While a 250cc 2x4 utility quad may not appear to be very exciting to either the
desert racers or the consumers that demand a monster workhorse with
four wheels, the manufacturers know this is a very important market
segment. This market segment has been either #1 or #2 in unit sales
for several years now, and account for 20% of the utility market. A
big bore 4x4 may be more macho, but not everyone needs a quad of
that magnitude. The new Suzuki Ozark is an
excellent starting place for many riders. Named for the rugged
Ozark Mountain Region in Arkansas, the Suzuki Ozark is built to be
a utility quad but still maintain a sporty appearance and feel.
Off-Road.com staff recently had a chance to get some riding time in
on the Ozark - we think Suzuki has built another winner.
|We like the looks from the front...
|...and the shape of the fenders from the rear.
Big Enough Engine The Ozark has a full 246cm displacement, compared to its
largest competitor, the Yamaha Bear Tracker at 230cm. The Single
Overhead Cam design should make for easier service, and provides
precise valve opening and closing. Combine that with its light
weight of only 403 lbs, and the Ozark is a very sporty ride. We
found the Ozark to be very nimble and easy to ride. We think that
ATV beginners or smaller riders will find the Ozark very much to
their liking. The power was sufficient to tackle all the obstacles
that we threw it at and even had enough power to occasionally get
the front end up in the air.
Superior Suspension Suzuki has designed the Ozark with 5.5 inches of wheel travel
both front and rear, which easily beats the competition. We were
able to tackle small jumps and whoops without a problem. While we
didn't try any motocross-style jumps, the independent,
double-wishbone, oil-dampened shocks soaked up everything the trail
put before us.
|8.3" of ground clearance for any obstacle you may encounter.
|A comfortable but somewhat short seat.
Some Other Cool Features The Suzuki is equipped
with an automatic vacuum-operated fuel valve so that it turns on
and off with the engine. This is a nice feature, although you still
need to manually flip to reserve if you run out. The Ozark also
out-lights the competition with two 30/30watt multi-reflector
headlights in the front, and a multi-reflector tail light with
brake lamp. One more unique feature of the Ozark is its full
floorboards with integrated mud guards and holes for
Gotta Get Used to It The Ozark is equipped with an
adjustable gear shift lever. We had to play around with several
settings to find one most to our liking. We were able to adjust it
to an acceptable position, but found the throw still a little
longer than we would prefer. Also awkward was the somewhat short
seat. We only noticed this when riding aggressively - when the back
kicked up, we attempted to shift our weight backward and hit the
gear that was tied on the rear rack. Perhaps just being aware of
the close quarters when you load will easily solve this. It's rated
to carry 132 pounds in the rear - load them
|The Ozark was right at home on the desert trails.
|We could have used some paddles, but were still able to tackle the sand hills with a little momentum.
With the introduction of the Ozark, Suzuki has put
together a package that will be hard to beat. The Ozark has a
sporty appearance and a ride that spells F-U-N. We think the whole
family will enjoy this quad. With a MSRP of only $3,499, you can
pick up two of these for the price of one big-bore 4x4 utility
quad, and it definitely has more "play" appeal. Compared to other
offerings in its class (Recon, Bayou, Bear Tracker), the Ozark will
pack out almost double the gear when you head out to do your
playing. In fact, the rack and towing capacity will be more than
adequate for most chores around the ranch, or for getting the
recreational hunter to the trail head. The new 250 should be showing
up in dealer showrooms later this month, and expect it to be a fast
|Suzuki Genuine Accessories can turn your Ozark into a hunting machine.