Yamaha has expanded its Side-by-Side (SxS) range with a brand new sports model packed with innovative, industry leading technology. Designed for ultimate off-road performance, the YXZ1000R goes up against the Polaris RZR and Can-Am Maverick in the fight for dominance in the pure sports class.
With a line-up of models like the Wolverine and the Viking, Yamaha was practically absent from the sportier end of the SxS world. The introduction of the YXZ1000R aims at filling this void and Yamaha has made sure its new model is equipped with the weaponry required for the task at hand.
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The engine is a new three-cylinder four-stroke 998 cc unit – the first triple in a class that until now has been dominated by twins. So far we have no word on power figures, with some (unconfirmed) initial reports putting the number in the 110 hp (82 kW) region. Fueling is assigned to a Mikuni injection system with triple 41 mm (1.6 in) injectors, fed with fresh air by a high mounted intake. For added reliability Yamaha has opted for twin air filters, combining a foam and a paper element that are both accessible without the need for tools.
Another industry first is the new five-speed sequential transmission, a constant mesh design with reverse, equipped with a torque limiter and mated to a 21-plate hydraulic clutch. This system promises to deliver responsive gear shifting without the losses that are usually associated with automatic CVT transmissions.
Positioned in front of the engine and between the seats, this transmission incorporates Yamaha’s On-Command system which allows the driver to switch through 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with Differential Lock at the turn of a dial. Power is transferred to the front and rear differentials via single-piece drive shafts.
Built around a steel chassis, the YXZ1000R is equipped with long-travel Fox Podium RC2 piggyback shocks, adjustable for spring preload, rebound as well as hi and low compression damping. The four alloy wheels with 27-inch Maxxis tires connect to the frame via double wishbone suspension in the front a single setup in the rear.
Braking is via four disc brakes with 245 mm (9.6 in) discs and two-piston calipers all around, plus a parking brake that acts on the drive shaft.
On the passenger comfort front, the driver is likely to appreciate the speed sensitive Electronic Power Steering system, especially in low speed steering over tough terrain. Both seats offer a selection of eight different positions on the longitudinal axis and the steering wheel is tilt adjustable. A lightweight composite sunroof comes as standard, as of course are the three-point seat belts. The cargo bay with 136 kg (300 lb) capacity and the inclusion of four steel tie-down points is another feature that enhances the YXZ1000R’s practicality.
Yamaha will offer its new SxS in three color variations, a yellow 60th Anniversary Edition (the SE), a blue/white and an orange/black combo. The SE is scheduled for a December release, the blue version is expected in February, and the orange will come at a later, as yet undefined date. Starting prices in USA range from $19,799 (orange) and $19,999 (blue) to $21,599 (SE).
Yamaha's promo video for the new YXZ1000R is below.