PowerSports Business

August 14, 2017

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Yamaha Kodiak 700, is the top-selling big bore utility ATV in the market, Stiver said. Similarly, the Yamaha Grizzly 4x4 is the top-selling big bore recreational ATV. With the 4x4 market claiming about 71 percent of ATV retail sales, the Kodiak 450 is an ideal machine. Youth sales comprise about 13 percent of overall sales, followed by 2WD machines (9 percent) and sport quads (7 per- cent). Taken a step further, the Kodiak 450 will play in the 400-499cc 4x4 space, or 21 percent of the market. Stiver added that the Kodiak 450 figures to find its niche between the Kodiak 700 and Grizzly, with about 50 percent work and 50 percent recreational usage. We didn't do any work while trekking through the varied terrain and tight trails in Washington, but we recreated plenty, and gained confidence with the passing of each 50-inch-wide switchback (although some flirted with a width in the upper 40-inches). Confidence oozes from the machine, thanks in part to the reliable Ultramatic CVT. The all-wheel engine braking was a gem, espe- cially for this novice riding down the trails. Upon releasing the throttle, there was no disengaged feeling. Yamaha targets the end user as 55 years old, with $80,000 annually in household income and about 17 years of ATV riding experi- ence. First-time buyers will likely be about 24 percent of the market for the Kodiak 450. In addition to wanting the machine to provide confidence, they want it to be capable. It's compact, narrow body size allows riders to maneuver easily through tight spaces, and the challenging terrain carved out of Capitol State Forest. The tires are 3.15 inches wider than their Kodiak predecessor, and there were times when all three of those extra inches were criti- cal to the continued enjoyment of the ride. The 25-inch tires also have been upgraded to 4-ply. A full-length skid plate was nice to have during the final rock crawling section of the climb to the trail's peak. As Pat Biolsi, testing manager of Yamaha's ATV/side-by-side division, noted "any rider can get on the Kodiak 450 and feel confident. The EPS on this machine is torque and speed sensitive, and offers a reduction in negative feedback." The rocks, roots and off-camber trails certainly allowed that idea to put to test. Comfort is the third most important trait for future Kodiak buyers, and the EPS system allows for an easy feel while on the trails. Five- position pre-load adjustable shocks assist with the comfort factor, and noise, fuel consump- tion and vibration all have been reduced as a way to enhance comfort. A roomy riding area includes a narrow, compact seat, and a large footwell, which combine to offer an improved riding position and overall enhanced comfort. The throttle lever had not been changed in 15 years, but it's been thoroughly overhauled. It's closer to the hand grip and has a wider, longer shape to allow for reduced effort. Rub- ber engine mounts also improve comfort and lessen fatigue. Add it all up, and off-road enthusiasts, out- doorsmen and women, farmers and ranchers alike have something to look forward to with this 421cc machine. "Since the introduction of the Kodiak 700 to our family of 4x4 utility ATVs just two years ago, we have received an extraordinarily posi- tive reception for a value-packed vehicle that is both hard working and fun to ride," said Mike Martinez, Yamaha's vice president of 4 • August 14, 2017 • Powersports Business NEWS www.PowersportsBusiness.com www.powersportsbusiness.com Editorial and Sales: 763.383.4400 Subscriber Service: 847.513.6025 EDITOR IN CHIEF: Dave McMahon 763/383-4411 (dmcmahon@powersportsbusiness.com) SENIOR EDITOR: Liz Keener 763/383-4413 (lkeener@powersportsbusiness.com) ASSISTANT EDITOR: Kate Swanson 763/383-4412 (kswanson@powersportsbusiness.com) MANAGING ART DIRECTOR: Dodi Vessels ASSOCIATE ART DIRECTOR: Nicole Siewert PRODUCTION ARTIST: Kelsey Houle PRODUCTION MANAGER: Angela Scott PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Cherri Perschmann NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR Allison Gruhn 763/383-4467 (agruhn@powersportsbusiness.com) NATIONAL ACCOUNT MANAGER Mark Rosacker 763/383-4433 (mrosacker@powersportsbusiness.com) NATIONAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE Michael Kula 763/383-4440 (mkula@powersportsbusiness.com) CEO: Marion Minor SR. VICE PRESIDENT/FINANCE & OPERATIONS: Gerald Winkel SR. VICE PRESIDENT/MARKET DEVELOPMENT: Joanne Juda-Prainito VICE PRESIDENT, POWERSPORTS: David J. Voll SALES OPERATIONS MANAGER: Bernadette Wohlman CONTRIBUTORS: COLUMNISTS: Mark Mooney, Ty Bello DEALER ADVISORY BOARD: Hooksett Kawasaki-Polaris, Jim Whalley; Hacker's Yamaha & Honda, Rick Hacker; Honda/Polaris of Lubbock, Morris Baker; All Action Water Sports, Ray Leps POWERSPORTS BUSINESS (ISSN #1522-7944) is published monthly except twice in May and November plus the Market Data Book in May, 15 times per year by EPG Media/Specialty Information Media, 10405 6th Avenue North, Suite 210, Minneapolis, MN 55441. Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, MN and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Powersports Business, P.O. Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: Free to qualified members of the motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, snowmobile and personal watercraft industries. Annual subscription rate is $56 per year for U.S residents, $76 for Canadian residents and $96 for residents in other countries. All paid subscriptions must be paid in advance and in U.S. funds only. CUSTOMER SERVICE: Visit www.PowersportsBusiness.com, email powersportsbusiness@omeda.com, call (847) 513-6025, or write to Powersports Business, PO Box 2123, Skokie, IL 60076-7823. CANADIAN RETURN ADDRESS: EPG Media & Specialty Information, 4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor, Ontario N9A 6J3. Publication Sales Agreement #40012332. EDITORIAL: All manuscripts, materials, photographs and artwork submitted are at mailer's risk and must include self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage for return. Send editorial materials to EPG Media/Specialty Information Media, 10405 6th Avenue North, Suite 210, Minneapolis, MN 55441, 763/383-4400. No responsibility will be assumed for unsolicited materials. Powersports Business is a registered trademark of EPG Media & Specialty Information. Copyright 2017 by EPG Media & Specialty Information. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited unless expressly authorized by publisher. REPRINTS: For more information on e-prints or reprints from Powersports Business, contact Wright's Media, epg@wrightsmedia.com - Wyndell Hamiton, 281-419-5725 x 152. Printed in U.S.A. KODIAK 450 CONTINUED FROM THE COVER From Yamaha's ATV/side-by-side division, (from left) Ryan Stiver (product planning manager), Pat Biolsi (testing manager) and Matt Barr (testing technician) hosted a week's worth of riding for off-road, agricultural, farming and powersports media in Washington state. PHOTOS BY FRANK HOPPEN/HOPPENWORLD.COM See Kodiak 450, Page 5 The all-new 2018 Yamaha Kodiak 450 found the 50-inch-wide trails in Washington state's Capitol State Forest to be equal parts challenging and fun. To reach Capitol Peak, the Yamaha Kodiak 450 overcame a variety of obstacles, including a brief rock crawl.

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