2014 YAMAHA VIKING
/Media/News/2014 Yamaha Viking SxS - Spec Sheet.pdf
A NEW VIKING SXS, UPGRADED GRIZZLY 700 & YFZ450R
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
anticipated announcement in the off road world has been a new sport UTV from
Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki or even Suzuki. We have been waiting nearly five years
for one of the Japanese companies to introduce soothing capable of competing
with any of the Polaris RZR’s and now the Can-Am Maverick and Arctic Cat Wild
With the most
recent announcement from Yamaha, it looks like big blue is concentrating more
on the bottom line than the finish line. At least for now, a new pure sport UTV
is not coming. What Yamaha did announce is an all new sport utility side by
side that goes by the name of Viking. On the sport ATV side, the YFZ450
received some upgrade as did Yamahas flagship 4X4 the Grizzly 700.
The Viking is all
new from the ground up and will completely replace the Rhino in Yamahas line
up. Instead of going directly at RZR sales, Yamaha’s new Viking will be offered
to go after Polaris’ Ranger line and machines like the Honda Pioneer, Arctic
Cat Prowlers and even the Kawasaki Teryx 4. You see the Maverick has a three
person cockpit. Only the Arctic Cat prowler 700 HDX and the Ranger models have
this feature. Yamaha uses separate bucket style seats for three across seating.
Like on the Prowler 700 HDX, three point seat belts are standard on the Viking
as is grab handles for all passengers. For example the Polaris Rangers use
bench style seating with only a lap belt for the center passenger. It looks
like Yamaha did spend a considerable amount of effort to make sure the center
passenger was as comfortable as the other two.
Power for the Viking
is provided by an upgraded version of the Rhino engine. It’s a SOHC, 686cc,
liquid-cooled, fuel injected mill with a new cam profile, higher compression
piston and a new intake system. Yamaha also incorporated their Ultramatic CVT
system that uses a centrifical clutch in the belt driven transmission for
extended belt life and lower engagement speeds. Top speed will be a reported
As with the previous
Rhino, the new Viking features a locking front differential. Yamaha did not
copy Polaris and add an unlocker for the rear axle. This is a feature we have
grown to like on the Ranger models. Yamaha is offering the Viking with or
without electronic power steering. That’s one feature the Rhino never had.
As for suspension,
Yamaha went for the standard, proven, dual A-arms system on all four corners.
Travel numbers are only a little higher than the Rhino (7.3”) at 8.1 inches. A
larger upgrade is the addition to much more aggressive Maxxis Big Horn tires.
The old Rhino’s used a much milder Maxxis product in the past. An interesting
note is that Yamaha went with 2-ply tires up front and 4-ply meats out back.
This is smart because in our experiences, you do get more flat tires in the
Important overall measurements of 122-inches in length,
61.8-inches wide will still allow the Viking to fit in the back of larger pickup
trucks. The Viking is just over 74 inches tall and weighs 1342-pounds. Yamaha
gave the dumping bed a 600-pound capacity and recommends towing limits out of
the 2-inch receiver at 1500 pounds.
Yamaha claims those facts and figures plus other features
such as a full steel bed, a stronger cooling system, high output stator will
set the new Viking apart from its competitors. We will be the judge of that be
putting them in a head to head test soon. Pricing for the new Viking is very
reasonable starting at $11,499. Models with EPS will start at $12,499 and top
out at $13,249 for the camo addition. Color choices are blue, red, green and
For 2014, the
Grizzly 700 4X4 received some notable improvements. In the engine compartment,
the big bear has a new camshaft and increased compression for a bit more
acceleration and performance. This powerplant is still strong enough to get the
chores done or have a blast on the trails. However, it’s still not going to be
the weapon of choice for mud buggers or woods racers.
Yamaha did increase
the EPS assistance so owners who like larger tires will surely benefit. The tire
construction did get some slight changes just as they did a couple years ago.
The largest change
to the Grizzly comes in the suspension department. Yamaha made the A-arms 30mm
wider on both sides. The shock stroke was also increased by about one inch in
the front and 3/8 of an inch out back. These changes will only be made on the
Grizzly 700 and will not yet trickle down to the 550 model even though in
previous years it shared the exact same chassis.
In 2014 only Yamaha
and Can-Am are offering a wide track ready 450cc sport quad. Suzuki is still
rebuilding their Quad Racer LT-R450 and KTM only sells their wide SX quads in
Europe. Can-Am’s DS450X MX will be unchanged for 2014 while the Yamaha YFZ450R
will get some improvements. Leading off that list is redesigned body work. The
front nose piece is angle down more for better visibility and moved forward for
more rider leg room. The side panels and rear fenders have been flattened out to
accept sponsor logos better and the warning labels have been relocated for
better number, graphic or logo placement. Now every YFZ450 model comes with
quick release fasteners for easy bodywork removal. No other quad on the market
offers that feature. A new orange color is available along with blue and the SE
addition red option. The standard YFZ450R will list for $8,599 and the Special
Edition model will fetch $8,949.
gave more power and reliability to this engine by increasing the compression to
from 11:1 to 11:8.1 They did this by installing a slightly longer (.25mm)
connecting rod. A bigger rod bearing and new camshafts were also added.
Outside, the EFI system was upgraded with a new throttle valve to give the
engine a more powerful and exciting hit.
More notably, the
new YFZ450R now comes equipped with what is known as a slipper style clutch. Its
function is to reduce hard engine braking which ultimately improves traction
under braking. During acceleration the function holds the clutch tighter than a
conventional system for less slipping. This should be a huge advance in sport
quad performance. Aftermarket companies like Hinson have been marketing a
similar system to top level dirt bike and quad racers for over five years with
on the 2014 YFZ450R include a slightly longer (55.6mm) front shock and slightly
stiffer rear preload spring which were both no doubt the result of extensive
testing with their top racers Chad Wienen, Dustin Nelson and Josh Row.
Additionally, all new Maxxis tires were developed exclusively for the YFZ450R.
The machine still comes with 20-inch rear tires and 21-inch tall fronts mounted
on 9 and 10-inch tall aluminum wheels respectively.
UTILITY LINE UP
A full range of Grizzly
4x4 sizes will be offered from the compact 350 and 450 machines up to the full
size 550 and 700’s (starting at $7,999 and $8,899) and dealers showrooms will
be full of choices. EPS and non EPS versions of the 700, 550 and 450 (starting
at $6399) will be offered as well as camo, red and blue color choices. The $5,599
Grizzly 350 4x4 is not available with the EPS feature. Yamahas 2WD grizzly 300
will be released later this year. The 350, 450 and 550 will not have any
changes this year.
SPORT LINE UP
As expected, the
Yamaha sport line up is small this year. On a good note, the Raptor 700SE
($8,799), 700R ($8,099) and lower cost 700 ($7,699) will return and be
unchanged for the new-year. The YFZ450R and YFZ450R SE are the only other sport
quads offered in this early release line up. The Raptor 250, Raptor 125 and
Raptor 90 will be released later in the year. Gone from the line up for now are
the venerable Raptor 350 and the standard YFZ450 although you still may be able
to find them in dealers for a year or so.