This summer was very busy, i moved from Finland to Estonia and after work all free time went for that project. I had to find new house from Estonia, sell old in Finland, make a plans for moving and so on. And that limited free time what i had i have used for bicycling.
But when the summer turns to autumn i understund that i didnt had own atv!
That was a weird. I have worked with atvs moore than 10 years and also before that i had all the time atv in my garage.
I was man without ATV!
Here in IRON BALTIC we have our trustable atv, 2008 Suzuki KQ 750.
Actually when that was new, i used that one season in atv orienteering races in Finland and after that KQ have had big role in IRON BALTIC.
There is almost 2000 hours on Suzuki now and it works and rides like new!
Off course i can borrow KQ if necessary and we have all the time in our place few atvs. Those are always latest models and most of them are protos or pre production models from importers or dealers. Normally i can borrow those as well but borrowed atv its not own. I mean that we have to respect those atvs and off course challenging use is prohibited.
At the moment we have totally 40 peoples who are working here and some of them have own atv. So it means that they have own experiences of atvs and off course our accessories. I have told many times rest off the peoples that ride with atvs, its good for all of us. Its much easier sell, design, production etc new accessories for atvs when so many than possible have own opinions and experiences of atvs and have used those in a work or hobby.
So that ment that KQ was reserved practically every weekend.
Then it was time to focus for atv markets.
I have moved to countryside and i dont drive so much hardcore, not anymoore. Off course sometimes but my use nowadays is moore light job or perhaps as a hobby use.
Snowpushing, road grading, some timber job and all kind off overall use what we have in countryside. But off course joyriding as well.
Big thing is testing, we are planning all the time something new and we like to collect so many testhours than possible for our accessories and equipments before we starting to sell those.
In home we have over 2 km private gravel road to our house and i have to take care off that together wit my neighbourg who have atv too.
Winters are not so long and cold than in Finland but we live just few hundred meters from sea so it means that when there is coming snow, there is coming very easy 20-40 cm in some hours.
So first i thought that i am going to need S&S.
I had opportunity to use Polaris Rangers in my old job a lot and i think that utility side by side is best choice for my use. But after few hours thinking i thought that its perhaps too big for my use and my trailer is just 1.45 m wide so i have to buy new trailer for that as well.
But then one day i saw something interesting in designers garage.
New MY18 Yamaha Kodiak 450.
I started to think about that. Lasti time i had Yamaha atv almost ten years ago, Grizzly 550 and in same driving group one guy had a Grizzly 450, both where good and trustable atvs.
New Kodiak 450 felt bigger than old, or previous Grizzly 450 and 175cm long driver found comfortable driving position.
Actually i just, 15 minutes ago spoked with Yamahas product manager and he confirmed that Kodiak 450 is wider and longer than old Grizzly 450.
I starting to look that moore and i liked it. Nice traditional atv, low noice level, good fuel consumption and quality was pure Yamaha.
I also found some articles from internet and all journalists wrote that its great middle class atv.
So i had to make phone call to local Yamaha dealer. After few phone calls i bought new Kodiak and actually that came from Finland, thanks for Yamaha Motor Europe organisation in Finland.
Same time my wife started to search piece of land for us. Actually she found 1.7 hectar area where is aproxx. 50% typical west-estonian forrest and rest is natural field, there is our new hobbyplace. So now we have half a hectar at home and that new place, it means that we have moore to do with atv.
My wife is doing a lot off all kind of hand works and she like to collect items from forrest and beach so she found use for Kodiak very easy.
Warn 2000 lbs winch is original in Kodiak 450, so i dont have to worry about that.
IRON BALTIC skidplate, plastic version p/n 21.2500 was my choice. We have also alumium version but i like plastic.
Strong and rigid steel rear box, p/n 56.6000 including chainsaw holder to rear track and soft box 56.4000 to front track.
From Yamaha original accessorie selection i found hand heater set with thumb heater, great seat heater and Kolpins so called gun holders. Actually those are moore like universal holders and those are very usefull for longer items .
Its very easy to take shovel or other gardening equipments with you or use those with fishing gauge etc. I ordered two pairs of those.
Light we need here in Estonia, autumns are dark and rainy so i am going to install extralight for Kodiak. Actually i ordered some unknow 32 cm LED-bar from far east for my wifes car but that is going now for atv.
And there is coming 48 cm high windshield for Kodiak, we have much enought rainy days in autumn.
Then tyres. I believe that Yamaha original tyres are ok but we have lot sharp rocks and woods in our area so i started to search 6 ply tyres.
My personal opinion is that Maxxis Bighorns are best overall tyres for atv but those are some how very hard to find nowadays in north part of Europe. Product manager of Finnish Duell told that they dont import Big Horns anymoore. He offered CST Stags and those are like Big Horns and actually Maxxis own CST factory so after that it was easy to choose Stags.
New tyres are on ITP aluminium rims and size is original 25″.
I didnt saw any reason why to use bigger ones. Very often after bigger tyres powerline do not work like it shoud or how they have adjusted that in a factory.
That is common problem in smaller or middle class atvs.
Yamahas Ultramatic is perhaps best variator in atv world so the belt does not slide but anyway, my choice was original size.
New tyres with ITP rims are wider than originals, unfortunately it means that i need overfenders. Yamaha have those as original accessorie so i just ordered one over fender set.
Our desingners create full sett of model specific accessories for Kodiak, it means that we have now skidplateset (both materials), front mounted snowplowset, middlemounted snowplowset, rear winch adapter and longer adapter for towing ball.
My choose is front mounted snowplow and that mounting kit is there now.
I like that and its is hidden in a front that it does not disturb other use at all and sometimes its good that you can lift plow higher.
We have new G2 V-plowmodel. That is lighter than old version and it fits very well for middle class atvs. So for that i need middle mounting kit as well.
That new G2 V-plow is great for bigger work if there is coming moore snow and whole over 2 km road is full off snow.
For frontmounted snowplow i am planning to buy IRON BALTIC bucket kit, p/n 20.6600. Its very easy to install for 1280mm straight plow and after 15 minutes work i have bucket for atv.
That is very usefull in a gardening job or other similar work.
In a beginning i am going to install hook extender as well, it much easier to use specially heavier trailers when hitchball is located 200mm out from atv.
So everything is now ready, i believe that next week i have time to build Yamaha ready and then its time to ride!
During the Christmas holiday i am going to replace original steel rope for synthtetic rope and install IRON BALTICS aluminium rope fairleader.
Same time i install rear winch as well, protype adapter is allready on my table. Rear winch is very usefull accessorie for many jobs.
Jarkko Kettula / Iron Baltic OU