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Discussion Starter #1
Joined the forum to seek some advice. I'm in the market for an ATV and will probably be ready to buy in the next year or two so I am starting my research so I can be on the lookout when the right machine pops up. I was thinking Honda, but as I have been researching I'm starting to lean Yamaha. Would like to keep my eye out for something used.

What I am looking for:
Long term reliability/durability - I don't plan on abusing it or mudbogging it. I'm not a good mechanic either. In fact, I'm not a mechanic at all.
I'm 6'2, 250lbs and I have some thick brushy property that needs a fairly nimble ATV to get around, so I am looking for a mid sized machine, but not something that would bee too small and uncomfortable for me.
Not looking to do heavy work with it, just riding dirt roads and going through my property which would involve driving over a lot of brush, mesquite, and pencil cactus

I was looking at Kodiak vs Grizzly vs Rancher. I felt that the Grizzly might be too big for my needs though.

As I've been researching, it looks like maybe a used Grizzly 450 might fit the bill.

My question to everyone is, what would you recommend, and are there certain year models or engine sizes that I should avoid or look for?

Thanks for the help!

Greg
 

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For maximum reliability, the Grizzly 450 is as good as it gets.

For the Grizzly 700, 2009-2015 is the most reliable models to purchase.
 

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Welcome from Colorado.
X-2 on above.
I would go with a 700.
 

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Isn't the Grizzly 700 physically larger than the 450? I wouldn't pass up a good deal on a 700, but I need more maneuverability where I would be riding.
 

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For maximum reliability, the Grizzly 450 is as good as it gets.

For the Grizzly 700, 2009-2015 is the most reliable models to purchase.
Any particular year models for the 450 to look for or stay away from?
 

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Any particular year models for the 450 to look for or stay away from?
Not really. All the 450's were pretty much bulletproof.
There was an issue with leaky rear axle seals on the 2005-2007 models, but those seals were updated in 2008 and most should be long gone replaced with the updated seal by now.
The solid rear axle (SRA) models (2003-2004 models) have a slightly better reliability due to using a less complex and more reliable suspension system, but you give up a better ride, ground clearance and resale. People want Independence Rear Suspension (IRS). Unless your doing a lot of towing, I would not consider a SRA bike.

But we are talking older bikes here. I wouldn't be looking at bikes 10 plus years old in your situation. Seals are 2esr items, just like brakes. Eventually they'll wear and leak and replacement. Bushings will wear, etc.

In my opinion, the best machine for you would be 2014/2015 Grizzly 700, or for more a smaller more maneuverable package, a 2014/2015 Grizzly/Kodiak 450.

FYI, Grizzly and Kodiak 450 are the same bike. Just different sticker on gas tank depending on the market they are sold in. The Kodiak name was more predominantly known in Canada.
 
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My 2014 550 has been an excellent machine. My neighbor has a 2007 700. It has had the stator fail from lack of oil which was solved on the 2009 or 2010 models. You want to avoid the 2007 and 2008 or possibly a 2009 700 unless it has been modified with the stator oiling modification.
 

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My 2014 550 has been an excellent machine. My neighbor has a 2007 700. It has had the stator fail from lack of oil which was solved on the 2009 or 2010 models. You want to avoid the 2007 and 2008 or possibly a 2009 700 unless it has been modified with the stator oiling modification.
All 2009 550s and 700s have the upgraded oil cooling line on the stator covers .
 

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I completely forgot about the 550. Another great bike. Basically a Grizzly 700 with a smaller piston. Equal in reliability
 

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I completely forgot about the 550. Another great bike. Basically a Grizzly 700 with a smaller piston. Equal in reliability
Yes, 550s are an excellent bike.
 

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I loved my 550. I sold it to purchase a 2016 700 and that proved to be a huge mistake. I wish I still had that 550!

Avoid the 2016 700 IMO.
 
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Were there any issues with the first year 550 in 2009 that have since been corrected?
No real major issues to speak of but the first few months of 09s 550 & 700s had vented power steering unites like all 07 & 08 models. Some feel these units are a bit more vulnerable then the later sealed 09-15 power steering units. Water or humidity entering the units and caused corrosion and damage in some cases.
I own an early 09 model and simply pluged the end of my vent. No issues experienced on my side of things .
 
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Were there any issues with the first year 550 in 2009 that have since been corrected?
I bought an 09 550 brand new. In 4,800 miles the only issue I had was a fried speedo unit when the battery died. Apparently it was an issue on 09s only.

I would not hesitate to buy a 550 again.
 
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There really isn't any reason to avoid the 07 to 09, if you get the right deal, and go into it informed. Get the right price, around $4000 to $4500 tops if it's got low miles/hours. Be prepared to spend about $400 for the stator upgrade and a day of your own wrenching, keep the vent line to the power steering lubed or plugged, and you will have yourself a fine, reliable machine. I've done that with mine, runs like a top, handles great, a ball to drive, over 2000 miles now without any issues.
 
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