This Yamaha four-wheeler might just be one of the best ATVs you’ll ride this summer.
Lately, maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of trading it in for something with a little more horsepower, a little more edge, something you can use to your heart’s content on the homestead and on the trails. If you should have your sights set on any used ATV this summer, let it be the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 4x4.
Video Source: Yamaha Motor Canada YouTube
Much like a thoroughbred, the bloodline of the Yamaha Kodiak 700 is one that deserves considerable attention, as Yamaha has consistently put out some of the top-performing machines in powersports since the early ‘70s. And one thing’s for sure: the Kodiak model proves the brand has come a long way since the first 4x4 ATV they introduced in 1987, the Big Bear 350.
I’ve done my fair share of digging into this panther of an all-terrain vehicle, and let me tell you: the Yamaha Kodiak 700 is more than capable of taking you the distance, regardless of your experience level. So, without further ado, let’s get into what makes this Yamaha ATV one of the best ATVs I’ve ridden this summer.
First, you may have caught the word ‘panther’ in the previous paragraph, and you might still be scratching your head over it. After all, panthers are graceful, stealthy creatures with a prowess matched by few others in the animal kingdom—can an ATV (and a utility one, no less) really embody those qualities? Absolutely. In fact, within the Yamaha brand, the 2016 Kodiak 700 has a prowess matched only by its predecessor, the sportier Yamaha Grizzly.
Video Source: Dirt Trax Television
Not only is its slender seat and compact frame designed to help you navigate comfortably through tricky terrain, but its 4WD engagement and electronic power-steering (EPS) ensure a smooth trek up any slick hill or rocky mountainside. Plus, beginners and seasoned riders won’t have to worry about aches and pains early in the ride due to the added comfort of the Kodiak’s low-slung seat and handlebars, in addition to its EPS feature, which protects shoulders when riding surfaces become less friendly.
The fuel-injected engine is the most notable feature of the Yamaha Kodiak 700, however. At 708cc, the liquid-cooled, DOHC (dual overhead camshaft) 4-stroke engine is designed for utility as well as for sport. While the Kodiak’s power delivery is milder than that of its Grizzly counterpart, it’s certainly nothing to be shy about. According to Yamaha, “The Kodiak® 700 combines big bore power without losing an ounce of comfort, thanks to its 700-class engine focused on midrange power, gearing designed for low rpm cruising, and smooth-running motor mounts.”
As for whether this ATV is a suitable ride for beginners, Yamaha contends the Kodiak is powerful but controllable for riders of varying skill levels. Not to mention, its Ultramatic CVT transmission makes the transition between mountains and mud flats a seamless one.
2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 4x4 Specs:
- Engine Type: 708cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke; 4 valves
- Bore and Stroke: 103.0mm x 85.0mm
- Compression Ratio: 10.1:1
- Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI), 44mm
- Ignition: TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition)
- Starting System: Electric
- Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine-braking; H, L, N, R, P
- Final Drive: Lever-operated 2WD/4WD; shaft
- Suspension / Front: Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment, 7.1-in travel
- Suspension / Rear: Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment, 9.1-in travel
- Brakes / Front: Dual hydraulic disc
- Brakes / Rear: Multi-disk wet brake
- L x W x H: 81.5 in x 46.5 in x 48.8 in
- Seat Height: 33.9 in
- Wheelbase: 49.2 in
- Turning Radius: 126.0 in
- Maximum Ground Clearance: 10.8 in
- Fuel Capacity: 4.76 gal
- Towing Capacity: 1322 lb
While it’s safe to say this particular Yamaha four-wheeler won’t be seen slinging dirt on the race track, it is certainly a machine to be reckoned with whether you’re hauling hay or hauling ass. Extra features include: a third headlight for extra visibility on the trails, a backlit digital gauge system that displays fuel level, speed, time, and 4WD status, as well as a heavy-duty rear cargo rack.
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