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4x4 TEST: XXL 700CC GRIZZLY

 
(2/3/2005)

You might think the Yamaha Grizzly 600 4x4 is about as big a four wheel drive quad as anyone would need, right? The manic madmen at Quad Central II go by the philosophy that too much is barely enough. They have always been known for building high class, good looking and ground-shredding sand monsters, but they haven’t thought to offer much in the way of customized 4x4s.

 

UNTIL NOW

The maddest of the madmen at QC II, none other than Steve “Bad Habit� Abbott, has now focused his attention on the mud-churning, swamp- dwelling inhabitants of America with an all new customized, hot-rod Yamaha Grizzly 660. Actually, Steve has pumped up the liquid-cooled, five-valve Grizzly engine from its stock 660cc displacement to 696cc with a piston and performance kit that makes this mighty single cylinder four-stroke bark with even more authority.

 

Additionally, he has fine-tuned the motor with porting, larger valves, new titanium valve springs and a Mega Cycle cam for increased muscle throughout its monster powerband. A new HMF exhaust system with a polished aluminum silencer replaces the stock Yamaha steel unit. A Uni air filter and QC II jetting kit complete the engine mods.

 

MONSTER TIRES &  A MONSTER LOOK

No serious four wheeler would be caught without a set of monster tires and wheels for the muck. To this end, the XXL Grizzly comes with a set of ITP’s latest aluminum wheel, the C-series Type 4 12-inch rims. These monster rims use a trick one-piece design that is both strong and light weight, with the wheels weighing in at around 8-9 pounds. They have a bright machined finish and are priced competitively with chrome steel wheels selling for right around $75 per wheel for the Griz.

 

For tires, the XXT comes with a set of 27-inch Super Swamper mud mashers that, along with the ITP aluminum rims, really help set the XXL Griz off. These mud tires have some serious grip and huge cleats to allow them to get traction in situations where lesser mud tires might fear to tread.

 

Bad Habit Abbott wasn’t about to stop with the larger motor and bigger paws for his Big Foot Monster Griz. To complement the performance goodies, he had to customize the “look� of the machine as well. He did this with one of his trick paint job schemes that gives the XXL Grizzly its distinctive look and demeanor.

Instead of slapping on a new set of graphics or decals, he opted to go the more expensive route of a custom paint job. While not cheap at $800, the Porsche red paint and hand engraved flame accents give this machine a shine and look like no other 4x4 we’ve seen.

Complementing the paint and graphics are a host of trick chromed parts from Ricky at RIS, such as a new billet aluminum brake reservoir and thumb throttle caps, along with a new chrome fuel cap and bar clamps.

A set of aluminum Tag 2 ATV pro high-bend handlebars also replaces the stock Griz bars. To set this whole package off, The Habit crowns his four-wheel drive masterpiece with one of those chrome silhouettes you see on trucker’s rigs from time to time. Voila!

 

SHOCKS & BRAKES

To get more suspension travel and an even smoother ride over the long haul, a set of Elka shocks were installed fore and aft. These shocks are completely rebuildable and have pre-load, compression and rebound adjustments on the rear. You also get a good one to two inches more wheel travel than the stockers. The front end is now capable of nine inches of travel (stock is 7.1) with 10.6 inches on the back end (stock is 9.5).

An added feature of the Elka shocks is that they also provide a lower center of gravity for improved overall handling. Ground clearance drops slightly from 11.8 inches to 10 inches, but there is still more than enough to get over logs and rocks.

To increase the braking power, QC II installed an oversized disc rotor on the rear and added a set of White Brothers Kevlar brake pads to the mix. This completed our XXL Grizzly package. We were now ready to take this thing out to one of our secret mud pit locations and give it the real-world test.

 

LET THE MUD FLY

The XXL’s bigger piston and motor mods really do give the machine a substantial amount of low, mid and top-end grunt. The HMF exhaust was a bit on the loud side, although we didn’t have our sound meter on hand for a precise decibel count. We’d recommend that you opt for one of their quieter-core inserts and some sort of spark arrester attachment, as the unit we rode did not have one on it.

 

Power is available from the get-go. The XXL Griz has the extra torque and horsepower to pull the biggest set of monster mud tires you would want to put on it. Our Super Swampers and ITP C-Series wheels were more than capable mud slingers in the mucky-muck. With the extra power on tap and superb traction of the Super Swamper mud tires, we found we could motor through the worst mud pits on our test course with no problem.

The lower ground clearance and added wheel travel with the Elka suspension also made our XXL Grizzly a smoother riding, better handling machine at all speeds on the trail. We did find that the Super Swamper tires are a bit rough riding on the hard pack, but the added bite in the mud was worth the trade-off.

 

OVERALL CONCLUSIONS

The XXL Grizzly 700 4x4 is both a visual piece of eye-candy and a real-world mud wrester. It has more than enough power to spin any combination of more mud capable wheel and tire you choose to outfit your big foot Grizzly with.

About the only question we had was, how willing would you be to lay waste to as fine a paint job as The Habit has with this machine? If it was our money, there’s no way we’d expose that expensive hand paint job to the kind of abuse that a serious mud machine goes through regularly. Now Abbot, on the other hand, he’s just the kind of guy who would ride it through this gob on a regular basis. Go figure.


Topic: Tests

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WARNING: Much of the action de­pict­­ed in this magazine is potentially dan­gerous. Virtually all of the riders seen in our photos are experienced ex­­perts or professionals. Do not at­tempt to duplicate any stunts that are be­­yond your own capabilities. Always wear the appropriate safety gear.
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