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I’m getting ready to buy a leftover 2016. Can anyone tell me why they switched back to the SOHC 686 from the DOHC 708. This makes no sense to me and I was wondering if it was for some sort of major problems with the 708.
 

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Here a interesting fact that I was not aware of... Everyone knows that the Grizzly and Kodiak had a 708cc motor from 2016 -2018; but did you know that during these 3 years the Yamaha Viking continued to have the 686cc motor? The viking has always had the 686. The Wolverine however went from the 686 to the 708 during these years just like the Grizzly & Kodiak, (except for the X4 which had the new 850cc motor). Makes you wonder how they were able to contiue with 686 for the Viking but nothing else, from the rumors of why they swithched to the 708. FYI, I got this information directly off of Yamaha's website doing Model History searchs.
 
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The unofficial answer to your question may be “yes” - Most people think Yamaha farmed out engine production that year. The 16’s have had some oil use issues. Yamaha rebuilds them if it’s bad. Not everyone has problems, but the percentage seems higher than with the 686.
 

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The unofficial answer to your question may be “yes” - Most people think Yamaha farmed out engine production that year. The 16’s have had some oil use issues. Yamaha rebuilds them if it’s bad. Not everyone has problems, but the percentage seems higher than with the 686.
Most people don't think that the engine was farmed out. The majority of people know that Subaru built the 708 engine for Yamaha welder engine plant was being rebuilt after the tsunami. The remainder of the original 686 engines were used to continue to build the Viking. The new 708 Subaru engine which Yamaha now owns that Subaru small engine plant, was used in the new updated grizzly + 700 Kodiak. After the short-term contract was up and their engine plant back into full production, they went back to their original 686 but also updated it to give it a bit more of a torque curve and to help comply with new emission standards.

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Just like above. Possible oil consumption issues with some, which yamaha apparently corrects.
My friend rides a 16, with absolutly no problems, hes at about 350 hours

Im on a 2018 with about 450 hours, no problems other than the things I have caused from being a wild man
 

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Just like above. Possible oil consumption issues with some, which yamaha apparently corrects.
My friend rides a 16, with absolutly no problems, hes at about 350 hours

Im on a 2018 with about 450 hours, no problems other than the things I have caused from being a wild man
That's some good hours on that machine their chum!!!!
 
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One of our members on the Grizzly site (Reogem) has a 2013 686 Grizz with 22 000 miles on it. He racked up all that mileage in 4 years before switching to Kodiak 700 in 2017..... Freaken Crazy!!!!
 

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Here a interesting fact that I was not aware of... Everyone knows that the Grizzly and Kodiak had a 708cc motor from 2016 -2018; but did you know that during these 3 years the Yamaha Viking continued to have the 686cc motor? The viking has always had the 686. The Wolverine however went from the 686 to the 708 during these years just like the Grizzly & Kodiak, (except for the X4 which had the new 850cc motor). Makes you wonder how they were able to contiue with 686 for the Viking but nothing else, from the rumors of why they swithched to the 708. FYI, I got this information directly off of Yamaha's website doing Model History searchs.
Just sharing additional info. The Japanese tsunami happen way back in 2011. And like you mentioned the 686cc was produced threw out the 2016 - 2018 strech for the Viking SxS. In my opinion the Tsunami doesn't have much to do with the short 3 year 708 saga.
 

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Just sharing additional info. The Japanese tsunami happen way back in 2011. And like you mentioned the 686cc was produced threw out the 2016 - 2018 strech for the Viking SxS. In my opinion the Tsunami doesn't have much to do with the short 3 year 708 saga.
Yamaha's warehouse and manufacturing facility was damaged in that tsunami there was even a small news clip from a Japanese TV station stating that.it didn't completely destroy the facility it only damaged it, jama had stated the production capabilities were reduced not stopped. They signed a contract with Subaru to produce engines to make up for the reduction in production at their plant while cleanup and repairs were going on. They continued to use the old 686 on one platform, the Viking, instead of spreading them across multiple platforms then changing engines as soon as they ran out. It only made sense to use the new farmed out engine from Subaru in the grizzly and Kodiak line since they share all the same mounting locations, it was only a short-term contract to cover the plant repair time

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Everything you guy’s mentioned makes a lot of sense. But what doesn’t add up is the tsunami was in 2011 so why did it take 5 years for Yamaha to start repairs on the factory? How were they able to continue 686 production for 5 years after the tsunami before making the switch to the 708?
 

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Everything you guy’s mentioned makes a lot of sense. But what doesn’t add up is the tsunami was in 2011 so why did it take 5 years for Yamaha to start repairs on the factory? How were they able to continue 686 production for 5 years after the tsunami before making the switch to the 708?
That's exactly my point.
 

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My guess is that they may of had a stock pile of 686 engines or were able to manufacture them on a limited basis.

They may of also wanted to try a different engine in the Grizzly and Kodiak platform but didn't have the tooling to do it at the time.

Only Yamaha knows the real reason why.
 

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My guess is that they may of had a stock pile of 686 engines or were able to manufacture them on a limited basis.

They may of also wanted to try a different engine in the Grizzly and Kodiak platform but didn't have the tooling to do it at the time.

Only Yamaha knows the real reason why.
That would be exactly it. And again, why put in an engine in a newly redesigned grizzly and new 700 Kodiak when you know you will run out. Not to mention, the new 686 shares more with the 708, than the previous 686. Mounting locations and dimensions are closer to the Subaru, hence the reason the 686 got a bit of a redesign, it needed to get the new chassis that the old one didn't fit. As for the 5 year thing, design and deployment of a new product doesn't happen over night. The changes to the grizz and adding a 700 Kodiak was in the works around the time of the tsunami. With natural disaster happening right in the middle of a design change limiting their production abilities, unknown time frame on repair and recovery and resuming production, I would bet the any company would source out a new supply chain hence the Subaru 708 short-term contract.

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This is good stuff....
Exactly why my reply was only suggestive, filled with “May” and “possibly” words. Lol!!
I have been wondering though...
The old 686 was a 2-valve? And the 708 was a 4-valve? What about the 19+ 686?
 

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All 686’s are 2 valve and the 708’s are 4
 

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Ok, thanks! I thought just maybe they brought a new valve train to the new 686.... guess not. At least, not a huge swing like 2v to 4v.
 

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The 686 got significant updates in 2014. Compression ratio was raised from 9.2 to 10:1, they utilize a new better flowing head, all new fuel and spark maping, Completely new better flowing exhaust system witch utilized a a single exhaust header vs the older 07-13 twin header design.

Yamaha claimed more mid and top end power out of because changes including 30% better fuel economy. It was the first engine to have the AIS system and a catalytic converter built into the exhaust.

My 2019 Grizzly is basically the same as the 14 - 15 version of the 686 engine, with I'm sure a few revisions here and there.
 
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