The raucous Yamaha YXZ1000R is the first the first “pure sports” side-by-side ATV that just went on the market at a base price of $19,799 to compete with the popular Polaris RZR. It has no lane-keeping, no automated guidance system, but it's very much fun driving it.
The YXZ1000R offers the first three-cylinder engine in a segment ruled by twins. Its rear-mounted, liquid-cooled, 1.0-liter triple redlines at 10,500 rpm and howls with raw belligerence. Throttle response is excellent, and while there’s good midrange punch, the real action is beyond 7000 rpm.
Usability and durability are built in through anti-vibration measures, a dry sump with baffled oil reservoir, and in-cabin air intake with viscous wet-paper filters. The YXZ1000R has a five-speed sequential manual gearbox, the tranny, located amidships, operates with a normal shift lever in the center console. Besides keeping the powerband in its sweet spot, the transmission’s biggest virtue is its ability to control steep descents while running in the dune lands for example.
Those who don’t like sand in their Gucci loafers won’t appreciate the Yamaha YXZ1000R, even if they concede that this buggy is as well designed and engineered for its purpose as the Ford F-150 Raptor or the Chevrolet Corvette for their own.