Yamaha New ATVs Give Choices

Kodiak 700 4x4 is Working Man's Version of Yamaha's New ATVs

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The Kodiak 700 4X4 (shown here) is the "working man's" version of Yamaha's new ATV line up. The Grizzly is built more for the trail. (Photo courtesy of Yamaha.)

Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, has announced an expanded line of ATVs for 2016, targeting both the work and the off-road trail riding markets with machines built to fit specific needs and budgets.

For the farm and ranch market, Yamaha's new Kodiak 700 ATVs to complement its more trail aggressive and more expensive Grizzly 700 machine. The three Kodiak 700 4x4 ATV models are built for "farmers and ranchers who use their machines every day" and are priced for operators who may have need for multiple machines, the company says.

The Kodiak 700 models are distinguished not by their power plants, but by the options they mount and by a progressive pricing strategy geared to match the budgets of potential buyers. Assembled in Newnan, Ga., the entire Kodiak 700 line runs on a new 708cc engine—as does Yamaha's Grizzly 700 ATV.

The base-priced Kodiak 4x4 sells for a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $6,999, almost $2,000 less than the base Grizzly. The Kodiak 700 with electric power steering (EPS), 5-way preload shocks front and rear, and a steel blue color option (in addition to standard Real Xtra camo, Hunter Green and red), sells for $8,199. The Special Edition (SE) Kodiak with EPS lists for $8,899. The special edition has all the features of the other models, but also sports a locked 4-wheel drive upgrade, black alloy wheels, a sharp-looking carbon metallic finish and a handle-mounted auxiliary light (not available with the basic 700 configuration).

"The Kodiak 700s have the power and performance of a big bore ATV packed into a compact chassis, with a price range more closely compared to 450 or 550cc class machines. These are a working man's ATVs," said Mike Martinez, vice present of Yamaha's Recreational Vehicle group.

By selling similarly powered and engineered Kodiaks and Grizzlies, Yamaha is putting emphasis not on multiple horsepower options, but mostly on the non-engine capabilities and characteristics of machines sold to customers with varying off-road needs.

For example, the Grizzly and Kodiak 700 models offer the same peak horsepower, but have differences in engine performance. The Kodiak engine is not tuned down, Yamaha is quick to say, but it is more relaxed in its performance. The Kodiak's gear ratio and constantly variable transmission settings lower the engine RPMs and "provide a smooth, easy-to-use power character." It is a fine distinction, but an important one, given the different operating parameters of the work ATV and more aggressive off-road ATV environments. The Kodiak power plant offers a level of performance attuned to the needs of farm and ranch employees who use these machines every day, perhaps all day long. The adjustments also leave the Kodiak 700 quieter than the Grizzly—a possible benefit for hunters.

There are other differences. The Kodiak is a bit shorter in overall height and is narrower than the Grizzly. The seat on the Kodiak is about two inches lower than the Grizzly, more saddle shaped and longer. These characteristics place the farm and ranch driver closer to the ground, in a seat that sits down into the machine somewhat more than the Grizzly. The Kodiak's handlebar is bent slightly down, and back toward the driver. These features create a more confident and comfortable control area for the less experienced driver who may well use the machine all day long.

Each of the Kodiak 700s features:

-- A new, 708cc, 4-valve, fuel injected engine.

-- A fully automatic transmission with high, low, reverse and neutral.

-- Independent suspension with 7.1 inches of travel in the front and 9.1 inches of travel in the back.

-- Hydraulic disc brakes in the front and a new, sealed wet brake in the back.

-- 10.8 inches of round clearance (a half-inch lower than the Grizzly), 1,300 pounds of towing, a 4.76 gallon fuel tank and a 12-volt DC outlet.

-- Front and rear racks with more than 300 pounds of capacity.

For aggressive trail rides, Yamaha has rolled out its 2016 Grizzly 700 4x4 ATV. It also runs on Yamaha's new 708cc with 6% more power and 9% more torque than the previous 700-model Grizzly. The 2016 Grizzly 700 features a redesigned front grill, carry bar, and front and rear fenders, and includes a handlebar-mounted halogen work light. A large storage container is set into the center tank. A watertight storage compartment is located in the right fender.

The front and rear racks carry more than 300 pounds of cargo. The machine can pull a load of 1,300 pounds.

The Grizzly 700 is sold in Yamaha Blue, Hunter Green, Red and Realtree Xtra camo. The basic Grizzly, without power steering, begins at $8,899; with electric power steering, $9,699; special edition for $10,299; and a limited edition with special graphics, aluminum wheels, windscreen, heated grips and heated seat for $10,899.

(BAS)

Dan Miller