Yamaha Working on Next Level UTV Suspension

Lucas Cooney
by Lucas Cooney
Patents reveal two rear shocks on each rear wheel and a possible solid rear axle

While the UTV horsepower wars seem to have slowed down a little in the last year or so, it seems like the manufacturers have turned their attention to UTV suspension systems.

We’ve seen some impressive intelligent suspension systems that automatically adjust the shocks based on factors like speed and terrain. Now it looks like Yamaha might be taking things to a new level.

We recently found some Yamaha patent applications that show what appears to be a Yamaha YXZ1000R with two shocks on each rear corner – one of which looks very much like an external bypass shock you’d see on a trophy truck.

Yamaha UTV Suspension Feature

Beyond the fact that these patent documents show four rear shocks, there are some other things that stand out with Yamaha’s UTV suspension patents.

First, the shocks appear to be placed well in front of the rear wheel. If you compare it to a current YXZ1000R, you can see a significant difference in the position of the shocks. But that is just the beginning.

Yamaha YXZ1000R Comparison

You can see a noticeable difference in the position of the rear shocks in the patent application (left) and the current YXZ1000R (right).

One of the patent applications (20210031580) describes the two shocks as connecting to a swingarm for each rear wheel, describing the setup as having more than 24.4 inches of wheel travel.

The second patent application (20210031579) takes a different approach. This setup shows what appears to be a solid asymmetric axle connecting the two rear wheels (longer on the right, shorter on the left). No wheel travel number is specified in this version, but it definitely looks substantial.

A-Arms vs Solid Axle

In left patent application, the rear of the UTV uses independent swimgarms, while the one on the right has an asymmetrical rear axle.

We’re not sure what the benefit of a solid asymmetric axle would be, but you can bet people a whole lot smarter than we are have put a lot of thought into it. A sport UTV with a solid rear axle would be quite a curveball for the ATV/UTV industry, but it would certainly be fun to test it out. After all, Sport ATVs have long been dominated by solid axle rear ends as racers like how predictably they handle. Who’s to the same thing wouldn’t work on a UTV suspension system? It will be fun to find out.

Yamaha Solid Rear Axle

But before you all get too excited about any of this showing up at your local Yamaha dealership, it should be noted that not everything we find in patent applications comes to market. Many times we’ve seen innovative (and outlandish) ATV/UTV patents (even from major manufacturers) that have never been produced for sale.

Still, it’s fun to learn what the manufacturers are dreaming up…even if we never get to drive it.

Lucas Cooney
Lucas Cooney

I have been working exclusively in digital media since 1997. I started out with TSN.ca, spending nearly nine years creating and editing content on Canada's leading sports website. I left to join VerticalScope, Inc., one of the world's largest online publishers, to start a number of powersports publications. While at VerticalScope, I've helped create and oversee content for a wide variety of different publications, including ATV.com, Off-Road.com, ArcheryTalk.com, Tractor.com, RVGuide.com, and many more.

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