We don’t need to remind you 2020 has been a strange year for sure. Furthermore, it’s been relatively quiet on the new model front. Sure there’s been updates, and new colors, but as for all new machines, only Robby Gordon has been stirring that pot until Yamaha quietly surprised us late summer with the announcement of the all new 2021 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 1000. Wolverine is Yamaha’s sport machine brand and the line is growing. From the original 700cc and R Spec, to latest 847cc model with its parallel twin engine, to the RMAX two and 4 seaters, they go from mild to pretty wild.
WHAT’S NEW ON THE WOLVERINE RMAX
Everything. This is not a bored out Wolverine X2/X4 with bigger tires and a new body. There’s a new frame, new engine, suspension and brakes under that more aggressive bodywork. It’s interesting to note, that bodywork measures 66.1 inches wide but the stance, measured at the outside edge of the tire is 64. Those fenders should block a lot of mud. Furthermore, the cockpit has new features like a removable Yamaha Adventure Pro GPS unit, new passenger grab handle and a repositioned peddle assembly.
WHAT POWERS THE WOLVERINE RMAX
Yamaha built an all new parallel twin powerplant for this machine. It’s similar to the 850 in the X2 and X4, but with some added strength and improvements. According to Yamaha, it has a 270-degree , cross plane crankshaft which reduces vibration. A strong aggressive exhaust note will let you hear all 109 horsepower moving this Wolverine down the trail.
New for any Yamaha SXS, will be a three position switch on the dash that will allow you to choose one of three power modes similar to the system Polaris uses in their Ranger and Sportsman XPs. For the Wolverine RMAX, it goes like this:
Trail Mode: Smooth acceleration, linear throttle response, and full engine braking for a fun, relaxed ride.
Sport Mode: Powerful acceleration, quick throttle-response, and smooth engine-braking for a sportier experience on wide-open trails, dunes, and more.
Crawl Mode: Smooth acceleration, moderate throttle response, and full engine-braking to methodically traverse technical situations, such as rock crawling or mud sections, with ease.
This feature is called Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) and is available on RMAX SE and XT-R editions. Base models are pre set in “Trail Mode” and make speed for all of them is right at 75 MPH.
Furthermore, Yamaha’s Speed Management System (SMS) is equipped on all RMAX4 1000 models and the RMAX2 1000 LE. SMS seamlessly limits the vehicle’s top speed to 25 mph by simply turning a removable key, making it ideal for work sites and other specialized operating conditions.
HOW ABOUT THE TRANSMISSION
It’s a CVT set up with a 10 year belt life warranty. Yamaha’s proven Ultramatic system features a built in centrifugal clutch behind the primary clutch that keeps the belt engaged while stopped reducing wear. Engagement should be as smooth as on other SXS’s Yamaha makes. As far as gearing, there is a low, high and reverse but no turf mode. Yamaha has targeted a more aggressive owner and turf mode can not handle high impact abuse. Up front, there is a locking front differential, tied into a speed sensitive EPS system, that dramatically increases steering assist when at slower speeds and when the positive locking front differential is engaged.
WHAT ABOUT THE SUSPENSION
Like the older Wolverines, dual A-arms are found on all four corners. Suspension travel is impressive at 14.2” up front and 13.3” in the back for the four seater. The 2-seater gets an additional 3.6 inches of travel. The shocks are huge 2.0-inch Fox QS3’s or on-the-fly adjustable iQS’s on the LE.
A braking and wheel hub system off the YXZ has been almost duplicated and put under the RMAX including its larger ball joints and 4/156 wheel bolt pattern. The two seater gets a choice of GBC Dirt Commanders on the base model or Maxxis Carnivores on the XT-R and LE. The 4-seater base also gets the GBC’s and the other get Maxxis Carnage tires. The other difference is that the 2-seater has four 30×10-14 inch tires while the RMAX4 has narrower and shorter 29×9-14 up front and wider 29×11-14’s out back.
We love the styling and versatility of the new Wolverine. From reading the specs, the machine looks like it will be a strong contender against the Polaris General and several others. The new Wolverine has the same versatile, stow-away rear seating like the older model and a huge dumping bed for lots of gear at the rear of the two seater. It’s the adventure machine we and many of you have been waiting for. We can’t wait to drive it. You will read that test right here at www.utvactionmag.com
2021 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX2 1000, RMAX4 1000
Engine Type…liquid cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve
Bore x Stroke…93.0mm×73.5mm
Fuel Delivery…Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI); dual 48mm throttle bodies
Drive system…On-Command 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, full diff-lock 4WD
Front…Dual A-arms w/ FOX® iQS piggyback shocks; 14.2-in travel
Rear… Dual A-arms w/ FOX® iQS piggyback shocks; 16.9”, 13.3” (4-seat)
Brakes ….Front & Rear Dual Hydraulic discs w/two piston calipers.
Front…30 x 10-14, 29 x 9-14 (4-seat)
Rear…30 x 11-14, 29 x 11-14 (4-seat)
Length/Width/height… 119.3”x66.1”x77.8”, 128.1”x66”x83.1” (4-seat)
Wheelbase…86.7”, 90.2” (4-seat)
Turning Radius…, 236”, 236” (4-seat)
Fuel Capacity …9.2 gal
Wet Weight…1845lb, 1903lb (4-seat)
Bed Capacity …600lb, 500lb (4-seat)
Color…Cobalt Metallic, Amor Gray, Alpine White, Covert Green
Warranty…6 Month (Limited Factory Warranty) – Yamaha 10- Year Belt Warranty
RMAX2 Price…$19,799, $21,999 (XT-R), $23,299 LE
RMAX4 Price…$21,299, $23,999 (XT-R), $25,299 LE