Yamaha equipped the Grizzly with a
slightly larger storage box under the
seat than Honda gave the Rubicon
under the rear rack. However, more
heat makes its way into the Grizzly’s
because one front tire would stop
spinning instead of providing traction. In this case, the rider on this
machine would have to select a slow
line or the rider would have to get off
The Grizzly clawed over every
obstacle. Although challenged, it was
never stopped. We did use this trick to
get the Honda moving on one occasion. Feathering the front brake, we
could trick the Honda’s front differential into sending power to both wheels
at the same time to get us unstuck.
This sometimes works in a passenger
car or two-wheel drive truck using the
Even if Honda does not add a front
diff-lock to their 4x4s, they could tighten the clutch pack in the front differentials on all power steering-equipped machines. This would help,
and the steering would not get any
We judge an ATV closely on how well
it can carry items either on its racks or in
storage compartments. The Rubicon
has a spacious cargo box under the
rear rack that is capable of carrying a
good size sack lunch, a tow rope and a
small air compressor. On the left front
fender, another pocket is big enough for
a cell phone and a pouch of beef jerky.
gravity or seat height is good, too.
Honda’s Rubicon used to be a class
leader with an impressive 7. 5 inches
of clearance, until the IRS machines
started to take over. The Grizzly’s IRS
systems offer 10. 8 inches of clearance. The Rubicon seat height is less
than an inch taller at 33. 9 inches than
the more compact Grizzly.
The lack of a full-locking front differential really hurt the Honda during
our technical trail ride. We climbed
up boulders, steep river banks and
terrain that you wouldn’t want to
On more than one occasion, the
Rubicon would come to a halt
ing with turning duties. On faster
trails, the Honda’s front end was a lit-
tle twitchy and the steering almost
felt too light.
Yamaha equipped this Grizzly with
their ultramatic CVT transmission. It
has low range and a front diff-lock.
Honda uses a hydrostatic, five-speed
automatic transmission. You can also
choose to operate the transmission in
a push-button, manual mode, which
has always been fun. Up front, the
Rubicon features a traction-sensitive
limited slip front differential.
In the gnarly stuff, ground clearance will help you get out alive.
However, having a low center of
Ground clearance numbers are excellent on the IRS-equipped Grizzly with 10. 8
inches. Although the Honda has less at 7. 5 inches, the lower number did not hold
us back even in the roughest terrain.