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2016 marked a significant milestone for Yamaha as they introduced the all-new Kodiak 700, a powerful and budget-friendly rec-utility ATV. This versatile machine brought several improvements and ingenuities to the decades-old lineup — a feat deserving of the spotlight in this article.
The 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 is a rec-utility quad that single-handedly replaced the older Kodiak lineup. It boasts fuel injection, reduced steering effort, and a Realtree™ Xtra Camo SE trim — rivaling the Grizzly for the “King of the Hill” title.
Under the rugged exterior of the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 lies a robust 708cc engine that teems with power. Equipped with fuel injection, this machine offers smooth and responsive performance suitable for a wide range of tasks. Whether tackling challenging terrain or casually cruising through the trails, the Kodiak 700 is guaranteed to meet your demands.
A Bigger, Bolder Hybrid Quad
Since the inception of its smaller-displacement namesake in 1993, the Kodiak has consistently made a name for itself in numerous ways. From sporting industry firsts like the UltraMatic™ CVT transmission to being one of the forerunners of the utility segment, the four-wheeler has charmed patrons and skeptics alike with its robust yet well-rounded nature and handling mannerisms.
In 2016, the Yamaha Kodiak 700 aimed to compete in the same arena as the mid-size Polaris Sportsman 570 and 550 SP, the Honda 420 Rancher, and the Can-Am Outlander 570. Although bigger in size, it gave them a run for their money, as the Kodiak was a perfect price point match for these counterparts.
The purpose of its build hasn’t changed much from its 550cc predecessor, with utility topping its priority list and recreation following close behind. But thanks to the machine’s upgraded powerplant and improved performance figures, it can now support long weekend adventures and traverse tight, technical trails.
Option-wise, the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 was made available in three iterations:
- Non-EPS version (YFM70KDHG/KDXG) sans an instrument cluster, front diff-lock, or receiver hitch
- EPS version (YFM70KPXG/KPHG) equipped with digital instruments, a 3rd headlight, 5-way preload adjusters on KYB shocks, and a 2-inch receiver (view on Amazon)
- Special Edition trim (YFM70KPSG/KPSGB) featuring all EPS hardware, a front diff-lock, Carbon Metallic paint, and eye-catching cast aluminum wheels.
Kodiak vs. Grizzly Comparison
Comparing these Yamahas cannot be helped. After all, they share the same manufacturer and displacement, which only became more apparent when the 708cc Kodiak debuted in 2016. But that’s where their similarities end, as these two are entirely different beasts in their own right. With that, here are but a few of their familiar and unique qualities:
- Both Yamaha Bruins share the same engine size and frame.
- Racks share the same dimensions as their more popular cousin. However, the Kodiak 700’s bodywork is given a narrower profile and “trimmed up considerably.”
- The difference in the rear fender setup between the Kodiak and the Grizzly is apparent. The former prioritizes improved protection and a lower riding position.
- Conversely, the same-class Grizzly has more aggressive styling for its front bumper (view on Amazon) and blow-molded pads.
- Although the Kodiak’s hydraulic discs provide a different lever feel than the Grizzly’s rear disc brakes, they are equally low-maintenance and backed by engine braking.
- The Kodiak’s independent A-arms sit two inches narrower than the flagship Grizzly.
- Its power characteristics are smooth and mellow, reminiscent of old-generation Grizzly engines.
2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 Specs & Features
Yamaha’s Kodiak 700 roars to life via a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 4-stroke DOHC power mill and electric starter. The bore-stroke ratio is 103 x 85 mm (4.055 x 3.346 inches), while the compression ratio is 10.1:1.
Electronic fuel injection with a 44-mm Mikuni B16100 throttle body mated to a wet-element air filter handles precise fuel delivery and air-fuel mixture. Piston displacement is 708 cm³ (43.2 in³).
|Top Speed||62–64 mph (88.5–96.6 km/h), unofficial|
|Horsepower||48 hp (35.5 kW), according to CARB|
|Fuel Economy||20–25 mpg (9.4–11.8 L/100 km, 8.5–10.6 kmpl), unofficial|
|Approximate Tank Range*||approximately 95–118.8 miles on a full fuel tank|
Fuel and Lubrication
The tank capacity is 18 L of regular unleaded gasoline with appropriate cosolvents and corrosion inhibitors (preferably zero-methanol). Lower-octane fuel is ill-advised across all trims as it can lead to engine pinging and eventual breakdown.
Lube-wise, the 700cc Kodiak has a wet sump system with the following oil and fluid requirements:
- After draining: 2 L (2.1 US qt)
- With filter change: 2.1 L (2.2 US qt)
Transmission and Other Fluids:
- Final gear oil: 0.52 L (0.55 US qt, Mobifluid 424)
- Differential gear oil: 0.22 L (0.23 US qt, SAE 80 API GL-4 Hypoid gear oil)
- Coolant reservoir: 0.25 L (0.26 US qt, up to the maximum level mark)
- Radiator: 1.8 L (1.9 US qt, including all routes)
Recommended engine oil is SAE 10W-40 of Yamalube 4-stroke motor oil or equivalent in other markets. Other viscosity grades specified in the owner’s manual are permissible following changes in ambient temperatures, altitude, and riding conditions. OEM recommendations and alternative variants must meet a minimum API certification of SJ and JASO T903 MA/ACEA/DIN standards.
Power travels via a dual-range UltraMatic™ CVT transmission using a centrifugal-type, one-way sprag clutch behind the primary pulley for efficient braking and longer belt life. Paired with a rack-and-pinion steering system, this automatic transmission offers selectable 2WD/4WD and a reliable engine braking system sans the front diff-lock and On-Command 4WD feature on base models.
|Secondary Reduction Ratio||43/21 x 24/18 x 33/9 (10.011), Shaft drive|
|Transmission Type||V-belt automatic, Left-hand operated|
|Reverse Gear||23/14 x 28/23 (2.000)|
|Low Range||31/16 (1.938)|
A digital instrument panel consolidates warning lights, fuel levels, speed, distance, and diagnostics, providing riders with a clear view of the engine’s performance and other essential information. Overall, the Kodiak’s drive system is as bulletproof as ever.
Ignition & Electricals
Ignition is a TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition) system mated to an NGK CPR7EA-9 spark plug and an A.C. magneto charging system. The plug has a 0.8–0.9 mm (0.031–0.035 inch) electrode gap and is responsible for spark ignition. The machine also has an auxiliary DC outlet on the right front fender, near the onboard storage with the faux tank cover.
The recommended battery for the Kodiak is a 12V, 18 Ah/(10 HR) YTX20L-BS battery (view on Amazon). This helps power the quad’s 30/35 W lighting assembly, 10—40A fuses, and electronics.
Tires & Brakes
Panel and cast aluminum wheels measuring 12×6.0AT and 12×7.5AT are fitted with tubeless AT25 x 8-12 and AT25 x 10-12 front and rear tires. Depending on the market, these factory knobbies could be Cheng Shin C828s (Australia and New Zealand) or Maxxis MU19/20s (EU, France, and the UK).
Recommended front-and-rear cold-tire pressures are 35 kPa (0.36 kgf/cm2, 5.1 psi) and 30 kPa (0.30 kgf/cm2, 4.4 psi), respectively. These values can be adjusted within the range of ± 3 kPa (0.03 kgf/cm2, 0.4 psi) to accommodate varying terrain conditions.
As for brakes, the rec-utility brute has triple hydraulic discs — twin-piston hydraulic front discs and a multi-plate wet rear disc. The former matches those on the Grizzly, while the latter is a sealed braking system that’s both mud and water-resistant.
Double wishbones with oil-damped coil springs on all fours are enclosed in a double-cradle steel frame. Both suspension units offer 5-way preload adjustability and a respective front-and-rear wheel travel of 193 mm (7.6 inches) and 232 mm (9.1 inches).
Other handling-affecting elements of the machine include its 1,250-mm (49.2-inch) wheelbase, 275-mm (10.8-inch) ground clearance, and a 3.2-meter turning radius.
Dimensions & Capacities
The overall dimensions of the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 are 2,070 x 1,180 x 1,240 mm (81.5 x 46.5 x 48.8 inches — L x W x H). Saddle height is 860 mm (33.9 inches), the taller stance offering comfort for riders over 5’9″ but a challenging straddle for smaller enthusiasts. The machine also boasts a pulling load/towing capacity of 5,880 N (600 Kgf, 1,322 lbf), complemented by a tongue weight of 147 N (15 Kgf, 33 lbf).
The payload limit is 140 Kg (308 lbs.) with a 35%:65% front-rear load bias. As for heft, its curb weight ranges from 300—312 Kg (661—688 lbs.) based on trim, treading on the lighter end of the weight spectrum for brutes of the same category. These values lend to a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of 440—452 Kg (970—996 lbs.), including full tank and fluids, rider weight, cargo, and accessories.
The Kodiak is built tough with a sturdy steel frame and rugged plastic body available in camouflage or various colors. It has the following useful features:
- Onboard storage
- Tall front and rear fenders
- Sturdy steel cargo racks
- Full floorboards
- Front brush guard that shields the 4×4 from sticks and branches
- The basic but effective instrumentation helps off-roaders keep an eye on engine maintenance.
The EPS model adds more value with an extra handlebar-mounted headlight and a digital instrument panel. Thanks to clever design choices like the under-seat fuel tank and front intake, the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 maintains a low center of gravity. An additional center-mounted headlight pod (exclusive to the EPS model) provides extra illumination. Available colors include green, red, blue, Realtree Xtra camouflage, SE Carbon Black, and LE Crimson Red.
Cost of a Yamaha Kodiak 700
In brand-new condition, the MSRP of the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 ranges from $6,999 to $8,899, depending on trim and other inclusions. The machine’s base model is a price-point match for 420cc to 570cc counterparts by Honda, Polaris, and Can-Am. EPS iterations are valued at $8,199. Meanwhile, Special Edition Realtree™ Xtra Camo packages are the most expensive of the lot.
Secondhand units seem to keep their value well, too. On auction and trader sites like Tractor House, a pre-loved 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 can fall anywhere from $1,650 to $10,500. Cheaper units are typically well-used but still in great working condition. In contrast, pricier ones often come with aftermarket add-ons like a WARN 101020 VRX 25-S Powersports Winch (view on Amazon) and a clean title.
2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 Problems
The 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700 underwent significant changes compared to previous versions, reducing inherent problems. However, issues may arise over time due to constant hauling and frequent use. While smaller-displacement Kodiaks faced problems with chokes, axle splines, and brakes, the 708cc model has seen complaints about inconsistent performance.
Many off-roaders have reportedly experienced the quad bogging down during acceleration despite working fine when initially running cold. The odd behavior typically manifests 45 minutes into riding. It is exacerbated when the rider attempts to go full throttle (even with gradual throttle changes).
Several possible reasons can lead to this predicament. The most common culprits trace back to the wheeler’s valve lash, fan, thermostat, and coils. If you notice backfiring along with the odd behavior, adjusting the valve lash may be necessary.
If overheating is a concern, closely examine the fan and thermostat. But if the problem persists despite these checks, perform a much-needed coil inspection. You may be surprised to find that your coils are corroded — hence, your quad’s poor performance.
Pros & Cons of the 2016 Kodiak 700
- Its then-new fuel-injected 708cc mill lends to a 6% increase in horsepower and 10% more torque than the older 686cc single-cam engine.
- Optional EPS enhances steering control by effectively dampening and reducing kickback.
- The machine’s low center of gravity is handy on off-camber trails and navigating through ruts.
- Heavier 30-gram CVT clutch weights allow easy riding and traction — sought-after qualities for a trusty hunting rig.
- Servicing is convenient with “a tool-less foam air filter access” and access panels leading to the engine oil dipstick.
- Handlebars are positioned 2 inches lower with increased sweep, bringing the hand grips 19.7 mm closer to the rider and facilitating easier entry and exit from its ‘sit-in’ saddle.
- A front storage compartment can be found instead of the typical fuel tank location.
- Rear racks lack corner bracing that could provide added stability for securing tie-downs and bungee hooks. Fortunately, this can be swapped out for a Kolpin ATV Flat Rack – 53400, Black (view on Amazon)
- The front limited-slip differential could’ve been tightened further to compensate for the absence of a front differential lock.
Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a multinational Japanese corporation and part of the nation’s Big 4. It is renowned for its industry-leading motorsport vehicles like the 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700. Founded in 1955 in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan, the firm has undergone a remarkable transformation through the years.
Initially, Yamaha focused on manufacturing pianos and reed organs. It has since become a global giant, ranking second in motorcycle sales and leading in water vehicle sales worldwide. Yamaha is celebrated not only for its well-engineered cruisers and motorsport vehicles but also for its versatile engines, intelligent machinery, snowmobiles, and a wide range of other motorized product offerings.
Conclusion — 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700
There’s no denying that Yamaha set the bar high by introducing the Kodiak 700 in 2016. This four-wheeler elevated the Kodiak lineup and cemented its mark in the world of rec-utility ATVs. Whichever way you look at it, the Kodiak is a reliable workhorse ready to tackle any task. It is a true ‘top brass’ among utility quads.