ATV manufacturer, Yamaha, has recently upgraded its range of Kodiak utility quad bikes, including a new transmission which will allow them to work more safely in rough conditions.

The Kodiak 450 EPS and 450 EPS SE models can now come fitted with Yamaha’s new ‘On Command’ drive system, which is similar to that used on the top of the range Kodiak 700 EPS and Grizzly 700 models.

This industry-leading system feature a differential lock function, which helps maintain traction in difficult terrain and allows users to switch between two-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive with diff lock at the press of a button. Operators are alerted to which gearing is in place by its status being shown on the LCD dashboard mounted on the handlebars.

In addition to the On Command system, both these models – which feature electronic power steering – also get a new, factory-fitted WARN VRx25 winch, which has 25% more capacity than the outgoing model.

Able to pull more than 1100kg, this winch has a mechanical brake and 15m of steel rope.

All the Kodiak 450s have a capacity of 120kg on the carrying racks and are rated to tow 600kg. Power comes from a high-torque 421cc four-stroke electronic fuel injection (EFI) engine and it goes through Yamaha’s well-proven Ultramatic CVT automatic transmission, which has a shaft driven final drive.

Featuring long-travel suspension, with gas struts, allied to the 450’s compact body design which has a wheelbase of 1240mm, mean the Yamaha will perform well off road. The underbody ground clearance is a handy 245mm.

Yamaha has also announced new colours and graphics for the Kodiak 700 models. Olive green is now available as an option (and also on the Grizzly 700) and there’s also a new black, special edition model – as is the matt silver colour pictured here.