We speak with the creator of some of the most-innovative new Side-by-Sides and ATVs the hunting industry has ever seen.
Q: Back in early September 2020 HuntStand helped get the word out on the new-for-2021 Yamaha Off-Road vehicles. Was that launch met with the type of rabid enthusiasm that 2020 and its social-distancing challenges has seen across virtually all categories of outdoor recreational gear?
Yamaha Off-Road: Back on September 3rd we absolutely feel we raised the bar with the all-new Yamaha RMAX 1000 lineup, featuring the best-in-class Wolverine RMAX2 1000 and RMAX4 1000 models, not to mention we also made some very customer-pointed enhancements to our already popular Wolverine X2 and X4 models. Although 2020 has been a tumultuous year, the RMAX 1000 line-up was highly anticipated and has been very well received. At a time when being outdoors has become a social-distance go-to—and thus has seen most outdoor recreation products in high-demand—our entire line of Proven Off-Road ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles confidently answer the call as the most durable and reliable off-road products in market.Q: As the HuntStand community has learned, Yamaha’s 2021 off-road lineup includes more than 10 new machines encompassing both Side-by-Sides and full-size ATVs; if you had to pick two new-model standouts, what would they be and why?
Yamaha Off-Road: It really has to be our recreationally focused line of new Wolverine Side-by-Side models across the board. The all-new Wolverine RMAX2 1000 and RMAX4 1000 models exude dominance, powered by a new, advanced 999cc engine with multiple drive modes and Yamaha’s Proven Off-Road Ultramatic transmission and On-Command 4×4 systems…all combining to deliver next-level off-road capability, comfort and confidence.
The new 2021 Wolverine X2 and Wolverine X4 deliver superior handling, especially on tight, technical trails. Smooth, ultra-quiet power comes from an 847cc twin-cylinder engine that is also mated to Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission and On-Command 4WD, and Electric Power Steering in a compact, nimble chassis. To top it off, all are built with pride at our U.S. factory in Newnan, Georgia.Q: A common theme for 2020 for many outdoor gear companies has been the struggle to keep up with demand; can you provide an update on production of the 2021 off-road models—are dealerships stocked now, and can consumers expect that to be the case for 2021?
Yamaha Off-Road: Our U.S. factory in Newnan, Georgia has been working extremely hard to keep up with the high demand of our ATVs and Side-by-Sides. And with the factory supplying those vehicles to the world, as you can imagine, they’re kept very busy.
Dealerships are, to be blunt, not as stocked as we’d like currently. The level of market demand combined with supply chain issues has been challenging, but our production facility is working diligently to produce vehicles daily while also ensuring employees are provided a safe work environment.Q: Yamaha Off-Road was the driving force in the development of one of the newest HuntStand app map layers introduced in 2020—the Natural Atlas layer that reveals trails, ATV and side-by-side roads, campgrounds, parks and other natural points of interest. How and why did this come about?
Yamaha Off-Road: Well, as much as we’d like to take even some of the credit for the Natural Atlas layer, best we can do is to admit to hearing what we liked in developmental conversations with the talented HuntStand team, who obviously know what makes for a valuable app experience. At Yamaha we’re always looking for ways to expand and enhance our customers’ experiences in the field—to help them REALize their Adventure—and the functionality afforded via the new map layer fit the bill perfectly.Q: Whether it’s building off-road vehicles that are uniquely hunter-friendly or being the driving force behind the HuntStand app Natural Atlas layer, hunters and outdoorsmen seem to be top of mind at Yamaha. Is this focus intentional or coincidental?
Yamaha Off-Road: There’s no such thing as a coincidence, right? Yamaha has supported hunters and outdoorsmen and women in general for decades. It starts with the most durable and reliable products in the industry, but as the first manufacturer to offer camo on an ATV as well as bring electric power steering to the segment—oh, and let’s not forget, introduce the original ultra-versatile Rhino Side-by-Side back in 2003—Yamaha has always valued the opinion, and tried to deliver on the needs, of hunters.Q: What are three compelling reasons for hunters who don’t own a Yamaha off-road vehicle, to purchase one in the next few months?
Capability: Unfortunately, it takes a demo ride for someone to experience how extremely off-road capable, not to mention comfortable, our ATVs and Side-by-Side vehicles are in a wide variety of conditions. But we get it…driving is believing.
Versatility: With the new RMAX2 1000 and RMAX4 1000, no other Side-by-Side vehicle provides the level of sport-performance married to all-around chore-conquering function. With a 2,000-pound towing capacity, 600-pound bed capacity, tilt cargo bed on the RMAX2 and stowable rear row on the RMAX4, Yamaha vehicles are game to take you to epic destinations or tackle those ultra-tough jobs…or both.
Confidence: Owning a Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side vehicle brings with it the Proven Off-Road promise of the industry’s best durability and reliability evidenced by a 10-year belt warranty, something our competitors can’t claim or match. Having the peace of mind that comes with knowing your off-road vehicle will not only get you where you need to be to when you need to be there, but also get you—and ideally your harvest—back, affords the opportunity to focus on other things, which can come in handy, especially in season.Q: How does Yamaha Off-Road engage its customers for feedback, ideas, or suggestions for improvement?
Yamaha Off-Road: Yamaha is very active in the off-road and outdoors communities, and we’re always open to hearing from and engaging with customers. We display and conduct demos at a wide variety of consumer events all year long, have a Customer Relations team ready to assist at any time via phone, offer opportunities to connect via our website and social channels, are regularly in contact with owners to solicit their opinions and gauge market trends via surveys, and more. We also just began hosting “Yamaha LIVE!” on our channels, featuring deep-dives into our all-new products and live Q&A opportunities with subject matter experts from various departments at Yamaha. It is intended to give customers a look inside at what all is involved in developing and testing our Proven Off-Road products, and has been very well-received.Q: What are two things most people don’t know about Yamaha Off-Road vehicles?
Yamaha Off-Road: Many may not know that all of Yamaha’s Side-by-Side vehicles and full-size ATVs are built with pride in the USA at our factory in Newnan, Georgia, for worldwide distribution. Not far from there in Marietta, Georgia, is the motorsports corporate headquarters where we have an extremely proficient team leading the design, development, and testing of those vehicles, as well. Their devotion and passion to consumers is what allows for industry-exclusive offerings, such as our Yamaha 10-Year Belt Warranty. Which brings up the second point, though we touched on it earlier: Yamaha’s Proven Off-Road promise of superior durability and reliability, ensuring the best balance of Capability, Comfort, and Confidence. We want our customers to enjoy their passion for the outdoors and adventure in our ATVs and Side-by-Sides free of worry.Q: Aside from the global pandemic, what’s the biggest challenge currently facing Yamaha Off-Road?
Yamaha Off-Road: At this point, it’s really keeping up with the high demand for Yamaha! We already knew the Wolverine RMAX 1000 models would be a hit prior to launch; add in the influx of customers who are either returning or joining us for the first time outdoors—all of whom want the best product available—and we are presented with a challenge for sure, but it is one we are blessed to be burdened with and look forward to tackling head-on going into 2021.
Q: Any hints at what outdoorsmen can expect from Yamaha Off-Road in 2021?
Yamaha Off-Road: Unfortunately we can’t speak to future products, but stay tuned to YamahaOutdoors.com, along with our social channels @YamahaOutdoors, for any and all product announcements as soon as they happen!