The Yamaha Viking is Yamaha's first UTV in years. As a replacement to the Rhino, the Viking can basically do it all, better. Its target market is comprised of farmers, hunters, utility enthusiasts and hard workers. The spacious three-seater features a dumping bed big enough for a 600 lb pallet and it can tow up to 1500 lbs. However, fans of the Rhino seem disappointed with the Viking and criticize Yamaha's fascination with the utility market over the sports market.
Yamaha is just getting over the slew of lawsuits that occurred around 2007 stemming from incidents involving the Rhino. The rest of the industry was enjoying the success of sports markets while Yamaha and its Rhino had to stick up for themselves. While Polaris, Kawasaki and Arctic Cat have been able to continue developing new models, Yamaha has had to deal with lawsuits and consequently, issues regarding brand loyalty. Yamaha is now ready to step back in the UTV game and they are doing so with excitement.
The Viking is far from a sports vehicle. It is designed for strength and efficiency rather than power and suspension. This utility machine offers a similar look to the Rhino but a completely different, more comfortable design ready for tougher work in any environment. The move to sell primarily utility-based SxS vehicles is a smart decision by Yamaha; by offering a new, redesigned, quality UTV, Yamaha is able to go after the 66% of SxS utility enthusiasts and announce their return to the largest segment of UTV users. The sports market is dying and Yamaha is adapting.