Yamaha followed a different course than most manufacturers do with the release of its new Wolverine, revealing the X4 four-seat model first, and then sending forth the X2 two-seat model for 2019.
I think it’s safe to say that Yamaha saved the best for last, as the Wolverine X2 is a splendid machine, combining more utility features with a brand new engine and some of the best steering in the industry.
Powering the X2 is a new 847cc parallel twin-cylinder engine that makes 69 horsepower, sending its power through Yamaha’s Ultramatic CVT. Smooth is the best way to describe the power this engine puts to the ground, as it doesn’t come on in an aggressive way. The CVT is smooth on take off and power is insistent, becoming more urgent as the revs climb.
The most noticeable trait of the engine is the noise, or lack thereof. This is one quiet side-by-side, where the tire noise and suspension sounds are suddenly more noticeable because the powerplant is so subdued. At high revs it of course gets louder, but the exhaust is tuned in such a way that the note is full of bass, and doesn’t end up screaming away underneath you.
For added utility, Yamaha has tacked a dump bed onto the back of the Wolverine X2, a feature that the competitors like the Polaris General already offer. Besides that, two large storage areas are situated in the cabin, one between the occupants and the other in front of the passenger.
Driving the X2 is a pleasure thanks to the weight of its power steering and its centralized weight distribution. Yamaha dials in its power steering to be just enough to take the big hits from jerking the wheel out of your hands, but that’s about it. Tons of feeling is left in the wheel, which has heavier than average weighting. Pushing hard through corners, the X2 allows the rear end to step out, but the weighting makes it simple to control.
We did have one issue with our Wolverine X2 unit during out day of testing unfortunately…Watch the video above to find out what happened!