— Yamaha got the UTV sensation started with the Rhino in 2004 and changed the sport UTV scene with the YZX1000R in 2016. Now the company is well on its way to introducing a whole new kind of car for the dirt. UTV Action got an inside look at Yamaha’s R1DT dirt-track concept car, a vehicle that may be available to the public sooner than you think!
WHAT KIND OF DRIVING IS THE R1DT FOR?
It’s a purpose-built race car for dirt oval tracks. Dirt ovals are plentiful, and Yamaha discovered there is no turnkey car available for that market. Yamaha developed the R1DT to see if it could be an affordable, dependable, competitive product it could sell to competition-minded enthusiasts, as it does with motorcycles, karts, ATVs and UTVs.
WHAT’S THE PRICE AND HOW SOON WILL IT BE AVAILABLE?
The price and the introduction date haven’t been determined, but other than the four-cylinder engine and its sophisticated, tunable engine management system (and the extra cost of producing a lower-volume vehicle), the R1DT is a simpler, less expensive machine to produce than a UTV like the YXZ1000R in many ways. Because the R1DR is two-wheel drive and has less sophisticated suspension, a simpler chassis, more basic bodywork and only one seat, we’d expect the price to be in the $15,000 to $20,000 range.
WHAT POWERS IT?
It is powered by an inline, four-cylinder, 998cc, double-overhead-cam, 16-valve engine from Yamaha’s R1 street sport bike. The engine’s power can be varied with the engine control computer, and a lot of testing has been done at 170 horsepower. The R1 engine is highly adjustable. Throttle maps and engine braking can be tuned for driver preference and track conditions. The engine control unit also has a data-acquisition feature that is very useful for testing and tuning the car.
WHAT KIND OF TRANSMISSION DOES IT HAVE?
A fully manual six-speed with a slipper clutch to improve engine braking control. Chain final drive is used to the rear wheels only, and there is no reverse.
IS IT SIMILAR TO A UTV IN SIZE AND WEIGHT?
It’s similar to some UTVs in some respects, but it’s definitely its own animal. It’s 73 inches wide, an inch wider than the widest sport UTV, Can-Am’s Maverick X3 X rs. The wheelbase is 81 inches, a bit longer than a RZR S 1000’s 79-inch wheelbase. Full of fuel and ready to drive, it weighs just 1200 pounds—that’s more than 300 pounds less than Yamaha’s YXZ1000R!
WHAT KIND OF SUSPENSION DOES IT HAVE?
It has unequal-length, double-A-arm suspension front and rear with compression-adjustable Fox 2.0 shocks. The A-arms allow the camber gain rate to be adjusted to tune the car’s cornering grip. Dirt oval tracks don’t have jumps, so the R1DT’s 6 inches of front and rear travel are more than adequate. The short-travel suspension also enhances the car’s cornering stability and sharpens steering response.
WHAT UNEXPECTED FEATURES DOES THE R1DT BRING TO DIRT OVAL RACING?
Yamaha plans to offer retail financing for the R1DT, as it does for many of its other products. Financing for race cars is a rare thing, so Yamaha hopes it will make the R1DT much more accessible than this type of vehicle has been previously. Custom-built race cars generally aren’t known for their dependability. With the R1DT, Yamaha wants to offer dirt oval racers high performance with the same dependability and reduced maintenance as the other products it is known for.
YAMAHA R1DT SPECIFICATIONS
Engine type—998cc, liquid-cooled, inline, 4-cylinder DOHC; 16 valves
Bore x stroke—79.0mm x 50.9mm
Fuel delivery—Fuel injection with YCC-T and YCC-I
Ignition—TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition)
Transmission—6-speed w/ multi-plate slipper clutch
Front suspension —Unequal-length, A-arm suspension adjustable for camber and camber gain rate with Fox 2.0 threaded body adjustable coil over shocks. Six inches of travel
Rear suspension—Unequal-length, A-arm suspension adjustable for camber and camber gain rate with Fox 2.0 threaded body adjustable shocks. Six inches of travel, .875-inch-diameter adjustable sway bar
Front brakes—Wilwood billet two-piston calipers on a 10.0-inch rotor adjustable for front to rear bias
Rear brakes—Single four-piston Wilwood caliper center mounted on a 10.0-inch rotor, adjustable for front to rear bias
Tire/front left—Hoosier 8/22.5-13
Tire/front right—Hoosier 8/23.0-13
Tire/rear left—Hoosier 76.0/10.0-13 or 78.0/10.0-13
Tire/rear right—Hoosier 80.0/10.0-13
Dimensions/L x W x H—140.0 x 73.0 x 52.25 inches
Fuel Capacity—3.0-gallon poly fuel cell w/ anti-slosh foam, integrated pump fuel gauge and rollover valve
Wet weight—1200 pounds