Rock Crawler Edition also gets six-point harnesses with automotive-style
retracting shoulder straps, quick-release
chest and lap retainers, and a rear-view
mirror. All other RZR XPs get the 2016
High Lifter Edition’s dual-row chain-driven reverse. And, whereas the XP
Turbos get a new 1.5-turn steering rack,
the Gold LE actually gets a rack with
slower turning than standard XP 1000s.
As for the revolutionary Yamaha
YXZ1000R, it got few changes for 2017.
CV boot durability was increased with a
new clamp, and CV size was reduced
by 9mm. The L-shaped rear A-arms
got a CV guard like the front A-arms to
prevent boot pinpricks from cross-roost.
New console heat shields lower console
heat by 15 percent. A new GYTR
Torque-Assist Gear kit ($999.99) and
Rekluse 3.0 EXP slipper clutch ($814.99)
are available for rock crawlers, mud
boggers and tight-trail enthusiasts, as
are 30-inch EFX Motoclaw tires ($225.99
HOW DOES COST COMPARE?
While the standard White Lightning
or Titanium Metallic 2017 XP 1000 with
EPS is $19,499, the fully equipped
Gold Edition is $23,999. The High Lifter
Edition is $22,699 ($800 less than in
2016), and the Ride Command LE is
$20,999 with front and rear cameras.
Yamaha’s YXZ1000R is $19,999 to
$21,599, while the YXZ1000R Sport
Shift is $20,599 to $22,399. With
the GYTR TAG kit, Rekluse 3.0 EXP
clutch and 30-inch Motoclaw tires,
the as-tested cost would be $22,718
for the Yamaha Blue and White YXZ
with Fox RC2 shocks. Our YXZ1000R
Special Edition with the GYTR additions
has an as-tested price of $24,317. The
2017 Can-Am Maverick 1000R X mr is
$21,199, while the Maverick 1000 X xc
is $18,599. The Maverick 1000R Turbo
is $20,499, while new X3 Turbos are
$20,999 to $26,899. The 2017 Wildcat
1000X RG Pro EPS is $18,499, and the
Limited RG Pro 1000 is $19,499.
WHICH 1000 IS FASTER?
With its higher rev limit ( 10,500 versus
8,500 rpm), the YXZ1000R accelerates
harder in each gear, and the GYTR TAG
kit adds torque. That said, the Polaris
jumps out of the hole quicker, loses
ground midway through and gains a bit
back as it hits the rev limiter around 78
mph. It really depends on the skill level of
the driver with the Yamaha, as messed-
up shifts or short-shifting negates the
rev-range advantage. The Gold Matte
RZR is easier to drive up to a limit, and
the Yamaha pushes way past that in
the hands of a pro. Also, the GYTR YXZ
and Motoclaws ripped up a steep dune
that shut down the RZR and Crawler XG
tires. Redline revs matter!
HOW ABOUT THE DELIVERY & DRIVETRAIN?
With its 55-percent-lower low and
gear-driven reverse, it’s hard to beat
the Gold Matte RZR for ease of driving
in pure rock crawling; however, time is
lost stopping to shift to low for big hills
and high at the top, as we saw several
RZRs grinding between gears in the
heat of battle at the KOH. We also saw
bandoliers of spare belts on several
RZRs. YXZs suffer neither dilemma.
Conversely, Yamaha over-engineered
the YXZ drivetrain, but abusive drivers
can cook the Rekluse clutch plates.
Many racers and rock crawlers maintain
a steady throttle to keep the CVT
engaged and modulate speed with the
brakes, which is hard on the belt. The
Rekluse clutch doesn’t work with this
technique, as steady throttle keeps the
plates engaged and applying brakes
stalls the motor. The GYTR Yamaha
requires more skill but is more durable
WHICH HANDLES BETTER?
The Yamaha, by far. We had
hardpack conditions and deep sand with
plenty of moisture underneath, and the
YXZ1000R turned in much better and
cornered tighter and more predictably.
The lower seating position and overall
center of gravity (CG) have a lot to do
with the Yamaha’s turning prowess, as
does the wheel offset. The Gold Matte
LE’s beadlocks have very little offset,
and that combined with the tall CG and
seating position makes the RZR bicycle
when pushed in turns. It also pushed
more in deep sand and wanted to climb
out if the driver lifted. On high-speed
whoops, our test drivers liked the Polaris
at first, until we dialed more high-speed
Yamaha’s TAG kit reduces
overall gearing by 30 percent
and first gear by another 40
percent for a 70-percent-
lower total. This kit is
now available for the
Sport Shift, too, with
revised electronics for
the various modes.
The 30-inch Motoclaw
tires are 9 percent taller
for a 21-percent overall
reduction in top speed.
Which is a better desert
sled, rock crawler and all-
around trail machine—the
Polaris RZR XP 1000 Gold
Matte Metallic LE EPS or
the Yamaha YXZ1000R SE
EPS with GYTR Torque-Assist
Gear kit, Rekluse clutch and
EFX 30-inch Motoclaw tires?
We tackled the King of the
Hammers to find out.