First Test: Suzuki 2002 Ozark 250 -

Ready to Work all Week, Play on the Weekends

Feb. 01, 2002 By Dean Waters
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. 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.
Full Feature-by-Feature Comparison to the competition

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 drainage.

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 carefully.

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.


Suzuki Genuine Accessories can turn your Ozark into a hunting machine.
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 mover.

Complete Photo Gallery

Contact Information & Related links

2002 Suzuki Ozark 250 Press Info:
Intro - Specifications - Features

Ozark feature comparison

American Suzuki Motor Corporation
3251 E. Imperial Highway
Brea, CA 92822-1100
Telephone (808) 226-7744

Email Staff! Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!