The “YXZari,” a dirt Ferrari By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Ever since the Yamaha YXZ1000R’s debut in September of 2015, the machine has been a hot-ticket item for riders and parts manufacturers alike. Fields of Polaris RZRs are now punctuated by the triple-cylinder machines, and they boast components from many different companies, like Assault Industries. Assault turned a 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R Special Edition into something even more exceptional than the stock Japanese-made UTV.
WHEN IN DOUBT, POWER OUT
Assault Industries branded their customized Yamaha the “YXZari.” Ferrari is known for creating sleek, top-performance supercars that are built for one thing—speed. The YXZari has taken a few pages from the Italian supercar book when upgrading the power output of the Yamaha.
As far as engine internals go, Marcelo Danze’s crew at Assault installed CP high-compression pistons and Carillo rods. When you have an engine that likes being revved high to utilize most of its power, the engine will get hot, and having pistons that are comfortable with running at high temperatures while increasing power output is a plus. Daniel Crower Racing cam shafts were installed for power gains to the whole range.
The Yamaha YXZ1000R three-cylinder, four-stroke engine has a unique exhaust tone reminiscent of a Ferrari. The YXZari gained a custom-made Burns exhaust system that delivers a high-performance riff to your ears while helping increase power with a higher flow. The pipe was a one-off to add to the YFZari feel. An assortment of DynoJet parts were installed on the Yamaha to control the internal and external power upgrades. A Power Commander PC V now helps control the fuel-injection mapping of the engine. The PC V is paired with an ignition module to control the ignition timing and curve. Assault Industries also installed Power Commander’s Autotune system that utilizes O2 sensors on the exhaust system to allow mapping changes of each cylinder separately and simultaneously. Power Commander’s Pod is an interface that allows you to easily control and adjust aspects of the Yamaha’s fuel-injection system and ignition system to give the machine a proper air-to-fuel ratio for a stronger power output.
Yamaha’s YXZ1000R is the first high-performance sport UTV that comes with a sequentially shifted and manually clutched machine straight off of the manufacturing line. While the YXZ operates very well at the sand dunes or in high-speed desert areas, the Yamaha falters in rocks and slow-speed sections. The clutch is a component that tends to need replacing, since the machine doesn’t have a lot of low-end torque and lugging power. Barnett makes a clutch system for the YXZ that includes a new clutch and pressure plate that will last far longer than stock, and that is exactly what Assault installed in the YXZari.
The YXZ1000R’s suspension does one thing very well: it handles high-speed whoop sections like no other. The shocks perform well in most situations that are very fast paced, but the rear shocks tend to buck over jumps, and the machine is a rough ride at slower speeds. The most noticeable upgrade when we first drove the YXZari was the Elka Stage 5 shocks. They soaked up slow-speed chop in a much smoother manner, which provides a better ride for the average trail rider or recreational driver. The Elkas also soaked up high-speed hits better than the stockers, and the rear shocks didn’t buck over jumps, which is great for a fast driver or racer. The Elkas changed the handling characteristics of the YXZ from a Corvette to an extremely well-dialed-in ride like a Ferrari.
In the controls department, Assault installed their D-shaped, quick-release steering wheel and a short shifter that was co-developed by racer George Hammel. They also incorporated their barrel-style heavy-duty tie-rods on the YXZari. While the tie rods don’t help the machine steer any better, they are stronger and far less likely to bend than the stock set.
Vision is very important in off-roading, and Assault Industries knows this quite well. They installed an over-the-top lighting setup from KC Hilites that includes two A-pillar-mounted dual Flex LED lights, a 10-inch LED light bar mounted to the front bumper, and six Pro-sport lights mounted in a spread on the roof of the YXZ. This system called for a Yamaha alternator kit and an XTC power-control harness to tackle the lighting duties. Assault installed two light-switch mounts that they make for the machine.
This Yamaha has been fitted with a bunch of products from Assault Industries, including a custom roll cage that is designed to be more protective in a rollover compared to stock. The safety features don’t stop there. Five-point harnesses were installed that are certified for racing, and a front and full rear bumper were added to the YXZari. The Assault team installed its Bomber-series side-view mirrors, along with its Stealth-series center rear-view mirror. A quick-release fire extinguisher was also fitted to the roll cage of the Yamaha. A new product that Assault recently released is their Hydration door bags, which readily provides water with a tube, like a hydration backpack, and extra storage for the doors.
Assault Industries’ Yamaha YXZari takes an already-fast and fine-handling sport UTV and makes it even better with power, safety and suspension upgrades. The sequentially shifted transmission gained new clutch components from Barnett that improved the clutch’s engagement as well as making the parts stronger and more reliable. While the Yamaha may not be a rock-crawling master, the new clutch parts won’t burn out as quickly as stock. The new cam shafts and fuel-injection system upgrades complement the higher-flowing Burns exhaust system to give the YXZari a stronger mid- to top-end pull. We personally would like to drive a YXZ1000R that has a much stronger bottom-end power range. The GBC Kanati tires, mounted on Method’s 401k beadlock wheels, improved the traction aspects of this machine. The Kanatis are a rugged tire that grips better than the stock tires in all forms of desert and rocky terrain.
The best upgrade in the performance of Assault’s YXZari is the Stage 5 Elka shocks. These fully adjustable reservoir shocks soften the generally rough-riding Yamaha in low-speed driving, which helps out a lot in the comfort of the UTV. The Elkas also retained the truly stable feel of the Yamaha during high-speed driving. They sucked up chop and whoops even better than the stock suspension and helped give the YXZari a more precise feel driving in all different types of terrain.
Once you include all of the Assault Industries’ products onto this build, you have a machine that is truly safer to drive and ride in. The harness systems that were installed are comfortable to wear and keep you planted in your seat, while the custom-built roll cage offered a much larger sense of protection and safety. The addition of Rugged Radio’s genius air-filter system directs fresh air into the helmets of the driver and passenger, along with a communication system that is driver-to-driver and can communicate with other UTVs. Put all the parts together and you truly have a race and trail-inspired Yamaha YXZ1000R.
ASSAULT INDUSTRIES: (714) 799-6711, www.assaultind.com
Bomber side-view mirrors$240
Stealth center rear-view mirror $89
Five-point harness SFI certified for racing$150 ea.
Pro Short Shift designed/co-developed with racer George Hammel $169.99
Barrel-style heavy-duty tie-rods $269.99
A-pillar light brackets $77.99
Quick-release fire extinguisher $169.99
Hydration door packs $149.99
Front bumper $249.99
New Ballistic D-shaped steering wheel w/ quick disconnect $299.99
Full rear bumper with optional spare tire mount $350
Light-switch mount $77.99 ea.
Custom personal cage $2500
BARNETT: (805) 642-9435, www.barnettclutches.com
Barnett clutch and pressure plate $373.63
BURNS: www.burnsstainless.com, (949) 631-5120 Custom 321
stainless steel exhaust $1500
CP PISTONS: www.cp-carrillo.com, (949) 567-9000 Pistons and
Carillo rods $1500
DANIEL CROWER RACING: (951) 296-9669,
DYNOJET: www.powercommander.com, (800) 992-4993
ELKA SUSPENSION: www.elkasuspension.com, (800) 577-0552
Stage 5 shocks $3999.98
GBC TIRES: www.gbcmotorsports.com, (800) 946-9412
GBC Kanati Mongrels $131 ea.
KC HILITES: www.kchilites.com, (928) 635-2607
Pro-Sport Pack x 3$482.91
Red Underhood Cyclones$30 ea.
Flex LEDs dual x 2$274 ea.
10-inch front bumper light bar $579
METHOD RACE WHEELS: (866) 779-8604, www.methodracewheels.com
Method race wheels$735
Beadlock 401 BK$201 ea.
RUGGED RADIOS: www.ruggedradios.com, (888) 541-7223
Two person headset system$614
Mac 4.2 two-person air-pumper system $300
Handheld car to car$200
YAMAHA: www.shopyamaha.com, (800) 962-7926
Yamaha alternator kit$650
XTC: www.xtcpowerproducts.com, (480) 558-8588
Power control harness $350 (approx.)