Although the new Viking 700 FI replaces the sporty Rhino and has 10 mph more top speed
than the Rhino, it’s designed from the ground up as more of a utility UTV with seating for
three and a much higher total payload and towing.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2014?
Take the upper end off of the
Rhino 700 FI engine and install a
forged 102mm piston, new high-output cylinder head and performance
camshafts. Install a head gasket
for 10.0:1 compression, an all-new
exhaust and a new (EPA-mandated)
air-induction system attached to the
EFI intake with a huge, dual-stage foam
filter. Yamaha placed the engine behind
the cabin in the all-new Viking frame,
and the air filter rides under the center
seat and draws air from under the
hood. The dual-stage filter is designed
to survive a year on the farm without
cleaning, which is great for utility users,
as is the high-output stator. Yamaha’s
highest-performance CVT 700 engine
yet is governed to a 50-mph top speed,
which sport users will enjoy.
Wrap the new engine in a wider,
longer ( 61.6-inch versus 56.6-inch)
frame with 8 more inches of wheelbase
( 81. 4 inches, the same as the RZR
XP 900) and room in the cab for three
seats. Angle the sides up 60mm,
somewhat like the Teryx4, for more
ground clearance, and boost wheel
travel to 8.1 inches with new A-arms
and a rear torsion bar for the IRS. The
frame is also wider to reduce crop-row
damage, and a new stamped-steel tilt
bed has 50 percent more capacity (600
pounds). Towing is also increased to
1500 pounds, and a full steel skid plate
adds to the increased weight over the
Rhino (1342 pounds wet versus 1199).
Placing the engine under the bed
lengthens the front driveshaft, so it has
a new support plate and bearing, and
a torque-limiter protects the drivetrain.
Rack-and-pinion steering lightens
effort, and the Viking is available with
Yamaha’s EPS with steering-wheel
Styling is more aggressive, and the tilt
Rear HPG shocks provide 8.1 inches of travel, and the rear torsion
bar is back. Rearward mounting of the engine requires such high
spring rates that it would take Popeye after a few cans of spinach to
adjust preload, so there is no provision for that.
Here’s a cutaway view of the front suspension, and nitrogen-charged
HPG shocks provide 8.1 inches of travel, but there’s no preload
adjustment. The rack-and-pinion steering is flawless.
hood is replaced with a RZR-like access
panel to the electrical box, battery and
intake. The cabin is all new, with three
bucket seats, footrests for three and a
long grab bar for the two passengers.
The new dash has four cup holders,
a range selector and parking brake
levers, LCD digital instrument panel,
and switches for lights and Teryx4-like
2WD/4WD/diff-lock. The center seat
is 2.1 inches lower than the other two,
and it’s tilted back 5 degrees for more
elbow room. The Viking comes in red,
Steel Blue, Hunter Green, and Realtree
AP-HD Camo, with or without EPS, and
all but the Steel Blue versions come
with a plastic sunroof.
Yamaha worked with Maxxis to
develop 25-inch Bighorn 2.0 tires (front
two-ply, rear four-ply), and the faster
Viking has two-puck hydraulic calipers
on all four wheels, plus Yamaha’s all-speed Engine Braking System (EBS).
Shocks are nitrogen-charged HPG, but
there are no preload rings, front or rear.
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
The Steel Blue Viking is $11,499,
while the red and green Vikings come
with a sunroof for $11,699. The
Realtree AP-HD Viking with sunroof
is $12,249. Add EPS and the cost is
$12,499 (blue), $12,699 (red or green)
or $13,249 (camo). The 2014 Arctic
Cat Prowler XTX700 EPS is $13,299 to
$13,599 (camo). Honda’s new Pioneer
700 is $9999, and the convertible
Pioneer 4 is $11,699. The 2014 Can-Am Commander 800 starts at $11,799.
HOW FAST IS THE VIKING?
Faster than the Rhino 700! The new
upper end with higher compression
gives the Viking an edge over the Rhino
on obstacles and from turn to turn, and
the 686cc single is governed to top