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New Yamaha utility vehicle hits the market

The sporty Wolverine R-Spec side-by-side will be ready for the 2016 model year

If you like to add a little adventure to any trip out into the pasture to check cows, Yamaha may have the ideal side-by-side utility vehicle (UTV) for you. The company’s new Wolverine R-Spec joins their product lineup for the 2016 model year.

“The all-new Wolverine will extend Yamaha’s side-by-side line into the recreation segment, creating a new level of durability, quality, handling and superior off-road capabilities not yet seen in the off-road industry,” said Mike Martinez, Yamaha’s Recreational Vehicle (RV) group vice president, in a press release. “Yamaha’s Wolverine R-Spec side-by-side is made for off-road enthusiasts, hunters and explorers looking to navigate tight, technical trails and extreme off-road terrain.”

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The Wolverine gets aggressive new styling and what the company refers to as a “nimble and compact-feeling chassis designed to maximize visibility while allowing the driver to navigate tight, technical trails and challenging terrain.” The R-Spec has 29 centimetres (11.4 inches) of ground clearance and an 178.8 centimetres (81.3-inch) wheelbase.

Yamaha also incorporated features like rear-wheel protectors that extend from the bottom of the frame to reduce obstacle contact with rear tires. Underneath, you’ll find full-coverage skid plates front-to-back and side-to-side. That should help eliminate catch points in rugged terrain. For even more under-body protection, Yamaha incorporated standard front A-arm-mounted CV boot protectors and rear A-arm skid plates.

In the cab, there are high-backed buckets, and the driver’s seat gets three-position adjustment. There is even a centre console, cup holders and a 12-volt DC outlet to charge accessories.

The heart of this machine is a 708cc, double overhead valve, fuel injected engine. And there is a four-wheel drive differential lock option for maximum traction when it’s needed.

The rear bed gets just a 136 kilogram (300 pound) load rating capacity but the receiver hitch can tow a respectable 681 kilogram (1,500 pound) load behind.

According to Yamaha, the Wolverine R-Specs should hit dealer lots by April, and they’ll be available in blue, green and, of course, a camo version.

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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