YAMAHA YXZ1000R TURBO TEST

— 182 horsepower Sport Shift Special Edition —

Yamaha’s GYTR division has developed performance accessories for the YXZ1000R and Sport Shift to modify the pure sports UTVs for woods/trails/rocks (Torque-Assist Gearing), closed-course racing (Stage kit) and desert/dunes (Turbo kit). That’s right, Yamaha GYTR has a new Turbo kit that, when installed by Yamaha dealers, retains the factory warranty! The $5499.99 kit includes a Garrett GT860RS Turbo, the largest of any OEM UTV, that increases the YXZ’s horsepower by 60 percent! That’s roughly 182 horsepower. We got a chance to try out the GYTR YXZ Turbo kit on a 2017 YXZ1000RSS Special Edition, and we had a YXZ1000R SS to compare to the factory Turbo.

For those wanting more power and speed out of their YXZ1000R or Sport Shift, Yamaha’s GYTR division has developed the Stage (racing) and Turbo (dunes/desert) kits. We got a chance to try out the Turbo kit on a Sport Shift Special Edition in Arizona.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE KIT?

The Garrett GT860RS Turbo is a water-cooled, ball-bearing unit to cut down on turbo lag and operating temperatures, and the kit includes a new Yamaha ECU for consistent throttle response and drivability. A new exhaust header and TIG-welded equal-length, stainless-steel, tubular exhaust manifold house the Turbo unit and utilize their OEM muffler and spark arrestor. Increasing horsepower by 60 percent requires upgraded connecting rods, and the kit conn-rods have the same bearing diameter and weight-class markings as the stock rods but can handle up to 225 horsepower. An aluminum water-to-air intercooler with all the hoses and hardware is also included; it mounts by the engine. A TIG-welded aluminum airbox with a CNC’d aluminum base and equal-length runners provide 6 psi of boost to the stock 41mm EFI throttle bodies. Stainless steel-braided hoses and AN fittings provide durability, as do the silicone high-performance hoses on all boost connections. A Donaldson air filter assembly replaces the stock YXZ airbox.

While the Turbo kit is $5499.99, dealer installation is 24 hours, or $2,136 at Bobby J’s in New Mexico. Buying a YXZ and GYTR Turbo kit together, along with other Genuine Yamaha accessories, allows you to finance the whole thing. Kitted YXZs will need 91-octane fuel as well. Yamaha worked on keeping the power character of the YXZ and maintaining control, despite much more midrange and top-end power. This kit isn’t available in California.

Yamaha worked with Dasa Racing to develop its GYTR YXZ Turbo kit, which includes a ball-bearing, water-cooled Garrett GT860RS turbocharger—the largest of any OEM turbo UTV—for big horsepower gains with little turbo lag.

HOW DOES COST COMPARE?

The Graphite Grey 2018 YXZ1000R SS is $19,799, while Special Editions are $21,399 (Team Yamaha Blue/White) to $21,699 (Pearl White/Black/Red). The manual-shift YXZ1000R is $18,999, while the Team Yamaha Blue Special Edition is $20,599. Our 2017 YXZ1000RSS SE retails for $22,699, and the Turbo kit jumps that to $28,198, not including installation. So, we’re looking at $30,335 for the SE. The standard 2017 Sport Shift and Turbo kit with a $2000 installation cost would be $27,799,

The normally aspirated Maverick X3 900 H.O. is $17,999, while the 120-horsepower X3 Turbo is $19,999, and the Maverick 1000R DPS is $17,599. Maverick X3 Turbo R models start at $24,999 and go up to $29,999. The Polaris RZR S 1000 EPS is $17,999, while the RZR XP 1000 EPS is $17,999 and the RZR XP Turbo is $19,999. Textron’s Wildcat 1000 X is $16,999, while the X Limited is $18,499, and the Wildcat XX is $20,499.

The GYTR YXZ Turbo kit replaces the 1000R’s two-stage filtration system with a large CNC’d aluminum airbox and Donaldson-type paper air filter. The kit includes high-strength connecting rods, which requires splitting the engine cases; installation is around 24 hours of labor.

HOW FAST IS THE TURBO YXZ1000R SS?

Unbelievably fast! The Turbo YXZ pins you to the seat and your goggles to your face in higher gears. The power and speed keep building until the rev limiter demands an upshift, and then it all happens over again. Power is very manageable off of the bottom but gets insane as revs skyrocket. The Turbo YXZ accelerates harder than any production turbocharged UTV we’ve experienced. It’s crazy fast.

HOW IS THE DELIVERY?

It’s amazing. Yamaha did a great job of retaining the YXZ feel in lower revs up into the meaty midrange and insane top-end. It keeps the direct-connection feel of the Sport Shift, and it’ll purr in reverse and rock-crawl situations. But, you better have the nose pointed where you want to go before matting the throttle pedal.   

These are 2017 Sport Shifts, with the Turbo kit installed on the Special Edition. For 2018, the Graphite Grey will be the base model with Fox Podium RC2 shocks, while the mostly blue or white Special Edition will sport the high-end Fox Podium X2 shocks with four damping adjustments.

WHAT ABOUT THE YXZ SUSPENSION?

The Fox Podium X2 shocks on the Special Edition allow greater adjustability, as you’ll definitely be hitting everything harder. Our test unit handled big whoops and Arizona desert terrain very well. On the other hand, going with the base Sport Shift with Fox Podium RC2 shocks would free up $2000 for Shock Therapy springs, ride-improvement valving and front torsion bar.

HOW DOES THE TURBO YXZ HANDLE?

Great when the front tires are on the ground. The Turbo YXZ feels rock solid at speed, as it soaks up whoops and skims sand. Slides are long and predictable; just dial in the right amount of throttle. All that power makes for great drifts and rear-wheel steering through high-speed turns.

It takes a keen eye to spot the GYTR Turbo kit from the rear, as it retains the stock YXZ center-exit exhaust and spark arrestor. Noise output is reduced by 2 decibels.

HOW IS IT IN ROCKS AND MUD?

It reacts normally at slower speeds, so rocks are no problem, unless you hit one at full throttle. We’ve seen other turbos pretzel front A-arms when the pilot got too trigger-happy. With paddles, we bet the Turbo YXZ would wheelie across mud bogs, slinging roost far into the air.

WHERE IS THE YXZ HAPPIEST?

Stretching its legs in open desert and big dunes. The Turbo YXZ is the machine to have on big dry lakes, power-line trails and sand dunes.

Since boost isn’t adjustable on the GYTR Turbo kit, there is no need for a pressure gauge on the dash. We’re sure the aftermarket will come up with tweaks to get more than 182 horsepower out of the kit.

HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?

Very strong. The YXZ1000R has twin-piston calipers on all four corners and braided-steel brake lines. They’re also backed up by engine compression braking, and the Sport Shift automatically downshifts when revs get too low.

WHAT ABOUT CREATURE COMFORTS?

The seats are comfortable and well padded, and our test unit had four-point harnesses, a must for a machine with so much power and speed. Noise levels in the cab actually are reduced by 2 decibels with the YXZ GYTR Turbo kit, but the kit also creates a lot of engine heat. Don’t worry, it’s easy to outrun the heat. The padded steering wheel is also nice for white-knuckle driving.

The standard YXZ brakes are up to the extra speeds of the Turbo kit, but Yamaha’s accessory braided stainless-steel brake-line kits ($99 each) will add feel at the pedal.

WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?

Yamaha did a great job developing the GYTR YXZ Turbo kit, along with Dasa Racing. The Turbo YXZ1000R Sport Shift does everything well and is a blast to drive. Boosting output to more than 180 horsepower makes the YXZ a rocket ship. We’re impressed with the smooth delivery and lack of turbo lag, and now we know what it feels like to be shot out of a cannon.

SPECS:

2018 YAMAHA YXZ1000R SS

ENGINE/TRANSMISSION

Engine type Liquid-cooled, 12-valve, DOHC 4-stroke

triple

Displacement 998cc

Bore x stroke 80.0.0 x 66.2.0mm (x3)

Compression ratio 11.3:1

Lubrication system Dry sump

Additional cooling Auto fan

Induction Yamaha EFI w/ three 41mm bodies

Starting/back-up Electric/none

Starting procedure Turn ignition key

Choke location N/A

Air filter:

  Type Washable foam & wet paper

  Access Tool-less, remove 5 Dzus, lift center console

and unscrew cap

Transmission 5-speed sequential auto clutch w/ rev.

Reverse procedure Brake, move range selector to rev.

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

Final drives Shafts

DIMENSIONS/CAPACITIES/WEIGHTS

Fuel capacity 9.0 gal.

Wheelbase 90.5”

Overall length/width/height 122.8”/64.0”/72.2”

Ground clearance 12.9”

Claimed wet weight 1,554 lb.

Bed weight limit 300 lb.

Hitch None

Towing limit 1,500 lb.

ROLLING CHASSIS

Frame Steel round tube

Suspension/wheel travel:

  Front Dual A-arms w/ prel./ hi-low comp./reb.

adj. shocks/16.2”

  Rear Dual A-arms w/ prel./hi-low comp./reb.

adj. shocks/17.0”

Brakes/actuation:

  Front Twin-piston hydraulic discs/center pedal

  Rear Twin-piston hydraulic discs/center pedal

Parking Lever on console

Tires:

  Front 27x9R14 Bighorn 2.0 6-ply

  Rear 27x11R14 Bighorn 2.0 6-ply

ELECTRICAL

DC outlet Console

Lighting:

  Front 4 LED headlights

  Rear Single LED brake/taillight

DETAILS

Instrumentation Digital speedo/fuel/gear/trip &

hour meters/temp/time, Analog tach

Colors Graphite Grey; SE, Team Yamaha Blue/White,

Pearl White/Black/Red

Minimum recommended operator age 16

Suggested retail price $19,799; SE,

$21,399–$21,699

Contact Yamaha Motor Corp., (800) 962-7926

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