We’ve been dying to hop in the driver’s seats of the 2017 Yamaha YXZ1000R special edition models since we saw them at their reveal in South Carolina. It was there where we got a sneak peak of how awesome these SE models really are. Some of the key features that sets them apart is the matte black plastic, metallic red chassis, the new sport shift model, and the biggest surprise was the new Fox 2.5 Podium X2 shocks!
These Fox X2 shocks are exclusive to Yamaha and the YXZ1000R SE models. They feature internal bypass, high/low speed compression, and high/low speed rebound adjustments which is phenomenal! Other tuning features include preload and cross over adjustments. With all of this being said, these shocks are very simple to tune, you can feel the changes by turning the compression and rebound adjustment knobs by a half turn. That means that average Joe’s to avid pros can get these shocks working well for them.
We finally had the chance to try out YXZ SE models in Sand Hollow State Park in Southern Utah. The terrain at Sand Hollow offers sand, hard pack, red slick rock, and desert terrain which is all perfect for testing suspension. We drove both the sport shift (paddle shift) and manual models. We were impressed with the low speed drivability of the sport shift model; it was easy to do some rock crawling, however it would be even better with their new low gearing kit. The sport shift model was also just an absolute blast to drive fast and hard. With the paddle shifters, you can do full throttle shifts without lifting on the throttle pedal. The manual version was a blast in the high speed sections or carving turns in the dunes. It takes more effort to drive than the sport shift since your shifting hand will be off of the wheel most of the time, but nonetheless, the manual model makes you feel like a trophy truck driver!
Aside from all of that, the shocks are what we were really excited about. The Fox X2 shocks really made a big difference in the handling of the YXZ. Most of the time we were around 50-60 MPH in the dune sections and not lifting. The X2 shocks were absorbing almost all of the impacts and kept the back end of the car from bucking. Fox had technicians on hand to handle any adjustments that we wanted and showed us how easily shock tunes could be done. Early in the day, we loved the aggressive and stiff settings Fox setup for us. After the course became rougher, we went with Fox’s comfort setting which was very soft. That allowed the YXZ to gain better traction and float through the large sand whoops and glide over rocks like a hover boat. Don’t get us wrong, the Fox RC2 shocks can be setup well, but these new Fox X2 shocks are going to be hard to beat!