— Yamaha unleashes its 2018 lineup of pure-sport, recreation/exploration and utility UTVs with a new emphasis on how to “realize your adventure.” Yamaha’s renovated website even has suggested adventures at Brimstone, Tennessee; Moab, Utah; and Black Hills, South Dakota; complete with lodging and Yamaha rental locations, plus Magellan GPS maps for planning trips and rides via the Yamaha Adventures TRX Trailhead website. What a great way to try before you buy, as Moab even has YXZ1000R rentals. Yamaha’s “proven off-road” UTVs are designed, engineered, manufactured and tested in the real world for superior capability, comfort and confidence.
YXZ1000R AND SPORT SHIFTS
Yamaha again offers four pure-sport YXZ1000R models powered by the 114-horsepower, triple-cylinder, 12-valve, 998cc engine with a five-speed sequential-shift transmission and reverse. The YXZ1000R and Special Edition have a hydraulic manual clutch pedal and short-shift lever on the console, and the combination delivers a unique driver-connected feel like Yamaha’s YFZ450R and Raptor 700R. Also on the console, knobs for lights and 2WD/4WD/diff-lock add to control cabin comfort, along with a tilt steering wheel and adjustable bucket seats.
Fox Podium 2.5 RC2 shocks work with long front A-arms and elongated rear L-arms to provide 16.2 inches of front and 17.0 inches of rear travel on YXZ1000R and Sport Shift models. Front and rear torsion bars fight body roll. Dual-rate springs with adjustable cross-overs, high- and low-speed compression-damping adjusters and rebound clickers allow owners to tailor the ride for their driving style, speed and conditions. Special Editions upgrade to exclusive Fox Podium 2.5 X2 shocks with high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjusters, plus rear bottom-out control features, painted Matte Back bodywork, aluminum beadlock wheels with color-matched rings, and red suspension components and ROPS frame.
Sport Shift YXZs replace the hydraulic clutch pedal with an electronically controlled clutch and paddle shifters on the tilt steering wheel. The YXZ000R shift lever is replaced by a D/N/R selector on Sport Shift models, and there are added sensors for the Yamaha Chip-Controlled Shift (YCC-S) system. YCC-S adds a half-clutch mode at slow speeds to protect the clutch plates and has other modes to mimic the manual-clutch version when launching or spiking (momentarily fanning the clutch to raise engine revs) for optimal performance. YCC-S also automatically downshifts when it senses too low engine rpm for vehicle speed, so it’s like having a CVT when cruising and manual clutch for performance but with no belt to break.
Best yet, prices haven’t increased for 2018. The YXZ1000R returns in Graphite and Red for $19,999, and the Special Edition is $21,599. The YXZ1000R Sport Shift returns in Graphite and Red for $20,599. White or Blue Special Edition Sport Shifts are $22,399 for the White or Yamaha blue. All YXZs sport a plastic sunroof and two-tone aluminum wheels.
WOLVERINES, R-SPECS AND NEW X4s
The Wolverine and Wolverine R-Spec EPS return for 2018, and they’re joined by the Wolverine X4 EPS and Special Editions. Built for exploration, recreation and adventure, the Wolverine sports a DOHC, 708cc single tuned for torque and a smooth, linear delivery via Yamaha’s Ultramatic CVT transmission with sprag clutch for long belt life. The Wolverine line has On-Command 2WD/4WD/diff-lock with servo controls for quick selection of drive mode. The base model comes in Graphite for 2018 for $10,999 MSRP, but the Wolverine EPS is discontinued for 2018. Dealers will likely have 2017 models at prices lower than MSRP. Hunter Green goes for $11,999. Yamaha Blue with aluminum wheels sells for $12,299 and Realtree Xtra Camo sells for $12,599.
Wolverines sport 9.7 inches of front travel and 10.6 inches of rear travel with a rear torsion bar to fight body roll, and the wheelbase is a nimble 81.3 inches. Base and EPS models have HPG shocks with five-way-adjustable preload, while Wolverine R-Spec EPS models upgrade to Kayaba piggyback shocks with high- and low-speed compression adjusters, adjustable rebound and ring-style preload. Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 26-inch tires are standard, and four-wheel hydraulic brakes plus a parking brake are backed by four-wheel engine braking. Wolverine R-Spec EPS models are available in Yamaha Blue for $13,499 and Alpine White for $14,099.
We reported on the all-new Wolverine X4 last month, but we’ve received some more information since then. X4s get power from a 847cc inline twin with 82mm pistons, 80.2mm stroke, long rods, offset cylinders with 10.5:1 compression and two 36mm EFI throttle bodies with YCC-T fly-by-wire, chip-controlled throttles. The dry-sump engine has offset cylinders to reduce friction loss, and rubber mounts and counterbalancing to ensure smooth running. Fuel capacity is 9.2 gallons, and wet weight is 1,666 pounds. The four-seat Wolverine has special rear shocks that self-pressurize to maintain a level ride, no matter what the load is. With the rear seats stowed forward, the bed holds 600 pounds and it tows a ton. X4s also have 207mm, ventilated hydraulic brake rotors, plus a shaft-mounted parking brake.
X4s are Graphite for $15,999 MSRP, Yamaha Blue for $16,499 and Realtree Xtra Camo for $16,899, while Special Editions are Matte Carbon or Matte Silver for $17,249.
2018 YAMAHA VIKINGS & MORE
Yamaha unveils its 2018 Viking UTVs, including Metallic Sand Ranch Special Edition Viking and Viking VI models, as well as 2018 ATVs, including an all-new Kodiak 450 and Tactical Black Kodiak 700. Vikings retain the 686cc single-cylinder engine, durable dual-range CVT with EBS, locking front differential, four-wheel disc brakes, and seating for three or six with two-stage door latches.
ATVs for 2018 include a new Raptor 700R SE ($9099), YFZ450R SE ($9299), Grizzly EPS SE ($9099), Grizzly EPS LE ($10,899), Kodiak 700 EPS SE ($9099), Kodiak 700 ($6999–$7449) and EPS ($8499–$9099) and all-new Kodiak 450 ($5999–$6249) and EPS ($6899–$7149). Kodiak 450s sport a 421cc, SOHC, two-valve single and independent dual-A-arm suspension with 6.7 inches travel in front and 7.4 inches in the rear.