2012 Yamaha ATVs First Look

June 8, 2011
By MotorcycleUSA Staff
Every summer top ATV manufacturers give us an early idea of their following year model lineup. Yamaha’s summer announcement includes changes to the Grizzly 700 and Grizzly 550 4x4s. These top selling Utes will have suspension, tire and bodywork upgrades for the new model year. Yamaha’s newly redesigned Grizzly 450 4×4 is available with new graphics for 2012. The Grizzly 350 4×4, Big Bear 400 4×4 and Grizzly 125 will be duplicates of 2011, but “2012” models are already on the showroom floors. Two 2012 sport ATV models, the high-performance YFZ450R and the entry-level Raptor 90, are now available in a 2012 “customizable” trim as well.

2012 GRIZZLY 700 FI 4X4

2012 Yamaha Grizzly 700 FI EPS
The 2012 Grizzly offers plenty of power from its 700 powerplant to get through the roughest terrain without issues.

The Grizzly 700 packs the same powerplant as Yamaha’s Raptor 700, so there is plenty of power on tap. It comes with an ultra-smooth CVT transmission with an on-command option of 2WD, limited slip 4WD and full diff-lock. There are disc brakes on all four corners and a center-mounted, multifunction digital display. At 648 pounds it is the lightest 4×4 in the big-bore class, even with the $600 addition of Electronic Power Steering. The EPS equipped Grizzly 700 is available in Green and Camouflage bodywork, as well as Blue with aluminum wheels. There is also a sweet new Special Edition with Metallic Sandstone paint job, custom graphics and aluminum wheels. The non-EPS model is available in a Green, Blue or Camouflage trim.

2012 GRIZZLY 550 FI 4X4 
At 558cc, the Grizzly 550 has the largest engine in the mid-sized 4×4 class. Just like the larger Grizzly 700, the 550 model is the lightest in its class, even after the $600 addition of EPS. Both the Grizzly 700 and 550 come with dual hydraulic disc brakes up front and single hydraulic

2012 Yamaha Grizzly 550 FI EPS
The Grizzly 550 is the lightest in its class, even with EPS.

disc in the rear. New 2012 upgrades for both the models include textured plastic body panels added to decrease wear over the life of the machines. New Maxxis tires replace last year’s Dunlop treads, and two new gas charged rear shocks were added out back. The EPS-equipped Grizzly 550 is available in Green and Camo bodywork, as well as Blue with aluminum wheels. The non-EPS model is available in Green, Blue or Realtree AP Camouflage bodywork.

2012 GRIZZLY 450 4X4
The Grizzly 450 was redesigned in 2011 with features similar to the larger 550 and 700 4x4s, including an all-new sealed rear brake and the option for Electronic Power Steering. It was not updated with Electronic Fuel Injection, but it was upgraded with a new one-piece chassis and plusher suspension settings. It’s almost 10 pounds lighter than the previous Grizzly 450, even with EPS. Yamaha’s Grizzly 450 also features a three-way locking differential: 2WD, 4WD and locked 4WD. The EPS-equipped Grizzly 450 is available in Green and Camo bodywork, as well as Blue with aluminum wheels. The non-EPS model is available in a Green, Blue or Camo trim.

Yamaha did not release an IRS equipped or two-wheel drive version of their Grizzly 350 for 2012. Instead, it will be offering the Grizzly 350 with a straight axle and on-command 4WD functions. Look to the Big Bear 400 4×4 for a similar sized Ute with an independent rear end. The Grizzly 350 features Yamaha’s “Ultramatic” automatic centrifugal clutch with front and rear engine braking, fully integrated floorboards and aggressive 25 x 8-12 front and 25 x 10-12 rear Maxxis tires. It’s available in Green, Blue with aluminum wheels and Realtree AP camouflage bodywork for 2012.

2012 BIG BEAR 400 4X4
Yamaha’s Big Bear 400 is one of the most reliable ATVs in the market. Its 386cc air-cooled, SOHC, four-stroke Single has enough power to get the job done at home or on the trail. Its five-speed manual transmission with super-low first gear is ideal for mudding or pulling a trailer. It features a full independent suspension with ITP‘s 25×8-12 front and 25×10-12 rear Mud Lite tires underneath. Its completely sealed wet brake and heavy duty, grab handle-equipped front bumper are also great for muddy condition. It will be available in a Green, Blue or Camo trim for 2012.


2012 Yamaha Raptor YFZ450R2012 Yamaha Raptor YFZ450R
Riders ready for some fun on the track or at the dunes need look no further than the 2012 YFZ450R. For 2012 the 450R will offer many customization options to match the quad to the owner’s personal style.

The small Grizzly offers simple operation for any skill level. It features a fully automatic transmission with forward, neutral and reverse options and an electric starter. It has useful racks for light work (11 pounds-front / 19 pounds – rear), as well as full floorboards and front and rear drum brakes. The brakes are operated by dual hand controls and a single rear pedal, just like the full size Grizzly models. There is also a simple to use handlebar mounted parking brake and choke lever. The Grizzly 125 is only available in Yamaha blue bodywork for 2012.

2012 YFZ450R
Yamaha’s YFZ450R is a motocross-ready, high performing sport ATV with a 50-inch-wide stance, long-travel adjustable KYB suspension and a no-weld aluminum with steel hybrid frame. The five-valve DOHC, liquid cooled, single-cylinder 449cc engine is fuel injected and offers more than enough power for the track, open trails, dunes or desert riding. The bodywork comes off easily for service, there’s no need to remove the battery to take the fenders off and the oil tank is integrated with the crankcase, so it’s easier to service the engine. The 450R comes stock with ProTaper handlebars and adjustable clamps. The footpegs are 2.6 inches wide and the t-shaped seat is wrapped in a gripped cover. This will be the first year a YFZ450R will be available in an all-white bodywork making it a blank slate for each individual customer’s own creativity. There is an option of 11 free graphics kit options that can be customized with a person’s name or number. Yamaha blue bodywork is also available in 2012. 

2012 Yamaha Raptor 90
2012 Yamaha Raptor 90 in Yamaha blue.

2012 RAPTOR 90
Features including an 88cc, SOHC 2-vlave engine, fully automatic CVT transmission, dual A-arm front suspension, a rear disc brake, low-profile tries and Raptor 700 styling, Yamaha’s Raptor 90 is one of the hottest selling mini ATVs on the market. Parents will also appreciate the adjustable CDI rev limiter, which allows you to adjust power output as the young rider becomes more experienced. We are also big fans of the electric starter with kick-starter backup for when you or your child leaves the key on. For 2012, the Raptor 90 will match the YFZ450R with all white bodywork and a choice of 11 free unique graphics. Yamaha blue is available for the Raptor 90 as well.

2012 Yamaha Raptor 90 - White Gauntlet2012 Yamaha Raptor 90 - White Nebula2012 Yamaha Raptor 90 - White Talon
2012 brings several graphics options to the Raptor 90 including: White Gauntlet, White Nebula and White Talon.

2012 RHINO 700

2012 Yamaha Rhino 700 FI
The original UTV, Yamaha’s Rhino 700 continues for 2012, offering several color options and a sport edition featuring many bells and whistles that’ll get to work while having fun.

This is the machine that started the UTV craze. Although Yamaha’s Rhino hasn’t been changed in a few years, it still stands tough with the majority of the market. Its 686cc engine is the same one found in the Raptor and Grizzly 700s. It’s smooth and reliable to boot. New top-selling UTVs like the Polaris RZR XP 900 will out-power the Rhino, but the Yamaha is one that can be used for utility as well. It can tow more than 1200 pounds and tote over 400 pounds in the tilting rear bed. The Rhino is also one of the only UTVs that can be hauled in a regular sized pickup. For 2012 the Rhino 700 is available in Green, Blue, Camo and Special Edition Metallic Sandstone. The Sport Edition looks awesome and is ready to go with fully adjustable piggyback shocks, one piece cast aluminum wheels, injection molded sun top, over fenders, and Baja-inspired front carry bar. Also included are LED taillights, brushed aluminum shift knob and cargo bed rails.

Video Courtesy of Yamaha

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