Yamaha has always been an innovative company, which is why it was no surprise they took the unique road with the 2015 Kodiak 700. Replacing the old 450 and 550 machines with the largest displacement available in the parts bin, all while bringing the price down.
Yamaha found that they were getting eaten alive by Can-Am and Polaris in 450 and 550 trims, as they were far cheaper then what Yamaha was offering. So instead of doing the tried and true copy-paste of your rivals strategy Yamaha chose to axe all middle weight powerplants altogether and replace them with a new 708cc engine that they dropped into a brand new chassis. Hello Kodiak.
The Kodiak shares its engine with its Grizzly sibling, but thats about where the similarities end. Yamaha says the Grizzly is geared towards an enthusiast rider who craves the most capable ATV, while the Kodiak is predominately a working and hunting machine that places premiums on reliability and affordability.
The Grizz comes in at nearly $2000 more then the Kodiak ($8,899 vs $6,999). The Kodiak 700 actually matches the Can-Am Outlander L 500 on MSRP.
All Kodiaks rev slower for less noise and offer a new sealed wet rear brake that Yamaha says should keep maintenance and downtime minimal not to mention not suffering from fade in muddy and wet conditions. Fully independent suspension, steel racks front and back, a high mount intake and three piece skid plates round out the basic Kodiak package.
Jump up to the Kodiak EPS ($8,199) and find yourself enjoying the benefits of electronic power steering, high beam handle bar light, digital dash, 5 way adjustable shocks and a hitch receiver.
Go one further to the top of the line Kodiak SE ($8,899) and you'll earn everything from the EPS model plus carbon metallic paint, push button 4WD and diff lock, all wheel reverse and engine braking, all riding on aluminium wheels.
Base Kodiak 700 Specs
Engine: 708cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 valves
Fuel System: Yamaha Fuel Injection
Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking; H, L, N, R, P
Final Drive: Lever operated 2WD/4WD; shaft
Front Suspension: Independent double wishbone; 7.1-in travel
Rear Suspension: Independent double wishbone; 9.1-in travel
Brakes: Front, Dual hydraulic disc. Rear, Multi-disk wet brake
Front Tires: AT25 x 8-12 Maxxis MU19
Rear Tires: AT25 x 10-12 Maxxis MU20
Wheelbase: 49.2 in
Wet Weight: 661 lb
Length/Width/Height: 81.5 in x 46.5 in x 48.8 in
Ground Clearance: 10.8 in
Seat Height: 33.9 in
Fuel Capacity: 4.76 gal
Front/Rear Cargo Rack Capacity: 110/198 lb
Lighting: Dual LED headlights, 35/36.5W auxiliary light and LED brake light