inches narrower than the Grizzly.
Suspension travel is also slightly
reduced. Up front, 7.1 inches of travel
is provided via five-way preload-ad-justable shocks. Out back, wheel
travel is increased to 9.1 inches, and
again five preload settings are provided depending on your specific
needs. At the outer edge of those
front A-arms, disc brakes are used.
The rear end has a multi-plate sealed
braking system. Ground clearance
measures 10. 8 inches, and the curb
weight is 677 pounds, which is about
15 pounds lighter than the Grizzly.
Overall, the center of gravity stays
low thanks to locating the fuel tank
to under the seat and the intake
in front of that. New for Yamaha,
a center-mounted headlight pod
(EPS model only) in the handlebars
should add a lot of additional light
paired with the two solid-mounted
lights below the front rack. Also, the
racks are the same dimensions as the
Grizzly, but the bodywork is trimmed
up considerably for better visibility
and to narrow the machine up a little.
We know Yamaha built this
machine as a work/utility machine
first and a recreational machine second. That’s not exactly how we ride,
though. It’s the opposite; our work is
trail riding, and for a full complete
test, we also do some ranch chores
with machines from time to time. And,
it’s easy to say the Kodiak performs
great at both.
Our first 50-mile test ride was
done at Windrock Park in eastern
Tennessee. This amazing place is full
of wide utility roads connected by
awesome, tight and technical trails,
Yamaha gave the Kodiak a narrow stance at 46. 5 inches, making it very easy to maneuver, store and transport.
Suspension travel up front is handled by dual A-arms offering
7.1 inches of travel.
On the rear end, dual A-arms offer just over 9 inches of
travel. Underneath, you can expect over 10 inches of ground
clearance if you’re riding unloaded. The Kodiak comes with a
standard 2-inch receiver.
One of the most convenient features
of the new body style for the Kodiak
is this center storage box now that
the gas tank has been moved under
the seat. Contents do get a little warm
Yamaha’s racks are simple and compact with a nice slide-resistant coating
on them. We do wish they had more
corner bracing to secure tie-down or
bungee hooks better.
You can find the same new dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) powerplant in the Grizzly
and Kodiak. It has 708cc and about 10 percent more power than the old, 686cc,
single-cam mill. This new motor also powers the Wolverine SxS, and we hope it
finds its way into a sport 4x4 quad very soon.