2018 Yamaha Wolverine X4 Revealed

Meet the X4: Four seats and a new twin-cylinder engine

Sep. 06, 2017 By Stephen Elmer. Photos by Stephen Elmer and Yamaha.

Yamaha is giving four riders a new way to get out on the trails: the all-new Wolverine X4.

The new X4 isn't just an expansion on the existing Wolverine side-by-side, as it rides on an all-new chassis, runs a brand new engine, features a clever rear seat design and a new suspension setup. Let's dig into the details to see what Yamaha is bringing to the table with the new X4.


Let's start with that new engine. It's an 847CC DOHC twin cylinder unit that has an offset cylinder block that helps to keep it compact and to reduce friction loss. That should result in a free revving feeling in the real world, controlled by the new Yamaha Chip Controlled-Throttle (YCC-T) system, a drive-by-wire setup that uses a quick response servo motor to control the 12-hole fuel injectors and two-stage filtration air box.

Besides responsiveness, this YCC-T system allows there to be a nanny key, giving the owner the ability to limit the speed of the X4 to 25 MPH for either employees on a work site or for novice riders.

Yamaha's Ultramatic continuously variable transmission (CVT) is used with the new power plant, still featuring the same constant belt tension feature that prevents freewheeling down hills. Beyond that, On-Command 4WD allows riders to choose between two-wheel drive, limited-slip four-wheel drive and fully locked differential four-wheel drive.

To stop it all, 8.1-inch vented disk brakes with two piston calipers are put to work. Electric power steering will be standard on every X4.

Size and Seats

One of the biggest advantages of the X4 is its compact size, though it's not quite the shortest four-seat side-by-side around. The X4 has a wheelbase of 82.7 inches and a full width of 59 inches.

That makes the Honda Pioneer's 80.2-inch wheelbase slightly shorter, though the X4 is shorter than the Kawasaki Teryx 4's 85.6-inch wheelbase and much smaller than the Polaris General4, which has a huge 113-inch wheelbase.

What results is a machine that offers generously proportioned rear seats and a fairly compact footprint to help with tight trails. Yamaha says those rear passengers get 15.7 inches of foot space and 13 inches of knee room, just enough for a full size adult. A few smart tricks are employed with the rear seats to make them more functional.

First is a slight lift so the rear passengers sit higher than the front seat occupants, allowing them to catch a glimpse of what is straight ahead. Next is an angled floorboard which passengers can use to better brace themselves. And finally, when you're alone, the seat bottoms fold up and the backs push forward, allowing for a cargo area in the back to be used for storage.

Suspension and Capacities

Self-leveling shocks in the rear are the biggest news for the X4, technology that has been used in automobiles for some time and by some of Yamaha's competitors. These shocks use the motion of the vehicle to pressurize internal valves to keep ride at the proper height.

Independent double-wishbone suspension will be responsible for eating up the terrain, providing 8.7 inches of wheel travel in the front and 8.9 inches in the back. Overall ground clearance sits at 10.7 inches.

As for hauling, a total of 600 pounds of payload is allowed, while towing capability maxes out at 2,000 pounds thanks to a two-inch hitch.

Interior and Comfort

Making the X4 comfortable and quiet was a priority for Yamaha and looking at the list of interior features, it shows. The driver seat is adjustable, the steering column tilts, each seat is nicely bolstered and there are even two cup holders in the front and four in the back. Besides those comforts, some engineering went into making the machine smooth and quite, like the spiral- and helical-cut drivetrain gearing, rubber engine mounts, sound deadening material and more.

A new LCD digital meter in the center stack shows all the essentials including a speedometer, odometer, trip, hours, vehicle status and warnings. Two 12V ports are nestled in the dash along with four pre-wired accessory switches for any aftermarket accessories you might want.

For the ultimate in comfort, Yamaha will sell a full hard cab for the X4 complete with a glass windshield, sliding doors with windows, gas-lift assisted rear window, optional side mirrors, an optional headliner and even speakers. This unit is fully lockable and can even be had with a heater in the dash for the colder months.

A full line-up of accessories is also available for the X4. Things like rock sliders, a spare tire carriers, skid plates, a rear grab bar and a 3,000-lb WARN winch have all been incorporated from the start of development to make sure that each will work as designed.


To start the Wolverine X4 will sell for $15,999 finished in Graphite. Going for Yamaha Blue with overfenders and cast aluminum wheels brings the price up to $16,499, while Realtree Xtra camo finish with the overfenders and cast aluminum wheels will set you back $16,899. Special Edition models are the most expensive and are finished in either matte silver or matte carbon. They come with painted bodywork, a color-matched interior, shock springs, cast aluminum wheels and a price tag of $17,249.

Our Thoughts

Our time with the X4 included no riding, but we were able to poke, prod and touch the machine, giving us a few initial thoughts. First, it doesn't seem like a large machine, so Yamaha's claim of nimble trail handling should stand up. The adjustability in the seat and steering wheel is also really appreciated, allowing the X4 to be comfortable for riders of all sizes.

As for the rear seats, it seams that unlike Honda with the Pioneer, Yamaha prioritized the rear seat passengers. Sitting in the back of the X4 is fairly comfortable even for an adult and the seating position feels natural and not cramped. Once the seats are folded out of the way though, the track that holds them is left sticking out of the floor rather than being tucked away in it. In the Honda Pioneer, the seats fold nicely out of the way, leaving a flat floor, although those seats are much smaller and nowhere near as comfortable.

Finally, we can't say how the new engine will be, but we can say we're happy to see a brand-new twin engine in a Wolverine and it probably won't be long until this power plant spreads to other Yamaha side-by-side models.

It's only a matter of time before off-road.com is given they keys to a new X4, so make sure you come back for real-world impressions of the new Yamaha four seater.

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