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Well here it is my second ride report. Sorry for not having exciting actions shots, or great scenic photos. Took my brother out today. Good guy, but just does not want to work for the money shot.
I live in a small town 10 miles west of Reno, Verdi Nevada. Population a little bit over 1500. It situated at the base of the Sierra mountain range. Mild weather, close enough to the mountains without the extreme snow. Skiing only 25 miles to the west. A long time ago, it was a prosperous lumber mill town. Timer was harvested in the adjoining mountains for the mines in the Comstock. Still to this day, the hills a crisscrossed with an extensive systems of dirt roads. (Great for exploring on jeeps and ATV’s) Verdi is notable for being the place was the first train robbery ever occurred. http://cprr.org/Museum/Robbery.html
Normally I can access the off road areas right from my house. Unfortunately, there is a 1 mile section of road I have to use to get to the staging area. Today, there was some kind of bike race. The area was being patrolled by Washoe county sheriff traffic cops. So I decided to trailer the Viking to the starting area. (Yea, I get real spoiled here),
I hate trailering! Esp. when it's only for 1 1/2 miles
Out first stop, Stampede Reservoir. The level is as low as I ever seen it. The Drought is really taking its toll. Don’t think there will be any water in September.
At the end of the lake, we were able to drive across to the other side. Normally this area should be about 25 feet under water.
This is what a drought looks like
After exploring the lake bottom, we headed up into the High Sierra’s. Our goals was White Rock Lake, but were unable to find it. Seem some yahoo’s been taking down the trail signs. Even with a topo and GPS, we got skunked. (Still trying to sort out my Garmin Montana)
Getting lost, but still great country (This haze is from wildfires in Amador County)
Still lost (note the Topo map on the hood), but at lease great cell phone coverage). My brother updating my sister on my great navigation skills (not). Lake Meadows, also very low due to the drought
It has only been a year since Yamaha first took the cover off the Viking 700 Side-by-Side. So pleased was Yamaha with its three-seat Utility machine that it decided to double the fun for model year 2015 with the six-person Viking VI.
Just a few days ago in the musical city of Austin, Texas we had the chance to see the 2015 Yamaha Viking VI up close and get behind the wheel for a test session.
Yamaha boasts that the Viking VI is the first true six-person Side-by-Side on the market. Rather than having two three-person bench seats, Yamaha created an individual seat for each passenger. Just like the front section of seating, the center passenger is situated rearward just enough to clear the shoulders of the left and right side riders. As with the original Viking, these seats all have individual three-point harnesses to keep everyone safe. Every sculpted seat contours to its passenger to give the support needed for long days in the saddle. Yamaha even took the rear-seated passengers into consideration to the point of making the front seat headrests hollow for optimal viewing of the trail in front of them. As well, positioning the rear passengers up 25mm will also lend to clearer vision of the ride ahead.
With individual sets for everybody, Yamaha boasts it has created the first true six-person Side-by-Side.
Ample floorboard space for the passengers onboard the Viking VI benefits from embossed tread to give the confidence and grip needed should a less than inspiring driver take the wheel. The pass through design allows riders to exit on either side of the Viking VI, front or rear. One additional notable would be the crazy amounts of storage under the seats. The Special Edition version of the Viking VI includes a sealed container.
The middle front and rear passengers are positioned slightly back so everybody has more shoulder room.
Yamaha's familiar 686cc 4-stroke, liquid cooled, single overhead cam engine powers the 2015 Viking VI. It has received an updated intake system as it now has to travel a little farther up the chassis before reaching the throttle body. The air filter size has been increased and fuel injection mapping has been adjusted specifically for the Viking VI as well. Liquid cooling for the four-valve mill was increased to keep the pressure down during the hardest working days.
Yamaha made minor tweaks to its 686cc powerplant to suit the needs of its largest ever off-road machine
The Yamaha Ultramatic fully automatic belt driven transmission also received calibration to handle the added weight and cargo capacity. Getting the power to the ground, Viking owners are given an option of 2WD, 4WD, and 4WD fully locked front differential. This means when the trail or terrain gets rough you can engage a little more help from the driveline.
To give the chassis a little more support, Yamaha added gusseting to the A-arms for strength and durability. Other chassis notables include raised sides of the lower framework. Giving the Viking VI the best possible trail momentum, the undercarriage sides have been raised 60mm upward to prevent high center on rough trails. The original Viking had this fabrication touch but it is well worth mentioning that the covered underbelly slips over obstacles with ease.
As I look through the photos that people have been putting up showing off their Memorial Day weekend activities are started to think, "this looks fun, but would an ATV be better suited for these activities?"
The Viking is a UTV. It is meant for both work and play. The benefits that it has over ATVs as I see it is that it can carry some extra passengers and cargo. It has a roof too and a seated riding position as opposed to a more standing position with an ATV.
The pictures of you guys have been posting, driving through creeks, and plowing through large gulleys full of muddy water, all that looks fun. Do you think that an ATV could do a better job though?
The Yamaha Grizzly 700 is meant for the dirt. it's meant to drive over those large steep hills and shallow waters.
Meanwhile the Viking is pictured in a barn with cows.
Its possible that you guys use it for more practical uses when you aren't having a nice long weekend, but mainly I'm just curious if you guys use the Viking for work as well as play, and why you ended up choosing it over something like the Grizzly that is more conducive to recreational off-roading.