UTVs may have started out as a work vehicle for hauling lots of cargo across uneven terrain, but the current generation of sport side-by-sides have morphed the category into an incredibly fun toy for off-roaders with a daredevil streak. When it comes to sport side-by-sides, it’s universally-accepted that the Polaris RZR and the Can-Am Maverick pretty much sit at the top of the heap. This year, though, they’ll be joined by the Yamaha YXZ1000R, which the company is calling “the only true pure sport SxS ever developed.”
We know, that’s a lofty claim. It is not, however, without its merits.
The Yamaha YXZ1000R boasts an industry-first three-cylinder engine (998cc), which produces around 110 horsepower and a high 10,500 rpm redline. That’s a whole lot of power for a 1,510-pound ride, ensuring this thing won’t just go fast – it will go very fast. It also comes with a fully-manual five-speed sequential shift transmission (another industry-first), sending as much as 20 percent more power to the rear wheels by eliminating losses during gear shifts, along with on-command 4WD that should let you drift, climb, or crawl your way out of whatever obstacle lies in your path.
Built around a steel chassis, the SxS features highly-adjustable Fox 2.5 Podium shocks (16 inches of travel in front, 17 inches out back), optimized suspension geometry, electric power steering, all-wheel disk brakes, and 27-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires. Inside, the cab boasts high-back seats that can be adjusted without tools, steering wheel with adjustable tilt, generous leg room, and dashboard instruments lifted straight out of Yamaha’s supersport motorcycles.
Available starting next month, the Yamaha YXZ1000R is priced starting at $19,799.