My Test Drive of the Yamaha Kodiak 450

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

As a member of the outdoor media, I occasionally get to go on some cool adventures. Last week, I got to check out the new Yamaha 2018 Kodiak 450 mid-class 4x4 ATV. And by check out, I mean drive it down rough and rugged trails through Capital State Forest near Olympia, Washington. Talk about getting some first-hand experience! And from that experience, I can tell you that the new Kodiak is just what the hunter needs. It's compact, easy to maneuver and a pleasure to drive. Check out the following images taken by renowned photographer Frank Hoppen during our ride. 

Compact and Easy to Handle

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1 | Compact and Easy to Handle

Look at me go! I loved the Kodiak 450's small body size that made it easy to maneuver, and the wider tread width gave me the confidence I needed when navigating down rocky, uneven trails. 

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All-Purpose and Practical

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2 | All-Purpose and Practical

The new Kodiak 450 is for both work and recreation, boasting a practical, easy-to-use design built for all-day comfort. This is the perfect ATV for the person looking for an all-purpose option.

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 On-Command® 2WD/4WD System

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3 | On-Command® 2WD/4WD System

The On-Command 2WD/4WD system with all-wheel engine breaking gave us the confidence we needed to take on tough terrain. Honestly, I kept my riding pretty low key, but some of the guys in our group really put the Kodiaks to the test. And, we all kept it in 4WD most of the time.

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Get Out and Explore

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4 | Get Out and Explore

The Kodiak 450 is ideal for both casual trail riding and taking on more adventurous terrain. We got a taste of both during our beautiful ride at Capital State Forest.

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Helping Hand

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5 | Helping Hand

Apparently I was riding around with a crooked helmet and goggles. A Yamaha rep helped straighten me out. No sense in looking like a dufus in the photos. 

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421cc Yamaha Fuel-Injected Engine.

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6 | 421cc Yamaha Fuel-Injected Engine.

The Kodiak 450 is powered by a 421cc Yamaha fuel-injected engine for proven off-road performance. Its all-new chassis features a compact-footprint that mid-size ATV customers will appreciate, along with an extremely roomy riding position to comfortably accommodate even bigger guys.

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Capital State Forest

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7 | Capital State Forest

Capital State Forest offers diverse recreational opportunities, including miles of beautiful, well-maintained ATV trails. We encountered quite a few dirt bike and ATV riders during our time on the trail.

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Tight Squeeze on the Kodiak 450.

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8 | Tight Squeeze on the Kodiak 450.

We had to squeeze through quite a few tight spaces during our test ride, but thanks to the Kodiak 450's compact design, that was no problem. Hunters will appreciate the smaller frame as well, because as you know, you don't always have a well-blazed trail to navigate down when it comes time to haul out your deer.

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What a View!

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9 | What a View!

One of the great things about ATVs is they can get you places that would take a lot more time and effort on foot. This is just one of the beautiful views we got to enjoy while trail riding on the new Kodiak 450 in Capital State Forest. The ATVs tackled the difficult, steep terrain without an issue. 

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The ATV for Everyone.

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10 | The ATV for Everyone.

All levels of riders tested out the Kodiak 450 during the media event. Everyone agreed that its compact size and design made it easy to drive and handle, while it's comfort-focused styling enhanced the experience even more. 

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Dirt on the Tires

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11 | Dirt on the Tires

The new 25-inch tires improve handling and durability, which came in handy when driving on some of the more iffy terrain last week.

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Good Times

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12 | Good Times

I had 4-wheelers growing up, but have ridden very little in my adult life. It was a lot of fun to get back out there on the trails with my buddy Laci Warden. Not a bad way to spend a day!

Photo provided by Stephanie Mallory

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