2016 yxz1000r problems

2016 yxz1000r problems DEFAULT

What it’s like living with the newest YXZ on the block. 

By Cody Hooper

We first started our journey with Yamaha’s unique YXZ1000R back in 2016. As soon as the unit was released, we snagged a fresh blue and white manual-shift version from the late, great Art Wood at Bert’s Mega Mall in Covina, California. If you’re a UTV Guide reader, you’ll recognize this car, as it has been the basis of many YXZ-related stories over the past few years. Since 2016, this car has racked up a little over 2,000 miles, and has taken us along some of the greatest trails in California, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.

The YXZ1000R will take you to some amazing places, and put a smile on your face every step of the way.

NEW FOR 2019

Fast forward to December of 2018, when we purchased yet another new YXZ. This time, we opted for a metallic blue 2019 YXZ1000R SS Special Edition. We have been driving the car hard for over 3 months now, and with 650+ hard dirt miles on the odometer, we believe we have a relatively complete understanding of the car’s highs and lows. First, let’s cover the major differences between the first generation (2016-2018) and second generation (2019 & up) YXZ.

Yamaha really listened to customer, media, and racer feedback when they were developing the 2019 YXZ1000R. While it isn’t an all-new unit by any means, it features a host of updates both small and large that make the 2nd Gen YXZ an overall better car to live with. A short list of those features includes:

  1. Transmission gearing: New middle gear is 7% lower, so 1st through 5th is 7% lower. 1st gear is reduced an additional 16.6%, making the overall first gear reduction nearly 24%.
  2. Tires: 8-ply, 29-inch Maxxis Bighorn tires. The power steering system has been readjusted to provide more assist with the taller tires.
  3. Wheels: New wheel bolt pattern is 4/156, same as the RZR models.
  4. Radiator: Relocated behind the seats to reduce cab heat and keep radiator cleaner. New 32% larger radiator with cooling intake routes keep the 2019 YXZ cooler than previous models in extreme conditions, with up to 300% more airflow provided by the dual radiator fans.
  5. Shocks: Available with dual-rate springs with adjustable crossovers. All-new settings for all shock packages with a noticeable difference in ride quality.
  6. GYTR Turbo: Engine comes with turbo-ready rods making GYTR Turbo install easier. Other small internal engine updates improve overall durability.
  7. Cage: New design eases entry/exit from vehicle and enhances styling. Standard roof is now a flatter profile and includes a front drip rail.
  8. GPS: Pre-wired for incorporating the all-new Yamaha Adventure Pro GPS powered by Magellan.
  9. Clutch: Improved clutch durability, and updated ECU tuning for the SS models.
  10. Brakes: Larger twin-piston calipers with 255mm rotors and a larger master cylinder. Stainless steel braided brake lines now come stock.
  11. Driveline: Upgraded drive components and differential mounting for increased durability.

What does this all equate to from behind the wheel? In essence, the 2019 YXZ1000R is a better car in every tangible aspect. It accelerates harder, shifts quicker, stops shorter, rides smoother, runs cooler, makes less drivetrain noise, and looks better. The feel from behind the wheel of the 2019 is immensely satisfying, and the harder you drive it, the more it rewards you. Now, let’s elaborate on some of these changes!

2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R

The YXZ’s sporty-looking fenders don’t do a great job of keeping water and mud off of its occupants, but then again, what’s the point of being outdoors if you don’t plan on getting dirty?

HANDLING

We have always loved the YXZ’s handling feel. Its steering ratio is a little slower than the RZR, but its accuracy is second to none. The front end on the first YXZ was great; the 2019’s is magic. This car seems to be hard-wired to your brain synapses, delivering all of the pertinent information about what the front tires are doing through the steering wheel while filtering out the noise. Steering feel is light with the stock tires, and perfect with a set of 30’s. Currently, we are running System3 Offroad’s 30x10R14 RT320 tire, and the YXZ absolutely loves them.

This car goes where you point it, every single time. The front suspension soaks up mid-corner chop with incredible stability, allowing you to plow into corners way faster than you should without detriment. Speaking to Yamaha’s engineers, it is clear that they really spent a lot of time tuning the Fox shocks to deliver a plusher ride and keep the tire’s contact patch more firmly planted on the ground in rough chop. It worked- the shocks have adopted a lighter spring/heavier damper feeling compared to the first-generation cars, and it really pays dividends in ride quality and poise.

Moving the weight of the radiator and cooling system to the middle of the car (just behind the seats) also had a huge impact on the car’s handling feel. This UTV truly feels like a mid-engine sports car in the way that it handles corner entry and exit. Trail-braking into a corner sticks the front tires and loosens up the rear, allowing you to start your pivot in such a fluid manner that rolling back on the throttle mid-corner feels instinctual. It’s a wonderfully rewarding experience to hustle the YXZ1000R down a windy road in 2 wheel drive, as it only takes a twitch of your throttle toe to adjust the car’s line mid-corner.

2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R

Two cars from the same genesis, both outfitted in completely different manners. Surprisingly, the supercharged long-travel YXZ can’t outrun the 2019 car very easily on a tight trail.

BRAKING

Another area Yamaha focused on was the binders, and they made a big improvement here. Our resident 2016 YXZ is equipped with a Packard Performance supercharger kit, an HCR long-travel suspension system, and STI Chicane 31” tires. The stock brakes on the 2016 car are a little underwhelming in this state of modification, but they really weren’t that stellar to begin with. In the 2019 YXZ, however, the brakes are incredibly strong, linear, and as far as we can tell, imperceptible to fade. Well done Yamaha- this car will stop on a dime and give you 9 cents change.

2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R

With a combined 2,700 miles on these two YXZs, they have taken us to some breathtaking places. Luckily, this one is right in our backyard.

ENGINE & TRANSMISSION

The 2019 YXZ1000R’s gearing changes are a welcomed improvement over the first-gen car. We fitted our 2016 YXZ with Yamaha’s accessory TAG gearing kit, as first gear was far too tall with larger tires. That car transformed with the gearing change, and the 2019 YXZ feels even better. Gear spacing is spot-on, with a low enough first gear for nearly any terrain. Rock crawlers will still want to opt for a lower first gear, and Yamaha already has the kit available to do it. For an all-purpose UTV, the 2019’s gearing is darn near perfect.

While Yamaha doesn’t claim a power increase for the 2019 car, the engine’s internals have been beefed up in order to handle the boost supplied by Yamaha’s accessory turbocharger kit. We plan to add one soon, but in the meantime, we ordered up Alba Racing’s SBD performance kit. It made a whopping difference in power for well under $1,000- and it is worth every penny. The full scoop on the Alba kit can be found here.

In stock trim, the YXZ runs well, but it’s better everywhere in the RPM range with the Alba SBD kit. Turning 30 inch tires is a breeze, and the car lights them up with a flick of the throttle. In its stock form, the YXZ is a very well-balanced car in terms of handling, acceleration, and braking.

Running through the gears in the 2019 YXZ1000R puts a smile on our face every time. The car shifts when you want it to, and gear changes happen faster in the 2019 than in previous models. Low-speed clutch engagement is also much improved, eliminating a lot of the bucking and on-off clutch engagement that the first generation SS cars exhibited. Launch control is insanely easy and quick to active, so we find ourselves using it often. To this day, we have yet to break a single driveline part in one of our YXZs.

Rugged Radios

Rugged Radios’ com systems are a must-have if you ride with multiple YXZs. We will be posting a long-term review on this radio kit soon as well.

COMFORT & INTERIOR

It’s no secret- the first-gen YXZs got HOT inside the cab. With the radiator positioned under the dash, all the hot air was directed through the heat exchanger and forced right through the plastic center console. While it’s nice touch on cold winter nights, it makes for a leg-baking good time in warmer weather. Our fix on the 2016 model was to add some heat-reflective sheeting to the inside of the tunnel and install soft door bags on the side of the tunnel. This made the 2016 car much easier to live with, but the 2019 car doesn’t need these modifications. With the radiator now positioned behind the seats, you get a cooler cab, but slightly less bed space.

Yamaha’s new ROPS system (roll cage) on the 2019 YXZ looks light years better than previous models, and the side rails are raised up to reduce the chance of you whacking your helmet against it while getting in and out of the car. Interior space in the YXZ has always been plentiful, as it has one of the widest cabs in the segment. Shoulder room is great for taller riders, and knee/leg room is plentiful. This is a very comfortable cockpit to spend time in, both from a driver’s and passenger’s perspective. The wraparound grab bar is also a favorite with our co-pilots, as are the full doors with complete plastic inner door panels. Our one gripe is that we wish the doors opened the other way- it would make getting in and out of the car slightly easier.

Ergonomically, everything in the YXZ is right where it should be. The shifter, parking brake lever, light controls, and 4WD switch are easily controlled without having to look down, and the reverse lever in the SS model is on the correct side of the wheel to engage while shifting down past first gear. The gauges and LCD display are clear and easy to read, and the programmable shift light is probably the best feature of the interior. You can set the shift light to come on earlier if you’re a little slower at reacting to it, and it will keep you from banging the inline triple off its 10,500 RPM rev limiter like an amateur- although sometimes we do it just for fun.

It is worth mentioning that the YXZ’s electrical system layout makes it incredibly easy to install accessories that require power. The battery is located under the center console and requires no tools, and the 2019 YXZ is now pre-wired for GPS, accessory lighting, and more. Yamaha even added mounting tabs to the front of the frame for their accessory pod lights.

Adventure Pro GPS

Yamaha’s accessory Magellan Adventure Pro GPS is an absolute gem. The RAM mount it comes with is infinitely adjustable and solid as a rock. Here, you can see the basic gauge layout on the Adventure Pro.

SHOULD YOU BUY ONE?

While we realize that the YXZ1000R isn’t a car for everyone, not a single reason comes to mind NOT to buy one. If you’re only going to be riding in the dunes, and big power is your thing, one of the turbo UTVs on the market may be a simpler choice for you. You can get a brand new YXZ1000R and have the dealer bolt on the GYTR turbocharger kit for roughly the same cost as a mid-level RZR Turbo or Maverick X3, but you’ll have less suspension travel. The kicker is that the GYTR turbocharged car will leave either stock RZR or X3 in the dust, as it’s tuned to deliver over 180 horsepower in full-warranty trim. If you spend your time on trails, in the woods, or exploring backroads, it’s hard to imagine a more satisfying car to drive than the 2019 YXZ.

The best thing about the YXZ is how it handles, and it will make you hang the back end out every chance you get.

WHAT HAVE WE CHANGED?

We have already added a few aftermarket components to our 2019 model. Most are standard items we add to every car- Rugged Radios 60W radio and RRP660+ intercom system, Rugged fresh air pumper system, PRP RS seats and 4 point harnesses, Assault Industries convex mirrors and fire extinguisher kit, and the upgraded 30” System3 Offroad RT320 tires. We also added a Yamaha rear storage box, which is worth its weight in gold considering the diminished bed space on the 2019 car. A Yamaha/Magellan Adventure Pro GPS system was also added, and we will be providing a detailed writeup on that very soon. This is a great addition to the car, as it not only gives you live GPS capability with downloadable custom maps from other users, but interfaces with the YXZ’s ECU and gives you a full readout of just about every engine parameter you can think of, including gear position.

Future plans for the YXZ include a GYTR swinging spare tire mount, GYTR turbo kit, an aftermarket roll cage, and a few other small performance tweaks.

They sure are pretty, aren’t they? We built this trailer by hand to be able to load tow cars and take all of our tools, while still having a 10 foot box on the front for sleeping quarters.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES?

While few and far between, there are a few things that came up. First and foremost is the reduced bed space on the 2019 cars. Understandably, moving the radiator rearwards eats up a lot of room, and Yamaha did a great job of minimizing the affect it had on the size of the storage area. However, the bed on the first-gen YXZ is noticeably larger, as is the Yamaha accessory storage box that fits in it. Also, the fuel tank is relatively small at 9 gallons. Aftermarket tanks are already available, and the YXZ is still good for 120+ miles of range at normal pace. The interior also lacks sufficient storage area for small items, but adding a set of door bags and a nifty center console bag eliminates this issue.

Other gripes: cupholders are in an odd place (passenger floorboard), and the doors open the wrong way for an offroad car. Besides that, we can’t find much to whine about!

Owning a UTV this pretty means that you’ll want to keep it clean!

FINAL THOUGHTS

We thoroughly enjoy every minute spent with this car. In a day and age where seemingly every marketing team is throwing out the biggest numbers they can to gobble up car sales, Yamaha seems intent on building a car that is more funto drive and easier to live with. To us, that speaks volumes. The sport UTV driving experience should be about the whole package- how the car handles itself in rough situations, how easy it is to drive hard, and how well it holds up when you’re really giving it hell on your favorite trails. In all of those aspects, the 2019 YXZ1000R truly delivers. Don’t believe us? Click here to find a Yamaha demo day near you, and get behind the wheel of one. You won’t be disappointed!

The YXZ is so poised on rough, uneven terrain that it makes you want to set a lap record on every trail. Here it is in its natural habitat, enjoying some of the greenest California scenery of the year.

2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R SS West Coast Desert Review

2019 Yamaha YXZ1000R East Coast Trail Review

Glamis Media Ride with Yamaha

ALBA RACING YXZ1000R “SBD” HOP-UP KIT

Yamaha Introduces All-New Adventure Pro GPS Powered by Magellan

Vehicle ReviewYamaha YXZ1000RYXZ1000R

Sours: https://www.utvguide.net/long-term-review-2019-yamaha-yxz1000r-ss-se/

Small Vehicle Resource Blog

The new Yamaha YXZ1000 targets the "pure sport" side-by-side segment, with an eye toward dune riding.

The Yamaha YXZ1000 targets the “pure sport” side-by-side segment, with an eye toward dune riding.

Yamaha introduced the YXZ1000R in September of 2015. The launch marked Yamaha’s entry, or some would say re-entry, into the pure sport segment of the side-by-side market. The YXZ1000R was the first side-by-side with a manual 5-speed sequential-shifting transmission as opposed to a CVT. The vehicle is powered by a 998cc liquid-cooled DOHC inline three-cylinder and produces about 112 HP. YXZ1000R also features FOX 2.5 Podium shocks and a boatload of suspension travel. (Full specs) For drivers less experienced with a manual transmission, a Rekluse clutch option is available so the clutch pedal does not have to be used.

For 2017 the base model and the SE models remain essentially the same except for some body color changes. The biggest addition for the 2017 model year is the SS variation that has paddle shifters, which avoids the need for using a clutch pedal while shifting. As is noted in the review comments, the original YXZ has more appeal to drivers with manual transmission experience. The paddle shifters should widen the appeal of the YXZ to riders with more varied driving experience.

With the importance of Yamaha’s entry into the sport segment and unique manual transmission, there are quite a few expert reviews of the YXZ1000R. Most of the reviews are based on day long test drives.

Not surprising for a high-end side-by-side, the reviews are generally very positive. Some of the key takeaways across all reviews:

  • Designed for the desert rider
  • Manual transmission requires more experienced driver but those drivers will really like the unique driving experience
  • Shifting is smooth and precise
  • Downshifting and engine braking are great for downhill runs
  • Engine works better at higher RPMs and suspension is better at higher speeds
  • Vehicle feels planted and has limited body roll and steering is precise
  • Comfortable seating

The following are some of the key comments from individual reviews.

UTVUnderground.com – Day long test drive in dunes at Glamis.

  • From the outside the YXZ isn’t the most appealing UTV on the market.
  • The seating position is the best of any UTV I have driven. The seats lean back and are comfortable.
  • Seats should have a 4 or 5 point harness instead of the standard 3 point seat belts
  • Overall the interior is good.
  • The design of the YXZ is unique – particularly the hood design which gives a different feel while driving than other UTVs.
  • Rear Suspension – The lower arm is much like a trailing arm but unlike what you see on a RZR or Wildcat it also has an upper control arm which really helps the rear of the car to stay stable and planted to the ground.
  • The factory setup is designed for the desert rider
  • Rear wheels feel planted and there is minimized body roll. The ride may be considered stiff.
  • Handled all of the riding conditions encountered.
  • The torque felt great; shifting allows the driver to deliver the power where they need it and while it can be tricky to remain in the right gear, once you master it you can control the YXZ unlike any other UTV on the market.
  • You really need to run it up in the RPM to get the most of it, especially in the dunes.
  • The 5-speed gear box was what I was most impressed with on the YXZ. I had been expecting a very loose feeling shift and weak clutch but what I got was a real performance minded feeling of a tight shift and instantaneous engagement.
  • You can’t really up the size of your tires without drastically reducing your performance.
  • The Yamaha is very limited as it pertains to setting up for other types of riding, it was designed to be a pure sport desert machine.
  • While it will be tricky to drive for the average Joe, for anyone with any sport or performance driving / riding experience, they will love the YXZ!
  • We drove 20 plus units with over 500 miles on them and not one machine was towed in or broken at the end of the day.

Dirtrider.com – Day long test drive in dunes at Glamis. This reviewer comes from more of an off-road motorcycle background.

  • There is a built in safety light that will tell you to shift when absolutely necessary.
  • In 2nd gear you’ll climb the steepest dunes, 3rd gear will lug around most open trails and 4th and 5th are for blasting whoops and racing friends.
  • Shifting is smooth and precise
  • Gas pedal reach may be an issue for shorter riders with the stock adjustable seats.
  • Downshifting with actual engine braking, gives the Yamaha a very dirt-bike-like feel
  • This isn’t the best option as a family rock-crawler.

UTVDriver.com – This test drive involved the YXZ1000R SE which had Silver Metallic and Blaze Red Metallic painted exterior and interior with color matched seats, A-arms and beadlock rings.

  • The exciting YXZ experience is more like riding a sport quad, but it takes much more effort than a CVT-equipped High Performance UTV.
  • The Rekluse clutch prevents the YXZ from stalling when coming to a stop. It has no effect on shifting whatsoever. The Rekluse clutch is a great purchase for new drivers or those spending their time rock crawling, mud bogging or on tight woods trails.
  • Top speed near 80 mph
  • Brakes as good or better than anything currently on UTVs.
  • The engine braking and manual transmission helped on downhills.
  • The vehicle was stable and predictable.
  • The shocks and suspension work better at faster speeds
  • It is hard to bottom out the suspension

YXZOwners.com – These comments are a summary of a long discussion on a YXZ owners forum about the clutch and manual transmission of the YXZ.

  • The consensus is that it takes more effort to drive
  • The machine can handle other terrain besides dune and desert like tight trails, rocks and mud with some driver skill.
  • A less experienced driver may ruin the clutch before its time.
  • Many posters reported driving hundreds of miles with no clutch problem

UTVGuide.net – Day long test ride at Sand Mountain Nevada with the YXZ1000R SE

  • Flimsy plastic skid plate
  • Zerk fittings, properly routed wires, lines and cables, the fit and finish on this machine takes it to the head of the class from the get go.
  • Very comfortable adjustable seating
  • Engine sounds fantastic
  • I found the YXZ to shift as easily and positively as any manual transmission I’ve ever operated.
  • Engine works better at higher rpms
  • Engine is smooth and strong
  • Stiff suspension with factory settings but adjustments can be made.
  • Feels planted and rode better at higher speeds with little body roll.
  • Very good brakes
  • Front locking differential worked well on technical climbing sections but the YXZ requires more skill and effort to operate in these conditions than a UTV with a CVT.
  • The manual transmission is good for downhill runs. I can’t emphasize enough how much better the YXZ handles downhill runs with it’s manual transmission, it’s a huge plus.
  • Shifting is a huge part of what makes the YXZ so much fun to drive and make no mistake, Yamaha’s flagship sport UTV is a seriously fun machine to operate.

Lanesplitter.jalopnik.com – Review of YXZ1000R after day long test ride in desert conditions.

  • Driving in the sand with a real manual transmission adds to the experience in a special way, allowing you an entirely new level of control.
  • Handled bumps really well, a very smooth suspension
  • Good cornering
  • Precise steering
  • Attention to detail
  • Some heat coming from engine and transmission when pushing it.

User Review – This is a user generated video. They take the YXZ1000R out for a short ride in a gravel parking lot.

  • Doors – smooth on the outside so nothing catches
  • Really like the cabin
  • Really smooth shifting
  • Yamaha makes best power steering – easy steering

User Video – No comments, just a video montage of theYamaha YXZ 1000R in action on various terrain.

This entry was posted in market trends, new vehicle, side-by-side, utility vehicles and tagged clutch, dune riding, Glamis, manual transmission, review, utv, yamaha, YXZ 1000R, YXZ1000R SE by Marc Cesare. Bookmark the permalink. Sours: https://www.smallvehicleresource.com/blog/2016/10/18/yamaha-yxz-1000r-reviews/
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No, we don’t actually have one for ourselves to review…….  However, what we can do is summarize what the rest of the world thinks so far.  The YXZ has been in owner’s hands for about a month now, and the feedback has been interesting.

What we can agree on:

Initial quality appears good.  While there have been a few isolated complaints of relatively minor issues, most agree that these units are well thought out and well put together.  This has been widely expected from Yamaha, known for their high quality and good fit/finish.  We did get to at least sit in one of these machines, and agree with this assessment.  While the doors may not be to the highest aftermarket standards, they are very nice for OEM equipment.  The main driver interfaces (wheel, shifter, peddles) all have a positive feel.  Overall, considering this is a brand new platform for Yamaha, we think they are off on the right foot in this department and will only get better.

This thing is fun to drive.  Of course it is.  If you can’t have fun with a 5-speed manual and 10,000+ rpm in a mini sand rail, you are in the wrong sport.

It handles well.  Reports are that the rear sway bar is quite stiff, and combined with a standard front sway bar makes this thing stay flat.  The YXZ is a ride that you can throw into the corners with confidence.  It’s clear that this is a chassis designed to go fast.

They’re fast in stock form, but not as fast as the turbos from either Polaris or Can-Am.  The YXZ has some long legs upstairs, but acceleration is more comparable to the NA Maverick and XP1K.

 

What we’re not sure about yet:

Is the manual transmission really better?  While it is definitely fun, many owners are saying that it is indeed much more work to drive.  While this would seem obvious to some, there has been some evidence of buyer’s remorse from people who bought these things to do tight trail, rock, or mud work.  Many of these owners have been left wishing for a lower first gear for low speed riding.  Dyno results are also showing that the efficiency gains over the CVT design aren’t as dramatic as previously hoped.

Is the suspension too stiff?  There have been complaints, mostly about the rear suspension, being too stiff.  However, most agree that it works much better at higher speeds.  Since that appears to be what the YXZ was designed for, we’re not going to assign any fault here, however some owners may want to opt for some shock tuning work.

Dependability!!!  Yamaha, you’ve been hanging your hat on this attribute, but we are concerned.  About a month in the wild and there is roughly half a dozen cases of burnt clutches being discussed already.  The number is growing.  Reason for concern? Yes.  Should everyone panic? Probably not, but c’mon…..  The video below has caught everyone’s attention lately and shows a YXZ becoming stranded during a water crossing due to a failed clutch.  However, the video also captures that the driver was slipping the clutch as if he was preparing his left leg for some sort of stair-stepping competition.  Sure, maybe some of these things can be blamed on the driver……but surely that isn’t the case for all of them.  Early indications are that Yamaha will not be replacing these under warranty.  Yeah, it’s a wear item, we get it……but denying warranty on a failed clutch with under 200 miles?  Lame.  Parts are also on backorder by the way, hope you didn’t want to drive your $22k SxS anytime soon.

How big is this problem in the scheme of things?  Probably not a death blow to the YXZ.  As frustrating as it may be, we have to remember Polaris’ broken reverse chains, Can-Ams flying clutches, and Arctic Cat’s bent a-arms (because apparently you aren’t supposed to jump a SxS with 18” of suspension travel???).  All of these items get addressed eventually, but it’s a sad realization that the almighty Yamaha couldn’t even get it right the first time.

 

So here’s the “too long, didn’t read” version:

The Yamaha YXZ is a fun, high quality SxS that is designed for going fast.  Everything from the transmission to the sway bars and suspension tuning suggests this thing was designed to run at speed.  If you want one to throw giant tires on it and go mud bogging or rock crawling, you’re gonna have a bad time.  If you’re in the dunes, desert, or open trails the YXZ is badass, but isn’t without bugs.

Yamaha, if you’re listening, get somebody working overtime to crank out some clutch plates please.

Aftermarket, we need better parts STAT.

Owners, let us know your thoughts on this issue in the comments, on the SXS Blog Facebook Page or email us at [email protected]

Sours: https://sxsblog.com/the-yamaha-yxz-is-here-first-impressions-cough-burnt-clutch-cough/
WHY the NEW Yamaha YXZ1000R is the Best UTV you can buy!

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build
What a year and 1200+ hard miles have taught us about Yamaha’s flagship UTV
Words by Cody Hooper // Photos by Cody & Elissa Hooper

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

“For every moment of truth, there’s confusion in life.” This song lyric by the late, great Ronnie James Dio blares through my headset as I’m grabbing a handful of the down paddle and matting the throttle through the floorboard. The YXZ’s rev-happy inline three cylinder responds with a crisp downshift and a big shove forward into the first of a LONG set of whoops.

I’m sitting beside my wife, who is peacefully staring out the side of the YXZ at all of the glory Mother Nature provides us desert folk in mid-spring. I click the up paddle and keep the throttle down, and the YXZ starts to stretch its legs. It stands up on top of the whoops and smooths out, completely blocking out all but the most jarring of hits. How is a “standard travel” sport UTV pulling this off?

You see, spec charts and marketing headlines hardly tell the whole story. You cannot judge a vehicle’s build quality by press photos. You’re not the one feeling the feedback through the steering wheel in a YouTube video. Visceral feelings are meant to be experienced in person, live and unfiltered. The Japanese UTV manufacturers are the only manufacturers chasing the full spectrum of visceral appeal right now, and Yamaha is in the lead. What does full spectrum mean? Power, agility, driver engagement (shifting is a big part of this), ergonomics, comfort, reliability, ease of maintenance, etc. Polaris and Can-Am are focused on winning races, which they’re doing with ease in the Baja and desert circuit. This is great- it breeds massive horsepower and big suspension travel. The question I’m asking is, do you, reader of UTVOff-Road, really need those things?

My family and I spend most of our riding miles on the desert floors and mountainous regions of the Western States. If I were spending all my time in the dunes, the YXZ likely wouldn’t have been my first pick – but isn’t that the beauty of the UTV market these days? We are spoiled for choice! My last three UTVs have been turbo cars, but as I’ve made a shift away from the dunes and find myself frequenting the desert and mountainous regions more, my needs from a UTV have also changed. I no longer need 200 horsepower- although to be honest, we already have plans to boost this YXZ.

For the 2019 model year, Yamaha went back to the drawing board and offered up a mid-cycle refresh that changed much more than we anticipated. The radiator was moved to the rear of the car, increasing its cooling system reliability and capacity all while keeping the cabin much cooler as well. The transmission gearing was altered, allowing for more aggressive lower gearing and a wider spread – this particular YXZ tops out at 84 MPH on the rev limiter in 5th with its current 30” tire setup.

Yamaha also focused heavily on the YXZ’s suspension tuning. Not only are the valving and springs different from the 2016-2018 models, but the philosophy has been altered as well. Whereas the first YXZ followed a light valving/heavy spring profile, the new YXZ goes for a light spring/heavy valving feel. It does absolute wonders for the YXZ’s comfort and poise.

Many other small quality of life changes were made to the YXZ, including a new cage, updated transmission tuning, more powerful brakes, some stronger driveline pieces, and forged engine internals. This allows for the GYTR dealer accessory turbo kit to be fitted to any 2019+ YXZ without internal engine modifications.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
When we first took delivery of the car, we were blown away by how different it felt from the last SS model we sat in. The car’s compliance over all bumps was greatly improved, and it felt as if the already-stellar front end on the YXZ was even more poised and supple. There is a magic feeling to the Yamaha’s steering and front suspension geometry that allows ample control in the ugliest of situations.

We were a little baffled by how much water gets into the cab when you hit water in the Yamaha, but doing it with a little more speed seemed to keep some of the water out of the cab. Storage space was an issue with the stock car and was easily resolved with the addition of a GYTR storage box and spare tire carrier. We also added a few miscellaneous soft bags to the inside of the doors and the center console, the latter of which is actually just a generic Moose dirt bike fender bag. The stock car was great out of the box, so we started to focus on setup items.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

SUSPENSION

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

The 2019 YXZ is unbelievably capable out of the box. The shock tune is so good, in fact, that if you plan on keeping the car completely stock and not adding any weight to it, you likely won’t need to modify your suspension at all. The stock spring and valving package is expertly tuned; the car just needs light adjustments to the ride height (preload), spring crossover, and clickers. The Fox Podium RC2 coilovers on our YXZ are still running the stock valving, but we purchased a heavier-rate custom Eibach spring package since we have added a few hundred pounds in accessories to the car for comfort, safety, and reliability.

Setup is the key to making any car ride and handle well, and the YXZ is no exception. We set ride height at 14.5 inches front and 14.0 rear unladen, measured at the front-and-rearmost parts of the frame where parallel to the ground. Tuning the spring crossover and clickers takes time, knowledge, and a set of eyes outside the car to watch its behavior. We are fine-tuning a final shock tune, which we will reveal in another issue. With the YXZ set up properly, it’s amazing what the car will just erase as you roll over it.
The first-gen YXZs I drove and owned were jumpy and stiff in stock form, often deflecting off of bumps rather than absorbing them. For the best driver control possible in bumpy terrain, the suspension must compress easily enough and rebound quickly enough to keep the tire in contact with the ground. When suspension becomes too stiff & too slow, you get deflection, or a momentary loss of traction as the tire bounces off the ground or an obstacle. Deflection upsets the car and causes a loss of comfort and trust in the vehicle.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

COMFORT AND SAFETY

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

With the suspension on our YXZ now ready to take on some additional heft, we started by focusing on safety modifications. First up were a set of incredible PRP RS seats, which are a great combination of bolstering support and all-day comfort. We also installed a pair of 3” 5-point racing harnesses to keep us secure.

TMW gave us a smoking deal on a gorgeous cage, complete with all of the options we desired for this build- an intrusion bar, inboard grab handles, light bar mounts, aluminum roof, whip and antenna mounts, and rear chase bar accommodations. The cage took a little greasing to get it on, likely because I lifted it on myself and tried to force it on with ratchet straps. Once bolted down, the cage provides a noticeable improvement in chassis rigidity. This does wonders for making the car feel consistent and predictable, but it also increases your perceived safety level.

Rugged Radios sponsored this build with a full radio, intercom, and pumper setup. We used one of their 60-watt RM-60 radios paired with an RRP696+ Bluetooth & Telephone intercom. We are running a grounded short-wave antenna with Rugged headsets inside of HJC/Bell helmets. The onboard coms are great, and the car-to-car works very well unless you get the radios wet at all. We learned during one outing that heavy rain, even with the car covered, was enough to make our radio throw a fit in the morning. We sealed up the back of the box that the radio is mounted in and have not had an issue since.

Rugged’s M3 two-person air pumper takes filtered atmospheric air and forces it into your specially-fitted helmet via a flexible hose. This is paired with a helmet skirt, a long cloth cover that extends from the bottom of the helmet down to your chest, back, and shoulders. This allows the pump to pressurize the helmet very slightly, keeping any dust or sand particles from entering the helmet without the need for goggles. If you ride in groups in dusty terrain, you absolutely need one. Rugged’s kit has an optional variable speed fan controller, which is especially nice for turning the blower speed down in cold weather.

Other interior touches include a host of Assault Industries equipment, including three convex mirrors. Two of our mirrors have unfortunately met early demises, and both of them happened INSIDE the trailer while we were transporting the car. The legs for our pop-up table shook loose from their ties and came harpooning through the cab of the YXZ as we tried to get down the road to Hammertown. Oops.

Assault also sent us a billet steering wheel hub and Navigator genuine suede steering wheel, which is a very trick setup that feels wonderful in your hands. It brings the wheel about 1.5” closer to the driver, which caused issue when we realized we couldn’t reach the paddle shifters very well. We ended up modifying a Hess Motorsports paddle extension kit that was designed to work with an entirely different setup. Some cutting, drilling, and custom bracketry later and we had a perfect fit again.

We also fitted a set of Assault Industries turret-style billet tie rods. With the stock YXZ tie rod ends, heavier 30”+ tire setups cause a bit of wobble in the stock aluminum rod ends. Swapping them for a beefier set eliminates the feeling through the wheel completely. While commonly overlooked, your UTV’s wheel alignment makes a big difference in how the car handles. A little time with a tape measure goes a long way. Typically, we set the car with about 1/8” toe-in at ride height with two passengers.

If you’ve ever driven a YXZ1000R at night, you would have a hard time believing Yamaha ever drove it in the dark during development. We’re not sure why this was done, but the YXZ’s headlights leave a lot to be desired. We remedied the lack of visibility with a couple of phone calls to Vision X, who gave us a generous discount on a set of light bars for the car.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

Up front, we used Vision’s relatively new 51” XPL light bar. It uses Vision’s “Iris Reflector Technology” paired with 5W Cree LED emitters. Vision claims up to 19,260 lumens and over 2,000 ft of useable light for the 51” model. It also features a backlit halo daytime running light and easy slide-track mounting.

Vision’s 35” XPL Chaser bar was mounted to the rear of the TMW cage. We wired up separate functions for the red and amber lights, allowing us to have a high-mounted brake light. It’s much easier to see than the YXZ’s rear tail light, which looks like it was pulled right off the Raptor 700 sport quad. Does anyone else get the feeling that Yamaha built the YXZ specifically to go racing?

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build
With the modifications to our YXZ nearly complete, we started to focus on performance. We ran the car for the first 10 months of its life with an Alba Racing SBD kit installed. This consists of a new head pipe, an airbox spacer, a spark arrestor insert, and an ECU reflash. It added quite a bit of pep to our Yamaha for around $800. The car ran great, but we wanted a little more.

Recently, we installed an HMF Performance Series Blackout full exhaust and DynoJet PowerVision3 tuner. Both of these items are still being tested and will be featured in upcoming UTV Off Road stories. For now, what we can tell you with confidence is that this HMF pipe makes this car an absolute ripper. We kept the Alba airbox spacer and have been working with HMF to build a custom tune file for the YXZ SS. The pipe mounted up easily and has an amazing tone to it. Bottom end performance is noticeably stronger, and it pulls through a broader mid range. Up top is where it really shines, as this thing absolutely lays it down between 7,500 and 11,000 RPM. See the full review of the HMF Performance Series Blackout Full Exhaust here. 

Finally, we get to the tires. While the 2019+ YXZs are shipped with a great 8 ply set of Maxxis Bighorns, we needed slightly more height and a square setup. Yamaha still ships the YXZ with a staggered tire and wheel setup, which makes carrying a spare a bit of a choice. We went with System 3 Offroad’s SB-3 Beadlock Wheel and RT320 tire, sized 30x10R14 all around. We have been running this tire and wheel setup for a year now, with only one failure that was definitely our fault. The steering linearity and front-end grip provided by this tire is a great fit for the YXZ.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build
THE END RESULT

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

The sum of this car’s parts add up to something quite special. We have been testing UTVs since the Rhino was the only game in town, and almost 20 years later, Yamaha is still showing the world they really know how to build a UTV.

Ownership of this car has been completely drama-free. We thoroughly enjoy working on the Yamaha,  having owned units from Polaris, Can-Am, Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. The YXZ’s fasteners are top-notch, and most of it is all dirtbike hardware, which means you can buy a SpecBolt kit that will provide you with a ton of trailside spare bolts for your Yamaha should you need them.

With the new gearing and transmission tuning, the YXZ SS delivers incredibly smooth slow-speed performance. We took to a particularly nasty rocky section of Last Chance Canyon a while back, and were blown away at how smoothly the computer was able to deal with clutch modulation. The tranmission has a personality, meaning it will change its shifting behavior, speed, and abruptness depending on your speed and throttle position. If you’re cruising along at low speed and grab an upshift just to keep the RPMs down, the transmission slurs out a long shift to keep things rolling smoothly. If you’re at wide open throttle and click the paddle however, it cracks off a shift like a rifle shot.

There’s a certain composed feeling you get when the driver, engine, chassis, suspension, and transmission all work in harmony. The YXZ is a symphony of aggressive sounds – the raspy bark of the exhaust at WOT followed by the ignition cut and guttural whack of a full-throttle gear change. The sound of straight-cut gears spooling up as you grab downshifts while standing on the brake pedal trying not to blow right past your turn-in point. It’s not something you simply sit in and drive; the YXZ is meant to be experienced.

Fine sports cars offer more than what can be read in a brochure. It’s about the way the car feels when you drive it, but more importantly, it’s about what the car makes you feel when you drive it. Do yourself a favor- find a newer 2nd gen Yamaha YXZ1000R to try out for just a couple of minutes. That’s all it will take to have you hooked.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Long-Term Review and Build

Logbook Tidbits:
Days In Fleet: 501
Total Miles: 1256
Max Coolant Temp: 226
Gallons of gas used: 89
Average Fuel Range: 120 miles
Lowest Fuel Range: 74 miles
Highest Fuel Range: 153 miles
Max Speed: 84 mph (GPS)
Number of Engine Oil & Filter Changes: 2
Number of Transmission Oil Changes: 2
Number of times air filter cleaned: 2
Number of times shocks have been removed for tuning: 4
Tires Killed: 1
Broken Parts: 2 mirror glass, 1 tire sidewall
Money Spent on Repairs: $156 (tire)
Money Spent on Maintenance: $98.54 for oil change kit (twice), $13 for exhaust gaskets, $20 on filter cleaning chemicals
Favorite Tire Pressure: 18 PSI
Shift Light RPM: 10,500

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Sours: https://utvoffroadmag.com/feature-articles/yamaha-yxz1000r-long-term-review-and-build/

Problems 2016 yxz1000r

10 THINGS THE DEALER WON’’T TELL YOU ABOUT YAMAHA’S YXZ1000R

 

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10

The stock gearing will allow the YXZ1000 to be driven at 100 MPH. You will just have to manipulate the electronics to help get you there from the stock top speed of 80.

 

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9

The front and rear wheels are the same offset. So when you get aftermarket wheels the track with should stay the same from front to back. That’s not the case with the Maverick or RZR. Their stock wheels are wider in the back than the front.

8

The lug pattern for the wheels is 4/110 just like the Rhino and Grizzly. Bigger brakes is what caused the wheel size to jump from 12 inch to 14.

 

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7

You can adjust the shift light to blink or stay on solid when it comes on. The trigger RPM can also be adjusted. Stock it’s set at 10,000 RPM.

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6

The YXZ’s engine is more like the Yamaha Vector snowmobile than any other machine including the Viper, Genesis or R1. Turbo kits are already available for the Vector pumping out 155 horsepower.

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5

The stock clutch plates are identical to the steel and fiber plates in Yamaha’s 1679cc, V Max motorcycle.

 

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4

You do not have to use the clutch to shift the YXZ. You just have to be able to match the RPM’s and wheel speed perfectly before shifting.

 

06-clean

3

Yamaha recommends throwing away the stock paper secondary air filter during service intervals. Yamaha also sells a washable gauze filter as an accessory for $59. It will pay for its self in one season.

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2

You do not need to by aftermarket shocks for the YXZ. The stock shocks have all the adjustment you will ever need including hi and low speed compression, rebound and preload. We expect spring kits to become a popular upgrade.

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1

You will need to invest in a second battery or the external alternator option if you plan on running big lights, a GPS or a stereo in the YXZ. We suggest buying the rear cargo bin which comes with a tray for that second battery.

Sours: https://dirtwheelsmag.com/10-things-the-dealer-wont-tell-you-about-yamahas-yxz1000r/
Yamaha YXZ1000R Long Term Review - 3,000 Hard Miles!

Full crash test (sorry Yamaha): Yamaha's amazing YXZ1000R

The long jump competition went well...

With a three-cylinder 998cc four-stroke engine making 110bhp, a sequential five-speed gearbox, a top-speed of 80mph, and 12-18” inches of suspension travel, Yamaha claim the new YXZ1000R is the most amazing amount of fun you can have this side of a motorcycle. And we’d agree. The triple screams like any high-powered Yamaha MT-09, the gearbox is sequential like a bike, and the way it handles jumps would put most motocross bikes to shame. It even comes in Yamaha speed-block yellow. Just don’t mention our test rider/driver putting one of the £18,000 Yamaha YZX1000R SE buggies on its roof…

But let’s put it out there before we start. No, this isn’t a motorcycle, and yes, this is Bike Social, not quad social or side-by-side social. But, Yamaha UK have had so much interest from motorcyclists since they launched the all-new sports side-by-side earlier this year that they wanted to get some motorcycle journalists in to test them. Who were we to say no?

It’s right at the point where the Simpson safety system is hanging me upside down from the roll cage as I’m upside down and 699kg of finest honed steel is surrounding me and stopping me crushing my neck that I realise I may as well reach or the key and turn it off. Perhaps I should have said no after all. At least I was in the lead, but did manage to do it while racing Yamaha's ace PR man Jeff Turner. Gutted doesn't even begin to say how I felt at that point.

On a bike when you crash you get flung free of the bike, usually. In a car or side-by-side you’re so well clamped in that you’re just hanging upside down, waiting for someone to get you out so you don’t just end up unclipping and landing on your head.

At this point the world goes silent, Potter still thinks he can get it back. He's wrong, very wrong...

Marshalls come running and try to turn the YXZ1000 and its 92kg passenger over, before I’m unclipped and clamber out for the walk of shame back to the pits where Yamaha’s Jeff Turner is waiting. This is what happens when you let motorcycle journalists in things with too many wheels... What a dick.

At the briefing the main man John Thorne of Thorney Motorsport near Silverstone in Northamptonshire had told us: “The chances of getting yourself in trouble is highly possible. They weigh in at 700kg and if it goes wrong there’s a chance you could break your arm. They have 15 to 18” of suspension travel but that means when it goes wrong and they unload there’s a lot to let go. Drive it almost like a boat with slow and steady steering movements.” Essentially, these aren't toys, they're a full-on race car you can buy from Yamaha, and they demand respect.

No words...

He knows this stuff, is a former British Touring Car driver and races a Yamaha YXZ1000R in a British championship. If only I’d listened. Sorry John, Sorry Jeff Turner at Yamaha.

The Yamaha YXF1000R is Yamaha’s attempt at filling in the lucrative market for sports side-by-sides that is taking off around the world, but mostly in America where they have massive deserts to ride, sorry, drive around on. But that hasn’t stopped Yamaha bringing them into the UK for the Britpart MSA British Cross Country Championship, and there are plans for a two car team in the Dakar in 2017. Around 100 cars will come into the UK, many bought by rich, frustrated blokes looking for speed thrills and something different to two wheels. It’s roughly the same price as a Yamaha M1 and is a hell of a lot of metal and excitement for the cash.

Walk round it and any red-blooded petrol head can’t help but be amazed by its purposeful presence. It looks angry at a standstill. The massive suspension travel, those huge Maxxis off-road tyres, the roll cage, the race bucket seats, the dash and gear indicator, it’s an impressive bit of kit. It can be run in 2WD, 4WD or even with the diff locked so that it will get over or through absolutely anything, but the diff lock restricts revs to 6000rpm.

The motor itself is taken from a Snowmobile, and uses a three-cylinder 1000cc four-stroke liquid-cooled engine that makes around 105 to 110bhp in standard form. If you’re racing one there’s a variety of options available including a kit that frees it up a bit more with a new ECU remap, race exhaust and manifold, bigger 15” wheels, FIA-approved roll cage, fire extinguisher, FIA-compliant seat, hi-vis lighting, electronic cut-off switch and Toyo MT or AT tyres. Everything you’d need to turn it in to a full-on race car is available including the car for £21,500 including VAT, the exhaust, ECU and a few other options are extra. Or you can buy a race kit for £3999 including VAT. Six UK dealers are set-up to sell them and to fit the kit if required, including the genius fellas at Thorney Motorsport where we drove the cars.

They jump incredibly well, suspension is first class.

But enough about the spec – what’s it like to drive? In a word – intense. It’s not as quick as a bike but then you’d struggle to find anything that is. But it gives you the same levels of adrenaline that you get from riding a fast road or motocross bike. The engine is frenetic, yet torquey. There’s a distinctive three-cylinder howl from the motor that revs high enough to scream, and when you bang it into gear (John from Thorney Motorsport says be vicious with it) you get the same feeling when banging through gears on a motorcycle. You’re rewarded with instant drive and then it’s a case of trying to balance your right foot pedal with the grip from the Maxxis tyres on a loose surface. What most motorcyclists aren’t prepared for, including me, are the jumps and more importantly, the landings in something with four wheels. I’ve had a few club MX races in the past, but four wheels in the air takes on a whole new world.

On an out lap with a professional instructor I’m shocked at how fast you can take the jumps and how beautifully the car lands. The trick is to come at the jump with a neutral throttle, then gas it as you hot the face of the jump, this lift the nose, and then as soon as you’re in the air, shut the gas and let it land slightly nose heavy. The quality of the Fox suspension is incredible. Later, I get the hang of it and you can hang three or four feet in the air and it lands like you’re hitting cotton wool, not a hard muddy field.

Steering it is a different matter. You have to get all your braking done on the straight. The brakes are fantastic and you’ll be surprised just how much grip there is on loose, dry, mud. But try and brake in a corner and it all gets a bit, well boaty, and floaty. Hence why I managed to turn one over. The lesson? Don’t let an idiot motorcycle journalists in car, though to be fair we did manage to secure a third placed trophy in the final race. Respect to SuperBike's John Hogan in second and Bike World's Luke Bowler for kicking my ass and taking the win.Bike Social's Potter takes the third place trophy from Yamaha's Jeff Turner, they're smiling now, but the crash bill hasn't been put in the post yet.Motorcyclists are motorcyclists and you can never beat two wheels for adrenaline or that feeling of freedom. 

But if you are a thrill-seeker with access to some land and want one of the best thrills this side of anything on two wheels then the YXZ1000R is the ultimate boys’ toy. Racing these is one of the best experience you can ever have in anythng with wheels - two or four.


If you fancy having a go then Thorney Motorsport offer an YXZ1000R experience day (as we did) which includes practice, qualifying and three four car races, plus the chance to do a blindfold driving challenge in a Yamaha Viking. It costs £499 per person, per day. Contact them here or email: [email protected]


Sours: https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/reviews/bikes/yamaha/full-crash-test-yamahas-amazing-yxz1000r

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