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Corn+Soybean Digest

Turn On A Dime

I'm spoiled. After riding the new Grizzly 700 FI 4×4, you'd be, too. The fuel-injected ATV unveils an industry first with its impressive new electric power steering (EPS) feature.

The 682 cc machine's power steering provides a comfortable driving experience and dramatically reduces driver fatigue. As you turn the handlebars, the electric motor kicks in and assists in the turn. The harder you turn, the more the EPS assists.

I was able to put it to the test on a day-long ride in the mountains of Montana. We were up and down rough and rocky terrain and it performed like a pro. As the Yamaha reps explained it, their objectives in building this new ATV were fourfold:

  • Most durable (toughest)
  • Most terrainable
  • Most comfortable
  • Easiest to use

As Yamaha ATV product planning manager Travis Hollins put it, “It's simple and easy to ride. We tried to make it as intuitive as possible. We even added bigger, brighter headlights because that's what farmers asked for.”

The best part of this new machine was the EPS. Not only does it provide light steering effort, but it also absorbs the kickback that would usually be transferred to the rider if you were to unexpectedly hit a log or rock.

But the machine offers many other new features:

  • An engine with a new forged piston for reduced weight and added durability. Plus, a new aluminum cylinder body with a composite coating that offers reduced weight, increased cooling ability and additional wear resistance.

  • At only 602 lbs., the Grizzly 700 has the reliable Ultramatic automatic transmission system and the On-Command push-button four-wheel drive system.

  • It has the new Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) system to feed the liquid-cooled, four-valve SOHC engine. It's the same fuel injection system known for easier cold starting and no choke that debuted in the Raptor 700R last year.

  • It offers the convenience of high- and low-range gear options for times when low-end torque and maximum pulling power are needed. The shift lever is conveniently located on the left side.

  • The air box has been relocated from under the seat to the top of the engine. That means a higher intake for deep-water crossings.

    “My favorite part of this new machine is its balance,” says Patrick Biolsi, Yamaha ATV testing supervisor. “You can really splash through water and not get wet. There are lots of fenders and splash guards.”

  • A 5.3-gal. fuel tank is now under the seat which helps lower the center of gravity. The seat, comfortable even for someone over 6 ft. tall like me, comes with 32 mm of extra padding than the Grizzly 660.

  • It also has a fully independent wishbone front and independent rear suspension. It features 7.1 in. of travel up front and a class-leading 9.5 in. in the rear. Overall, it offers 11.8 in. of ground clearance and a new, slightly rounded shape.

  • Carry capacity on the front and rear racks is 99 lbs. and 187 lbs., respectively. Towing capacity is 1,212 lbs. Turning radius is 126 in. and the wheel base is 49.2 in.

The new 2007 Grizzly 700 4×4, retailing at $7,999, is available in hunter green, steel blue, red and realtree hardwoods high-definition camo. Many accessories are available, like front and rear cargo boxes, cargo baskets, folding steel table, bucket holder, winch, gun grips and others.

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