ATV Review: 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 4X4

The New 2016 Kodiak 700 is Yamaha’s focus on the hunter and farmer who relies on their machine to get the job done. That’s not to say it isn’t a great trail machine (we also discovered it could hold its own on the trail), but the real focus is hard work. Yamaha’s Kodiak has a less aggressive appearance when compared to its Grizzly, but it’s clear the two share DNA.

Yamaha’s 2016 Kodiak gets its power from the Grizzly. This fuel-injected 708cc engine has dual overhead cams and utilizes a Mikuni 44mm throttle body to produce plenty of torque on the low end for towing and climbing. The engine’s start-up noise is relatively low in tone, which is ideal for working around the homestead or near animals that are sensitive to noise. As with most fuel-injected ATVs, this machine starts without any trouble and has a very linear delivery to suit the working rancher. Yamaha’s Ultramatic CVT transmission delivers the engine’s power and torque to the ground. To get the engine RPM’s low and produce the grit necessary for towing—as well as controlled power output—Yamaha simply added more heft to the clutch weights.

If you are going to work this ATV often, you’ll particularly enjoy the seated position and the lower bars. They keep you comfortably in control. The new seat is a little slimmer around the middle, which lowers the rider slightly and makes the machine a tad easier to mount and dismount. The seat is also slim between the legs for a more comfortable rider position. The addition of the third headlight on our EPS model Kodiak creates a pleasing aesthetic and better visibility. The extra headlight between the bars is helpful when turning by allowing you to see out the trail before committing. The digital gauge system is built into the backside of the Headlight pod. This gives you information such as the fuel level, speed, time, 4WD engagement status, and much more. It’s also backlit for easy reading at night.

The Kodiak offers generous ground clearance at 11 inches. Suspension travel is set at 7.1 inches in the front and 9.1 inches in the rear. The narrow width of 46.5 inches gets you through tight trails. The Kodiak 700 EPS model had 5-way preload adjustment collars on the base of the shock for light tuning.

In some areas of the trails it was necessary to engage our Kodiak’s 4WD system. Unless you splurge for the Special Edition model, you won’t get the traditional button-operated 4WD actuator. For our particular demo-model, we relied on the no-frills lever engagement. Shifting into 4WD easy: we came to a stop and pulled a lever under the left handle bar. The rain had already been coming down for a few hours at higher elevations, so falling back on the 4WD for climbing rougher trails and slick rocks was indeed useful. The controlled power output to the wheels allowed slow crawling over the roughest sections in 4WD and served to reinforce the Kodiak capability for us.

The Kodiak 700 4X4 braking is managed by dual hydraulic front disc and a rear-sealed brake multi-disc system. The sealed rear brake system also provided ample stopping power during our ride, and is not affected by water, mud or debris.

Our test unit also featured Yamaha’s Electronic Power Steering as well. The EPS is input sensitive and relies on many different factors like vehicle speed and driveline function to determine just how much help it should provide. Yamaha informed us that the amount it assists also adjusts while in 4WD to deliver even more relief. It also takes the shock out of harsh impacts on the trail.

The Kodiak 700 is a great platform for working and riding trails. Our trip into the mountains of central Tennessee was followed up by a North Georgia Mountain adventure—in the middle of the night. We were able to get a first hand experience with the third headlight, and it just reinforced our hunch about its usefulness. The comfort and maneuverability of the Kodiak reinforced its already proven ability. and the $8,199 price tag it is also attainable. If you like a no-frills off road machine, then you’ll still be happy with the $6,199 base price model. Either way you choose, this reliable machine should be considered in anyone’s search of quality equipment.

Pros
—Fuel injection
—Electronic Power Steering (as tested)
—Thicker yet narrower, more comfortable seating

Cons
—Bars low for stand up riding
—No headlight on base model

Price & Spec Chart
2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 4X4 EPS
$8,649 / Realtree Xtra (as tested)
$8,199 / Hunter Green, Steel Blue, Red

Engine Type 708cc liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke; 4 valves
Bore x Stroke 103.0mm x 85.0mm
Compression Ratio 10.1:1
Fuel Delivery Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI), 44mm
Ignition TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Starting System Electric
Transmission Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt w/all-wheel engine braking; H, L, N, R, P
Final Drive Lever operated 2WD/4WD; shaft

CHASSIS

Suspension / Front Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment, 7.1-in travel
Suspension / Rear Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment, 9.1-in travel
Brakes / Front Dual hydraulic disc
Brakes / Rear Multi-disk wet brake
Tires / Front AT25 x 8-12 Maxxis® MU19
Tires / Rear AT25 x 10-12 Maxxis® MU20

DIMENSIONS

81.5 in x 46.5 in x 48.8 in
Seat Height 33.9 in
Wheelbase 49.2 in
Turning Radius 126.0 in
Ground Clearance 10.8 in
Fuel Capacity 4.76 gal
Rack Capacity Front / Rear 110 lb / 198 lb
Towing Capacity 1322 lb
Lighting Dual 30/30W headlights, 35/36.5W auxiliary light and 21/5W brake light

Warranty 6 Month (Limited Factory Warranty)