The Yamaha Grizzly 700 is the realization of Yamaha’s hard work in developing technological advancements, such as its V-belt transmission and fuel injection. A successor to the Grizzly 660, this slightly bigger machine improved aesthetically and addressed some of its precursor’s known flaws. And it did all this while keeping true to the strengths of its lineage.
Introduced in 2007, the Yamaha Grizzly 700 is regarded as the Japanese firm’s most powerful ATV. Its stronghold in the market is attributed to its practical yet excellent features. Its Ultramatic transmission, 686cc engine, and modest but rebellious look put it in a class of its own.
Despite being far from perfect, the 2007 Yamaha Grizzly 700 succeeded in maintaining the Grizzly’s position in the ATV scene. The machine is continued proof that Yamaha’s execution is still right on the mark. And if that were not enough, the company made further changes to the Grizzly beginning 2016, making it even more fool-proof. Learn about these enhancements, along with the four-wheeler’s specs, top issues, and highlights, in this article.
A Redesigned Classic
The emergence of technologically advanced four-wheelers called for an upgrade of the Grizzly 660 into a machine that could compete head-to-head with top name brands in quality, popularity, and sales. Hence, the 2007 Yamaha Grizzly 700 was born – a mean workhorse that included a 32-bit ECU for electronic power steering, a 44-mm throttle-body fuel injection, and a larger 686 cm3 displacement. These additions may seem inconsequential to the untrained eye. But for enthusiasts, these changes in the vehicle’s cylinder, frame, and suspension meant a huge improvement in durability, power output, and overall performance.
A four-valve combustion chamber design strikes the perfect balance between low-end torque, instant throttle responsiveness, and high horsepower, and its 35° cylinder angle improves ground clearance. A lower seat height allows for easy steering and maneuverability. The fuel injection system provides superb air-fuel mixture and enables easy startup despite temperature or altitude changes. Rubber-damper engine mounts and a gear-driven crankshaft balancer shaft aid in reducing vibration. Furthermore, Nikasil-coated cylinders make the 4×4 more suitable for serious mudding.
Yamaha Grizzly 700 Trims
From 2006 to date, the Yamaha Grizzly 700 has released at least three trims and five models annually. Grizzlies were available in base, Hunter Edition, and Special Edition trims and in camouflage, blue, Hunter Green, and silver colors – all these models had Electronic Power Steering. The 2008 Yamaha Grizzly 700 was the first model year to have the Ducks Unlimited – EPS Edition (YFM7FGPDUX). The 2009 Yamaha Grizzly 700 Special Edition – EPS trim was the only SE 4×4 in Dark Royal Red. Special Edition trims after 2009 were all made available in white, including the 2012 Yamaha Grizzly 700. The 2014 Yamaha Grizzly 700 was the last model year where base models were offered in blue and red.
Yamaha Grizzly 700 Price
As for Yamaha Grizzly 700 prices, the range was from $8,199 to $10,099 – depending on make and model year, body-color, and package inclusions. Special-Edition and Limited-Edition trims were the most expensive of the lot. Average retail for these machines is valued at $4,000 at least. What is good about the Grizzly 700 series is that its base models were offered in camouflage finish at no additional cost, unlike other Yamaha ATVs where you have to pay a premium to get a Hunter-themed quad. Actual Hunter Edition models are available, of course. But these slightly pricier vehicles came with gun racks and a cargo box that can be placed at the front or rear.
Yamaha Grizzly 700 Specs & Features
- Engine: The Grizzly 700 uses a four-stroke, liquid-cooled SOHC engine, with a forward-inclined, single-cylinder arrangement and a 102 x 84 mm bore-stroke ratio. It has an engine displacement of 686 cm3, a compression ratio of 9.20:1, and a wet sump lubrication system. A DENSO 297500-1010/1 electronic fuel injection with a 44-mm throttle body and a wet-type air filtration system handle the air-fuel mixture. The vehicle’s horsepower is 50 hp (as of 2016 – a 6% increase from the initial 47 hp of earlier models), top speed is 64 mph stock, and estimated fuel economy is 21.44 mpg (10.97 liters/100 km).
- Fuel: Fuel tank capacity is 5.28 US gallons/20 liters with a 1.19-US gallon/4.5-liter reserve. Recommended fuel is unleaded gasoline (regular unleaded petrol only in Europe) with a pump Octane number of 87+ or a research Octane number of 91 or higher. To avoid damage to internal engine parts, make sure not to overfill the gas tank and only use fuel variants with less than 10% ethanol or 5% methanol.
- Lubrication: Yamaha 700 Grizzly’s oil capacity at disassembly is 2.11 US quarts/2 liters and 2.22 US quarts/2.10 liters at oil filter change. Use SAE 5W, 10W-30, 10W-40, 15W-40, 20W-40 or 20W-50 Yamalube 4 4-stroke oil or equivalent motor oil for top performance. Never mix additives in the oil to prevent clutch slippage. Similarly, make sure not to use oil with a diesel classification of CD or those with Energy Conserving II labels. The engine oil should have an API service grade of at least SJ (manufacturer-recommended SE/SF/SG grades are now obsolete) with no anti-friction modifiers.
- Drivetrain: An Ultramatic, V-belt shaft drive and wet, a centrifugal clutch that is left-hand-operated deliver power to the wheels. The clutch system maintains constant belt tension for belt wear reduction and allows for all-wheel downhill engine braking. A five-position gated shift lever with H, L, N, R, and P makes for easy handling. A three-position On-Command In/Out 4WD feature lets riders switch between 2WD, limited-slip 4WD, and fully-locked differential 4WD with push-button ease. A turning radius of 10.5-feet allows for a smoother ride.
- Ignition: The Grizzly 700 uses a DC-CDI (transistorized coil ignition) with an electric start system and auxiliary mechanical recoil backup. It has an AC-magneto generator system that powers up electronic accessories. The 700 requires a 12V, 18 Ah, 270-CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) YTX20L-BS battery with dimensions of 175 x 87 x 155 millimeters and a 40-Amp main fuse. All trims require an NGKCPR7EA–9 spark plug with a 0.8–0.9 mm (0.03–0.04 inches) gap.
- Tires: Tubeless, Dunlop KT421 AT25 × 8-12 front tires and Dunlop KT425 AT25 × 10-12 rear tires mount on steel rims. Vehicles released in Australia and New Zealand were fitted with Cheng Shin C828 4-ply Tires. Cheng Shin MU07 Ceros Radial Tires (view on Amazon) is a good alternative, should there be a need to replace stock knobbies. Recommended tire pressure for front tires is 35 kPa (0.35 kgf/cm2, 5 psi) and rear tires is 30 kPa (0.30 kgf/cm2, 4.3 psi). Avoid going beyond 3.9 psi/27kPa (0.27 kgf/cm²) and 5.5 psi/38kPa (0.38 kgf/cm²) when airing tires, and 36 psi/250 kPa (2.5 kgf/cm²) when seating the tire beads.
- Brakes: Industry-first four-wheel dual-disc brakes with separate front and rear controls provide the quad its stopping power.
- Suspension: The frame encloses a fully-independent double-wishbone front and rear suspension – both with five-way preload-adjustable shocks and 180 mm (7.1 inches) and 230 mm (9.1 inches) of wheel travel, respectively. Coil spring/oil damper type shocks make for maximum control and comfort over rough or bumpy terrain.
- Dimensions: Overall dimensions are 81.3 x 46.5 x 48.8 inches (2,065 x 1,180 x 1,240 mm – L x W x H). The minimum ground clearance is 10.8 inches (275 mm), while the vehicle wheelbase is 49.2 inches (1,250 mm). The curb weight is 294 Kg/648 lbs – only slightly heavier than the Yamaha Grizzly 660. The seat height is 35.6 inches.
- Capacities: The quad’s maximum loading limit is 485 lbs/220 Kg – rider weight, cargo, tongue, and accessories. The combined rack capacity is 130 Kg – 45 Kg/99 lbs at the front and 85 Kg/187 lbs at the rear, and the pulling load limit (total weight of cargo and trailer) is 5,390 N (1,212 lbf/550 kgf). Vertical weight on trailer hitch point is 147 N (33 lbf/15 kgf). A MotoAlliance Impact ATV/UTV Heavy Duty Utility Cart Cargo Trailer (view on Amazon) lets you maximize the Grizzly’s hauling capabilities.
- Exterior: The Grizzly 700 comprises a steel tube frame (with a 5° caster angle and 26-mm trail) and plastic body material. The Grizzly 700 comes standard with hand grips, front and rear fenders, storage compartments, and utility carriers. A multi-functional display allows the rider to keep a tab of hours and other crucial information. Dual 35-watt headlights mounted on the front fenders, a 5-watt taillight, and a 21-watt brake light provide superior light distribution. Like the 660-class, the rest of the warning indicators on this quad are LED lights.
This video by Mid Nebraska Motorsports is a must-watch for prospective Yamaha Grizzly 700 buyers. The presenter gives a walk-through, goes over known issues, and provides helpful tips – a bit of everything about the vehicle:
Yamaha Grizzly 700 Pros and Cons
Let’s look at the pros and cons of owning this classic four-wheeler:
- The Yamaha Grizzly 700 is known for its superb build and reliability – later models stayed true to this reputation.
- Its Ultramatic CVT belt is unrivaled and provides a jerk-less, smooth ride.
- Handling enhances with Maxxis M917 Bighorn Tires (view on Amazon).
- High wheel wells allow larger tires to fit onto the vehicle.
- An ample-sized gauge cluster and beginner-friendly controls on the handlebars make for easy handling and switching into different driveline modes.
- Steel front bumper protects the radiator and is less prone to damage.
- Shocks on all fours of the vehicle are five-way preload-adjustable.
- The suspension is already plush but was further improved with 2016 and more recent models.
- Differentials lock all four wheels of the Grizzly.
- Curved A-arms improve ground clearance, which is a necessity when trail riding.
- Three 8-mm bolts at the end of the stock exhaust allow replacement of the end cap.
- Servicing the radiator can be a bit troublesome. You will need to remove the front carrier and the plastic cover underneath to access it.
- The storage box found on the right-hand side of the 4×4 is not 100% sealed and not ideal for keeping valuable items from getting wet.
- The power steering could be stronger in slow, technical terrain.
- Stock A-arm guards do not fully protect the A-arms and CV boots from damage or puncture at the sides but give decent coverage under the said parts.
- Full footwells support aggressive riding position, but floorboards can easily break – especially when doing lots of rock-crawling.
- The bottom of the front fenders could do with extensions for better splash and mud protection at moderate trail speeds.
- Dust, dirt, and water can easily get into the rear storage compartment (under the taillight) due to the gap between the indicator light and the storage lid.
- The problem with the rear axle popping out from the rear differential remains unresolved even with the 708-cc Grizzly, despite news that it has been addressed in 2003 Grizzly 660 models.
- Leaving it sitting in the garage for a while results in vapor lock and fuel bubbling or starvation.
Youtuber Maritimer shares some of the highlights and lowlights of the Grizzly in this video:
In addition to the above lists, here are other common issues you would be better off knowing about the Grizzly 700, which seem to have inherited downsides from its 660-class sibling, except for the third one:
- Oil burning: This problem links to the 2016-2017 Yamaha Grizzly 700 and later-year models. Although not all Grizzly owners have encountered this issue, vehicle use and maintenance (along with many other factors) matter-of-factly lead to burning oil excessively. First, do a wet and dry compression test and leak-down test. These will help narrow down probable causes. Like smoke during startup, symptoms may also point towards worn-out or damaged rings or valve stem seals needing replacement.
- Overheating: One common cause of this issue is the four-wheeler running lean. This is in addition to other symptoms like the burnt-oil smell, white smoke, and restrictive startup. A lean mixture is pretty normal for a fresh-from-the-factory 4×4 but may also occur on preloved units. An EHS EFI Tuner or an EJK 9310203 Fuel Injection Programmer (view on Amazon) does a great job addressing this problem.
- Regulator/Rectifier: This component is known to go bad not only on the Grizzly lineup but on almost all Yamaha four-wheelers. Expert mechanics highly recommend going for a name brand versus a knock-off. This is to avoid problems with your quad if you opt for a cheap replacement part.
Yamaha Grizzly 700 Top Speed
The top speed of a stock Yamaha Grizzly 700 is 64 mph. Some owners claim to hit 70 mph with their 2015 Yamaha Grizzly 700. Upgrades do not guarantee that results will be the same for everyone. Riding style, weather conditions, and terrain are just some of the factors that make the Grizzly’s top speed vary. However, it would not hurt to modify your brute to get a better top-end reading. Here are some upgrade recommendations from online resources and Grizzly owners that can help enhance your 4×4’s rapidity and power:
- 27″ Gator Tires
- EHS Tuner
- EHS air intake with K&N air filter
- Electrosport industries Regulator/Rectifier ESR592 (view on Amazon)
- 2R racing tip
- Wheel spacers, front, and rear (size depends on tire diameter
- HMF full pipe
- HMF Performance Exhaust (view on Amazon)
- Greaseless weights and 2-mm shim (optional)
Like the EPI Mudder Clutch Kit (view on Amazon) or JBS Extreme clutch kit, other mods will reduce top speed but provide better rip at the bottom end, in reverse, and low gear, especially when you get stuck in the mud. Gains are very noticeable during back shifting and in doing wheelies. However, these capabilities may not be on everyone’s checklist. Ultimately, the need for speed or low-end grunt is all a matter of personal preference.
Mods will also largely depend on your intended use of the quad. If you are hauling wood and other similar things, a Kodiak 450 (for instance) may already be sufficient. Its turning radius, transmission, towing rate, EPS, and on-the-fly 4WD are comparable to a 700-class machine. But if you need a powerful trail bike with a true differential lock, then the extra 280-cc of the Grizzly 700 makes a huge difference.
The world’s best in water vehicle sales and among the Japanese companies that molded the ATV industry, Yamaha Motor Company Limited was once widely known for its piano and reed organ production. The maker of the Yamaha Grizzly 700 did not get into the automotive and motorcycle industry until after World War II. Parting ways with its parent company in 1955, the firm eventually became Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. At present, Yamaha’s product offerings range from motorsports and off-road vehicles to personal watercraft, speed boats, and outboard motors.
Conclusion – Yamaha Grizzly 700
Modded or stock, the Grizzly’s monstrous power has never failed to satisfy people’s adventurous desires. Its variety of trims and specifications cater to riders of all ages and skill levels. Its simplistic but aggressive styling keeps it relevant and well-loved. It is a high-performing machine that is as capable as it is versatile, continuously evolving to answer to the demands of the riding community and general consumers. May you be a beginner, a seasoned biker, or a veteran on the dirt road, the Yamaha Grizzly 700 can always help bring you back to places and moments where you can lose yourself.