Both units offer a small amount of trail
storage. The Prairie’s is found underneath the rear plastic, while the
Grizzly’s is kept underneath the seat.
The stocky build of the Kawasaki (left) is 76 pounds heavier than the Yamaha. Both units have good front rack capacity with 88
pounds (front) each. The Grizzly totes 176 pounds in the rear, while the Prairie has only 154 pounds.
weather or at different altitudes.
However, if EFI causes the price to
increase, we can do without.
The Kawasaki Prairie 360 is set in
motion by its automatic CVT. Its shift
knob is located on the middle right
portion of the chassis just below the
handlebars. It offers a high, low, neutral and reverse function. This system
has been working flawlessly for
The Yamaha Grizzly 350 comes
standard with a CVT automatic
transmission. The shift knob is located on the opposite, left center of the
chassis underneath the handlebars.
Much like the Kawasaki’s CVT,
Yamaha’s Ultramatic V-belt should
last the life of the machine.
❑ The 350cc Class is the entry level
for 4x4 ATVs. This type of machine is
for the enthusiast who utilizes his ATV
for work and play. He needs a stump
puller and a hay hauler that can still
whomp the trails with his buddies.
Here’s a look at two of the best in the
class from Kawasaki and Yamaha.
Kawasaki’s $6049, 360cc Prairie is a
very capable mid-sized Ute. It features a torquey motor with a smooth
ride and 4x4 with differential lock
capabilities. Seven years after being
introduced, Kawasaki has only made
changes to the tires, and we can’t
think of a reason why they should
have done more, either. The other
contender is Yamaha’s more affordable Grizzly 350 4x4. At $5499, you
can’t beat this price on a 4x4-capable
machine. Or can you? Does
Yamaha’s $600 price difference make
up for the lack of front differential lock
and low-gear features?
Both contenders go to bat with an
air-cooled, SOHC, two-valve, four-stroke powerplant. The Kawasaki
Prairie 360 has a 362cc output, while
the slightly smaller Grizzly 350 sports
a 348cc mill.
Both the Prairie and Grizzly are
sparked by an electric start system,
along with matching recoil pull-start
backups. Both are located on the left
side of the chassis and started their
units after a max of three pulls each.
The Prairie’s blood is pumped
through a 34mm Keihin carburetor,
while the Grizzly is carbureted by a
33mm Mikuni. We hoped to see both
of these machines equipped with
electronic fuel injection this year, but
we’re crossing our fingers to see this
change as soon as 2011. Fuel injection provides a four-stroke ATV with a
crisp two-stroke feel, as well as eliminates the need to change jetting in
Both machines’ automatic CVT transmission make them easy and fun to ride on
high or low-speed trails.
PRAIRIE vs. GRIZZLY