2WD/4WD Selectable Quads, like a lot of 21st century vehicles, are engineered to appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers. The ATV market for Suzuki alone offers seven different models of quads for the year 2000, from the LT80Y all the way up to the LT-A500FY. If you're looking for an ATV on the upper end of the cubic-inch scale, the redesigned QuadMaster could be the choice.
The LT-A500F QuadMaster was introduced in 1998 and came with a five-speed transmission with full-time 4WD. The main difference between the '98 model and this year's version is a changeover to a variable speed, belt-drive automatic transmission with an engine brake and a 2WD/4WD selectable front differential.
This hefty quad is powered by a liquid-cooled, 493cc, four-valve engine tuned for low-rpm torque and power. The engine features a 34mm CV-type carburetor, a gear-driven counter-balancer, plus electric and recoil starters with an automatic decompression system mounted on the camshaft. This engine provides excellent engine braking and plenty of power needed for working, towing, or exploring.
Power threads through a variable speed, V-belt automatic tranny connected to a high- and low-range subtransmission, plus Reverse (L-H-N-R). A shaft final drive system transfers power to the rear wheels, and when 4WD is selected, a forward-mounted driveshaft and limited-slip differential supply power to the front wheels.
The engine braking feature is another interesting highlight of the 2000 model. A sprag-type clutch mounted in the centrifugal clutch hub operates as an engine brake to reduce free-wheeling. For example, if you're coasting downhill with the throttle closed, reverse torque is transferred back through the transmission from the rear wheels (front wheels also if in 4WD). Under these conditions, the sprag clutch engages the crankshaft and the engine compression creates braking action to help reduce speed.
The QuadMaster was certainly a capable ATV in recent years with its big engine and 4WD system. Now, with the addition of new features, it could very well be one of the most versatile and easy to operate 500cc ATVs available. For more information, contact American Suzuki Motor Corporation, Dept. FW05, 3251 E. Imperial Hwy., P.O. Box 1100, Brea, CA 92822-1100, 714/996-7040, 714/970-6005 (fax).FW