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2014 Yamaha Viking 700 4x4 EPS SxS
2014 Yamaha Viking 700 EPS SxS Test Drive Review

2014 Yamaha Viking

To the left of the steering wheel are the knobs for the headlights & the 4wd, 2wd, Diff lock

The Yamaha Viking features a knob operated On-Command System with Diff Lock, which is conveniently located to the left of the steering wheel. It is easy to switch between, 2wd, 4wd, and Diff lock with the turn of the knob, but you must be completely stopped to engage the diff lock, and the diff lock on the Yamaha Viking works amazing. You would expect the steering to be very heavy and stiff with all four wheels locked into drive mode, but not with the Yamaha Viking, it was barely noticeable on the EPS equipped Yamaha Viking we drove, which allows you drive over 30 mph while in diff lock.

The Yamaha Viking is available with or without EPS, but we highly suggest spending the extra thousand dollars because it really makes a difference is the handling. Yamaha’s electronic power steering works extremely well as it monitors your driving style to provide the optimum amount of assist, and after driving for nearly 40 miles through the mountains over downed trees, rocks, and ruts, we didn’t experience any hand fatigue, which is important for someone that plans on spending an extended period of time in the Yamaha Viking for work or play.

2014 Yamaha Viking 700
We drove the Yamaha Viking SxS over several downed trees, which really put the power steering, suspension, and ground clearance to the test & they all performed great

2014 Yamaha Viking

The Yamaha Viking SxS features hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels, which provides excellent braking power

While performance and handling are important, the brake system is just as important, and the Yamaha Viking features dual hydraulic disc brakes on all four wheels, which provide exceptional stopping power. Also, when you slam on the brakes, the Viking comes to a fast and controllable stop, which is important. With exposed disk brakes, owners will need to replace there brake pads with time, and the brake pad life expectancy depends greatly on the driving style and conditions, but most users shouldn’t have to worry about changing their brake pads for several years.

The Yamaha Viking also has good ground clearance at 11.8 inches. We went over big rocks and downed trees and never scraped the bottom of our test unit. In case you do find yourself in some more unforgiving terrain, Yamaha has made a unique under carriage that has an upsweep at the frame edges, to help reduce dragging the frame. Also, the entire belly of the Yamaha Viking is protected by a steel skid plate for added protection, which is a great feature especially for driving in the rough conditions.

2014 Yamaha Viking

The Yamaha Viking SxS is equipped with preload adjustable only suspension that offers 8.1" of wheel travel

The independent double wishbone suspension of the Viking EPS gives 8.1 inches of travel in both front and rear. The shocks are preload adjustable, but they are not high performance shocks. With just one person driving the Viking, the suspension was stiff and didn’t offer as smooth of a ride as expected, but once you load up the Yamaha Viking with three people and add a load, the suspension peformed much better and provided a smoother ride.

It was obvious to us, Yamaha designed the suspension on the stiff side to provide for better performance when loaded with passengers or cargo, which they achieved, but it would be nice to see an adjustable suspension upgrade option available in the future on a Special Edition model.
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