Thursday, 13 October 2016 09:55

Grizzly has bite and good manners

Written by  Mark Daniel
Yamaha’s Grizzly set to tackle tricky terrain. Yamaha’s Grizzly set to tackle tricky terrain.

While the debate goes on about safety and whether to stick with a quad or switch to a side-by-side, the former still has a place with riders who need to tackle tricky terrain in the backblocks of New Zealand.

The Yamaha Grizzly series has a history dating back to 2008, when it was released in the USA, where it is built. The machine is aimed at farmers, lifestyle block owners and recreational hunters who are looking for high levels of comfort and high end technology such as electronic power steering, the Ultramatic CVT auto transmission and On-Command 4WD and diff lock systems.

The heart of the machine is a single-cylinder 708cc engine with four valves and electronic fuel injection, said to push out 9% more torque and 6% more power than previous models.

Dairy News tested the machine on rolling country in the heart of Waikato dairy country and found acceleration smooth and linear, and when pushed hard the machine certainly picked up its heels while having lots of power in reserve.

The Ultramatic CVT transmission offers easy selection of park, reverse, neutral, forward high and forward low via a stubby lever to the left of the rider’s seat, and uses a wide reinforced drive belt kept tensioned at all times, thereby suffering none of the free-wheel effect of other machines on slopes which requires throttle input to keep things under control; no such problem here.

Rider comfort and safety is taken care of by a wide, comfortable seat and wide, deep foot wells which keep the riders feet planted and unable to be placed on the ground before the vehicle is stopped.

Double wishbone suspension front and rear soak up changing terrain with ease and offer up to 232mm of travel; 26 inch tyre equipment combines with this setup to offer ground clearance of 288mm.

Kerbing that power and bringing things to a safe stop is taken care of by dual hydraulic disc brakes at front and rear, which proved capable of towing fully loaded PKE trailers during our test ride.

With work in mind, the front rack has a 50kg rating, the rear 90kg, and the towbar is rated to a healthy 590kg. Completing the work-related package is a LED headlight, auxiliary work light and 12V powering day-to-day accessories.

The company’s confidence in the machine is bolstered by the use of stainless steel for the exhaust system, and there’s a nod to its marine division in the marine grade wiring system.

A 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty gives owners peace of mind.

The only decision to make is Camo or the more conservative Yamaha Blue. 

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