Yamaha stunned the UTV world with its 2016 YXZ1000R, the first manual-clutch, sequential-shift, five-speed, extreme-performance SxS, which has dominated Lucas Oil and TORC short-course racing and brought newfound reliability to duning. When Yamaha introduced the YXZ1000R in the summer of 2015, a GYTR (Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing) Rekluse EXP slipper-clutch accessory was also introduced for those used to a Continuously Variable Transmission, and we got to try that out at one of Yamaha’s testing grounds at Superstition Mountain OHV in Southern California (June 2016). There were also a handful of YXZs at the King of the Hammers UTV rock-crawling desert race last February, where Jason Weller finished seventh in the grueling event in his first attempt at the wheel of his Weller Racing YXZ.
Weller’s secret weapon was a Tubeworks gear-reduction kit, and Tubeworks has six YXZ transmission kits—from a $550 Drop Set that lowers final gearing by 15 percent for running tires larger than the OEM 27-inch Bighorns to full-blown custom Desert and Full Trail Edition WR kits for $2000. Yamaha has a long history of working with aftermarket vendors like Rekluse to produce accessories for its sport and utility ATVs, Rhinos, Vikings and now YXZs, and GYTR teamed up with Tubeworks to adapt the high-performance YXZ for low-speed East Coast or mountain exploration.
To showcase the GYTR YXZ1000R, Yamaha held demo rides at Brimstone Recreation’s Paragon event and invited the UTV press along for the ride in built-to-the-hilt GYTR YXZs. Rain made the demonstration rides even more representative of the rockiest terrain, gnarliest mud and tightest trails Brimstone has to offer, and the GYTR YXZs were as impressive in the East Coast conditions as the standard 1000R is in the western dunes and desert. Here are the latest GYTR modifications for the YXZ1000R.
GYTR YXZ1000R UPGRADES
Yamaha’s new GYTR Torque Assist Gear kit for the YXZ1000R reduces final gearing by 30 percent and first gear another 40 percent for low-speed operation, mud and rock crawling. The GYTR Torque Assist Gear kit includes Tubeworks’ most popular 70/30 kit gear sets, a CNC-machined OEM transmission case to eliminate the need for outside machining, an adjustable speedometer calibrator for precise speedometer readings in YXZs with aftermarket tire sizes, and all-genuine Yamaha parts and components necessary for installation. The GYTR Torque Assist Gear kit includes needed bearings, bushings and gaskets and is available from authorized Yamaha dealers at an MSRP of $999.99.
Yamaha used a variation of its 1679cc V-Max V-4 clutch in the YXZ1000R, but Yamaha eliminated the V-Max’s ramp-type slipper clutch to give the YXZ a more rider-connected feel like its YFZ450R and Raptor 700R sport ATVs. Besides, Rekluse’s EXP slipper clutch goes beyond the original ramp-type pressure plate. The Core EXP 3.0 uses an expanding fiber clutch plate with the traditional multi-spring pressure plate for smoother and adjustable engagement. The YXZ1000R Rekluse kit includes a Core 3.0 plate, fiber and pressure plates, and hydraulic actuator for $799.99.
Rock crawlers invariably want taller tires, so Yamaha worked with MSA/Colorado Concepts on 30-inch EFX Motoclaw tires for the YXZ, thus increasing ground clearance, traction and durability. The 30x10R14 Motoclaws have eight-ply construction and a 1-inch tread depth, and the stiffer sidewall allows lower operating pressures for increased traction on East Coast limestone ledges. Where the YXZ1000R’s 27-inch Bighorns want 16.5 psi front and 18.5 psi rear, we ran the Motoclaws at 10 psi front and 12.5 psi rear. This also allows carcass flex to increase tread grip for better traction, no matter what the conditions or locale. They’re sold separately for $225.99 each, and we ran them on the special edition’s beadlock wheels.
BIG FUN AT BRIMSTONE
A deluge of rain and super-slippery trails didn’t dampen the fun one bit with the GYTR YXZ1000R SE. In fact, they added to the fun and shined the LED spotlight on how effective the Torque Assist Gear kit, Rekluse clutch kit and 30-inch EFX Motoclaw tires really are. To complement the Motoclaw’s softer ride, Yamaha also came up with suspension settings for Brimstone. The Fox 2.5 Podium RC2 DSC shocks were softened by going to 3.5 turns out on Low-Speed Compression and decreasing spring preload by 13mm. Going so far out on LSC affects rebound, so we went in two clicks front and rear. Between the softer shock settings and tires, ride quality was excellent over rocks, roots and rain ruts.
We had no trouble negotiating the gnarly, rocky hills; tight trails; and low-speed traffic at Brimstone, and the other GYTR accessories also made the memorable ride more comfortable. Yamaha’s standard sunroof was fitted with the GYTR folding windshield ($499.99), which has a polycarbonate shield that won’t shatter like acrylic and built-in kickstands for more cabin airflow, and it’s tested in the up position to 80 mph for hauling. Over-fenders keep mud from flinging into the cabin for $249.99, and they’re thermoformed plastic with stainless steel hardware. The rear cargo box ($249.99) kept our gear dry, is made of polyethylene, has a space for a second battery and sports a locking lid. It works well with the spare tire mount ($499.99), which swivels out for cargo-box access and locks securely. The mount even endured 60-mph whoop testing.
The spare tire mount also works with the rear grab bar ($229.99), and the trail front bumper with winch plate ($299.24) accepts the Warn Vantage 3500 winch ($469.99) and requires the winch wiring kit ($99.99). We also tried out the front and rear A-arm guards ($179.99 each), which are made of HWMPE plastic with mounting hardware and no-drill installation. They protected the lower arms and helped us slide over the nastiest rocks.
In all, the GYTR YXZ1000R was like a whole new machine, seemingly built from the ground up to tame the gnarliest, slowest eastern terrain. It would lope along at walking speeds when needed and crawl up the slickest ledges, but top speed still approaches 70 mph. And, all this comes with one-stop shopping at your local Yamaha dealer.