The Rhino's replacement is finally here
It was just a few weeks ago that we had speculated about Yamaha’s growth and where they may be heading in the industry. The industry rumor mill was even silent for years as engineers planned the next generation of Utility Side-by-Sides from the Newnan, Ga. manufacturer. Well, the wait is over as the 2014 model year will bring forth a brand new workhorse from Yamaha – the 2014 Yamaha Viking 700.
While many in the industry were clamoring for Yamaha to build the next great pure sport SxS (ATV.com included), producing a work-oriented vehicle likely makes the most fiscal sense. While the desert-eating, long-travel machines get most of the press, working vehicles are being bought in far greater numbers than the sport-specific models pumping out hoards of horsepower – even Polaris sells more Rangers than RZRs.
Yamaha noticed this and played the smart card and decided to build a machine that is a combination of hard worker with a slice of play. We had a chance to get a firsthand look at the new Viking in person and we can tell you it is the real deal. Here are a few things we can scrub over to keep you frothing at the mouth until we get one to drive for ourselves for that full test ride!
Sitting inside the cab of the new Viking you will immediately feel right at home. The three-passenger seating allows workers to get one more man or woman on the move around the ranch. Seating is crucial in transporting people and with the new Viking provisions have been made for comfort. This may not really catch your attention right off the bat, but once you look at how the seats are situated you will see the engineers’ intentions. The center passenger seat is set back rearward to give this rider, as well as the other two, more shoulder room.
The driver’s seat is adjustable and with a walk through design you can step out of either side comfortable and without hanging your feet on a center console. The new passenger handholds also give the riders a little more confidence when combined with the three-point seat belts. To provide a little extra support and protection there are shoulder bolsters for the driver and right seat passenger.
Yamaha outfitted the all-new 2014 Viking with its electronically fuel injected, 686cc, liquid cooled, single overhead cam engine. This four-valve four-stroke mill has plenty of usable power to get the Viking moving.
COMPETITION: Read our preview of the 2014 Honda Pioneer 700
Engine braking comes on all wheels in 4WD to assist in slowing the Viking once the gas pedal is released. Yamaha has built a large capacity air intake system to keep the big machine breathing easily. There is also a unique twist to the new engine as the minds at Yamaha have developed a new air injection system that burns un-combusted vapors in the exhaust, which will reduce emissions even more. Yamaha took the engine and moved it backward under the dump bed. This makes the engine easy to service and should help keep the noise down in the cab.
Yamaha has long been known for its ultra reliable and great performing Ultramatic transmission, so it was no surprise that it will be included in the new Viking. With a dual range of Hi and Low as well as Reverse, getting the machine moving has never been easier. Utilizing an automatic centrifugal clutch to maintain constant belt tension, belt wear should be reduced and the throttle should feel smooth. This Viking comes with three selections for the driveline including 2WD, 4WD and 4WD differential lock for those really tough situations.
With 11.8 inches of ground clearance, the Yamaha Viking should be able to get up and over most trail debris. The 8.1-inches of travel will also add to the comfort for the occupants, utilizing the independent suspension on all four wheels. It remains to be seen just how comfortable this machine can be, but we’re hoping to find out soon.
Getting the big Viking moving will not be difficult and stopping is not an issue either as the large disc brakes on the front and rear of the machine handle all of that. As well, a dash-mounted parking brake will keep the Viking in its place until you get back behind the wheel. Even with a haul of up to 600 pounds in the steel bed, you can expect to feel confident and in control. You can release/dump the rear bed from either side of the machine, which is a handy feature for any worksite. If you need to tow with the Viking, the low-end grunt of the 686cc four stroke can pull up to 1500 pounds from the two-inch receiver-style hitch. This should make working the fields much easier.
COMPETITION: Read our review of the 2013 Polaris Ranger XP 900
Power steering will be available on select models of the Yamaha Viking, which is available in Hunter Green, Red, Steel Blue and RealTree AP HD Camouflage. The base Yamaha Viking in Steel Blue retails for $11,499, the Red and Hunter Green versions come with a suntop and sell for $11,699, the while the Camo model also comes with a suntop and sells for $12,249. Electronic power steering is available on each of these models for an additional $1000 ($12,499 to $13,249).
Yamaha has developed a new breed of work vehicle for its stable and we can see this machine running around trailheads, ranch roads or pastures in the coming years.
To make room for the new Viking, Yamaha will say good-bye to the much-loved Rhino. Yamaha will still support its most well known four-wheeler, but the Rhino will not be produced anymore.
|2014 Yamaha Viking 700 Specs|
|Engine:||686cc liquid-cooled w/fan, 4-stroke;SOHC, 4 valves|
|Bore x Stroke:||102.0 x 84.0 mm|
|Fuel Delivery:||Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI)|
|Ignition:||TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition|
|Transmission:||Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking; L, H, N, R|
|Drivetrain:||Yamaha On-Command pushbutton; 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD; shaft drive|
|Front Suspension:||Independent double-wishbone; 8.1 inches travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Independent double-wishbone; 8.1 inches travel|
|Front Brakes:||Dual hydraulic disc|
|Rear Brake:||Dual hydraulic disc|
|Front Tires:||AT25 x 8-12|
|Rear Tires:||AT25 x 10-12|
|Length/Width/Height:||122.0 x 61.8 x 74.1 in|
|Curb Weight:||1,342 lbs|
|Ground Clearance:||11.8 in|
|Fuel Capacity:||9.7 US gal.|
|Turning Radius:||177.56 in|
|Bed Capacity:||600 lbs|
|Towing Capacity:||1,500 lbs|
|Instrumentation:||Digital instrument panel boasts multifunction LCD display with speedometer, odometer, dual tripmeter, hour meter, 4WD status, transmission position, clock and fuel gauge|
|Colors:||Hunter Green; Red; Steel Blue; Realtree AP HD|