Rock crawling with a Yamaha YXZ1000

UTV Guide

Spotter Required
Aug 18, 2015

It has been less than two year’s since Yamaha’s entry into the sport UTV market with the introduction of the YXZ1000R during the summer of 2015. With the YXZ1000R’’s 3-cylinder 998cc engine mated to a manual 5-speed transmission, the sport UTV segment changed forever. The engine and transmission made the new YXZ1000R unique to the market, but I found that first gear was very tall during the press intro (see YXZ1000R Review). I was able to run at 30MPH and still had room to go with stock 26-inch tires. The gearing was just not conducive to any hard core, super slow speed stuff. The standard YXZ1000R was built to go fast and rev high. This suits many people that want to go fast in the desert and have that complete driver-connected experience with the 5-speed manual transmission.

For my taste, I wanted lower gears from the beginning. Whether starting slightly uphill in the dunes with paddle tires, or climbing a steep hill with lose rocks in Brimstone, I don’t want to stall out. The stalling part was all changed when Yamaha introduced the YXZ1000R SS (Sport Shift) model. Right out of the gate, I preferred the Sport Shift over the manual transmission. I still had the thrill of banging through gears, but I didn’t have to focus on the shifting/clutch quite as much and this suited my particular style of driving (see YXZ1000R SS Review).

This was a great leap forward for my taste, but I still wanted lower gears and the ability to run larger tires. Yamaha then came along with a GYTR Torque Assist Gear Kit for the YXZ1000R and then also for the YXZ1000R SS. Now we were talking my language! Combine the TG kit with the FOX Podium X2 shocks available on the SE model and I was figuring Yamaha finally built a car with me in mind (maybe Yamaha’s version of the #CrowleyEdition?).

Well in February, Yamaha unveiled a new Special Edition with Sport Shift and FOX Podium X2 shocks (see Yamaha Expands YXZ1000R Line with new Special Edition Sport Shift Model) and I figured it was all doable. Fast forward to early May and I was on a plane to Birmingham Alabama to get behind the wheel of a YXZ1000R SE SS with GYTR TAG kit and 30-inch tires!



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