I've been a long time lurker who's never really posted much as getting an ATV was something I wanted, but not needed. Now I'm seriously looking at my options and need a final push to make my decision. :grin2:
I went looking for an ATV with a pretty open mind other than having had Polaris ATVs in the past and knew I didn't want another one due to reliability issues. Reliability also eliminated Arctic Cat. I wanted a machine that would last, one that I could use for hunting and ice fishing and minimal trail cruising. Also knew that I wanted independent rear suspension and differential lock. Price was also a factor, or value I guess. Kawasaki and Suzuki seemed over priced for what you got so they were out. I had it in mind that I wanted the Honda rubicon even though I wasn't crazy about the whole shifting thing with Honda. I went to physically look at them and immediately didn't like the floor board/foot peg setup they have when I got on one. Down to Yamaha and Canam. Canam is also plagued with reliability issues from what I could research and having had Polaris for most of my life I couldn't bring myself to ride yellow. The Canam is physically a bigger machine even in the 450 or 570cc machines. So I was pretty convinced on the Yamaha and the Kodiak was my choice over the Grizzly. I had to get the EPS to get the diff lock. Never having had the power steering I didn't think I needed it, but after trying it, it is pretty awesome. One of my local dealers had a 2016 EPS SE marked down so I went to check it out, but they had the 2017 right next to it in the tactical black and I was sold. I like it a lot so far, time will tell on the reliability.
Kodiak is a little more manageable size wise. Eps
is way nice. Diff lock doesn't seem to be a big deal. Very seldom ever need it. If you apply the front brakes alittle in a bad spot it's like poor mans diff lock. Cable for actuator way reliable. The kodiak has a really good balance. The weight is father forward than it looks really good in step country. Belt and transmission 4 wheel drive is unbeatable, reliability wise. I just don't know why you would buy any other machine. I use mine hard and I will only by Yamaha.
Had a '01 Grizzly for 13 years and the punishing ride was getting to me. It was either invest in new tires and shocks or a more modern ride. Other than the pick-up coil in the stator assembly it was absolutely bullet proof. It had been used hard when I bought it and after, plowing snow, dragging logs, etc. The only other brands I considered were Honda and Can-Am and I've ridden both. The dealer let me try the EPS and base models although it was on a level lot. Couldn't feel much difference in the steering. $7800 and change for the base model, winch, and Moose plow.
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