First Look - 2007 Yamaha Grizzly 700
Off-Road.com rides the 2007 Grizzly 700
In 1998 Yamaha introduced the Grizzly 600 to the market. At the time, it was the largest engine ever placed in a Utility ATV. It's engine compression braking and push-button 4wd selection was also unique to the industry. Since then, competitors followed suit adding similar features to their machines. Larger engines have become commonplace with several manufactures now sporting 800cc machines. The Grizzly has received minor updates along the way and was bumped up to a 660cc machine. But with all the competition in this market segment, it has been quite some time since the Grizzly has won a shootout. Interestingly enough though, the Grizzly IS the #1 selling Utility quad in the 650cc - 700cc category. So what has Yamaha done for 2007?
Raising the Bar
|Cut out view of the new Yamaha electric Power Steering|
Yamaha has once again moved the bar up with the 2007 Yamaha Grizzly 700. Not found on any other ATV and new to the Yamaha Grizzly 700 is Electric Power Steering. No ATV on the market has anything like this.
In the 1920's power steering was invented by Francis W. Davis and George Jessup. It first became commercially available on the 1951 Chrysler Imperial and now you wouldn't think of having an automobile without power steering. The first system, called Hydraguide, was hydraulic but now electric systems or combo systems are common place. With Yamaha blazing the trail, how long before power steering will come on every ATV?
While Yamaha Electric Power Steering is an industry first, there are many other Grizzly firsts for 2007. Yamaha fuel injection, a new 686cc engine based on the Raptor 700R engine, lower center of gravity, new suspension design with gull-wing style a-arms, four wheel hydraulic disc brakes, more aggressive Dunlop tires, new storage boxes and it just keeps on going. This truly is an all new Grizzly for 2007.
|Heading out for our first ride at Paws Up Resort.|
To get our first impressions of the new 2007 Grizzly 700, we traveled to the Paws Up Resort a short distance from Missoula, Montana. We rode a variety of tree-lined trails, climbed a few hills, played on the rocks, and blasted down some dirt roads. We were able to put about 80 miles on the odometer of the new 2007 Grizzly in two days and get a pretty good feel for the machine.
The new Electric Power Steering works extremely well. Not only does it make the steering light in all conditions but it also helps soak up the hits like a steering dampener does. No worries about sore shoulders at the end of the day. In 4wd where your steering effort generally increases, the Grizzly 4wd was a breeze to steer. You can relax and enjoy the ride. If we focused on the steering we could really feel the benefits but at the same time we could just ride as normal with no negative effects from the system. If the EPS system does fail the steering system is still mechanically connected so you don't have to worry about being stranded.
Serious Stopping Power
|4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc Brake easily stop the Grizzly|
After riding the Grizzly 700 for a day I was reviewing the ride and what I liked and disliked. What stood out more than anything was the brakes. It seems I have gotten used to really having to slam on the brakes on most other Utility quads in order to get them slowed down and stopped. Well, that is not the case with the new 2007 Grizzly. With both front and rear brakes accessible separately on the handlebars it was very easy to stop the Grizzly with simple two-finger braking. Whether you wanted to lock 'em up or just use a little braking through the corner, the brakes worked phenomenally well for a 600 lb utility quad.
Even with only 80 miles of riding, I can say the Grizzly 700 easily has Best in Class brakes.
New Power plant
|New 686cc engine based on the Raptor 700R engine|
With a new 700 based on the Raptor engine, I expected the Grizzly to feel much different than it does. The Grizzly version of the 700 is very mild mannered. You do not feel the kind of power like it is going to yank the bars out of your hands. The engine is strong and has plenty of power to motor it along but is very mild mannered compared to some of the bigger utility quads. It is the kind of power that is friendly to any rider in any condition. This means you can put your wife or your 16 year old on it and not have to worry, yet it still has plenty of power to move the more experienced rider along. We were able to hit between 62 and 65 MPH on the long straight always.
A Complete Package
|Enjoying the Montana scenery at over 7000 feet elevation. (Note: No jetting required.)|
Similar to the #1 selling Grizzly that is now in the Yamaha line-up, what the 2007 Grizzly does best is bring a complete package to the rider. There are a lot of things about the Grizzly that seem somewhat average, but when you add up all the pieces then the 2007 Grizzly 700 is an exceptional new quad. Try the new Electric Power Steering, the Yamaha Fuel Injection, the 4-wheel hydraulic brakes, the low center of gravity, the new a-arm design, the large under seat fuel tank, the water tight storage compartment, the family friendly power, the modular storage racks, the built-in diagnostics, the high transmission and air intakes. This gives you a complete package that most any rider would be happy with.
Watch upcoming issues for a more detailed review and test when we get our hands on a long term unit for more testing and ride time.