces the old KQ 300's.

    The new 400 has what the dealer calls a manual transmission with an "automatic clutch". It sounds like the old centrifugal clutch they had on the mid '60's Honda Trail 55's and Trail 90's...good but doesn't have the control of a real clutch. The new KQ 400 (according to the dealer I talked to) doesn't have a front differential lock but the KQ 450 does.

    I'll start looking for a KQ 300 after breakup next spring when the roads are clear (gettin' old and wimpy).

    Thanks again to all for the input!

  14. #14

    Default King Quad clones

    I have a 1988 pre- King Quad with the 250 engine and my wife has a 98 King Quad with the 300 Engine. I have plowed heavy snow for the last 8 years without mishap with my "88". These Suzuki's are my favorite dependable machines bar none period. Always gets me there and always gets me back. Change the differential oil as often as you change the engine oil and they last a long time.

    I just got an exceptional deal on a 98 grizz 600 that has 2000 miles. The past three weeks I beat it up badly rock crawling through some major washed out trails here recently in Kodiak. No problems period. My wife just took a 1600 pound bull Bison a couple days ago. Both front quarters and a back ham were loaded on the Grizz and hauled 14 miles out over a med 4-wheeler trail without problem. The next day I hauled out the brisket to hump piece at 200 pounds without issue as well.

    The only thing I missed on the Yamaha that I have loved on my Suzuki's is the super granny low for going down very steep hills with a load. I had to do some very serious braking hauling the Buff out on the Yamaha.

    Neal

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Default

    I am not trying to offend you or anything, but since you mentioned that you have little experience with ATVís I would have to say, or at least suggest that you may not really know what it is that you want?
    The newer machines are every bit as reliable and rugged as the old ones, and probably more so. I have a pair of 06 and 07 KQ 700 EFI machines. They are water cooled, efi, full independent suspension, electric start with auto belt drive tyrannies and diff lockÖ. I would NEVER go back to the old school! There is a reason these companies are not selling many machines with manual shift, solid rear axles and air cooled engines anymoreÖ. The reason is that their customers donít want them (speaking in generalities of course, and from a statistical perspective)

    The old style machines still have their place, but to be frank, itís a rather limited and specific target segment that you may, or may not fall intoÖ. Donít discount the new technology just because you are unfamiliar with it. Go ride a few different machines and get an idea about what you like, dislike, need and donít need. And then make an informed decision.
    ďYouíve gotten soft. Youíre like one of those police dogs whoís released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.Ē Bill McNeal of News Radio

  16. #16

    Default

    I have an 08 Big Bear. Love it. I trail ride it too, and while there's no denying the weight (like any utility quad), the IRS makes a great ride. Got it for 4499 new, but that's down here in Michigan. Pushed 16" of snow with it one day last winter. Been through mud that covered the headlights. I still like selecting gears, and if you do too, you won't be sorry if you get one.

  17. #17

    Default Know what I want??

    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I am not trying to offend you or anything, but since you mentioned that you have little experience with ATVís I would have to say, or at least suggest that you may not really know what it is that you want?
    The newer machines are every bit as reliable and rugged as the old ones, and probably more so. I have a pair of 06 and 07 KQ 700 EFI machines. They are water cooled, efi, full independent suspension, electric start with auto belt drive tyrannies and diff lockÖ. I would NEVER go back to the old school! There is a reason these companies are not selling many machines with manual shift, solid rear axles and air cooled engines anymoreÖ. The reason is that their customers donít want them (speaking in generalities of course, and from a statistical perspective)

    The old style machines still have their place, but to be frank, itís a rather limited and specific target segment that you may, or may not fall intoÖ. Donít discount the new technology just because you are unfamiliar with it. Go ride a few different machines and get an idea about what you like, dislike, need and donít need. And then make an informed decision.
    Alangaq,

    YOU may not know what I want but, right or wrong, I do ;o))))

    Spawner

    P.S. Nice Squirrel!

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