Yamaha Kodiak 400 4×4 Specs and Review

Green 2001 Yamaha Kodiak 400 ATV

One of the more popular four-wheelers derived from the groundbreaking Yamaha Moto-4 series is the Yamaha Kodiak 400. Introduced in 1993, this 4×4 initially came out in a manual-transmission version and eventually sported some of the world’s firsts – an UltraMatic™ CVT transmission, front hydraulic discs, and selectable 2WD/4WD modes. These class-leading features made the quad a massive hit with ranchers, adventurers, and most especially, hunters.

The Yamaha Kodiak 400 4×4 is a rec-utility four-wheeler known as the precursor of the 421-cm3 Grizzly and the recipient of the “2000 ATV of the Year Award” by ATV Magazine. This classic vehicle boasted a 33-mm Mikuni carb, an UltraMatic™ transmission, and on-the-fly driveline options.

Aside from having a highly-esteemed position in the ATV scene, the quad easily adapted to the North American lifestyle – being right at home in dense forests, piles of snow, stretches of sand, and expansive hunting grounds. Yamaha was right on the money with the direction it was treading with the Yamaha Kodiak 400. And I am sure that once you are done reading this guide, you will agree, too.

Built for Hunting

If there is any four-wheeler that is best befitting this description, it would be the Yamaha Kodiak 400 4×4. This mid-sized quad, named after bruins like its brawny cousins, was among the most popular Yamaha ATVs during its time due to its practical utilitarian features and industry-leading UltraMatic™ transmission. Although highly-regarded workhorses like the Grizzly and Big Bear defined the industry’s utility segment, it was the Kodiak that was better known and preferred for recreational and hunting applications.

Versatile

The introduction of the Yamaha Kodiak 400 in 1993 could not have had better timing. It was around the time that four-wheelers like Honda’s FourTrax and Polaris‘ Trail Boss were entering the ATV scene, and the Wolverine 350 was attempting to revive the sport UTV segment.

Despite the slew of high-performance ATVs in the market back then, consumers were looking for something more versatile – a hybrid that could perform yard work, carry game from a long day of hunting, but still be a blast to ride in the outdoors. Not too many vehicles possessed this sought-after capability, and the Kodiak was one of those few.

Yamaha produced 21 models and four trims of what many considered the best 4×4 ever built. The Yamaha Kodiak 400 was hard at work during its 14-year production period, putting out 2WD and 4WD models year after year. However, it wasn’t until 2001 that a Realtree™ Hardwoods Special Edition version was released, and not until 2005 that purely 4WD base and camouflage trims were consistently made available to the public.

Towards the final years of its production, Yamaha decided to start making its 450-cc version, which ultimately replaced the Kodiak 400 when it went out in 2006.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 Specs & Features

Camo 2006 Yamaha Kodiak 400 4x4 ATV

Engine

A Mikuni carburetor with a compression ratio of 10.5:1 and a compression pressure of 1,400 kPa (14 kgf/cm2, 203 psi) @ 750 RPM handles the quad’s air-fuel mixture. The Kodiak’s power mill is pretty low-maintenance. However, 1.0 fl. oz./7.5 cc of fuel stabilizer per US gal/L of fuel is required if you do not want to drain the vehicle’s fuel system before long-term storage.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Engine Type 4-Stroke SOHC, liquid-cooled
Cylinder Arrangement Forward-inclined single cylinder
Carburetion System Carburetor, Mikuni BSR33SS x 1
Engine Fuel Unleaded gasoline of at least PON 86 or RON 91
Fuel Capacity 15 L/3.96 US gal (reserve – 4.5 L/(1.19 US gal)
Bore x Stroke Ratio 84.5 x 71.5 mm (3.33 x 2.81 in)
Compression Ratio 10.5:1
Displacement 401 cm³ / 24.5 in³
Valve Diameter Intake 39.9 – 40.1 mm (1.5708 – 1.5787 in)
Valve Diameter Exhaust 33.9 – 34.1 mm (1.3346 – 1.3425 in)
Valve Clearance Cold Intake 0.06 – 0.10 mm (0.0024 – 0.0039 in)
Valve Clearance Cold Exhaust 0.16 – 0.20 mm (0.0063 – 0.0079 in)
Top Speed 45-55 mph (72.4-88.5 km/h) – dirt road; 67 mph (107.8 km/h) – hard road
Starter System Electric/recoil
Air Filtration Wet type element
Lubrication Wet sump
Engine Oil & Quantity 2.3 L (2.4 US quarts) – oil change
2.4 L (2.5 US quarts) – filter change
2.6 L (2.7 US quarts) – overhaul
SAE 10W-30, API grade of SJ meeting JASO T903 MA, MB
Alternatives: SAE 5W-30, 20W-40 w/out “Energy Conserving II” labels

Drivetrain

Power travels via a single-speed constant mesh UltraMatic™ transmission utilizing a centrifugal-type, one-way sprag clutch behind the primary pulley. Paired with a ball-and-race-bearing steering system, this automatic transmission offers selectable driveline modes and a reliable engine braking system that lends to the quad’s superb handling, regardless of terrain technicality or severity of riding conditions.

Overall, the drive system of the Kodiak is almost bulletproof. Just make sure not to overly hammer the wet clutch, or it will burn its friction material against the drum and may cost you an extra $400-$550 on clutch replacement.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Clutch Wet shoe, automatic, centrifugal type
Transfer, Transmission Type V-belt, single-speed constant mesh, UltraMatic™
Gearshift Pattern L-H-N-R-P (Left hand operation)
Drive System Shaft drive
Primary Reduction Ratio 2.55 – 0.75 : 1
Secondary Reduction Ratio 7.944 (39/24×24/18×33/9) – spur gear
Transfer Gear Ratio (Sub-transmission) Low – 2.813 (45/16)
High – 1.652 (38/23)
Reverse – 1.706 (29/17)

Ignition

The Yamaha Kodiak 400 is brought to life by a DC-CDI magneto electric start system and comes with a 2JN/YAMAHA ignition coil and an F4T46472/MITSUBISHI A.C. magneto generator. The vehicle also comes with an auxiliary DC outlet with a maximum rated capacity of 12V 120 W (10 Amp). In case your spark plug needs replacement, note that the Kodiak uses the same spark plug as the Wolverine 450.

All other electrical components are the same across all models except for the battery, which changed for the ’02 Kodiak onwards. Because the wheeler uses a sealed-type battery, it requires a constant-voltage/ampere battery charger. Using other charger types could adversely affect battery life.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Ignition DC-CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)
Ignition Timing 10° B.T.D.C @ 1,500 RPM
Spark Plug NGK DR8EA or DENSO X22ESR-U, 0.6 – 0.7 mm (0.024 – 0.028 in) gap Tightening torque: 18 Nm (1.8 m-kgf, 13 ft-lbf) or 1/4-1/2 turn past finger tight
Generator A.C. Magneto
Generator Max Output 14 V 17.5 A @ 5,000 RPM
Fuse 30 Amp – main; 15 Amp – headlight; 10 Amp – ignition, DC outlet, signaling system; 3 Amp – 4WD
Battery 12V 18Ah, YTX20L-BS format 12V 12Ah, YTX14AH format
Battery Dimensions 6.88×3.44×6.12 in (L x W x H) 5.31×3.50×6.56 in (L x W x H)
Red 2002 Yamaha Kodiak 400 4x4 ATV

Tires & Brakes

The Kodiak 400 rides on 25-inch front and rear tires mounted on tubeless panel wheels. These stock bias tires are puncture-resistant, provide good grip at slow speeds, and easily flex when riding on rough surfaces.

While these knobbies are durable, Maxxis M966 MudZilla Utility ATV Tires (view on Amazon) would be an excellent replacement in case of tire wear or damage – especially if you are into serious mudding. Otherwise, Carlisle All Trail ATV Tires (view on Amazon) would be more than adequate for hunting and all-day trail rides.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Front Tire Dunlop KT123 AT25 x 8-12 Maxxis M911Y AT25 x 8-12
Rear Tire Dunlop KT127 AT25 x 10-12 Maxxis M912Y AT25 x 10-12
Tire Tread Depth (F/R) Limit: 3 mm (0.12 in) / 3 mm (0.12 in) Limit: 2 mm (0.08 in) / 2 mm (0.08 in)
Rim Size (F/R) 12 × 6.0 AT / 12 × 7.5 AT, panel wheels
Front Brake Type Disc brake, twin (right hand operation)
Rear Brake Type Disc brake, single (left hand/right foot operation) Leading/trailing drum brake, single (left hand/right foot operation)

Suspension

Five-way preload-adjustable shocks and a generous offering of wheel travel (front and rear) are but a few of the Kodiak 400’s long-travel suspension benefits. To add, the vehicle’s dynamic wheel-and-tire system and powertrain complement the suspension system’s bump absorption and handling over rough terrain and slow-crawling sections.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Caster, Trail 4° , 21 mm (0.83 in)
Toe-in 0-10 mm (0 ± 0.39 in)
Turning Radius 3 m (9.8 ft)
Front Suspension, Travel Double wishbone, coil spring, oil-damped, 160 mm (6.3 in)
Rear Suspension, Travel Swingarm (monocross), coil spring, oil-damped, 180 mm (7.1 in)

Dimensions

2002 to 2006 Yamaha Kodiak 400 models were slightly longer and wider than the earlier releases. Seat height and wheelbase also increased, although the difference from the original version is negligible. Its wheelbase is comparable to same-class Arctic Cat quads while slightly shorter when compared to a 400-cc Honda Foreman. Thankfully, differences in overall dimensions did not affect the vehicle’s storage and hauling capabilities.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Length 1,965 mm (77.4 in) 1,984 mm (78.1 in)
Width 1,070 mm (42.1 in) 1,085 mm (42.7 in)
Height 1,120 mm (44.1 in)
Seat Height (Unloaded) 820 mm (32.3 in) 827 mm (32.6 in)
Ground Clearance 245 mm (9.7 in)
Wheelbase 1,225 mm (48.2 in) 1,233 mm (48.5 in)
Track (F/R) 850 mm (33.5 in) / 825 mm (32.5 in)
Curb Weight 262 Kg (578 lbs) 265 Kg (584 lbs)
Tongue Weight 15 Kg (33 lbs)
Carrier Capacity (F/R) 40 Kg / 80 Kg
Trailer Hitch Capacity 500 Kg (1,102 lbs)
Vehicle Load Capacity Limit 210 Kg (463 lbs)

Exterior & Lighting

The Kodiak is composed of a steel frame and plastic body material available in camouflage trim and other color options. It includes 4.4-lb under-seat storage, high-rise front/rear fenders, steel cargo racks, full floorboards, and a front brush guard that shields the 4×4 from sticks and fallen branches.

Instrumentation is basic but adequate, allowing owners to monitor engine maintenance intervals. An aftermarket Badass Moto Heavy-Duty, Triple-Waterproofed ATV Cover (view on Amazon) helps protect your quad from the elements.

Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAP) Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM400FAR)
Speedometer/Odometer Standard
Indicator Lamps Standard
Engine Stop Switch Standard
Light Switch Standard (hi/lo beam)
Headlight Krypton bulb – 12V 30/30 W x 2 Halogen bulb – 12V 30/30 W x 2
Brake Light/Taillight 12V 21/5 W x 1
Meter Light N/A 14V 3 W x 1
Indicator Lights 12V 1.7 W (neutral, reverse, coolant temperature, park indicator, 4WD indicator) 12V 1.7 W (neutral, reverse, coolant temperature, 4WD indicator)
Colors Realtree™ Hardwoods/Xtra Brown Hunter Edition, Hunter Green, beige, red

In this video by Outdoor Gorilla, the presenter does a full review and walkaround of his 2001 Kodiak, with Yamaha Kodiak 400 parts to watch out for and tips to boot:

Cost of a Yamaha Kodiak 400

The MSRP of the Yamaha Kodiak 400 ranges from $4,599 to $6,499, depending on the year, trim, and overall vehicle condition. The 2003 Yamaha Kodiak 400 (YFM4AR, 2WD) was the least expensive of the lot, while the 2001 Yamaha Kodiak 400 4×4 Hunter Edition had the heftiest price tag. The below table shows the complete rundown of list prices for all Kodiak 400 models:

Year – Trim – Model NumberList PriceRetail/Trade-In Values
1993 Yamaha Kodiak Bear YFM400FWE$5,299$580 – $760
1994 Yamaha Kodiak Bear YFM400FWF$5,899$610 – $800
1995 Yamaha Kodiak Bear YFM400FWG$5,999$670 – $880
1996 Yamaha Kodiak YFM400FH$6,249$740 – $975
1997 Yamaha Kodiak YFM400FJ$6,349$785 – $1,035
1998 Yamaha Kodiak YFM400FK$5,899$845 – $1,110
1999 Yamaha Kodiak YFM400FL$5,799$930 – $1,225
2000 Yamaha Kodiak 400 – YFM400AM, 2WD$4,999$825 – $1,085
2000 Yamaha Kodiak YFM400AM, 4WD$5,999$1,020 – $2,450
2001 Yamaha Kodiak 400 – YFM400AN, 2WD$5,099$920 – $1,210
2001 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAHN, 4WD Hunter Edition$6,499$1,160 – $1,525
2001 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAN, 4WD$6,199$1,110 – $1,460
2002 Yamaha Kodiak 400 – YFM400FAP, 4WD$6,199$1,290 – $1,700
2003 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4AR, 2WD$4,599$985 – $1,295
2003 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAR, 4WD$5,499$1,305 – $3,065
2004 Yamaha Kodiak 400 – YFM4AS, 2WD$4,599$1,070 – $1,405
2004 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAS, 4WD$5,499$1,290 – $1,700
2005 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAT, 4WD$5,799$1,640 – $2,155
2005 Yamaha Kodiak 400 – YFM4FAHT, 4WD Camouflage$6,099$1,715 – $2,255
2006 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAV, 4WD$5,799$1,735 – $2,285
2006 Yamaha Kodiak YFM4FAHV, 4WD Camouflage$6,149$2,030 – $2,670

2001-2005 models are typically in circulation in trader sites and auctions. Out of all these trims, the ’01 versions seem to keep their value best and are usually in excellent working condition and with only one previous owner. They are worth between $3,000 and $3,410. The rest of the model years (1995-2005) range from $1,000 to $3,100.

Some secondhand Kodiaks sold for less than $1,800 may have flat tires, rusted components, dings, scuffs, and wear and tear. Others may even have missing parts or brakes, oil leaks, or unknown operational status. Anything priced below $650 is (automatically) a salvage unit confirmed not to run. It might be good to bring your own battery to test-start the quad when buying – to see if it can still be rebuilt or only sold for parts.

On the other hand, there are decent buys, too. Not only are these quads well-taken care of, but they also come with loads of usable aftermarket accessories. Some examples of add-ons you will find on pre-loved Kodiaks are a back cage bucket, a 60-inch snowblade (view on Amazon), a new front CV shaft, a 5,000-lb recovery winch (view on Amazon), a new battery, and gun racks. Just be prepared to spend at $2,500 (sans shipping), and you can get your hands on a near-mint quad.

Must-Know About Old Kodiaks

Like any other secondhand four-wheeler, the need for alterations, minor repairs, or a full rebuild on your Kodiak would largely depend on the vehicle’s overall condition and level of care given to it by its previous owner. But even with proper maintenance done, there are cases where the 4×4’s age renders some components frail or prone to problems. Below are examples of such cases:

Brakes

Many off-roaders seem to have lost faith in the rear drum brakes, which require tons of upkeep and constant adjustment. The only consolation for Kodiak owners is the hydraulic front discs and the vehicle’s all-wheel engine braking system. A long-term fix to this dilemma is to replace the drum brakes with hydraulic ones, although some less-savvy riders may find this a daunting task.

Choke

Not only is the choke known to freeze up in cold weather, but the end of its cable (the part that goes into the carburetor) also causes choke malfunction when plugged with mud, dirt, and debris. Depending on how it breaks (for example, in a closed position), problems with the choke may cause flooding or terrible gas mileage. An easy workaround would be to get a new spring and clean the choke with a pipe cleaner and good-quality WD-40. Other hacks involve a hairdryer or just letting the engine heat thaw it out – 3-5 minutes should do it. As long as the choke has no rust, you do not need to have it replaced.

This video by Mid Nebraska Motorsports demonstrates a complete carb cleanup and rebuild for a 2006 Yamaha Kodiak 400 and touches on the choke and how to clean it @ 0:58 seconds into the video:

Rear Axle Splines

This issue is becoming more common in recent years, mainly due to the age of the Kodiak. Spotting this problem can be tricky, as it has no apparent symptoms and requires a thorough inspection of the rear axle to determine its condition. Pulling the rear axle allows you to take a closer look. If you see nothing wrong, proceed to drilling its tube housing, installing a grease zerk, and pumping the housing full with grease. This step helps prevent spline corrosion and failure. Conversely, splines showing wear require repair by a professional mechanic or, in worst-case scenarios, replacement of the axle.

U-Joints

Generally, you can expect the quad to be rock solid. However, watch out for a broken U-joint, as it means having to replace the yokes. I highly recommend that you prioritize including this part in your inspection, especially when buying a pre-1999 Kodiak model. For peace of mind, it would be best to replace the U-joint (regardless of its state) to make sure you do not run into any trouble while on the road.

(TIP: Treat your Yamaha Kodiak 400 manual as your best friend when servicing the quad or performing necessary repairs.)

Yamaha Kodiak 400 Pros and Cons

It is also worth weighing the benefits and pitfalls of the Kodiak 400 before deciding to buy one:

Pros:

  • Excellent engine and powertrain
  • Proven Yamaha reliability
  • Lightweight, quality construction
  • On-Command® 2WD/4WD selectable driveline modes
  • Superb maneuverability and comfort, especially on the trails
  • Good suspension and high ground clearance
  • Tight turning radius that is perfect for cornering angles 
  • Unrivaled UltraMatic™ CVT transmission
  • Ease of operation
  • Handsome styling

Cons:

  • No differential lock
  • Absence of low range (vs. Suzuki’s three-tier sub-transmission)

**Pushing snow, doing serious mudding, or hauling heavy loads would require you to have low range. Otherwise, the feature will not be necessary on trails or for recreational riding. Plus, Yamaha re-geared the transmission beginning with the 2003 Yamaha Kodiak 400 to compensate for the vehicle’s lack of low range.

  • Water pump leaks
  • Drum brakes
  • Solid rear axle (in lieu of IRS)

About Yamaha

Yamaha is a multi-national Japanese firm known to manufacture breakthrough motorsport vehicles such as the Yamaha Kodiak 400. Founded in 1955 in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan, Yamaha has evolved from being a piano and reed organ manufacturer to a company with the second-largest motorcycle sales and highest water vehicle sales in the world.

Yamaha is world-renowned for its well-engineered cruiser and motorsport vehicles and its multipurpose engines, intelligent machinery, snowmobiles, and other motorized products – alongside its successful global operations.

Conclusion – Yamaha Kodiak 400 4×4 Review

The Yamaha Kodiak 400 is one low-profile beast – its simplistic looks capable of deceiving the untrained eye. But riders who have put their leg over the vehicle know better. For them, the Kodiak is not just some ordinary utility quad. It handles great on any terrain, possesses sporty manners, and has a light feel to the steering – traits that help conquer tough, twisty trails or tight conditions. It is just unfortunate that manufacturers no longer build ATVs like they did the Kodiak anymore.

More than being a spin-off of the Grizzly, the Big Bear, or even the legendary Yamaha Moto-4 350, the Yamaha Kodiak 400 was responsible for laying the foundation for current sport-utility machines. Its breakthrough CVT transmission, engine braking system, and selectable driveline modes are now standard features across most (if not all) 4x4s. Not only does the Kodiak go down in history as one of the best forerunners of the utility segment, but it also remains to be the ATV world’s unrivaled hunting rig.

Kris Peter

Adventure seeker and off-road enthusiast. I love the thrill of going off-road and taking on the elements.

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