The cockpit of the Yamaha is one of our favorites. The doors are high and make you
feel protected, the seats are comfortable, and the steering wheel is well designed.
❏ Since the release of the 2016
Yamaha YXZ1000R, we have tested
the machine to its limits and found
its strong and weak points. A UTV
equipped with a five-speed sequentially shifted gear box and a foot-op-erated clutch was exactly what we
wanted to see in the market. There
is just something extremely satisfying about slamming through gears
while shredding awesome trails that
puts a giant grin on our faces. The
Yamaha YXZ1000R has a lot of great
features that make it fast and fun, but
it isn’t meant for every driver.
Some people like the ability to
shift gears yet not have to use a foot
clutch, and with an engine that has
to be revved pretty high to utilize its
power, clutching a lot in technical
trails is no simple task. Dealerships
started seeing basically brand-new
Yamahas that already had roasted
clutches from driver abuse. That
made for a lot of unhappy customers in rocky and wooded states.
Fortunately, for 2017, Yamaha provided an answer to our shifting
prayers—the 2017 YXZ1000R SS
(Sport Shift). It has the same thrills
of the YXZ1000R, yet with no clutch
pedal to use and paddle shifters to
The Yamaha YXZ1000R SS comes
with a triple-cylinder, four-stroke
engine that is liquid-cooled, electronically fuel-injected and has
998cc displacement. It still has the
same engine characteristics as the
band. The engine can be lugged
down low, but that is a struggle
for it, and it is much happier past
6000 rpm. The transmission is still a
sequentially shifted five-speed with a
clutch system, but now the Yamaha’s
computer actuates the electronically
activated hydraulic clutch system.
The YXZ is shaft-driven to all four
wheels through a transmission with
three drive options. You can operate
the machine in 2WD, 4WD or 4WD
with the front differential locked.
Steering gets harder to turn in diff-
lock mode, but isn’t overbearing by
any means. You can change modes
via a switch on the center console.
The introduction of the YXZ1000R
SS brought more excitement to the
Yamaha YXZ line than the manually
clutched model. Paddle shifters mounted to the steering column and the
absence of a foot clutch are exactly
what Yamaha needed. With this UTV
you now get the great sensation that
shifting gears brings without stressing
over clutching properly. We found it
quite interesting that the YXZ1000R SS
model was actually designed before
the regular YXZ.
The front suspension of the Yamaha is a dual-A-arm type with
16. 2 inches of wheel travel and Fox Podium RC2 shocks. EPS
comes standard on the YXZ.
A triple-cylinder four-stroke engine rests behind the seats of
the YXZ with a centrally mounted exhaust system.