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2009 Yamaha ATV Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

Twelve years have come and gone since the birth of the original Grizzly. This machine was the first in the entire ATV industry to be powered by a 600-cc engine. From that point on, manufacturers started a displacement war to see who could come up with the most powerful and most feature-laden model.

Year after year, companies introduce new thoroughbreds to keep the competition on their heels. Unlike in recent years, though, medium-displacement ATVs are making a big comeback for 2009. More than half of all ATV brands will launch a new model in this segment; some of them even cranked it up a notch by pioneering a different genre. That's the case at Yamaha with the all-new 2009 Grizzly 550 FI.

2009 Yamaha Grizzly 550 FI

Grizzly 550 FI
This model shares many features with its famous big brother, including the Ultramatic transmission, On-Command 4WD system, 4-wheel disc brakes, high-mounted intake and exhaust ducts, and digital instrumentation. Powering the ATV is a 558-cc, 4-valve, single-cylinder engine featuring Mikuni electronic fuel injection with 40-mm throttle bodies and Throttle Positioning Sensor (TPS). While the wheelbase is unchanged, the frame is shorter to allow the machine to climb up and down steeper angled obstacles. With the rear shock absorbers now moved to the absolute rear part of the frame, Yamaha were able to fit stronger constant-velocity (CV) joints. Like its larger sibling, the Grizzly 550 FI DAE offers electric power steering to reduce driver fatigue and dampen steering kickback when hitting obstacles.

Kodiak 450

The new Kodiak 450 proves much more akin to larger Yamaha ATVs thanks to a redesigned front section. It also gets an improved seat design and padding for superior comfort, while the convenient 12-volt outlet is now located on the right-hand side of the instrument panel. Both the Kodiak 450 and 350 rely on the famous rear "wet" brake; this system uses friction plates immersed in an oil bath and is sealed to keep out water and debris. Tougher and more effective than a traditional disc brake, it requires little to no maintenance.

Yamaha Kodiak 450
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