A few days in Monts-Valin and during the Matapédia Quad Festival in Gaspésie allowed us to test one of the most versatile vehicles on the market: The 2022 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 4 1000. To design it, the manufacturer observed what the competition was offering in order to offer a hyper-competitive vehicle in this market segment. Its powerful engine, its high-caliber suspensions and its capabilities make the RMAX one of the vehicles you should consider for your next purchase! It has been put to the test with the ATV Trail Rider team and we give you our comments.
As soon as you look at this vehicle, you notice a fairly aggressive design including chiseled lines and its front headlights called “evil eyes” by Yamaha. Its dimensions impose its presence and with its oversized wheels, we can say that the ability to cross steep terrain promises to be impressive. The 4-seater version does not differ much from the 2-seater version since it is the rear dumpster that receives the passenger seats. Thus, the wheelbase of the vehicle is retained as well as the more compact dimensions of a 2-seater model. It is one of the only models on the market to offer this configuration. We will see later the advantages and the “compromises” that this configuration brings.
What drives the 2022 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 4 1000 is a 999cc parallel twin with electronic fuel injection. This engine has a redline at 8500 rpm and offers a good power band to exploit at all revs. Although the manufacturer does not publish official figures, it is quite easy to find on the web that the dynamometric tests would reach a power of 108 horsepower. This agrees quite well with the fact that the manufacturer claims to have one of the best powers available in this market segment.
A very interesting aspect of the Wolverine RMAX is its “D-Mode”. This wheel on the dashboard allows you to choose among the three driving modes: Trail, Sport and Crawl. With this selection, each mode interacts with the YCC-T (Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle), i.e. the electronic throttle opening with a variable speed of the intake throttle response. We get a different behavior of the gas pedal which can be very aggressive in Sport mode or more flexible in Crawl mode. Also, the “D-Mode” changes the action of the engine brake which reacts according to the mode chosen to adapt even better to the needs of the pilot. It works really well and we find a really different engine behavior from one mode to another.
About the suspension, Yamaha has decided to equip its vehicle with the excellent FOX 2.0 QS3 shock absorbers which no longer really need presentation and even less to prove themselves. These shock absorbers offer 3 positions (1: Soft, 2: Med, 3: Firm) which make it possible to improve the flexibility to perform difficult maneuvers at low speed or, conversely, to increase the rigidity to the maximum during a sporty driving.
With these shocks and the suspension geometry, there are generous travels of 14.2 inches in the front and 13.3 inches in the rear. All of this provides an impressive ground clearance of 13.4 inches in addition to offering arched suspension arms for ample clearance under the vehicle.
It should be mentioned that this good ground clearance, of just over 13 inches, is possible in part thanks to the Maxxis Carnage tires with a diameter of 29 inches. They provide good traction in almost anyking of terrains while also contributing to ride comfort. These are mounted on stunning 14-inch aluminum rims for a sporty and luxurious look.
Is it designed for the job?
With its sporty look and performance components, the RMAX has everything you need to perform well on the trails. However, it must be remembered that it is classified as a versatile vehicle which allows you to put it to work too. In the case of our 4-seater model, we quickly realize that the dump box, with a capacity of 600 pounds and which was tilting in the 2-seater model, is no longer available with the four seaters. Indeed, with the ingenious design of the 4-seater version, we retain almost the same dimensions of a standard 2-seater model.
We enjoy a normal wheelbase and we avoid ending up with a “autobus” as we observe with the vast majority of other manufacturers. The latter get an excessive wheelbase and this becomes a huge handicap in tight maneuvers. On the other hand, the price to pay with the RMAX 4 is that the dumpster is no longer tilting. However, it can still be used for loading by releasing the seats forward to increase cargo space. And the question you need to ask yourself: “Do I really anticipate needing a dump body to move dirt or rocks?” »
Be aware that despite everything, its towing capacity has been retained and it amounts to no less than 2000 pounds. So, you are allowed to transport quite a few things with the help of a trailer if you want to operate this vehicle in work mode. All this while keeping a reduced wheelbase and which also allows a total of 4 people to be carried. In short, it is very well suited to a utilitarian vocation.
Interior and ergonomics
When you’re seating on board the 2022 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 4 1000, you instantly notice that the seats are much more comfortable than those of the older Wolverine versions. They are wide, easily adjustable and the belt adjusts in height to obtain maximum comfort for the front occupants.
On back seats, passengers are not left out with enough headroom for a 6’3” person without touching the ceiling and ample leg room. Note, however, that the heat is omnipresent for the rear passengers with a centrally positioned engine that radiates a lot towards the passenger compartment.
Back to the driver, the steering wheel offers good grip with anti-slip textures and even some padded areas for improved comfort. The dial allows easy reading of the information necessary for driving. The numerous controls and buttons are all well laid out around the driver. In short, a well-designed cabin and studied ergonomics to put the driver at the center of the action.
Several outings allow us to deliver our comments to you. The Monts-Valin as well as the Matapédia River Valley in Gaspésie in the background allowed us to fully exploit the capabilities of the 2022 Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 4 1000. The very first thing that comes to mind when we take our seats is is undoubtedly the finish which is impeccable at all levels. The textures of the plastics and the painting which increase this high quality aspect. Then, we adjust the seat, the steering wheel and the height of the belt for a perfect “fit” inside. We identify the various controls and their effective layout in front of us. Everything is in its right place, easy to read, easy to handle… It’s intuitive to be on board this vehicle and you quickly feel comfortable driving hundreds of kilometers a day.
Mentioning comfort, the seats are soft, enveloping and rigid at the same time. They offer superior support to what is done in this market segment. However, we would like to obtain more space at the level of the shoulders for the occupants of “good size”. In addition, this section (protector) at shoulder level is always in our way when getting on or off the vehicle. Considering the asking price, Yamaha should have opted for higher doors and integrated this upper portion.
After only a few kilometers on board, we can say that the chassis is very rigid and that the suspensions do an impeccable job, regardless of the type of terrain.
About the transmission
It makes it possible to efficiently exploit the entire power range of the engine. We would perhaps like a little more “punch” in the low revs for exiting corners with more skids when driving aggressively. Then, we change our minds, keeping in mind that it is a versatile vehicle that wants to offer a work aspect. So, we can’t ask too much of him on the sporting side.
Despite everything, the engine emits a nice sound that is just enough present, inviting us to push the machine ever further. A generous torque allows us to chain curves at a good pace or simply climb hills at full speed. The engine of the RMAX is predictable and it offers everything we need in this market segment. And even more, compared to what one might expect!
One of the strong points of the Wolverine RMAX is without a doubt the “D-Mode” button. The latter makes it possible to completely modify the behavior and dynamics of the vehicle. It is definitely a “must” to be able to configure the reactions of the vehicle according to the terrain you are about to face.
So, when you want to cross a section with very large rocks at low speed, the Crawl mode is the one to select. And we will even take the time to make the FOX 2.0 QS3 suspensions at their most flexible to absorb the bumps well. In addition, traction will be at its maximum with the locked 4WD mode. Excellent results will be obtained and the capabilities of the vehicle are amazing. Conversely, when you want maximum throttle response, opt for Sport mode, 2-wheel drive and a firmer suspension adjustment. Literally, the machine transforms with instant response, controlled slides and a sharp ride.
This is my favorite aspect of the Wolverine RMAX. The “D-Mode” system is great because it makes the vehicle even more versatile. Combine it with the excellent FOX 2.0 QS3 suspensions and you end up with a machine for federated network trails, work, sport sections, etc.
The last observation was this: when you drive aboard the Wolverine RMAX, you realize that special attention has been paid to ensure that there are no vibration noises or friction, nor bells… Yamaha offers that little extra that makes all the difference and very few competitors can compete in this aspect.
• Handling can easily be changed with “D-Mode”, traction and FOX 2.0 QS3 suspensions. A versatile and configurable vehicle very quickly depending on the terrain in which one evolves for the day.
• The engine is powerful and offers good torque throughout the rev range and is very well suited to the model.
• 4-seater configuration with ingenious use of the space in the bed to integrate the rear seats. Thus, a restricted length is retained.
• Yamaha has always accustomed us to an irreproachable quality of finish. The Wolverine RMAX aligns perfectly with this philosophy. It’s all in the details: well-assembled plastics, different textures and paint finish.
Points to improve
• Eliminate the protective piece at the level of the shoulder of the occupants which comes into contact when one is less sturdy. It is harmful when entering and exiting as well as when driving. It would be beneficial to integrate it with the doors already present.
• Access to the rear seats is difficult given the narrow entrance.
• The dumpster which no longer tilts given the configuration of the 4-seater when using it. (There can’t be only positives to this ingenious setup).
• A size that is quite imposing in width when walking on narrow paths. In addition, the height is “non-standard” with the roof. Be careful not to hang it from the ceiling of your standard closed trailers
With its Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 4 1000 SE 2022, the manufacturer can say mission accomplished! It is a very versatile and competitive vehicle in several market niches.
The team thanks Yamaha Canada for the loan of the vehicle. For more information, we invite you to visit your nearest dealer or the manufacturer’s website.