Yamaha has been in the ATV business for a little over four decades now. It made its way into the North American market with the three-wheeled Tri-Moto that debuted in 1980. In 1984, it introduced its first four-wheeled model, the Moto-4, and there’s been no looking back since.
The Japanese manufacturer has also taken its ATVs racing, where they’ve proved to be hugely successful; Yamaha ATVs have seen the most success in the GNCC Racing Championship, winning multiple titles with the popular YFZ450R. Its ‘Utility’ models have garnered a fair share of attention amongst the general public as well.
For 2022, Yamaha has an extensive Utility ATV portfolio comprising 10 models and a Sport ATV lineup that includes 2 models for younger riders. Unfortunately, the bigger Sport ATVs, like the YFZ450R and the Raptor 700, haven’t been updated for 2022 yet.
2022 Yamaha Utility ATVs
Yamaha’s Utility line for 2022 includes ATVs ranging from miniature 90cc models to high-performance 700cc options. Here’s a look at what each of them has to offer:
2022 Yamaha Grizzly 90
The Yamaha Grizzly 90 has been designed for riders aged 10 and up. It’s powered by a 90cc air-cooled, SOHC engine, which delivers performance linearly and predictably, best suited for young riders who are just getting started riding off-road. Making it easier for them is an automatic CVT transmission, a reverse gear, and an easy-to-use electric start button.
Thanks to an electronic limiter and a throttle limiter, you can also restrict how much performance your child will have access to.
It features an A-arm front suspension that offers 5 inches of travel and a swingarm-mounted monoshock at the rear, offering 5.7 inches of wheel travel. This is rather impressive for a compact youth-oriented SUV.
The Grizzly 90 draws inspiration from the larger Yamaha Grizzly models. It features front and rear cargo racks, allowing riders to carry their own gear while riding through a trail.
Barring the Youth models, the Kodiak 450 is the entry-level model in Yamaha’s ATV catalog for 2022. It features a 421cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC engine mated to the manufacturer’s Ultramatic automatic transmission. This transmission allows you to instantly switch between 2WD and limited-slip 4WD to maximize traction whenever required.
Hardware components include independent wishbone suspension at either end, offering 6.7 inches of travel at the front and 7.4 inches of travel at the rear. This mid-size ATV offers quite a bit of functionality; its front rack can support 88lbs, while the back can carry 176lbs. It also has a towing capacity of 1,322lbs, so you lug around all the equipment or gear you need.
The Kodiak 450 also offers 9.6 inches of ground clearance and composite skid plates, giving the underbelly a lot of protection even on rough terrain. It also features high-mounted air intakes to ensure water doesn’t enter the engine or airbox and waterproof wiring.
Additionally, the rear brake is sealed to protect it from dirt, rocks, and mud. Overall, this is a rugged machine that’s been designed to function even in demanding terrain.
The Kodiak 450 also has a compact chassis and is relatively easy to maneuver. However, if you’re looking for a model that’s even easier to ride, the next one is the one for you.
Available Colors: Fall Beige w/ Realtree Edge, Tactical Green, Steel Blue
The Kodiak 450 EPS is essentially the base Kodiak 450 with the added functionality of Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and aluminum wheels. The EPS system automatically adjusts steering sensitivity based on terrain conditions, giving the rider the best possible feedback and reducing fatigue.
The addition of the system also brings about a 13lbs gain in weight over the standard model, taking the weight of the Kodiak 450 EPS to 650lbs.
Available Colors: Fall Beige w/ Realtree Edge, Tactical Green
The ‘SE’ suffix typically denotes ‘Special Edition’, and the Kodiak 450 EPS SE is no different. As the name suggests, it comes with Electronic Power Steering and also features a factory-installed winch as standard.
As a result, the SE version of the Kodiak 450 EPS is 0.3 inches longer and 1.3 inches taller than the standard model. It has a curb weight of 680lbs, 30lbs of which come from the winch.
The rest of the ATV is identical to the regular Kodiak 450 EPS.
The Kodiak 700 is the Kodiak 450’s bigger brother, and it packs more performance, added functionality, and better features.
It’s powered by a 686cc, liquid-cooled, SOHC engine; Yamaha has not revealed output figures but has mentioned that this big-bore engine has been designed for low-rpm cruising with a powerful mid-range. It works alongside Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission with High, Low, Neutral, Reverse and Park functions. It also offers a switchable 4WD system and all-wheel engine braking for better control.
Hardware components include independent wishbone suspension at either end, offering 7.1 inches of travel at the front and 9.1 inches at the rear. This results in a ground clearance figure of 10.8 inches.
Braking, meanwhile, is handled by hydraulic double discs at the front and a single disc at the rear. The rear brake is also enclosed to protect it from dirt, rocks, and mud.
The Kodiak 700 is better suited at carrying loads than the other Yamaha ATVs we’ve already looked at. The front rack can support 110lbs, while the rear can take nearly twice as much (198lbs). Interestingly, this bigger, more powerful machine can tow only just as much as the Kodiak 700, with its towing capacity rated at 1,322lbs.
Other notable features on offer include a durable, stainless-steel exhaust, a high-mounted air-intake system, and a high-capacity radiator.
With prices starting at $7,599, the Kodiak 700 costs over $1,000 more than the base Kodiak 400. We think that’s a fair premium to pay for the added performance, carrying capacity, suspension travel, and ground clearance you’ll have access to.
Like with the Kodiak 450 models, the Kodiak 700 and Kodiak 700 EPS are predominately differentiated by Electronic Power Steering (EPS) and aluminum wheels. The Kodiak 700 EPS also gets a 3-way locking differential and preload adjustable suspension hardware at either end.
Owing to the added hardware, the EPS variant also weighs an additional 27lbs with a wet weight of 686lbs.
The Kodiak Grizzly range sits at the top of Yamaha’s ATV line. Even the base model, the Kodiak Grizzly EPS, wears a hefty price tag, but that’s mainly because it comes equipped with premium features, like EPS, as standard.
The Grizzly ATVs are powered by the same 686cc, liquid-cooled engine from the Kodiak 700 EPS SE and feature the same transmission. That means it comes with High, Low, Neutral, Reverse and Park functions; a switchable 4WD system; and the 3-way locking differential.
It also features slightly better hardware when compared to the previous models on this list. While suspension hardware still comprises independent double-wishbone units at either end, it offers more travel—7.6 inches at the front and 9.1 inches at the rear. This has lifted the Grizzly off the ground a little more, taking its ground clearance to 11.3 inches.
Other figures, like rack and towing capacity, are identical to the Kodiak 700 EPS SE.
The Grizzly EPS SE brings all that the standard Grizzly offers, along with larger tires and more ground clearance. The 26 inch Maxxis tires make way for 27-inch units, which have brought about 0.5 inches more of clearance.
For 2022, Yamaha’s Sport ATV portfolio only includes two youth models. Here’s all you need to know about them:
2022 Yamaha YFZ50
The YFZ50 is Yamaha’s most affordable ATV for 2022. This sport model has been developed for kids aged 6 and above and acts as the manufacturer’s entry into ATV riding.
It’s powered by a 49cc, air-cooled, carbureted engine that works with a CVT, making it an easy machine for kids to operate and control. There’s also a two-stage rpm limiter and a throttle limiter to restrict the performance that a rider will be able to access. A tethered switch also allows parents to cut power to the engine, increasing safety.
Considering this is a model for kids, the suspension offers a humble 2.4 inches of travel at the front and 2 inches at the rear. There are drum brakes at either end, and ground clearance is 3.5 inches at the rear axle.
At $2,199, this is an affordable yet capable model for kids who want to get introduced to the world of off-road riding.
The Raptor 90 is the other model in Yamaha’s Sport line for 2022, and it too is a youth offering. It shares its 90cc, air-cooled engine and transmission with the Grizzly 90. Considering its more powerful powertrain, the Raptor 90 has been rated for use by kids aged 10 and above.
Suspension and braking hardware is common, with a single A-arm at the front and a swingarm-mounted monoshock at the rear. Where the two differ is with the tires—the Raptor uses 18-inch tires all around, while the Grizzly features 19-inch units at the front.