The Viking multipurpose side-by-side seats three people and retails for $11,499. A version with electric power steering retails for $12,499. Both models will be available in August.
Dealers saw the four-wheel-drive vehicle for the first time June 11 at the company’s national dealer meeting in Las Vegas, where Yamaha announced that it will be unveiling a new side-by-side model every year for the next five years. The company has discontinued the Rhino brand.
As it has done with all its side-by-sides, Yamaha is manufacturing the Viking at its factory in Newnan, Ga., for worldwide distribution.
The Viking’s pass-through bucket seating features an offset center position (set 5 degrees back) intended to improve comfort with shoulder room for all three occupants. According to Yamaha, the Viking is the only vehicle in its class that features three-point seat belts and headrests for everyone, an adjustable handhold for both passengers and a textured floorboard with dedicated foot wells. Yamaha claims the Viking’s seating position provides for more headroom than competitive models without sacrificing 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 four-stroke, SOHC, single-cylinder, four-valve engine complemented by fuel injection and a 9.7-gallon fuel tank.
Yamaha’s three-way On-Command system, featuring 2WD, 4WD and 4WD with differential lock, is driver-controlled with an automotive-type rotary dial selector. The system lets the driver lock in all four wheels based on the terrain.
Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission features high, low and reverse as well as dual-speed gearing. An automatic centrifugal clutch maintains constant belt tension for reduced wear and all-wheel engine braking.
The Viking’s optional electric power steering (EPS) reads steering wheel torque, vehicle speed, On-Command setting and negative feedback to determine the appropriate amount of assist. (continued)