Meet the royal family

by Andy Bryenton

Back in 1982, farming was a simpler trade in many ways. Nevertheless, the same challenges were on the mind of rural workers. The trusty two-wheeled farm bike had definitely replaced the horse, but when it came to lugging tools and equipment to far-flung quarters of the farm, something new was needed.

Enter Whanganui Suzuki importer, Rod Coleman, who told the top engineers back at Suzuki headquarters exactly what farmers were asking for. What came back was a machine with four wheels rather than two, building on Suzuki’s already proven track record with off-road bikes and with small off-road cars. It was christened the LT125, and it started a revolution.

Today, after 35 years, Suzuki still manufacture some of the hardiest quads in the business, with the hard-earned name ‘king quad’ blazoned on the side.

From the bulletproof and largely original layout of the LT-F300F through to the top-of-the-tree LT-A750XP, all share a common heritage and have been developed over those three decades using the same process which gave rise to the ‘granddaddy’, the original LT125. Suzuki listens to their customers, and make improvements to suit.

That’s why, while the LT-A750XP — with its big bore, single overhead cam 722cc engine and power steering — seems a far cry from the simple original, it’s still designed primarily for farm work.

It’s been designed to be easy to maintain, with a single cylinder liquid cooled engine placed low in the frame for stability.

Designed with plenty of low-down torque, and despite adopting the latest CVT transmission, it still offers high and low ratios and engine braking for safety and security when the going gets rough.

Electronic fuel injection has increased both power and fuel economy, while power steering has made it easier to handle and more comfortable to command during those long days of work.

Underneath it all — and underpinning the entire Suzuki quad family — is the sense that these machines were not made for racing, recreation or style. From day one, all the way back in the 1980s, these quads have been tuned up for the Kiwi farm.

It’s a singular purpose — but then again, farming here is like nowhere else on earth, and it pays to have the right tool for the job.