Yamaha is the sort of team that really needs no introduction. Its motorcycle division has been around since the early 50s and in that time has grown to include everything from motorbikes to scooters, snowmobiles, ATVs and utility vehicles, and even motor and sailboats. Eventually, the team even undertook Formula One racing to become a worldwide force. Back to the Viking, it is the sort of vehicle that’s been around and used for years. Time to see what Yamaha has in store for you with their freshest version.
Like anything else this Yamaha makes, including their musical instruments, the Viking is meant to be a vehicle you can rely on to get the job done. Whether it’s ranching, simply tending to your backyard, or you going for a ride, its 686-cc liquid-cooled engine with 4-stroke SOHC will be glad do the job. All in all, a compression ratio of 10:1 should be enough for your tasks without burning too much of a hole in your pocket.
A TCI (Transistor Controlled Ignition) and Ultramatic V-belt transmission with all-wheel engine braking ensure the cargo you carry gets to where it needs to without issues. An on-command, three-way locking differential brings 2WD, 4WD, and locked 4WD, all on shaft drive.
One important feature to consider whenever you look at buying a utility vehicle is its chassis. For the Viking, Yamaha sports an independent double-wishbone suspension with 8.1 inches (20.6 centimeters) of travel. This suspension also lifts the vehicle to 11.8 inches (30 centimeters) of ground clearance, skid plates included. For braking needs, dual hydraulic discs are found on both the front and rear.
As for the cabin, it features three seats with padded headrests, three-point seat belts, noise and vibration reduction, and of course, power steering to keep those arms fresh for unloading cargo. The instrumentation is all digital and boasts a multi-functional LCD with all necessary info at the touch of a button.
I don’t own a ranch, so I won’t be buying a Viking anytime soon, but I do hunt, and frankly, this vehicle seems to be suitable for a wide range of tasks. Heck, throw some chains on the wheels, and you’ll probably be able to go ice-fishing.
Right now, Yamaha offers the Viking EPS for $13,699, but that’s the starting MSRP. You can add a number of options onto this little trinket and really extend the range of tasks you can cover. Even a snowplow add-on is available, all for an extra buck, of course.