Yamaha lets the all-new Wolverine RMAX 1000 out of the cage
Yamaha USA reaches for new heights of versatility with its latest 999cc engine-powered side-by-side family. The Wolverine RMAX 1000 lineup of two- and four-seaters combines a powerful twin-cylinder engine with a triple-setting D-Mode drive system that adapts the response of the drive-by-wire to the tasks and terrain ahead. Hop in with one or three of your closest companions and tear desert floor to fine dust, slow-crawl steadily through swampy backcountry, or haul tools around the work site.
The RMAX 1000 line becomes the flagship of Yamaha's "Recreation" category, striking the balance between a workhorse UTV and an all-out performer like the YXZ1000R our own Loz Blain put through the forward and sideways paces a few years ago. It includes three trims (standard, XT-R and LE) in both two-seat (RMAX2) and four-seat (RMAX4) configurations, building on the capabilities of the Wolverine X2 and X4 for a careful balance of fast, furious four-wheeling, steady, precise crawling and capable, no-quit hard-working.
Inside a newly optimized chassis, the Wolverine RMAX 1000 models feature a more powerful iteration of Yamaha's 999cc DOHC eight-valve parallel twin-cylinder that revs right up to an 8,500-rpm redline. The engine is mated to an Ultramatic CVT transmission, with power delivery, throttle response and engine braking managed via the new D-Mode driving system that Yamaha calls a first in the industry.
"Trail" mode finds a comfortable middle ground, delivering linear throttle response for smooth acceleration while cranking up engine braking to keep things controlled. This mode seems likely to appeal to the widest range of riders and comes as the standard preset.
"Sport" mode ratchets things up a notch with quick throttle response, more aggressive acceleration and dialed-back engine braking, perfect for open trails, deserts and dunes. "Crawl" mode goes the other direction, pulling throttle response back to moderate, upping engine braking to full and delivering smooth, measured acceleration for working over rocks, through mud, or onward and upward beyond other technical challenges.
A separate On-Command system switches between two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive with limited-slip differential, and 4WD with locked differential.
All four-seat RMAX4 1000 models come equipped with a speed management system that caps vehicle speed at 25 mph (40 km/h) at the turn of a removable key. This system helps guarantee safe, stable operation during work tasks, useful when putting the 600-lb-rated (272-kg) bed with hydraulic dump function or 2,000-lb (907-kg) towing to work. The speed management system also comes on the top-level two-seat RMAX2 1000 LE.
Whatever mode the RMAX 1000 and its driver are in, the A-arm suspension with Fox 2.0 QS3 shocks smooths out the bumps and bashes. Front shocks deliver a full 14.2 in (36 cm) of travel on both the RMAX2 and RMAX4 models, while the RMAX2 leads the way with 16.9 in (41 cm) of rear travel (RMAX4 rear = 13.3 in/33.7 cm). Ground clearance is 13.8 in (35 cm) on the RMAX2 and 13.4 in (34 cm) on the RMAX4. The shocks feature tool-free adjustment to easily switch between standard trail riding, tempered cruising or aggressive all-out performance. LE models include a three-way rocker switch in the cockpit for adjusting damping between comfort, medium and firm.
RMAX2 1000 XT-R and LE models ride on 30-in Maxxis Carnivore tires with the same front and rear widths, while RMAX4 1000 models ride on 29-in Maxxis Carnage tires that run narrower up front. Base-level standard models run GBC Dirt Commander or Dirt Commander 2 tires.
Yamaha fully fortifies the Wolverine RMAX 1000 with a standard steel bumper with welded-steel tie-down points, underbody skid protection and welded-on rear tire protectors. XT-R and LE models come with a standard Warn VRX 4,500-lb (2,040-kg) winch, while standard models are prepared for accessory winch add-on.
The RMAX 1000 interior is furnished with soft-touch materials, including the rubber over-molded steering wheel, padded knee areas and soft-touch, quick-adjust passenger handhold. The available Magellan-powered Adventure Pro 7-in GPS unit is integrated neatly into a lockable dash housing, removing easily to guide users during side adventures.
The Wolverine RMAX 1000 models launch at Yamaha dealerships across the US today. The Wolverine RMAX2 1000 standard model starts at US$19,799, while the RMAX4 1000 starts at $21,299. Higher-spec XT-R and LE trims start at $21,999 and $23,299, respectively. Yamaha offers more than 100 different factory-designed accessories out of the gate.