Adventure UTV of the Year

Derrek Sigler
by Derrek Sigler
Yamaha Wolverine X2 bridges the gap between Sport and Utility

UTVs tend to fit into certain categories for the manufacturers. The meat-and-potatoes of all UTV sales comes from the Utility category for most of the OEMs. The Sport UTV category gets all the “sexy” press and a lot of popularity with consumers. Resting right in the middle is a category that may very well be the fastest growing segment – the recreational machines. These are machines that have some of the elements of the Utility machines, and the DNA of a Sport UTV. They are built for adventure and have a go-anywhere, do-anything attitude. There are some amazing machines and the manufacturers have been working overtime to bring out new rides for this category, and picking just one as the best of the best was almost impossible. For 2019,’s Best Adventure UTV of the Year award goes to the Yamaha Wolverine X2.

How good is the Yamaha Wolverine X2?

Yamaha Wolverine X2

Yamaha completely redid the Wolverine using the new X4 as the starting point. It has the same 847cc parallel twin engine that Yamaha developed for the X4 and it is amazing. Yamaha managed to develop an engine that keeps the weight down and the balance perfect. And it’s quiet – amazingly quiet. Like, you can hear the tires rolling on the ground OVER the sound of the engine. But along with being balanced and quiet, the engine has amazing torque and is perfect for technical terrain.

The chassis is really good, too. Turing is tight and the Wolverine X2 handles incredibly well in just about every terrain type going. It has double wishbone suspension at all the corners with 8.7 inches of wheel travel up front and 8.9 inches of travel out back. Yamaha added a dumping cargo bed to the X2, something the previous Wolverine lacked. Seating is extremely comfortable and the interior is well thought out. You can drive the X2 all day and not be worn out by the machine in any way. Where ever you’re going, or whatever you’re doing, our Adventure UTV of the Year is really that good.

How much power does the Wolverine X2 have?

Yamaha Wolverine X2 Front

One of those questions that pops up a lot is about the horsepower. Yes, there are a couple of machines out there touting big horsepower numbers. For a true adventure machine, horsepower is honestly the last thing we care about. When it comes to the types of activities the Wolverine was designed for, it has the right amount of power to get the job done. That may not be the most popular thing to say, but the Yamaha gets it done. You can load up the cargo bed with your gear, hop in with a buddy and claw your way to the top of the mountain trail with ease. If you have a remote spot in your hunting property that you want to work up for a food plot, the Wolverine can get that job done, too. The ability to do it all, and do it comfortably and quietly, makes the 2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2 an easy pick as our Adventure UTV of the Year.

Honorable Mention – Polaris General Deluxe Ride Command

Polaris General Ride Command

The General is the machine that really sparked the push of machines in this category. It is as if a Ranger and RZR had a baby. You get 100hp, a dumping cargo box and extreme handling. With the Deluxe Ride Command model includes a Bluetooth audio system with eight MTX speakers, GPS, onboard backup camera, connectivity with others in your riding party, Fox Podium QS3 shocks and more. There is a 4,500lb winch, too. The Ride Command module has a 7-inch glove-touch screen, and a built-in AM/FM and weather-bank radio. This machine is so loaded with features that the only thing holding it back is the $21,999 price tag.

Honorable Mention – Arctic Cat Havoc Backcountry Edition

2019 Textron Havoc Backcountry Edition Feaature

The Havoc is a really cool machine to begin with and then Arctic Cat brought out the 2019 Backcountry Edition. This machine has a 100hp fuel-injected 957cc twin engine with on demand all-wheel drive. It has over 12 inches of wheel travel at all four corners, 28-inch ITP Ultracross tires and 13 inches of ground clearance. It also comes with a brush guard and a 4,500-pound Warn winch and a roof cargo rack for added gear hauling fun. The Havoc Backcountry is a seriously capable machine for the adventurous type. It is definitely worthy of an honorable mention in the race for the Adventure UTV of the Year award.

Derrek Sigler
Derrek Sigler

Derrek's love for all things ATV started when he was a mere 11 years old, growing up on his family farm. His mom gave him and his sister a choice - get a horse, or a three-wheeler. The sister wanted the horse, and Derrek wanted the ATV. Luckily he won out, and was soon burning up the trails on a Yamaha Tri-Moto 200. By the time he was 14, he had saved enough of his own money by working on the farm and in his folks restaurant to buy a new 4-wheeler. That happened the day he and his mom were driving past the dealership and saw 1987 Banshee. His mom had no idea what he was buying, and he never looked back. He's been riding ever since, and been writing professionally for many years. He has ridden all over North America and been behind the controls of just about every machine out there. And yes, he still has his 1987 Yamaha Banshee.

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