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2015 Yamaha Viking VI Review

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.


Strengthened A-arms and raised sides on the undercarriage will come in handy when the going gets rough.


Of course, moving a large machine means you will also need a way to stop the beast. Yamaha engineers raised the stopping power of the Viking VI’s new four-wheel dual piston brake calipers with thermal shims to reduce heat while making braking a cinch! Transferring the braking initiative to the ground are Maxxis Bighorn tires. These six-ply heavy-duty tires have been designed to give the larger Viking VI the same great handling with the added weight and length.


The large bed in the Yamaha Viking VI can carry up to 600 pounds, while the Side-by-Side can tow an additional 1,500 pounds.




Test Ride

Taking into consideration that we have had limited time in this new machine, we did figure out several things that great potential in the world of working class UTVs. The purpose for the Viking VI is to move people as well as to make it as enjoyable and safe as possible. With that said, we know working ranches as well as larger families will benefit from the machine.

Driving the Viking VI is easy and comfortable. From the minute we sat down into the driver's seat there was a sense of confidence and after adding several other riders we knew this would be a very stable platform.

The Viking VI walked right through sharp corners without any trouble. In fact, the turning radius seemed surprisingly tight for a larger ride like this and chassis roll on off-camber terrain was limited. Power output from the 686cc four-stroke is ample for the loaded cab, but we did not have a chance to load the machine with both passengers and heavy amounts of towable cargo.


A stable platform with minimal chassis roll means the Viking VI corners like a champ.


An item we failed to mention above is the addition of optional electronic power steering (EPS). We are big proponents of power steering and feel every machine holding more than three people should come with power steering no questions asked. With that said, the EPS on our Viking VI worked very well and again inspired confidence in each handling situation.

Sitting in the front or rear center seats, we felt right at home and the handholds seemed to be placed in good positions without too far a reach for most riders. Sitting left or right of the center in the rear seats, we did notice the front seat shoulder bolsters framework seemed to dig into the knees of taller riders at times. It was distracting, but not painful.


Rear passengers benefit from well-placed handholds and a good view of the trail ahead.


This machine, with its extra passenger capacity, will make a great asset to the intended market and it is fun to drive regardless of work time. We had the chance to test the four-wheel disc brakes and we can tell you with a loaded ride the brakes work surprisingly well while maintaining control in the process.

The 2015 Yamaha Viking VI comes in Hunter Green, Red, and Realtree AP HD camo. MSRP for standard versions starts at $12,799 for non-EPS and $13,799 for EPS models. A Viking VI EPS Special Edition in Matte Silver with Soft Suntop comes with an MSRP of $14,999 and includes aluminum wheels, overfenders, mud flaps, soft sun top, Yamaha's bed rail accessory mounts, and the abovementioned sealed storage compartment under the left rear seat.

Overall the evolution of the Viking line is gaining momentum and we should all be excited that companies like Yamaha are coming to the table with equipment like this. We can't wait to see what the creative minds at Yamaha push out of the Newnan, Ga. plant next.



2014 Yamaha Viking 700 Specs
Engine: 686cc liquid-cooled w/fan, 4-stroke; SOHC, 4 valves
Bore x Stroke: 102.0 x 84.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0:1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI)
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Starting System: Electric
Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic V-belt with all-wheel engine braking; L, H, N, R
Drivetrain: Yamaha On-Command pushbutton; 3-way locking differential; 2WD, 4WD, locked 4WD; shaft drive
Front Suspension: Independent double-wishbone; 8.1 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Independent double-wishbone with anti-sway bar; 8.1 inches travel
Front Brakes: Dual hydraulic disc
Rear Brake: Dual hydraulic disc
Front Tires: AT25 x 8-12
Rear Tires: AT25 x 10-12
Length/Width/Height: 153.5 x 61.8 x 76.6 in
Curb Weight: 1,634 lbs
Wheelbase: 115.6 in
Ground Clearance: 11.4 in
Fuel Capacity: 9.7 US gal.
Turning Radius: 244.1 in
Bed Capacity: 600 lbs
Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs
Colors: Hunter Green; Red; Realtree AP HD
Base MSRP: $12,799 ($13,799 EPS)

Source:http://www.atv.com/manufacturers/yamaha/2015-yamaha-viking-vi-review-2306.html
 

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Actually? WOWOWOWOWOWWWW. Looks like its going to get perched pretty easy though, look how long oh MY!
 

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Its 7.xx" longer than a Ranger crew. Seems with this Longer Viking, would have been a great time to put a bigger VTwin motor in..
 
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Agree with 2k14, a bigger v-twin would have been very welcome. I guess Yammy made a commitment a few years back to run with this motor across all their platforms, so we're probably stuck with it for a while.

It's long but it's great how it's still got a full sized bed!
 

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Haha just shy of 13'.....good lord...better jack it way way up or keep it on the golf course
 

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'Party on wheels' sounds pretty nice. I am not sure I am quite on board with this six seater UTV though. Its like the minivan of UTVs. I'm not sure how big a seller it will be. I don't think it is going to be a smashing success.
 

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What did you guys expect? The Viking is physically bigger than the competition so why wouldnt the 6 seater be the same? I think its great to give the consumer an option other than a Ranger.
 

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I think it'll do just fine, there's die hard Yamaha fans out there, that im sure in the past have needed a Crew, and had to get a Polaris, but now they have the option, and will be happy to come back to Yamaha, after driving a POS Polaris.
 

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It will take off with the retired couples with grandkids that live at the lake/gated communities. I own property in one of them in St Louis area and see all kinds of rzr crews and ranger crews. It is usually gramps hauling the family around the property.

I do see a few rzr crews that are riding the trails also. Most don't think my viking will make it but I prove them wrong. And somehow they manage to get through with their crews. There are quite a few rhinos at the community, i can see the upgrade real soon by some.

Will it be as big of a seller as the viking (3), probably not. I have 2 kids, I would rather have more than one atv than more seats.

I would like to see one of the new models a 50" trail version, basically bring back the rhino. Just add some vehicle stability, or just don't be stupid!

probably in a year or 2 will be buying a used rhino for when my oldest becomes a teen and get him out of that rzr 170.
 

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Agreed, some nice lift and tires/wheels would look killer.
 

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I see that the VI has a limited slip front diff, do our Vikings have a LS diff does anyone know?
 

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Ours are all the same. You have 2wd-4wd limited slip and 4wd locked
 
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