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Good morning! I recently got back into quads and picked up a Grizzly 700. The lady and I have been riding it around the property to allow her to decide whether she likes it enough to get one of her own. She has decided to get an ATV, but she is having trouble deciding on which.

Cost is a major factor, so the Grizzly 700 is out. She is looking at the Kodiak 450 and 700, both with EPS. Our dealer quoted $1100 more for the 700 over the 450 and she is struggling with deciding whether that is worth it. She is considering the 700 only because she is now used to the way mine runs and is worried that she may be disappointed with the 450.

The important things to keep in mind;
  • Neither of us will be exploring the top speeds of these machines. 30mph is plenty fast for us.
  • The nearby trails we will run are rocky, steep, and slow
  • Trails on our property are tight and low speed, mainly because its on a mountainside
  • We do plan on taking them out for trips further out to bigger trail networks like Hatfield/McCoy, Pocahontas, etc in WV
  • The 700/450 decision is not about raw power and more about easier rideability
  • We are aware of the increased in suspension travel and ground clearance the 700 offers
  • This is her first quad

With all that in mind, will the Kodiak 700 provide a substantial benefit over the 450 to justify the cost?

Thank you!
 

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2014 Yamaha Grizzly 700 EPS
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Is it possible to have her sit on both to see if the 450 or 700 Kodiak feels better? That might be the most telling for both of you. Good to hear you are looking at both models with EPS.

I don't know this as fact but suspect the Kodiak 700 has much better aftermarket support than the Kodiak 450. Kodiak 700 models from 2019 and later have a very well proven history with the 686cc engine (Grizzly 700 2007 - 2013, Grizzly 2014/15 & 2019+).

You could always adjust down the throttle if the 700 is too much. The Kodiak 700 will probably have better resale potential. If you are ever riding at elevation (5000' +), the increased hp might be a benefit. But if the 700 is just too much machine for her, then the 450 would def be the way to go. The Kodiak 450 is supposed to be a fine machine as well, I've never had experience with it to know. As you probably already know, don't even consider trying to force her into something she seems opposed to :sneaky:
 

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2017 Kodiak 700 ESP SE
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Like Redrocket said have her sit on both and test drive both if possible, some dealers will accommodate this. Keep in mind the Kodiak 700 will be a little slower on acceleration than your Grizzly because of the heavier primary weights with it being more of a utility quad, as well as being slightly smaller...lower seat and bars, smaller fenders. So she may like that, but all that said based on your riding styles you mentioned the 450 would be a great choice also.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your suggestions! The dealer we are working with is able to take a name and deposit down for the next delivery, sometime in Feb/Mar, but they do not currently have these quads in stock. Its a good idea to sit on them though and I'll do an inventory search to see if there are any units on the floor nearby that we can look at. And who knows, maybe she can get a good deal on one that way.

Any other feedback on the 450's rideability for our purposes would be welcome!
 

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My wife and I had to make a similar choice a few years ago. She rode my Grizzly, Then at the dealer she rode a Kodiak 700 and then a Kodiak 450. My wife is a small frame gal and only 5'2" tall. The 450 turned out to be perfect for her and 3 hours later we were heading home with a new 19 Kodiak 450 EPS SE. I can tell you this. She loves it after 1200 miles. This year I finally had a chance to ride it for more than a mile (she wont get off it) and it rides way better than my 17 Grizzly does. Yamaha got the shocks right on the 450. I wish I could say that about the Grizzly but I can't.

If you ride tight trails she will appreciate the size of the 450. Its a about 3-4" narrower than the Grizzly and makes maneuvering it tight trails a breeze. Some area's we ride I have to get my Grizzly perfectly square/inline to get through some of the tree's on the trail and she goes through with no problem.

Top speed stock is 50MPH on the 450. I did a clutch mods for more bottom end and I also gained 5 MPH top speed by doing a sheave mod and adding a Grizzly 700 secondary spring. The 450 is a low rpm torque engine and makes a great trail quad. We have had Zero issues with our 450. Its a nice fun quad that is more than capable to do anything with. The only thing I would suggest to do right off the bat if you ride in dusty conditions is to pick up a couple extra air filters if she is riding behind you.

My wifes only complaint about the 450 is she has to reach for the handlebars with her short arms. Other than that she loves it.

This past summer my oldest brother and I went for a weekend while my wife was working. He rode the Kodiak 450 most of the weekend. It's the same weekend I finally had a chance to ride the 450. At the end of the weekend he said if he is going to buy one the Kodiak 450 is the one he would buy. When I rode it, the only time I missed the power of the Grizzly was on more open trails. In the tight woods I actually prefer the 450 over my Grizzly because it maneuvers so well.

I will add her frame size will matter for fit & comfort and she really should sit on both the 450 & 700. Another thing that you can do (At least with the 17 & 19 models) is swap seats from the Kodiak to the Grizzly. The Grizzly seat is taller with more padding and gives you that sit on top feeling while the Kodiak seat is shorter and gives you a more sit in feeling.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Zrt1200 - thank you for this really valuable feedback!
 

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My vote is for the 450, considering how you described the way itll be ridden.

I'm 6'2, 230lbs, and really like to rip on shit.. my 450 hasn't left me "wanting more". Even with my fiance on the back riding 2 up its got more than snot to keep me happy.
 

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I posted that so you guys can see that a woman 5 feet tall has no problem riding the 700 Kodi.
She rode a 2011 450 Griz ESP for 5 years. I tried all kinds of mods to make that machine comfortable and less tippy. The frame slung engine vibrated so bad it would make you feet numb. Padded the foot pegs with 3/4" thick machine mounting rubber. I put 660 weights in to bring down the cruising rpms that help a little with the vibration. Yamaha has Sht-canned that engine.
The steering was super fast, real twitchy. The front end plowed bad and rolled like it didn't have a sway bar. I put offset rims with 6ply tires added Fox podium shocks to the front. It helped but never made it great.
It took her a month to get the settled in on the Kodi. She absolutely loves it. She tells me it doesn't felt tippy at all and the ride is 100% improvement.
She isn't a fast ride but she can ride 98% of the stuff I will tackle. I'm a lucky man!
 
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Must be a big difference in the 2011 450's VS the 2018 + 450's. Everyone I have talked to with a 2018 + loved them. I do feel the 700 is smoother though.
 
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I posted that so you guys can see that a woman 5 feet tall has no problem riding the 700 Kodi.
She rode a 2011 450 Griz ESP for 5 years. I tried all kinds of mods to make that machine comfortable and less tippy. The frame slung engine vibrated so bad it would make you feet numb. Padded the foot pegs with 3/4" thick machine mounting rubber. I put 660 weights in to bring down the cruising rpms that help a little with the vibration. Yamaha has Sht-canned that engine.
The steering was super fast, real twitchy. The front end plowed bad and rolled like it didn't have a sway bar. I put offset rims with 6ply tires added Fox podium shocks to the front. It helped but never made it great.
It took her a month to get the settled in on the Kodi. She absolutely loves it. She tells me it doesn't felt tippy at all and the ride is 100% improvement.
She isn't a fast ride but she can ride 98% of the stuff I will tackle. I'm a lucky man!
Must be a big difference in the 2011 450's VS the 2018 + 450's. Everyone I have talked to with a 2018 + loved them. I do feel the 700 is smoother though.
Certainly sounds like the later 450 Kodiaks are much more refined then earlier
 
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The last 450 Griz was 2014 model. In 2018 Yamaha introduced the 450 Kodiak. With 450 Kodi the replace the frame slung mounts with 550 and 700 style bottom engine mounts. The also add EFI. I have not checked if they change the steering geometry or not. By checking part numbers it appears that Yamaha has change the shocks and more importantly the steering knuckles.
These few "upgrades" would make a world of difference.
 

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My dad and I both had Kodiak 700 eps machines and decided to sell them to get Kodiak 450 eps machines. After riding both, we honestly prefer the 450s. We are both big guys over six feet tall and the 450s have more than enough power to get us anywhere we want to go, even in the higher elevations of Utah. The 450 seems more nimble on the trail and the suspension seems more plush. I have also noticed that the fuel injection on the 450s seems to be tuned better. They seem to start better than the 700s. For the riding that you both will be doing the 450 might be a better machine. We both loved our 700s but the 450s are just as good of a machine and in some ways better.
 

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Must be a big difference in the 2011 450's VS the 2018 + 450's. Everyone I have talked to with a 2018 + loved them. I do feel the 700 is smoother though.
The 700 is bigger and a big heavier. That does make a difference. Our Kodis with the rims and Pitbull are 50" wide. This makes them more stable with better ride. I contribute most of this to the Pitbulls.
The Kodi still doesn't ride like newer Griz. The new Grizzlies have better shocks with progressive springs. The shocks are also set at a much shallower angle. This alone can really improve the ride.
Here is simple chart showing the relationship.
99497
 
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I see on the 2018 Kodi Yamaha abandoned the split bearings in the knuckles.
 

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My dad and I both had Kodiak 700 eps machines and decided to sell them to get Kodiak 450 eps machines. After riding both, we honestly prefer the 450s. We are both big guys over six feet tall and the 450s have more than enough power to get us anywhere we want to go, even in the higher elevations of Utah. The 450 seems more nimble on the trail and the suspension seems more plush. I have also noticed that the fuel injection on the 450s seems to be tuned better. They seem to start better than the 700s. For the riding that you both will be doing the 450 might be a better machine. We both loved our 700s but the 450s are just as good of a machine and in some ways better.
I have tossed around the idea of selling my Grizzly in favor of the Kodiak 450 a few times. But the brute power of the 700 reminds me every time I use the thumb hard why I bought it.:):)
 
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I have tossed around the idea of selling my Grizzly in favor of the Kodiak 450 a few times. But the brute power of the 700 reminds me every time I use the thumb hard why I bought it.:):)
Agreed! I've driven a few 400 - 450s in the past and though 26 hp can be adequate, they are complete boar to ride compared to our 48+ hp 700s...
 
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The 700 is bigger and a big heavier. That does make a difference. Our Kodis with the rims and Pitbull are 50" wide. This makes them more stable with better ride. I contribute most of this to the Pitbulls.
The Kodi still doesn't ride like newer Griz. The new Grizzlies have better shocks with progressive springs. The shocks are also set at a much shallower angle. This alone can really improve the ride.
Here is simple chart showing the relationship.
View attachment 99497
I will have to disagree with you on the ride between the Grizzly and the Kodiak 450. Our 450 flat out rides way better in any terrain than the Grizzly. Yamaha got the shocks right with the 450. I personally think the Grizzly front shocks are the worst shock / spring combo I have ever rode on. This prompted me to just order a set of Elka's for my Grizzly. Maybe its just my shocks that are bad but I know another person who thinks the front shocks are trash as well.

Wait. Are you comparing the Grizzly VS the Kodiak 700 for ride?? If so I don't have a clue on that.
 

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The 700 is bigger and a big heavier. That does make a difference. Our Kodis with the rims and Pitbull are 50" wide. This makes them more stable with better ride. I contribute most of this to the Pitbulls.
The Kodi still doesn't ride like newer Griz. The new Grizzlies have better shocks with progressive springs. The shocks are also set at a much shallower angle. This alone can really improve the ride.
Here is simple chart showing the relationship.
View attachment 99497
Personally I'm not impressed with my 2019 grizzly shocks. The front shocks ride harsher then my old 2009 grizzly. I feel Yamaha drop the ball on this one.
 
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