MORE 2020 YAMAHAS
— XT-R editions provide more features —
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
The 2020 ATV and UTV models keep funneling in as 2019 comes to its inevitable end. Our feelings remain bittersweet that another year has rolled by, but the excitement of new and upgraded machines continually keeps our spirits afloat. Yamaha previously released their 2020 ATV models, but they held off for a few months to finish releasing all of their machines for the new year. All of their previous 4×4 ATVs stuck around for the new year with new color schemes, the youth models are still a hit, and thankfully our favored sport quads are flying out of their factories. Information and photos of Yamaha’s UTVs have finally been released. The big news concerns new XT-R editions of a select few Yamaha models, including the YXZ1000R, Grizzly 700 and Wolverines.
BIG BAD BEARS
The Grizzly remains Yamaha’s biggest 4×4, sporting a 700cc-class engine, locking front differential and recreational sport-style tuned suspension. In 2019 Yamaha had an SE version of the machine pre-wired for the proprietary Adventure Pro GPS system made by Magellan, along with a Matte Silver color scheme that comes with a Warn winch installed. The XT-R builds on that with a new Titanium Bronze/Tactical Black scheme, new aluminum wheels wrapped with Maxxis Zilla tires, and the 2500-pound-capable Warn winch is included from the previous SE model. We still consider the Grizzly to be one of the best 4×4 ATVs on the planet. It may not be the most powerful, but the handling characteristics and potent engine makes it very comfortable to ride slow and a blast to ride fast. You will be able to pick the Grizzly XT-R up for $10,999.
While the remainder of the ATV line for 2020 won’t see any more upgrades, the Kodiak 450 is the final model that gains a change this time around. A Special Edition Matte Silver model of the 450 sees stylish aluminum wheels and a Warn winch for $7599. The new Tactical Green Kodiak 450 SE also has aluminum wheels, a winch and a front-locking differential in the 4×4 system. Yamaha’s Kodiak 450 is a great tight trail machine where smooth and usable power is important. The cockpit is roomy, and the utility capabilities keep ranch and work-oriented customers content.
YXZs RUN WILD
2019 proved to be a healthy year for new YXZ1000R buyers. Yamaha relocated the radiator to the rear of the machine to aid in cooling the engine and the cab, which allows less contaminants to block up the radiator. The suspension was tuned for a more comfortable ride and aggressive handling characteristic. The engine gained stronger connecting rods that can handle the added stress of their GYTR turbo kit. We can’t forget that they changed the gear ratios to make it drive better than previous years and accommodate larger tires. We were very pleased with what Yamaha did for the YXZs, so it makes sense that there are no major revisions for 2020. The base YXZ1000R starts at $18,999 with a Brilliant Red and white color scheme. If you want to change your driving experience from a full manual transmission with a foot clutch to Yamaha’s Sport Shift paddle-operated trans, you can for the same price of $18,999 in a white and red scheme.
Base models of the YXZ1000R and YXZ1000R SS both have Special Edition versions that include color-matched beadlock wheels and Fox 2.5 Podium dual-rate RC2 shocks that have dual compression and rebound adjustments. Yamaha finished the SE models in legendary Yamaha Blue for 2020. Both the manual-clutch and SS Special Editions start at $20,699.
The YXZ1000R SS XT-R sports the same 998cc, in-line, triple-cylinder, DOHC four-stroke engine as the rest of the YXZ line. The transmission is the Sport Shift dual-clutch manual that lets drivers change the five-speed sequential gearbox via steering-column-mounted paddle shifters. The XT-R edition sports a Titanium Bronze/Tactical Black color scheme that comes standard with a sun top. Aluminum beadlock wheels with Maxxis Carnage tires, and a front bumper/Warn VRX 4500-pound winch combo are a part of the XT-R package. And last, this YXZ gains two hood-mounted lights for improved vision in the darkest of conditions. All of these YXZ1000R SS XT-R features run for $21,699.
Yamaha bridges the sport and recreation UTV categories quite seamlessly with their Wolverine X2 and X4 models. The powerplant in each one is an 847cc, liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder four-stroke paired to a CVT Yamaha calls the Ultramatic. Ultramatic supplies all-wheel engine braking as well. New for 2020, the Wolverine line gains redesigned rear upper and lower A-arms that aid in producing almost a half-inch more wheel travel. They are claimed to help minimize camber changes as the Wolverine cycles through its travel.
Wolverine X2 models come in a base model with a Yamaha Blue for $12,699, a camo-covered version for $14,949 and the R-Spec edition runs $14,499 with aluminum wheels and a sun top. 2020 Wolverine X4 four-passenger versions start at $16,099 for a base model, Alpine White with aluminum wheels for $16,449 and a Realtree Edge Camouflage option for $16,899.
The XT-R trim clawed its way onto the Wolverine X2 and X4 for 2020. Yamaha started by tossing on 27-inch-tall GBC Dirt Commander radial tires on aluminum wheels. They continued to beef up the beasts with a Warn VRX 4500-pound-capacity winch, stylish Titanium Bronze/Tactical Black painted body work and graphics, and KYB shocks. The new piggyback reservoir shocks are spring preload-, high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustable, while the rear shocks retain their load-leveling function. The X2 and X4 will set you back $15,999.
BUILT VIKING TOUGH
Yamaha rounds off the 2020 model lineup with the hardworking Viking and Viking VI. Vikings haven’t seen much change over the years. That must mean that they don’t require change to sell well for the Japanese giant. The Viking seats three across, employs a large cargo bed and a standard 2-inch hitch receiver to tow up to 1500 pounds. The engine remains as a 686cc, single-cylinder, SOHC-powered machine. It isn’t the fastest unit in the stable, but it gets the job done. We are surprised that the successful integration of the 847cc engine in the Wolverine line has yet to be found in the Viking and Viking VI. Taking care of final drive duties is a continuously variable transmission with a front lockable differential.
2020 sees the Ranch Edition Viking and Viking VI in a new Copperhead Orange Metallic color scheme with aluminum wheels, over fenders, mirrors and a color-matched interior. Ranch Editions start at $14,199 and come with a roof. The base Yamaha Viking comes in Ridge Red for a comfortable price of $11,999. Upgrading to EPS versions start at $13,499 and end in a Realtree Edge Camo model for $13,899. The six-seater Viking VI comes in Tactical Green as a base model for $14,299, and the camo covered version with aluminum wheels goes for $14,899.
Yamaha has an impressive lineup of ATVs and UTVs, and we are quite content with their 2020 releases. They continue to please sport quad enthusiasts with their Raptor 700 and YFZ450R, curb the outdoor appetites with their 4×4 Kodiak 450 and 700, and the Grizzly 700 continues to impress. Your youth can cruise around on the Raptor 90 or cruise over trails on the YFZ50. Yamaha’s UTV offerings drive pure-sport performance lovers with multiple models of the YXZ1000R, yet we keep wondering if a four-seat version will ever be released. The Wolverine’s prowl around in some clean and stylish new color schemes, and the Vikings hold down the heavy tasks around the ranch or job site. The inclusion of the XT-R editions are a pleasing touch. Another successful year for Yamaha! Go to www.yamahamotorsports.com to check out their entire line of machines.