Yamaha has its share of firsts and has created several new categories of ATVs and UTVs. Yamaha offered the first camouflage ATV, ATV with electronic power steering, the first competition-ready 450 ATV, the first recreation utility UTV with the Rhino 660 and the first pure-sport UTV with a manual transmission, the YXZ1000R. The tuning-fork people also have the industry-leading Ultramatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with sprag clutch for constant belt tension and long life. The Ultramatic CVT gets another upgrade, as it joins an all-new 847cc, inline-twin, dual-range transmission in the new Wolverine X4 EPS and Special Edition. While the new Wolverine X4 is the sixth in the product line, it’s not the first four-seat recreation utility UTV in the class, but it features several innovations to make it tops at “realizing your adventures.”

Yamaha expands the fun and the Wolverine line with the new 2018 Wolverine X4, Yamaha’s first multi-passenger recreation utility UTV. It’s available in four color choices, with the Matte Carbon Special Edition shown here.


Yamaha set out to make the Wolverine X4 the most off-road-capable four-seat recreation UTV for tight, technical terrain and aimed it right at the Kawasaki Teryx4 and Honda Pioneer 1000-5. Terrain-ability and a compact feel topped the list, so engineers set out to create the most compact engine in class for a low center of gravity. Combining a long stroke (80.2mm) with a short connecting rod, Yamaha offset the cylinders 7mm to reduce sideload on the 82mm pistons. The new DOHC twin produces 47 percent more torque than the 708cc DOHC single in the Wolverine and R-Spec, and the rubber-mounted twin has 30-percent-larger mounts to reduce vibration.

Noise reduction was high on the list, so Yamaha doubled the volume of the intake tract and muffler. A large oiled-foam filter can be accessed without tools, and it draws air high in the chassis. The gray key on the “firewall” limits speed to 25 mph for worksites, and the toolkit rides in front of the airbox.

Yamaha’s YCC-T fly-by-wire throttle is servo-controlled and mapped to provide quick throttle response and smooth acceleration without pedal flutter in rough terrain. To reduce cabin noise, Yamaha more than doubled the intake-tract volume (9.2 liters) and the size of the muffler (7.4 liters). The counterbalanced mill powers the largest fan-cooled Ultramatic CVT yet, and the non-unit transmission has low-rpm shift points, plus helical and spiral-cut driveline gears for more noise reduction. The larger-sprag centrifugal clutch has an oil bath for durability. Also, the new 14-volt/42.7-amp/598-watt stator has 230 watts of reserve for powering lights and even a heater for the enclosed-cab option.

A new digital instrument panel has a large speedometer and fuel-bar readouts, and there is a “turtle” icon when the limiter key is engaged. It is also customizable, so other parameters can be monitored, like coolant temperature or rpm.
The rear seats are mounted on rails, the seat bases tilt forward, and the backs slide forward and lock in position. This frees up space for up to 600 pounds of cargo in the non-tilting bed. Seatbelt latches stow under a quick-release plastic panel.


An all-new frame mounts the compact dry-sump engine in the middle for mass centralization, and the frame has an e-coat dip before powdercoating to prevent rust. Wheelbase is 82.7 inches, which is in between the T-4 (85.6 inches) and P-5 (80.2 inches), and the four-wheel independent suspension sports 8.7 inches of front and 8.9 inches of rear travel with front and rear torsion bars. The rear shocks are innovative in that they’re self-leveling for load, and so are the rear stadium seats. The bases tilt forward, and the backs are latched into tracks so one or both seats can be stowed forward for carrying up to 600 pounds of cargo in the bed with a single-latch-handle tailgate. The driver’s seat has 100mm of adjustment, and the new steering wheel tilts 12 degrees, a Wolverine first.

At 59 inches wide, the Wolverine X4 is narrower than the two-seat Wolverine and any multi-passenger recreation utility UTV, except the Textron Stampede. Stadium seating, EPS and a full-length skid plate are standard, and front travel is 8.7 inches (more than the Teryx4—8.0 inches).

Where the T-4 has a 200.8-inch turning radius, the X4 turns around in 177.2 inches. It has the standard Yamaha servo-controlled front diff with 2WD/4WD and diff-lock for bona-fided four-wheel engine braking. Top speed is a tad over 50 mph, and there is a gray key under the removable hood panel for limiting speed to 25 mph for worksites. All Wolverine X4s have variable-assist EPS, unlike base two-seat Wolverines. Headlights on the X4 are LED, and the four high doors have internal handles. When the rear seats are stowed forward, the seatbelt latches fold under a plastic cover, and there is much more rear legroom in the X4 than the Pioneer 1000-5. Rear passengers have cushioned grab bars, but they’re not adjustable like the front passenger bar. The X4 has a new glove-box lid latch and larger center console.

Yamaha designed the non-unit dual-range transmission for quiet running with helical- and spiral-cut gears, and the CVT has low-rpm shift points for further noise reduction. Brakes are four-wheel hydraulic discs, and there is a parking brake on the low-noise rear transfer case.
Yamaha built an all-new inline twin for the Wolverine X4, and the 847cc DOHC, counterbalanced engine has a long stroke for torque but sports short connecting rods and cylinders offset by 7mm to keep center of gravity low. It has a fan-cooled large sprag clutch and 598-watt stator for powering accessories.

The tires are 26-inch, four-ply, unique Maxxis MU75s on 12-inch wheels. There are five Wolverine X4 color and trim packages. The base model has graphite plastic and black steel rims, while the Yamaha Blue X4 has milled black aluminum wheels, and the Realtree Xtra Camo-wrapped X4 has all-black aluminum rims. Special-edition Wolverine X4s come with Matte Silver or Matte Carbon paint with two-tone aluminum rims and matching trim package with two-tone seats. All but the Graphite X4 also come with over-fenders. Price is to be determined, as the units you see here are prototypes.

The mid-engine design centralizes mass, and five plastic fasteners allow quick access to the engine-oil filler cap and spark plugs. Yamaha’s YCC-T fly-by-wire throttle reduces pedal flutter and provides quick throttle response. There is much more legroom than on a Pioneer 1000-5.
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