We commonly test brand new units here on TFLOffroad, but we all know the true test of a machine’s mettle is over the long haul.
That’s why we grabbed a 2016 Yamaha Kodiak 700, which happens to belong to my parents, to see how it has held up over 4 years of use.
Yamaha introduced the Kodiak to offer buyers a cost sensitive option, packing the powertrain and frame from the larger Grizzly, but without many of the upgraded features. Things like four-wheel disc brakes, rather than the rear wet drum brake on the Kodiak, are standard on the Grizzly. Less storage comes on the Kodiak as well, and for a truly budget option, Yamaha offers the Kodiak without power steering, something you have to get on the Grizzly.
Our specific model is the Kodiak EPS LE, which means it is fully loaded with features included a locking differential and a unique graphics package.
Maintenance on the machine has been as simple oil changes, and even the battery has been in the machine since it was purchased, including spending winters there hooked up. Still, the Kodiak starts every time.
There has been one issue however: the machine is currently stuck in four-wheel drive. It seems the button has just stopped working and the Kodiak will no longer shift from two to four wheel.
This certainly didn’t stop us from running the machine through the mud and seeing how it handles, so make sure you watch the video above to see all our impressions.