Yamaha YXZ1000R

Motorcycle News (UK) - - New Bikes -

Yamaha can do no wrong at the mo­ment - from su­per­bikes and su­per­nakeds to su­per-value ret­ros, their range of ‘cross­plane phi­los­o­phy’ vehicles are as pop­u­lar as they are di­verse. Which brings us neatly to the tun­ing fork brand’s lat­est CP re­lease – the YXZ1000R, Yamaha’s first sports ‘side-by-side’.

‘Hold on,’ I hear you say, ‘two too many wheels.’ Well, yes, but there’s no deny­ing this 998cc triple-pow­ered buggy would look amaz­ing parked up in your dream garage next to an R1-M.

De­signed purely for hav­ing as much off-road fun as is hu­manly pos­si­ble, the YXZ1000R is 110bhp of hard­core gig­gles. With a top speed of around 80mph, a heady 10,500rpm rev limit, switch­able two and four-wheel drive, and the abil­ity to take flight over lumps, bumps and jumps thanks to 17 inches of sus­pen­sion travel from four Fox shocks, the YXZ is far from a toy.

Whereas other vehicles in this mar­ket have auto trans­mis­sion, Yamaha have brought bike know-how on board to give the YXZ an ex­cel­lent five-speed se­quen­tial box, which you can bash your way through via the rally-car style, one-up five-down dash­board­mounted stick. Although you can give the gear­box plenty of ag­gres­sion, it’s a dif­fer­ent story when it comes to steer­ing. Ex­pert care needs to be taken when bal­anc­ing the crazy the torque-rich power de­liv­ery from that snow­mo­biled­erived en­gine with those long-travel shocks; too vi­cious with the steer­ing in­puts or carry any brake into a cor­ner, you’ll load up those mas­sive coilovers and send your­self bar­rel-rolling through the air. Be­lieve me…

As a recre­ational ve­hi­cle, the YXZ1000R is a hoot and gives you all the mud-plug­ging thrills of rid­ing off-road but with a slightly larger safety mar­gin. As it’s not road le­gal, the £17,398 price tag is a lit­tle ex­treme for some­thing that serves no pur­pose other than for putting a grin on your face, how­ever deal­ers Thor­ney Mo­tor­sport (www.thor­ney­mo­tor­sport.co.uk) of­fer a full day YXZ ex­pe­ri­ence, in­clud­ing a four-race programme, for just £499.

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