For those who don’t want a foot clutch, Yamaha introduces the YXZ1000R Sport Shift Special
Edition with Yamaha Chip-Controlled Shift program to deliver a rider-connected experience
without the fancy footwork.
The Sport Shift has a black-face analog speedometer, and the
YXZ1000R SS is happiest between 5000 and 10,500 rpm.
Temperature icons are new for 2017 on the YXZ1000R and SS, and
the shift warning light is fully adjustable.
Creature comforts are high-end, with the Sport Shift and Special
Edition only differing in color. The right paddle is upshift, he left
paddle is downshift and the D-N-R lever is gated to prevent
accidentally hitting reverse.
HSC, LSC, HSR and LSR, with 19.06
inches of preload (range 18. 56-19. 56
inch) in front and two turns out on HSC,
LSC and HSR and 1.5 turns out on
LSR with 16. 36 inches of preload (range
15. 86-16. 86) and rear cross-overs set
at 4. 25 inches. For more comfort and
plushness, go out 1.5 turns on HSC,
2.0 turns on LSC, in 1.0 turn on LSR
up front, and out 1.0 turn on both LSC
and HSC in back. Aggressive drivers will
want to tighten rear action, going to 0.5
turns out on HSR and LSR, 2.0 turns
out on HSC and 1.5 turns out on LSC.
It may sound confusing, but the owner’s
manual explains the adjustments.
HOW DOES THE YXZ1000R HANDLE?
Superbly. The Sport Shift turns
in easily and powers out of corners
predictably. There is very little push
in 4WD, and it likes to be steered
with either the front wheels or rear
via aggressive downshifts and drifting
into turns. Yamaha put a lot of work
into keeping the chassis straight when
the YXZ bucks in whoops, and the X2
shocks can be tuned to handle higher
trail speeds with aggressive settings.
The new Robby Gordon Wildcat also
stays straight in whoops and delivers
a smoother ride quality. The Sport
Shift Special Edition is much more
predictable and precise than a RZR XP
in whoops and desert chop.
HOW IS IT IN ROCKS AND MUD?
The Sport Shift is a better choice
than the manual-clutch YXZ for rock
crawling, but it doesn’t accept the
GYT-R torque-assist gear kit…yet. The
Special Edition adds X2 shocks that can
be easily tuned for a plush rock ride,
and articulation is good, despite front
and rear torsion bars. Mudders will want
Yamaha’s accessory fender extensions
($259.99), which help the standard
sunroof and half doors keep mud out of
the cabin. Also, the X2 shocks can be
firmed up to offset mud-weight buildup.
WHERE IS THE YXZ1000R HAPPIEST?
Up on the cam and pipe! While the
Sport Shift can be cruised around all
day long without having to downshift,
it’s designed from the ground up to be
flogged and wound out like a fighter jet
on afterburners. We’ve experienced the
Sport Shift in wide-open desert, dunes,
tight woods and rocks, and we’re happy
in either setting.
HOW STRONG ARE THE BRAKES?
Super strong. At all four corners,
two-puck calipers squeeze 245mm
rotors, and the feel at the pedal is
crisp. Strong brakes are backed up by
a full-on engine-braking system and
a fifth e-brake on the rear drive shaft
controlled by a lever on the console. We
were impressed with the brakes on the
GYT-R YXZ with 30-inch EFX Motoclaw
WHAT ABOUT CREATURE COMFORTS?
They’re so fine, we feel like extending
WHAT’S OUR FINAL ANSWER?
our pinkies when pulling drinks out of
the cup holders. The padded console,
lined half doors and roof are limo-like,
and all of the controls are light yet
positive. The padded passenger bar
is adjustable, as are the driver’s seat,
tilt wheel and instrument pod, which
includes a temperature readout. Seats
are comfortable, and the shoulder
belts can be adjusted to prevent neck
chafing. The Sport Shift got 15 percent
more efficient console shielding, but
it still gets hot. There is an accessory
padding kit ($69.99) for the console and
doors that provide more insulation from
Yamaha raises the performance bar
even further with the YXZ1000R Sport
Shift Special Edition. The Fox X2 shocks
refine the ride and deliver performance
to match the super-wide YXZ
powerband and features of the Sport
Shift YCC-S, auto-clutch, five-speed