WHAT’S A WOLVERINE R-SPEC?
Yamaha built the original 2016
$10,999 Wolverine for adventure,
exploration, trail riding and hunting,
and the base Wolverine got EPS for
2017. Wolverine R-Specs add high-end shocks for $1200 and EPS for
another $1000. For 2017 the new
flagship Wolverine R-Spec EPS SE gets
trick, new, two-tone, cast-aluminum
bead-lock wheels; additional chassis
and A-arm armor; over-fenders; a
soft-grip steering wheel; under-seat
storage and Flat Silver bodywork
with color-matched bucket seats.
The Wolverine takes the Viking’s
lower end and lowers the gearing 5
percent. The new DOHC top end has
a 103mm piston and 85mm stroke
for 708cc. Yamaha placed it 148mm
forward in the frame for more centralized
mass, and the seats are 2. 76 inches
closer together than on the Viking.
The Wolverine’s frame is 5. 5 inches
narrower than the Viking’s, and the
sides are swept up 2. 36 inches for
ground clearance. The new frame is
kept narrow for longer A-arms, and
high-end dual-compression piggyback
shocks provide full adjustment and 9. 7
inches of front and 10. 6 inches of rear
travel. A rear torsion bar fights body
roll on the 60.6-inch-wide R-Spec, and
dual-piston hydraulic calipers squeeze
four 8.15-inch discs. The CVT has the
normal Yamaha sprag clutch with EBS,
and the rear transfer case has a safety
buzzer in case the multi-disc parking
brake is left engaged. There is also a
new buzzer that sounds if the driver’s
seat belt isn’t buckled when in gear.
The non-tilting bed holds 300 pounds
and has a removable and stowable
tailgate, and a large console with an
airbox underneath replaces the Viking’s
center seat. Wheelbase is 81. 3 inches,
and the Wolverine has a full-length skid
plate. Fuel capacity is 9. 7 gallons.
HOW DOES THE COST COMPARE?
The base Wolverine is still $10,999.
The Wolverine EPS is $11,999. The
R-Spec EPS is $13,199, and the
R-Spec EPS SE is $14,799. Arctic Cat’s
Wildcat Trail 700 is $11,999. The Trail
XT is $12,999, and the LTD is $14,499,
while the Wildcat Sport XT is $14,599
and the Sport LTD is $15,999. The
2017 Can-Am Commander 800 starts at
$12,199 without EPS and $13,299 with
it, while the high-end 800 XT is $14,899.
Polaris’ RZR 900 is $12,999, and EPS
900s are $14,799. Polaris dropped
the base General 1000 for 2017, so
the least expensive one is $16,299.
HOW FAST IS THE 708CC R-SPEC?
Fast enough to be fun. Top speed
is 52 mph, but it does its best work
single sits under
bed, and it
draws air from
under the hood,
but the Viking/
air filter sits
in the center
storage bin. It
feeds a 44mm
to these skid
bash plate for
and a 27-inch
MSA/EFX soft-terrain tire/
wheel kit is
Over-fenders, full aluminum skid plates and aluminum bead-lock wheels shod with Maxxis
Bighorn 2.0 26-inch tires arm the Special Edition for mud, and the power delivery of the
engine and CVT keep it hooked up on slimy surfaces.
in conditions way too tight for that.
Yamaha uses the same DOHC single
with a 44mm EFI throttle body in
the Wolverine, Grizzly and Kodiak
4x4s, but the Wolverine is tuned
for more midrange grunt. It’s great
from turn to turn and even better
on clay-mud grease. The worse
and tighter conditions there are, the
more effective the Wolverine is.
WHAT ABOUT CVT/4WD DELIVERY?
It’s the industry standard. The
Continuously Variable Transmission has
a sprag clutch to keep constant belt
tension and centrifugal clutch to provide
low-speed slip, greatly increasing
belt life. The clutch and EFI throttle
response work very well together, and
the CVT has built-in four-wheel engine
braking (in 4WD) and a slick, gated
range selector. The 2WD/4WD/4WD