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TEST DRIVE: 2017 Yamaha Kodiak 700 ATV and Viking/Viking VI SxS

One month after announcing its new 2017 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and side by side (SxSs) vehicle lineup, Yamaha invited media to get some seat time on these new model on a ranch outside of Atlanta, GA, close to its manufacturing plant in Newnan, Georgia.

The Kodiak, which has been out for a year now, is Yamaha’s mid-size ATV designed for the farm market. The Viking and Viking VI are the company’s three- and six-passenger passenger utility vehicles, also built to hold up to the rigors of farming.

For 2017, there are no major changes for these models, just upgrades to the existing line to make them quieter and more comfortable plus a new ranch package that provides some extras.

Both of these lines share the same core features that Yamaha says sets these models apart from the competition. Key among them:

  • All--wheel engine braking  
  • Centrifugal clutch for reduced belt wear, and
  • Automatic CVT transmission with dual-range (Hi/Lo) gears and user-selectable drive settings

Editors drove these vehicles on a seven-mile loop across some bumpy cattle trails, up and down steep hills, and through forests to get a sense for their performance and comfort features. Yamaha is known for its durability and off-road performance, and this fact was born out on the trails as we put the vehicles through the paces without any serious dents or bruises.

Check out the Kodiak video below:


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