More growl, less howl


Yamaha added new shocks, new tires, beadlock wheels and cool, two-tone, dark blue/bright blue bodywork. What you don’t get is the ability to adjust shocks from the cockpit or the Adventure Pro navigation screen. The Sport sells for $22,999. The extra parts cost you an additional $1900 over the base-model R-Spec but $1300 less than the winch-equipped XT-R and $1800 less than the Limited Edition RMAX2. The Sport is only available in a two-seat configuration.

With a top speed over 70 mph, the RMAX2 is fun to drive on any road. Its big torque numbers and strong clutch eliminate any power loss going up hills or up in elevation. The Sport has the same power output as the other RMAX models.



The RMAX is equipped with a strong, twin-cylinder, dual-overhead-cam engine with 999cc and over 100 horsepower. Power gets transferred to the ground through a strong CVT system called Ultramatic. It comes with a 10-year belt warranty. The cool thing about this powerplant is that you can choose between three different drive modes depending on the power characteristics you are after. For instance, if you are racing down a trail where an aggressive throttle response will squirt you from turn to turn, you can choose Sport mode. If you need to tiptoe through the rocks or any rough section at slow speeds, you can rely on the smoother Crawl mode. While we take advantage of these modes, we usually find ourselves in Trail mode most of the time where it gives us the exact amount of power we expect with every ounce of pressure put on the throttle pedal. Power is instant, thrilling and very smooth. Thanks to the great Yamaha Ultramatic CVT system, you never have a hint of belt slip and rarely even have to put the transmission into low range.

New 30-inch GBC Terra Master SQ tires and dual-speed compression adjustable shocks grace the RMAX Sport. For even more fine-tuning of the spring rate, you have 10mm of crossover adjustment as well.



The Sport model does not have any audio or Yamaha’s Adventure Pro GPS system, so you do get an extra storage box in its place. If we were to design this space, it would be a larger area with rubber netting for quick and easy access. We would utilize the glove box or center console for items that need more protection. For a sport utility machine, we love the cockpit and seating position. You can see over the hood perfectly and over the doors as well. Fit and finish are top-notch, as is construction. We have beat up on several RMAXs over the last year, and we can’t get them to squeak or rattle. Your knees are protected on both legs by soft pads embedded in the door and console area.

The same beadlock wheels that are found on its YXZ1000R are on the 2022 Yamaha RMAX2 1000 Sport. They are the same offset all the way around and 6.5 inches wide.



Yamaha called on Fox to build a shock with more spring adjustment and two circuits of compression damping. The spring rates are the same on these shocks as they are on the other models. Only the compression and rebound damping have been adjusted. The shocks are set up to be stiffer overall than before. Even with the compression clickers turned out, you will have a stiffer shock than the QS3 shocks on the R-Spec and XT-R or the iQS shocks found on the limited-edition model. Rebound has been slowed down as well.

The new adjusters have 25 detents or clicks, so you can feel and count as you tune. The other RMAX models have three positions of adjustment via a lever on the shock or switch on the dash in the LE model.


As a result, you will get a shock that doesn’t bottom out, kick or buck like we experience driving aggressively in the other RMAXs. These shocks do take a screwdriver or socket to adjust the compression damping. We backed ours off a bit from the stock (middle) setting and found a little more comfort and turn-in traction. The vehicle turns flat with very little body roll or during acceleration and braking, resulting in a more comfortable ride for the driver and passenger. You can adjust the preload and the crossover ring slightly if you have precise suspension needs; however, we don’t think you will need to do much more than soften up the shocks like we did.

In the sport utility category, there’s no machine that stands up to the RMAX’s quality. The steering wheel and passenger grab handle are well-placed, adjust easy and feel perfect in your hands. This model does not have the Adventure Pro GPS unit, but one can be added.



Not only did we abuse the new nylon-belted 30×10-14 GBC tires in the rugged Arizona desert, we drove these tires in every terrain imaginable other than snow and ice during this test. First of all, the tires are tough, and the tread pattern leaves very little room for sticks or rocks to puncture the carcass. Of the 12 cars we had on this test ride, there were zero flats.

You can choose one of two ways to mount these GBC Terra Master SQ tires. Yamaha chose to mount them with the “A” side facing out. We didn’t get a chance to test with the “B” side out. The “A” side provided tremendous acceleration traction and just as powerful braking traction. No matter how slippery the dirt surface was, the tires didn’t step out unexpectedly during the 100 miles we put on them. Before we softened up the low-speed compression, we thought the tires pushed slightly in the front, but the shock adjustment fixed that perfectly. Even without the adjustment, we estimate a 25-percent gain in traction verses the stock Carnivores. Clean out in the mud was good as well, and the rock sections we encountered didn’t slow us down one bit. If you were to ride on slick rock like at Moab, airing down would get you even more traction. In all, we were super happy with the traction and especially the durability of this tire. It’s more like a tire we would install after the stockers wear out on most machines, so it’s great to have them on the machine from the factory.

Yamaha gives the dumping cargo bed a 600-pound rating. Along with the built-in tree kicker welded to the lower frame, the body lines of the RMAX not only look great, but they are designed to not get damaged if rubbed up against rocks, canyon walls or trees.



During this ride, we were able to try out the Yamaha Genuine Accessories folding windshield and rear soft windscreen. For cold conditions, the windscreen did as promised, blocking the chill and rain. It folds down easily, although you do have to get out of the seat to secure it to the hood, but no tools are required. With the window up, the rear screen helped keep any dust from swirling in the car. During the day, we only cleaned the windshield three times, and that was just to see if it would scratch. The hard-coated poly window did not. The folding windshield sells for $469.99, and the back screen runs $239.99. Both are available at your dealer or through www.shopyamaha.com. If you are interested in side windows, they are $514.99 for the pair, and the full-cab enclosure with front glass is $4,649.97.

Yamaha has always relied on a true locking differential that can be engaged in the cockpit. It gives the driver confidence that both front tires will be working to get you through a rough section.



The 2022 Yamaha RMAX2 1000 Sport is aimed at the aggressive driver who likes to be able to dial in his suspension precisely for the day’s trail conditions. The RMAX can be cruised, but in the rough stuff it likes to be driven hard and is built to take it. New beadlock wheels and the GBC 10-ply tires give you the extra protection to drive the machine near the limit of the new Fox shocks. In fact, we will leave that up to you, as we couldn’t find the limit during our test. We like the look of the RMAX2 Sport as well, and it’s a great platform to make your own. You may want to add a winch or you may want to add some sort of GPS unit, but other than that, all we can think of adding is another tank of gas. Visit your Yamaha dealer for a preview or check out their website at www.yamahamotorsports.com





Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC

4-stroke twin

Displacement 999cc

Bore x stroke 93mm x 73.5mm (x2)

Compression ratio 11.2:1

Lubrication system Dry sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction 48mm EFI (x2)

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition switch w/ brake on

Air filter:

  Type Washable foam, w/ paper secondary

  Access Under hood, clips for airbox lid

Transmission Dual-range CVT w/ reverse

Reverse procedure Move range selector to “R”

Drive system Selectable 2WD/4WD w/ diff-lock

Final drives Shafts


Fuel capacity 9.2 gal.

Wheelbase 86.7”

Overall length/width/height 119”/66.1”/77.8”

Ground clearance 13.8”

Claimed dry weight 1,839 lb.

Bed weight limit 600 lb.

Hitch 2” square receiver

Towing limit 2000 lb.


Frame Steel rectangle & round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0


  Rear Dual A-arm w/ prel./comp.-adj. 2.0



  Front Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

  Rear Hydraulic discs/left-side pedal

Parking Separate lever on console


  Front 30x10R14 GBC Terra Master SQ

  Rear 30x10R14 GBC Terra Master SQ


DC outlet DC and USB on console


  Front LED hi/lo headlights

  Rear LED brake/tail lights w/ rev light


Instrumentation Digital speed/odo/trip/hour/rpm/


Colors Blue

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Price $22,599

Contact www.yamahamotorsports.com

See UTV Action’s full shootout between the  Yamaha RMAX and the Can-Am Commander here: CAN-AM COMMANDER XT-P VS YAMAHA RMAX2 XT-R – UTV Action Magazine

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