2017 Wolverine R-Spec Review- A Recreation Side-By-Side That Covers All The Bases Hot
2017 Wolverine R-Spec Review- A Recreation Side-By-Side That Covers All The Bases
The Wolverine, in all of its forms, really falls into the rec-utility segment where the RZR S, Teryx, Commander 800, and Pioneer 700 seem to play. The Wolverine is Yamaha’s primary focused trail side-by-side, and it has the “goods” to excel at exploring the outdoors via trails all across the Country, and, in many ways, is a cut above the competition. I have had a chance to do a full review and video review which you can find below, but I recently had the opportunity to climb aboard the 2017 Wolverine R-Spec EPS Special Edition for an afternoon jaunt outside of Prescott, AZ, at Gunsite Academy, and, through the experience, was reminded why I like the Wolverine R-Spec.
The Full Package
The Wolverine R-Spec has all the hallmarks of a machine focused on consistently conquering the trails with all the capability to do just that, and it shows when you ride it. Moving you along with helpless abandon is a 708 cc single-cylinder engine that has plenty of power to run 50 mph and tow a trailer up to 1500 lbs, but, most importantly, tackle whatever the trail can throw its way. It is not underpowered in any way, though it is not the most powerful in its category. I can assure you that does not matter in taking you where you want to go. I do wish Yamaha would unveil a twin-cylinder that might reduce the amount of vibration and noise in the cab. The Ultramatic CVT transmission keeps the belt tight no matter if you are in High or Low, so belt slippage is a thing reserved for other side-by-sides. That means the wheels start turning the moment you give the Wolverine throttle, and it also means engine braking is excellent no matter what the terrain. Whether going up or down hills, the belt stays engaged, keeping the wheels turning or slowing the machine down on declines. There is also no abrupt engagement of the belt that makes you pinch a hole in your seat. The EBS, which everyone really should always spring for now days, may very well be the best EBS available period, with it always offering the right amount of assist no matter the situation. When things get a little slippery or steep, it is easy to turn the OnCommand four-wheel drive system on to keep you going in the direction you are pointed, and if things get challenging, you can engage four-wheel diff-lock to get all four wheels pulling and pushing towards the path you have chosen to travel.
The Wolverine rumbles along even difficult trails as though there is nothing to concern yourself with as the driver. From a ride perspective, it is really good for a machine in this segment because it has the most adjustable suspension available for a trail machine. You can adjust the KYB shocks for high and low-speed compression, rebound and preload, and it is nice to be able to experiment with the settings to find the perfect ride for you. The factory settings are plush, but if you push the speed through really rough terrain as I did, you will find you can bottom them out. No problem though. Just firm the ride up some and the problem is solved. I think for most people the factory settings will be perfect, offering a ride that gives you a feeling of floating over the terrain. The Maxxis Big Horns find traction and certainly are tires that do not need to be replaced with something else. Braking is excellent and is something I notice on all Yamaha side-by-sides. The bed can hold up to 300 lbs of stuff, keeping you out all day long, and it can even be extended with an accessory to hold even more stuff. There are the full skid plates underneath, making sure all the components are protected, and I appreciate the metal rocker panel tubes that protect the sides from getting torn apart. What is so nice about the Wolverine is that all of these features work so well as a whole to offer up a side-by-side that can be counted on to take you into the unknown and back time and time again.
What About The Cab?
The cab is simple but comfortable with everything where it should be. The brake and gear shift are in the middle along with a center console and cupholders, which, as we all know, are a must. Seats are contoured and comfortable for long rides, with both seats being brought toward the middle of the machine to offer a feeling of being surrounded while still offering excellent views of areas around the Wolverine. The driving position is very good, though an adjustable steering wheel is noticeably missing. All of the body panels do a great job keeping the mud and water outside the machine as opposed to on you, and I like the doors rather than nets. The bottom line is that the cab of the Wolverine keeps me happy, safe, and secure for the day’s ride.
Now I drive the Special Edition version of the Wolverine R-Spec, and I am a fan of what that adds feature-wise to the machine. Of course, the color scheme is different and is called matte silver along with some graphics that grab your attention, and matching color seats. The grille guard is a silver color to match and there are true bead-lock wheels. Throw in added protection with a-arm protection and additional chassis protection, extended overfenders, underseat storage, and a soft grip steering wheel to finish off the package. I can say all of these items make for a good looking Wolverine to take out on the trail.
Much Love For This Side-By-Side
Yamaha is very, very good at nailing the capabilities of what customers want in a certain segment of any ATV or side-by-side, and the Wolverine is an excellent example of this. I notice this every time I hop into this recreation side-by-side because it does recreation really well. When you drive the Wolverine R-Spec, it has a “feel” to it due to its suspension, transmission, 4-wheel-drive system, EBS and EPS that make you more confident about what you can conquer than you would be in other side-by-sides in this segment. I think it looks good and I really like the color combo on the special edition. The suspension is a cut above in the amount of adjustments that you can make, and that makes for a great ride. Any time I have the opportunity to hit the trails in a Wolverine, I am confident I am going to have a great time, easily handle the terrain, be comfortable, and not be left on the side of the trail needing to be towed any where. As recreation side-by-sides go, Yamaha has a winner in the Wolverine.