Even after hours of pushing...
Even after hours of pushing hard and keeping a fast pace through rough terrains, our arms and shoulders never felt worn out thanks to the highly effective electronic power steering system.
Spending extended time aboard the Grizzly 700 FI EPS actually made for quite a pleasant time riding. In fact, due to the added innovative power steering system, the Grizzly has become one of our most desired test units in our fleet. No, it's not the most aggressive machine on the market, and it's certainly not the fastest ute out there. But it's easily one of the most enjoyable and comfortable rides on the market today. We love the fact that anyone can ride this machine with a great deal of ease. The power delivery is extremely smooth but possesses a great deal of torque for conquering any task asked of it. With a good blip of the throttle, the front end would pop up making logs and other large and frightful obstacles easy to pop over. No matter what obstacle stood in our way, such as steep nasty hillclimbs, huge gnarly rocks or deep bottomless ruts, the Grizz was able to tackle them with a minimal amount of effort on the part of the rider, even with heavy equipment strapped onto the racks. Don't take this the wrong way as rider technique and experience always play a huge part in any technical situations, but we felt that almost any level rider could jump on and enjoy this machine.
As for the overall handling of the Grizzly, we were impressed with its predictability and overall stability. At faster paces, we experienced a slight bit of body roll on corners and extreme off-cambers. But body roll on independent rear ATVs is quite a common occurrence. Under hard braking, the Grizzly's four hydraulic brakes could bring this beast to a halt with absolute authority. But at times, the rear end would tend to drift and even kick and buck a little over braking bumps.
And before jumping into the results of the power steering, we thought some of the extra benefits that both the Grizzly 700 power steering and non-power steering units have to offer are certainly worth mentioning. First off, we absolutely loved the easy-to-use on-the-fly four-wheel-drive selector button; it made jumping into four-wheel-drive on command a very simple task as you're trying to focus on riding and not frantically fighting to find the controls. We were also extremely impressed with Yamaha's redesigned gate shifter that has been added to the Grizzly. In the past, we always found the old-style shifter difficult to put in gear. But the new shifter performed without fault and practically fell right into the gear we wanted.
We rarely experienced harsh...
We rarely experienced harsh bump steer with the Grizzly, even when pounding through gnarly rock gardens.
Power Steering Results
When it came to the power steering portion of the Grizzly 700, this is where the machine was most impressive. When we hopped on the Grizz, the power steering was very noticeable right from the get-go. We purposely slammed the front tires into gnarly rocks, rammed them into fallen trees and stuck them down in deep, nasty ruts. The ever-so-common bump steer, where the bar tries and jerks from your hands, was extremely minimal. Of course, there's no way to completely remove bump steer from an ATV, but the EPS on the Grizz took away about 60 to 75 percent of that nasty feedback that's often felt from most standard steering systems.
Our test results proved that the power steering made for a much more extraordinary ride. It gave us added confidence and allowed us to worry less about what terrain stood before us so that we could focus more on having fun rather than keeping the quad on all four wheels. But at the end of the day, we were most impressed with the leftover endurance that remained as this machine conveyed less punishment throughout a long day of riding. Yes, our bodies took less of a beating throughout the day, which in turn allowed us to spend more time on the machine, less time in pain and maintained the desire to keep on riding for longer periods of time. To put this in terms for people who use their machine for work purposes on the farm or around large properties, we believe it allows for better efficiency without wearing down the rider or worker.