2017 YAMAHA VIKING VI EPS
The Viking VI was introduced in 2014 and Yamaha has stayed religiously with the original design.
We had hoped to see a bigger-inch engine added by now but Yamaha has remained steadfast, holding with its 686cc single. The fact is, this is a great engine and various versions of it have been and still are used in many different Yamaha SxSs and ATVs with excellent results.
Remember, this engine is truly a torquer and not a revver but, compared to some of the 6-seaters in this comparo, gives up a lot of horsepower.
Keep in mind, in utility vehicles like this, horsepower is not nearly as important as the vehicle’s torque curve. You could argue the competition compensates with larger displacement and easily matches or exceeds the Viking’s torque output.
With the above rant out of the way, lets look at some of the Vike’s strongest points:
First: Doors! We love ‘em and although these are really half-doors, they work perfectly using high quality latches and are sealed off where you need them to be - right at the bottom!
There’s good shoulder support at each door and the cab is roomy and comfortable for both front and rear passengers.
Here’s a biggy: All six riders get their own bucket seat!
The all-steel tilting cargo bed is as tough as an armadillo and has good attachment points for tie-downs and comes with a rubber bed mat to prevent cargo from sliding around. Inside, there’s plenty of storage and sealed side storage outside for medium-sized tools.
Ground clearance (11.4-inches) is adequate, even when loaded up with gear and passengers. That being said, it’s wise to check out load weights and capacities and stick with them. When you’re carrying fewer than six passengers and railing trail, the Viking’s ride and handling is very good.
Yamaha has a unique way of making its vehicles light and strong. Part of the Viking VI’s appeal is that it doesn’t feel heavy or awkward and that kind of feedback makes the driving experience very pleasant.
Maybe this is the reason Yamaha hasn’t gone to a bigger engine, either as standard equipment or optional. Weight is under control and the Vike’s purpose to exist is being adequately met.
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