Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Yamaha Unveils New Viking EPS Side-by-Side

Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A. has announced the launch of the all-new Viking EPS Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicle. Every Yamaha Viking is being manufactured exclusively in the U.S. at Yamaha’s factory in Newnan, Ga., for worldwide distribution.

The new Viking combines Yamaha’s most powerful four-wheel drive engine to date with a comfortable three-person cab, precision steering and class-leading handling.

The Viking’s exclusive pass-through bucket seating features a unique off-set center position (set 5 degrees back) that improves comfort with maximum shoulder room for all three occupants. This is the only vehicle in its class with three-point seat belts for everyone, plus headrests all around, adjustable handhold for both passengers and a textured floorboard with dedicated foot wells.  Its seating position even provides for more head room than competitive models without sacrificing critical ground clearance.

“With the introduction of the all-new Viking, Yamaha is once again taking a leadership position in the growing multi-purpose SxS segment of the off-road business,” said Mike Martinez, vice president of Yamaha’s ATV/SxS Group. “The Viking tops its competition with precise steering and superior handling, excelling in the areas of durability, reliability, ease of use, and cargo and towing capacity. The Viking’s class-leading handling and off-road performance make it the only SxS vehicle that can claim true utility-pointed design while still providing a fun, confidence-inspiring experience in a recreational setting.”

Power comes from Yamaha’s strongest four-wheel drive engine to date – a 686cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder, 4-valve fuel-injected engine that provides peak performance at maximum capacity. This durable engine has been optimized for working conditions with strong low-end torque while quick throttle response and smooth power delivery are maintained throughout the rev range.  Yamaha Fuel Injection delivers consistent starts and power even at elevation and in cold weather, and the 9.7 gallon fuel tank allows for long days in the field or on the trail.

A more powerful engine requires a more effective cooling system, and Yamaha has developed a system that keeps the Viking cool even during tough chores and at low speeds with optimum design, location and components that create the most efficient airflow through the large radiator.

While the Viking’s 700cc-class engine makes more power than some larger 800cc-class machines, the vehicle’s handling and off-road capabilities truly set it apart.

Yamaha’s three-way On-Command system, featuring 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with differential lock, is a driver-controlled system with an automotive-type rotary dial selector. This driver-controlled system gives the driver the ability to lock in all four wheels based on the terrain.

Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission with high, low and reverse offers dual speed gearing and an automatic centrifugal clutch that maintains constant belt tension for reduced wear and the industry’s most natural feeling all-wheel engine braking. This reduced wear has contributed to Yamaha’s proven durability, and the engine braking gives the driver confidence especially on hills and in rough terrain.

The Viking’s optional Electric Power Steering (EPS) system provides the industry’s best balance of light feeling with positive feedback from the terrain. The system reads steering wheel torque, vehicle speed, On-Command setting and negative feedback to determine the appropriate amount of assist in any given situation.

The Viking’s utility functions combined with Yamaha’s proven durability were designed for hard work, tough chores and long days in the field or on the trail. The rear steel cargo bed was purpose-built for durability and convenience. Large enough to carry a fully loaded pallet, the assisted dump bed can pack up to 600 pounds of equipment and supplies while the standard 2-inch receiver hitch is rated to pull 1,500 pounds.

The Viking’s chassis also contributes to its off-road capability with nearly 12 inches of ground clearance at the lowest point, a full steel/composite smooth skid plate front to back and side to side, and an optimized frame with up-turned side rails allowing for smoother transitions over obstacles. The Viking features light and natural-feeling handling in both the EPS and non-EPS configurations. The front and rear suspension outperform the competition even with heavy loads.

The Viking’s long-travel four-wheel independent suspension is perfectly balanced to provide a plush and comfortable ride with a quality damping feel in rough terrain all while carrying either a light or full load. The gas-charged shocks help reach the delicate balance of damping and resistance with one or three people, fully loaded or empty.

The all-new Maxxis Big Horn 2.0 tires were designed specifically and exclusively for the Viking with maximum performance and durability. The new Big Horns provide an optimized balance of sidewall and tread center stiffness in a tire that delivers an excellent combination of traction, precise steering and comfort.  The Viking’s large diameter front and rear brake discs with dual piston calipers on all four wheels ensure good balance and power during braking – with or without cargo. The Viking also comes equipped with a mechanical parking disc brake.

Little extras are a big deal when they help increase productivity and fun. Things like marine-grade electrical connections and wiring, a sealed maintenance-free battery, digital meter and easily accessible and serviceable foam air filter and engine are built into the Viking to help owners stay on task or trail – and out of the shop.

What does all this mean; it means Yamaha is still behind in the side-by-side market.  Yamaha was the leader in 4 stroke engines, being the first company to make and race a competitive 4 stroke in the 250CC class and winning the title in 1998 with Doug Henry riding the YZ400.  Yamaha was also the first to come out with a race worthy 250cc 4 stroke and that would win championships as well.  Right when everyone manufacture had a competitive 4 stroke Yamaha does it again and come out with the Rhino and Side-by-Side that everyone had to have.  Now Yamaha comes out with the new Viking and for me it just missed the mark.  First it is a 700CC motor why not a 1000CC so performance will not be a strong selling point.  Also 3 seats in front, who cares “nothing like smashing 3 people in the front, who needs to turn”.  I really expected more from Yamaha but maybe the selling points are ok I mean who wouldn’t buy this for the features
1. Three-point seat belts for everyone
2. Headrests all around
3. Adjustable handhold for both passenger (you will need these on the farm)
4. Textured floorboard with dedicated foot wells (very important)



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