HOW-TO: Tips and tricks 

By the staff of Dirt Wheels

Yamaha’s Kodiak 700 has proven to be a reliable workhorse for one of the ranches down the street from our shop. If you look closely, you can see he welded a sprayer mount to the front bumper. It shows you that steel racks and bumpers are more practical to guys who work off their ATVs than plastic ones.


Yamaha is designing some of the most reliable and smoothest-riding ATVs lately. There is a 5-year-old Kodiak 700 that works daily on a ranch down the street from our shop that is a perfect example of this. In those years, the machine has primarily been used for spraying, towing and basic transportation. Even if it doesn’t move, the machine does sit idling for most of the work day. 

The constant, slight vibration this Kodiak has at idle has rattled the light bulbs loose. In a matter of days, both bulbs stopped working.

The Kodiak 700 SE comes with a 2500-pound winch. It can easily lift its own weight. This is how we were able to get the bulbs to fall out of their plastic lenses. It was also the perfect time to remove the skid plates and inspect the underside of the five-year-old machine.
The Kodiak headlight assembly and bulb are well-protected from dust and water by two thick rubber seals. Peel it away and it reveals the light socket.
The tiny welds broke from the slight vibration the machine has at idle. If you have a Kodiak 450 or Yamaha Viking, the vibration may reduce the lifespan of those bulbs and other parts, too.



 To investigate, we peeled back the rubber dust cover and twisted out the light socket. What we found is that the tiny tack welds on the small, flat rim that allows the bulb to clip into the electrical source broke. The glass bulb and the filament were actually still intact in one bulb but was burnt out in the other.

Now, removing the bulbs was the challenge for the day, since they fell down into the plastic light housing and the rancher didn’t have any needle-nose pliers handy. 

The solution was to use the Yamaha’s 2500-pound winch to lift the front of the Kodiak in the air. Once the ATV was vertical, the bulbs slid out onto the ground. With the vehicle vertical, it was easy to slip the new bulbs into place and seal up the dust cover. We went to to find the new OEM bulbs for $23.99. You can also order them through your Yamaha dealer. After a few minutes, our neighbor’s Kodiak is back in service, and aside from regular oil changes, we don’t expect to turn anymore wrenches on it.

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