First Look: 2016 Yamaha Grizzly and Kodiak 700 ATVs

The 2016 Yamaha Grizzly is designed for more aggressive riding.

First Look: 2016 Yamaha Grizzly and Kodiak 700 ATVs

The 2016 Yamaha Grizzly is designed for more aggressive riding. You'd be hard pressed to find an obstacle it cannot overcome.

In the outdoor world, the idea of a modular system isn't new. All one needs to do is go and grab a modern sporting rifle off the rack of a sporting goods store too see that. You have a basic frame, and from that, you can pick out the caliber, barrel, trigger and all the bells and whistles that make shooting these types of rifles so much fun.

Yamaha has basically brought the notion of a modular system to their ATV line with the all-new 2016 Grizzly and Kodiak 700 ATVs.

The Grizzly has been one of the most popular big-bore utility ATV for many years running. For 2016, Yamaha resurrected the Kodiak moniker, which was a smaller utility ATV in the past. The machines are now very similar and yet extremely different at the same time. To be honest, it's a genius move on Yamaha's part.


What's the Same?


For starters, the engine is the same 708cc dual overhead cam, single-cylinder beast that drives the new Wolverine UTV. We all suspected it was coming in the Grizzly, but it is also powering the Kodiak. Confused yet? Don't be. Just wait a moment. The transmissions are the same to a point, too, but we'll get to that.

The frame is also identical on each machine. Yamaha completely redesigned the frame for the 2016 Grizzly, improving on the already outstanding handling and feel of previous model years. Even the front and rear all-steel racks are the same.

The rider of each machine gets fully-independent suspension front and rear with 5-way preload adjustment and 7.1 inches of travel in the front and 9.1 in the rear.

Where Things Differ


Starting from the outside, the plastics, while they look similar, are not. The fenders on the Kodiak 700 are actually lower, to accommodate getting on and off the machine repeatedly.

The seats are also different. The Grizzly has a taller seat that gets narrower toward the top. This was designed, along with the handlebars, to make it easier for the rider to stand up for more aggressive riding. The Kodiak 700 has a flatter, wider seat that gives the rider that "sit in" feel. The seats can be swapped if you need something a little different.

Hunters will flock to the Kodiak 700 for its great features, low price point and ease of use in real-world applications.


The braking systems are a little different too. The Grizzly has hydraulic disk brakes at all our corners. The Kodiak uses a sealed, multi-disk wet brake that doesn't wear like the standard disk set up.

The advantage is longevity of the brake, which comes at the cost of the crisper feel of the Grizzly's disk set up. The CVT transmission, which is an area Yamaha really shines, is the same yet not the same.

That is a major part of the difference between the two rides. Basically, without getting too technical, the Kodiak is geared different. It isn't as punchy and aggressive with the power delivery. Both are fun to ride, but they play into the markets that Yamaha is covering. This is where it gets fun.

There are several markets that Yamaha wanted to be a major player in with their full-size utility ATVs. The recreational rider looking for a sportier, faster-paced ride is going to go for the Grizzly. The Kodiak is geared for the working rancher and hunting crowd. They have variations of these two models that hit different price points, too.

Like I said — genius.

The Grizzly is available in four trim levels, starting with a non-electronic power steering (EPS) model at $8,899. From there, you go to the EPS model for $9,699, the SE for $10,299 and the SE for $10,899. You can get one in a wide range of colors, including Realtree Xtra camo.

The Kodiak starts out with a non-EPS model at a low-price of $6,999. That is comparable to other manufacturers' solid-rear axle machines with smaller engine sizes. The EPS will set you back $8,199, which also gives you the handlebar-mounted headlight and a 2-inch receiver hitch. The Kodiak EPS SE model is a sweet looking ride that costs $8,899.

The Ride

Riding the machines back-to-back really shows the differences in the two. The throttle response in the Grizzly is fun, but not for the faint of heart. If you're not used to aggressive riding, try the Kodiak first. The Kodiak 700's lower fender height does indeed allow you to get on and off the machine easier.

The seat is very comfortable and the ride is nothing short of amazing compared to other machines in the price point. Seriously, you're not going to get this level of engine and suspension in anything similar.

We rode both machines in some of the most challenging terrain around — the mountains of eastern Tennessee. The suspension handled the rocks and ruts with ease, and the tires, which are designed for each machine specifically by Maxxis tires, hooked up everywhere we went.

At one point, while on the Kodiak, we even rode the edge of a serious rut that only offered at most two inches of wet muddy surface for the tire to grip. It handled it with ease.

Yamaha once again knocked it out of the park with two very different machines built on a modular concept. Between them, they cover the entire range of full-size utility ATV. If you're in the market for one, you really should take a serious look at either machine.

Both the Kodiak700 and the Grizzly are available in Realtree Xtra camo, because everything looks better in camo.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Costa

Costa's Award Winning Waterwoman Sunglasses

Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead about all of the great features that made the new Waterwoman frame a big winner at the 2019 ICAST show as well as out on the water.

Berkley

Berkley's Surge Shad

Major League Fishing pro Scott Suggs has relied on the Berkley Surge Shad lure concept for years, using similar designs to capture MLF titles and a $1 million dollar FLW Forrest Cup win. With new features in the Surge Shad, Suggs tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead that even he can find success out on the water!

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Minn Kota's Brad Henry shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead that there's much to like in the new Minn Kota Riptide Terrova saltwater trolling motor that comes with I-Pilot and an 87-inch shaft.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes. Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Outdoor BBQ

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some great bass pond fishing. Bass

Bass Pond Fishing: Catch Lunkers at Small Lakes Near You

Dan Anderson

If you haven't looked at the smaller urban lakes in your area, you are missing out on some...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Trending Articles

More Gear

The key to dropping coyotes quickly is a bullet with dramatic expansion at moderate and long ranges. Ammo

What to Look for in Ammo for Predator Hunting

Richard Mann - February 12, 2020

The key to dropping coyotes quickly is a bullet with dramatic expansion at moderate and long...

Great new rifles from the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors Trade (SHOT) Show. Guns

Best Deer Hunting Rifles from SHOT 2020

Lynn Burkhead - January 31, 2020

Great new rifles from the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoors Trade (SHOT) Show.

Buy a ticket to the 2020 Yeti Film Tour to see inspiring films from the wild, support conservation, and meet other adventurers with a passion for the outdoors. Coolers

Yeti International Film Tour 2020

Game & Fish Digital Staff - February 07, 2020

Buy a ticket to the 2020 Yeti Film Tour to see inspiring films from the wild, support...

We put the best new compound bows through their paces. Bows

Best-in-Class Compound Bows Put to the Test

Jace Bauserman

We put the best new compound bows through their paces.

See More Gear

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.