With the original Rhino 660, Yamaha created the ith the original Rhino 660, Yamaha created the sport-utility UTV market and set in motion the sport-utility UTV market and set in motion the evolution of UTVs from recreation utility to high evolution of UTVs from recreation utility to high performance and now extreme performance. For 2016, performance and now extreme performance. For 2016, Yamaha revolutionizes the sport again with the all-new, pureYamaha revolutionizes the sport again with the all-new, puresport YXZ1000R, the first extreme-performance UTV to sport sport YXZ1000R, the first extreme-performance UTV to sport a three-cylinder engine, a five-speed sequential transmission a three-cylinder engine, a five-speed sequential transmission with reverse, and a manual clutch for a unique driverwith reverse, and a manual clutch for a unique driverconnected experience similar to Yamaha’s revolutionary connected experience similar to Yamaha’s revolutionary R1 street bike, Raptor 700R sport ATV and YZ450F worldR1 street bike, Raptor 700R sport ATV and YZ450F worldchampionship-winning dirt bike. Yamaha unleashes the YXZ1000R for its YXZ1000R for its 60th anniversary, and 60th anniversary, and the 114-horsepower triple is the the 114-horsepower triple is the most powerful naturally aspirated UTV for 2016. But the most powerful naturally aspirated UTV for 2016. But the powerplant is only part of the story, as Yamaha raises the bar powerplant is only part of the story, as Yamaha raises the bar in suspension, handling, comfort, durability and ergonomics in suspension, handling, comfort, durability and ergonomics to rewrite UTV history, like the Rhino 660 did in 2003. Not to rewrite UTV history, like the Rhino 660 did in 2003. Not only does the all-new YXZ1000R have the most power of any only does the all-new YXZ1000R have the most power of any non-turbocharged UTV, it puts all the power to the ground non-turbocharged UTV, it puts all the power to the ground and doesn’t have a CVT belt to burn or break!
INSIDE THE THREECHAMBER HEART
Like we surmised in our October issue, Yamaha started with its threecylinder, 1049cc SR Viper X-TX Apex snowmobile engine and replaced the 82mm pistons with three 80mm, 11.3:1 pistons to achieve 998cc using the standard 66.2mm stroke. New dual overhead cams moved the powerband down for more midrange hit, torque and driveability, and Yamaha added a single-axis counterbalancer and antivibration bolt in the cylinder block to reduce vibration some 25 percent at 8500 rpm. The cylinders also have a ceramic coating, and using a triple means smaller pistons and valves for higher revs, all the way up to its 10,500-rpm redline. The YXZ1000R has shim-and-bucket valve adjustment and three 41mm EFI throttle bodies, plus equal-length exhaust headers and a center-exit exhaust for centralized mass.
To keep the engine as low as possible in the frame, the YXZ1000R’s engine is dry sump, and the oil tank rides above the engine behind the passenger seat. The oil tank has internal baffles so that it can never starve the engine of oil on steep hills or dune bowls. Where its competition has paper-pleat air filters, the YXZ has two complete air boxes and filters; the initial filter is oiled foam like a Raptor that has tool-less access for cleaning, and the secondary filter is wet paper in another airbox that sits above the engine. The system is designed so that it can never pass dirt into the engine, and, when the foam filter gets too dirty, it chokes off the engine so it stumbles and cuts out. The intake snorkel is behind a panel between the seats, so it draws air that’s as clean as possible, and access to the spin-off filter cap is under a bed-wide cover, behind the cab, with five Dzus fasteners.
PUTTING POWER TO THE GROUND
For centralized mass and pure-sport integration, the five-speed transmission sits between the seats next to the 9-gallon fuel cell. It’s a sequential-shift transmission (one forward, four back) with a massive ATV-like clutch basket, 11 friction discs, 10 metal discs and 3 judder springs, plus shock dampers. There are also dual-transmission cam dampers on the primary and secondary shafts, and the clutch is hydraulic, so it never goes out of adjustment. Dustin Nelson and others keep the throttle pinned and stab the clutch for upshifts. There is also an external 5.42-pound flywheel weight to prevent stalling in rock-crawling conditions. Yamaha claims that the system is 15–20 percent more efficient than a CVT and gives 10 percent more fuel efficiency. The clutch is shared with the 1679cc V-Max street bike.
There’s a spike-load limiter on the outdrive, and the front differential has another spike-load limiter with friction and steel plates like a clutch basket. It’s controlled by a 2WD/4WD/difflock knob on the center console, and Yamaha went to great lengths to make the system perform flawlessly and produce totally predictable handling. Instead of a five-link rear-suspension setup, the YXZ has a long lower L-arm that transforms bump impacts from pushing the rear tires up to more of a rearward force. Combined with an upper H-arm and a torsion bar, the IRS system has the least camber change during travel, which is 17 inches, and the best-possible tracking. Steel spherical bearings have rubber covers for durability in extreme conditions. The huge 32-inch Fox Podium 2.5 RC2 shocks have 7/8-inch shafts and an exclusive BOC (Bottom-Out Cup) design; a secondary shock piston rides above the primary piston and damping shim stacks, and the secondary piston is forced inside a cup at the top of the shock near the end of travel. This prevents bottoming and reduces loads to the suspension and frame. The Fox shocks also have dual-rate springs and dual-compression adjusters, plus rebound and ring preload adjusters, and they’re loaded down to provide a smooth, comfortable ride and high-speed confidence. All four shocks have DX mounts for durability, and the front Fox Podium 2.5 RC2 DSC shocks provide 16.2 inches of travel with long A-arms. The YXZ1000R has a smaller EPS unit for lighter weight, and it’s tuned for optimum steering at any speed. There is also a front torsion bar to fight body roll in corners, and Yamaha worked with Maxxis on exclusive six-ply 27-inch Bighorn 2.0 tires that provide optimum feel in sand and on hardpack; they’re also constructed for predictable sliding constructed for predictable sliding and exit traction. Twin-piston hydraulic calipers ride on all four 14-inch aluminum wheels. Steering is a new rack-and-pinion Steering is a new rack-and-pinion system with the EPS unit high on the steering shaft.
PURE-SPORT CHASSIS AND CABIN
The chassis is designed for optimum confidence at speed and durability. Wheelbase is 90.6 inches, and ground clearance is 13 inches. Seat height is 26.4 inches, compared to 29.1 inches for a RZR XP, and the front shocks poke through the hood like on Dustin Nelson’s SR1 Wolverine featured in our September issue. This lets Yamaha slope the hood for better trail visibility, and there are steel covers to protect the Fox shocks’ DSC clickers. Fenders and the sun top have aggressive styling, and the doors have a secure latch and easy-use handle. Cut and Sew bucket seats have shoulder bolsters, and the driver’s seat is fully adjustable. The digital instrument panel is designed like Yamaha’s super-sport motorcycles and tilts with the steering wheel, and the meter has large mph, fuel level and gear-selection readouts. It also has a programmable shift-light indicator that can be set anywhere from 7000 to 12,000 rpm and set to blink slowly, fast or not at all. The YXZ has a parking brake on the sloping center console, along with a knob to control the four LED headlights. It also has a contoured, ergonomic passenger grab handle with foam for comfort, a glove box, dash cubby hole and two drink holders. Floorboards have driver and passenger foot braces, yet provide plenty of legroom, and the plastic skid plate has an easyaccess design. The back “bed” of the YXZ1000R is flat with four tie-down loops, and it has a 300-pound capacity. It’s designed to work with accessory cargo box and/or spare tire mount or an extra battery for the GYTR LED Halo 27-inch light bar or winch.
HUMAN + MACHINE = HUMACHINE
This next-level UTV is designed from the ground up to be pure sport, with the best integration and to provide more fun than ever before. Its “terrainability” is meant to provide a completely new driving experience, and the hydraulic clutch is set to engage near the floor for better control. Yamaha didn’t let us drive it at the worldwide unveiling of the YXZ1000R, but we got to ride in it on a special demo track with a 300-foot stadium whoop section. The performance is simply amazing, and the suspension is awesome. We blitzed the whoop section faster than we’ve ever gone in a UTV, and the steering, acceleration and brakes are incredible. We can’t wait to drive it in the dunes next month, so tune in for the full test! Oh, if you’ve never driven a stick shift, don’t worry; Yamaha also partnered with Rekluse to fit the all-new YXZ1000R with an accessory Rekluse EXP slipper clutch, so the YXZ will idle in gear without stalling. The EXP is adjustable as well, so it retains engine braking. The 2016 YXZ1000R comes in Blaze Orange for $19,799 or Racing Blue and White for $19,999, and the 60th Anniversary Special Edition comes in yellow, white and black with gold beadlock wheels for $21,599. Pick a color and wire it into your brainstem!