Yamaha Announces New 2014 Viking Side-by-Side to Replace Rhino

Jun. 12, 2013 By Josh Burns, Photos Courtesy of Yamaha
Yamaha;s new 2014 Viking will replace the Rhino in the company's SxS/UTV lineup.

Yamaha made a big announcement today by unveiling an all-new side-by-side, the Viking 700. The 2014 Viking 700 will offer Yamaha’s most powerful four-wheel-drive engine to date as well as a three-person front cab.

The new 2014 Viking will replace Yamaha’s popular Rhino in its lineup. The company says the Viking is the first SxS with “true three-person seating capacity,” which is due in part to the Viking’s pass-through bucket seating. Yamaha also notes the Viking is the only vehicle in its class with three-point seat belts for all passengers.

A "true three-seater," the Viking offers three-point seat belts for all passengers.

“With the introduction of the all-new Viking, Yamaha is once again taking a leadership position in the growing multi-purpose SxS segment of the off-road business,” said Mike Martinez, vice president of Yamaha’s ATV/SxS Group. “The Viking tops its competition with precise steering and superior handling, excelling in the areas of durability, reliability, ease of use, and cargo and towing capacity. The Viking’s class-leading handling and off-road performance make it the only SxS vehicle that can claim true utility-pointed design while still providing a fun, confidence-inspiring experience in a recreational setting.”

While fitting three comfortably in the cab is a big selling point for the Viking, the engine powering the vehicle also garners its share of attention. Yamaha’s strongest four-wheel-drive engine to date is found in the Viking, as the 686cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine will power the 1342-pound UTV. The liquid-cooled, single-overhead-cam engine features a bore and stroke of 102 x 84 mm.  Yamaha also developed a new air injection system designed to burn unspent vapors in the exhaust to further reduce emissions.

A Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt transmission, which the company says featured all-wheel engine braking, puts the power to the ground and offers the driver shift options of Low, High, Neutral and Reverse. Yamaha’s On-Command system helps control the three-way locking differential, 2WD, 4WD and locked 4WD operation.

The Viking features independent double-wishbone suspension in the front and rear, offering 8.1 inches of travel and 11.8 inches of ground clearance. Stopping power is handled via dual-hydraulic disc brakes both front and rear. The Viking offers a 1500-pound towing capacity, while the bed can carry up to a 600-pound load.

The Viking will be replacing the Rhino in Yamaha’s lineup for 2014, meaning 2013 will be the last year the Rhino will be offered as a new vehicle. The company will of course still support the popular Rhino UTV but had to make room in its lineup for the Viking.

New shoulder bolsters will help provide a more secure ride for the outside passenger and driver.

Pricing for the 2014 Yamaha Viking will start at $11,499 for the Steel Blue base model. The Red and Hunter Green versions, which come with a suntop, will be priced at $11,699 (the Camouflage model will be $12,249). Optional power steering will be available on each more for an additional $1000.

Although the big news for Yamaha is with its new Viking 700, the company did also make some updates with its 2014 ATVs as well. The Grizzly 700 sees some changes with its chassis and suspension, as Yamaha gave the ’14 model a wider tread width of 60mm as well as longer suspension stroke on both the front and rear shocks to improve comfort during slow-speed cruising.

2014 Yamaha Grizzly 700

The Grizzly will still be powered by a 686cc four-stroke engine with a four-valve head designed to provide good low-end torque while improving fuel efficiency. Yamaha’s On-Command 4WD system will still control 2WD, limited-slip 4WD and locked 4WD with its push-button control.

Yamaha also updated the Grizzly’s wheels by rolling in the inner lip slightly, while new Maxxis tires will provide traction for the trail. The 2014 Grizzly EPS pricing starts at $9,499, while the non-EPS models being at $8,899.

Yamaha’s performance-minded YFZ450R will return in 2014 and is now produced at Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America’s plan in Newman, Georgia. Yamaha outfitted the 2014 YFZ with a slipper clutch that is designed to reduce clutch lever effort by approximately 25 percent. The new clutch will increase clutch plate pressure for positive engagement while reducing engine breaking to aid in faster cornering to allow the suspension to soak up the bumps better when downshifting in a corner.

2014 Yamaha YFZ450R

The 449cc engine found on the 2014 YFZ uses five-valve cylinder head technology with new cam profiles and a new exhaust to increase overall power on the sporty ATV. Yamaha also narrowed the seat in the front and widened it more in the rear for improved rider movement when shifting body weight through aggressive turns. The quick-release fasteners (previous only available on the Special Edition models) is now standard on YFZs to allow quick and easy removal of the front and rear fenders. The wheels have also been redesigned with the inner lip rolled in more to increase rigidity and a slightly reduction in weight.

The 2014 YFZ450R will start at $8,599 for the Yamaha Blue/White or Blaze Orange models, while a Special Edition Crimson Red/Black model will retail for $8,949.

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