Driver… yes, a driver… I am a racing driver!
This is the effect that the Yamaha YXZ had on me, during my test ride at the Thetford track. Intoxicating isn’t it? …I wondered, from then on, what was so different about this quad that made me feel so good. How did this machine let out this fury in me?
Phew … We are living adventures as an Infoquad test pilot. This one will stay in my memory.
The feeling of being in control, the roar of the engine, the exhilarating feeling of overcoming every turn, every jump: it’s something unique. It’s rarely possible to let the beast in us out when we’re on the provincial trails, but on a track we get to know another side of our personality.
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Is the YXZ the fastest in acceleration? No, it was about average for the 100-130HP machines we tested.
Does it compare to the big turbo machines in the industry in terms of raw power? No, while powerful, the YXZ’s engine doesn’t have the same rage as a Pro XP to name one.
So…what’s so different? It is without a doubt its 5-speed sequential transmission with paddle shifters, its 112 HP three-cylinder engine with a 10500 RPM redline and of course its launch control features that make the YXZ a truly unique machine in terms of performance.
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This engine is a monster! I’ve never had such a sporty driving sensation as I did with the YXZ. The engine has a wide revolution band and allows very long gear changes. Usually with CVTs, we launch the beast, then the engine revs up, stays at the same RPM and the clutch make us accelerate. Here, it’s different with the YXZ’s engine package. It whirs, reaches its target RPM, we let go of the throttle for a moment, shift into gear, then accelerate again…until we run out of gears to shift or slow down. With each gear shift, you get to experience that race car effect again. You can very easily keep and choose the revolution speed of your engine.
This favors acceleration out of turns and deceleration on compression. There is no risk of stalling the engine: when the deceleration is too strong, the transmission downshifts by itself. To complete the package, a light is visible near the dashboard when it’s optimal to shift to another gear. There are few vehicles that offer this kind of performance precision. It’s a unique and exciting sensation. Sure, it takes a learning time, especially if you’ve never driven a stick, but it’s a rewarding and immersive ride once you get used to it.
Suspension and control
Another interesting aspect of our test vehicle is the FOX® 2.5 Podium® RC2 suspension with dual shocks. This one offers a lot of configurations since it’s not a click system like the QS3. It has almost infinite adjustment positions, which promises great adaptability at the expense of simplicity. It is easy to get lost in the configuration of this one, I advise you to take pictures of your original adjustments before starting. It will take some testing to get the best configuration for your conditions. However, when you reach the perfect position for you, it’s an almost divine ride. When it comes to control, the YXZ offers a sporty and responsive ride. It’s easy to forget that this vehicle is 64 inches wide because it handles so well. It has a good attitude and is very stable in turns. I did not experience any unusual dive or roll. The vehicle is really very stable and easy to drive. My only downside is the reverse mode which is not very smooth to engage.
Overall, the YXZ is for the motorsports enthusiast who wants to take their off-roading to the next level technically. It is a reliable and impressive machine. It is very pleasant to drive on and off the trail. In addition, there are several parts on the market that can be used to push the driving performance beyond the level of American turbo vehicles.
I loved my Yamaha experience! Although this vehicle is a bit more expensive than the average, I can’t recommend it enough. Its qualities and unique ride make it an excellent choice. I have to thank the people at MOTO JMF in Thetford for making this test ride possible. On that note, I wish you all a great season, my fellow quad riders!