450cc ATV throwdown
The recent release of the Yamaha Kodiak 450 caught a lot of people’s attention and caused someone to recently ask if it signaled a return to economically priced machines with smaller engines. To that, we’d simply say no. There have been moderately-priced machines in the 450-500 engine category for years. This isn’t even Yamaha’s first player in the game. However, it does show a commitment from another major manufacturer into the segment – always a good thing. So how does the new Yamaha compare to others in the category? Look for a full ride impression on the Yamaha soon, and for now, let’s take a look at how it compares to another big player in the game – Can-Am’s Outlander 450 DPS.
|2018 Yamaha Kodiak 450 EPS||2018 Can-Am Outlander 450 DPS|
|Engine||421cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 2 valves||Rotax 427 cc single cylinder, liquid cooled|
|Driveline/Differential||On-Command selectable 2WD or 4WD||Selectable 2WD / 4WD with Visco-Lok QE auto-locking front differential|
|Transmission||Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking; H, L, N, R, P||CVT, P / R / N / H / L, standard engine braking|
|Wheelbase||48.8 in||51.0 in|
|Overall Dimensions (LxWxH)||80.1 x 46.5 x 45.7 in||83 x 46 x 49 in|
|Weight||650 lbs||678 lbs|
|Front Tires||AT25 x 8-12||Carlisle Trail Wolf 25 x 8 x 12 in|
|Rear Tires||AT25 x 10-12||Carlisle Trail Wolf 25 x 10 x 12 in|
|Ground Clearance||9.6 in||10.5 in|
|Fuel Capacity||3.7 gal||5.4 gal|
|Front Suspension||Independent double wishbone; 6.7 in. travel||Dual A-arm, 9 in.|
|Rear Suspension||Independent double wishbone; 7.4 in. travel||Torsional trailing arm 8.8 in.|
|Front / Rear Brakes||Dual hydraulic disc/Multi-disk wet brake||214mm ventilated disc front/rear|
|Rack Capacity||88 lbs front / 176 lbs rear||120 lbs front / 240 lbs rear|
|Towing Capacity||1,322 lbs||1,300 lbs|
So why go with a 450-class engine when there are bigger options to be hand? That’s a really easy question to answer to be honest. Not everyone needs the amount of horsepower you can get in a 700, 850, or even 1,000-class engine. Here’s where it gets a little harder to determine the big differences. There’s actually a very fine line between horsepower that’s usable vs. what we think is usable. What I’m getting at is – It’s how you plan to use the machine that determines what engine you should have.
Yamaha didn’t just take the Kodiak frame and toss in a smaller engine. It designed an all-new 450 platform for the new machine. The engine is a potent liquid-cooled, 421cc thumper that runs through their Ultramatic transmission. The Kodiak offers up 27 horsepower and you can expect plenty of torque so the machine is capable of doing whatever you need it too.
Can-Am found a niche with a lower-cost Outlander platform and the 38-horsepower, 427cc Rotax powerplant in this machine will handle most tasks with ease. That’s the thing you’ll find with most machines in this category. They are just as capable as machines with bigger engines, just not as fast.
Can-Am first brought out the Outlander 450 as the Outlander L 450 a few years back. These machines were built on a new single-spar frame that was unique to the line (they also had a 500). The L’s only lasted a couple of years before Can-Am realized they should just be part of the standard Outlander lineup. The 500 got bumped up to a 570 V-Twin and the 450 got the benefit of the boosts in other areas like suspension and frame design.
Yamaha built the new Kodiak 450 specifically as a 450, with a compact and agile chassis. Unlike Yamaha’s previous machines, where the Kodiak 700 and the Grizzly share a basic engine and frame platform, Yamaha went in an all new direction for the Kodiak 450. The frame, plastic, layout and controls are all designed to fit a wide range of riders and comfort levels, making it a great all-around choice for many riders.
If you have more questions, look back here soon for the ATV.com review of the Yamaha Kodiak 450. Visit your local Yamaha dealer or go to https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/atv for more info.
Looking for more info on the Can-Am Outlander 450 DPS? Go to https://can-am.brp.com/off-road/atv/outlander/outlander-450-570-dps.html or to your local Can-Am dealer.