Yamaha Unveils 2016 YXZ1000R Sport UTV

Sep. 02, 2015 By Josh Burns, Photos Courtesy of Yamaha

The teasing is over. Yamaha has finally pulled the cover off its all-new sport UTV in the 2016 YXZ1000R, adding more exciting the booming market of sport-minded side-by-sides that appears will only get bigger in the coming years.

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It was shocking to some when Yamaha decided to stop producing its genre-defining UTV the Rhino. Yamaha did quickly have something to fill the void, however, in the Viking, though the three-seater Viking didn’t have that sporty, sexy appeal of other sport-minded UTVs on the market, because, well, it wasn’t a sport UTV.

That’s not the case for Yamaha’s new YXZ1000R, a “pure sport UTV” highlighted by a high-performance engine and the industry’s first fully manual five-speed sequential shift transmission. The new YXZ1000R is powered by a three-cylinder, 12-valve, DOHC, liquid cooled, 998cc engine that features a 11.3:1 compression ratio and a high-revving 10,500 rpm redline.

“With broad, linear torque, the YXZ1000R responds to driver input with exciting sport performance power from low- to high-rpm range, and the triple throttle bodies provide a more direct connection between driver throttle input and engine response,” says Yamaha of its engine in a press release.

Feeding the YXZ1000R’s triple is an air inlet that Yamaha mounted higher to get up out of the dust and provide clean air to the engine. The new Yamaha UTV also features dual air filters to make sure the air getting to the hard-working engine is as clean as possible.

Out back, Yamaha employs a high-volume stainless-steel system “three-into-one” exhaust system. Yamaha says the exhaust, tuned for ideal power, features an integrated honeycomb catalyzer and removable spark arrestor, and it does of course meet EPA and CARB regulations.

One of the things that really sets this new sport-minded UTV apart from the rest is the fully manual transmission. The YXZ1000R’s five-speed is operated via a floor-mounted clutch pedal and short-stroke shift lever. Yamaha notes: “With the YXZ1000R’s direct-drive transmission, driveline efficiency is increased, supplying optimal engine power directly to the rear wheels, while cam dampers on both the input and output shafts keep shifting smooth and precise.”

When it comes to trail performance, the YXZ1000R is outfitted with suspension capable of performing when the going gets rough. Yamaha employs long-travel FOX 2.5 Podium Shocks that offer 16 inches of travel in front and an impressive 17 inches of travel in the rear. The shocks are fully adjustable for hi- and low-speed compression, rebound, and adjustable preload, and the rear shock feature FOX Bottom Out Cup (BOC) technology, which is designed to reduce the chance of bottoming out during aggressive driving.

The YXZ1000R employs a double A-arm design up front and out back, and Yamaha didn’t skip the details and made sure to color-match the arms to the UTV. Yamaha says the front A-arms have optimized castor, bump steer and Ackerman throughout the travel and steering angle. Spherical bearings are featured on the rear A-arms to ensure accurate tire alignment, and Yamaha notes the rear shocks are mounted as far out as possible, providing the longest stroke. Yamaha says it mounted the engine low and longitudinally in the chassis to aid in maximizing suspension travel in the rear. To reduce engine vibration, Yamaha employs a single shaft, one-axis balancer.

The YXZ1000R features Yamaha’s Electric Power Steering (EPS). The vehicle’s front differential incorporates Yamaha’s On-Command 2WD, 4WD and 4WD full diff-lock, which is controlled via a dial on the center console.

Driver and passenger will sit in contoured high-back, cut-and-stitch seats. The driver’s seat is adjustable to eight positions (90mm of adjustment), and the steering wheel can also be changed to preference via tilt adjustable steering wheel with 147mm of vertical travel.

A hybrid digital-analog multi-function meter features speedometer, tachometer and shift light. The center console incorporates a parking brake handle, headlight switch, On-Command dial, and the sequential manual shift lever. A center storage tray and passenger-side latching glove box offer some storage space, while a center-mounted 12V outlet can power accessories and personal items.

The sport UTV features Yamaha-exclusive 27-inch, six-ply Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 radial tires with standard 14-inch cast aluminum wheels. Four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with twin piston calipers are featured at all corners. Yamaha says large 245mm rotors were adopted for enhanced cooling and reduced brake noise.

The new YXZ1000R will be assembled in Yamaha’s Newnan, Georgia, plant. Pricing for the YXZ1000R will start at $19,799. Color options will include Yamaha Racing Blue/White, Blaze Orange/Black, and Yamaha’s 60th anniversary celebration Yellow-and-Black. Models will arrive in dealerships later this month, while the 60th anniversary edition hits dealerships in October.

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