The release of the 2015 Viking VI EPS SE continues Yamaha’s push into new UTV territory, showing their determination to lead the charge in the large-vehicle off-road market. While there are other six-passenger UTVs out there, Yamaha declares that the Viking VI is the ’first true six-seater’ on the market. Not only can it carry up to six people in their own individual seats, but it can lug up to 600 pounds of gear along with them. This kind of uber capacity will enable you to tackle some serious off-road work/fun, and take almost an entire starting line of a hockey team – plus their gear – with you.

  • 2015 Yamaha Viking VI EPS SE
  • Year:
    2015
  • Engine:
    liquid-cooled w/fan, 4-stroke
  • Displacement:
    686 cc
  • Price:
    14999

Design

2015 Yamaha Viking VI EPS SE Exterior
- image 627693

Function seems to be the order of the day for the engineers at Yamaha, and they wasted no effort on trivial aesthetic concerns. This isn’t to imply that it’s ugly; I’m simply saying that winning a beauty contest isn’t one of its job functions. What it can do, however, is haul muscle and material around the wilderness, unimproved job sites and farms. The designers made some attention to comfort when building the Viking. A series of mudguards protect the passengers from wheel spray, keeping them clean and dry. The individual bucket seats cup and cradle ones posterior, providing a much kinder ride than you can expect from a bench seat. It has a floppy top (rag top) that installs over the roll cage that offers some protection from the elements – at least until you get into some of that sideways rain!

A few features seem to indicate that Yamaha intended this vehicle for farm use. The cargo bed is actually a dump bed, so it can act as a little tiny dump truck for hauling loose material. Additionally, the vehicle is sized to drive along 30-inch crop rows while causing minimal damage to the crop.

Chassis

2015 Yamaha Viking VI EPS SE Exterior
- image 627700

Passenger safety was seen to with the addition of three-point seatbelts to keep everyone ’inside the ride at all times’ when tackling rugged terrain. The front and rear double-wishbone suspension comes with a generous 8.1 inches of travel and an anti-sway bar, which together should be sufficient to protect the passengers from getting thrashed en route.

The rugged tires are 12 inches wide, providing decent flotation when traversing soggy terrain with a load. Speaking of loads, in addition to the cargo bed capacity, the Viking can also tow up to 1,500 pounds. Now, getting that much weight moving is one thing, but controlling it once it’s moving is quite another. Powerful front and rear disc brakes provide all the ’stoppage’ that you need to control the energy generated by heavy loads and steep grades. Electronic Power Steering augments the control inputs from the driver to help prevent driver fatigue in rough conditions.

Drivetrain

2015 Yamaha Viking VI EPS SE Exterior
- image 627695

Carrying/towing this kind of weight puts tough demands on the engine. This vehicle has a wet weight of 1,667 pounds, plus 600 pounds on the cargo bed and a 1,500-pound tow, so you can bet that the demands are mighty indeed! Yamaha uses a liquid cooled, 686 cc SOHC four-stroke engine with four valves per head to meet these demands and propel the Viking over hill and dale. The Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) and Transistor Controlled Ignition go a long way toward helping the engine develop this power and meet emissions standards.

Power flows to the wheels through the Ultramatic dual-range transmission, and you can decide which wheels get the power with the On-Command four-wheel drive function. This feature lets you adapt to your environment with two wheel, limited-slip four wheel and fully locked four-wheel-drive settings. A sprag-clutch system rounds out the drivetrain, and automatically engages four-wheel drive when you engine brake down a grade.

Price

Get the Viking VI EPS SE for $14,999 in a fetching Matte Silver color. This comes with a six-month limited factory warranty.

He Said

“This is a whole lotta’ UTV. As I wrote this, I tried to imagine how I would use it. I concluded that I don’t know enough people that I like well enough to take for a drive to fill the thing up, so it would probably be wasted on me. Still, it looks like just the thing for working in seriously rough or under-developed conditions”.

She Said

My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "These UTVs remind of the Polaris Dagor for military use. Let’s air-drop the Viking VI EPS SE and see if it stacks up. All kidding aside, the wheels are really small for what I think of as an off-road vehicle, but maybe I’m missing the point. I can see this being useful on a large ranch, in the oil fields, or taking some buddies out to the hunting camp — someplace where you have a lot of terrain and not a lot of road."

Specs

Engine Type: Liquid-Cooled W/Fan, Four-Stroke; SOHC, Four Valves
Displacement: 686 cc
Bore X Stroke: 102.0 X 84.0 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.0 to 1
Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI)
Ignition: TCI: Transistor Controlled Ignition
Starting System: Electric
Transmission: Yamaha Ultramatic V-Belt With All-Wheel Engine Braking; L, H, N, R
Drive Train: Yamaha On-Command; Three-Way Locking Differential; 2WD, 4WD, Locked 4WD; Shaft Drive
Suspension / Front: Independent Double Wishbone; 8.1-Inch Travel
Suspension / Rear: Independent Double Wishbone With Anti-Sway Bar; 8.1-Inch Travel
Brakes / Front: Dual Hydraulic Disc
Brakes / Rear: Dual Hydraulic Disc
Tires / Front: AT25 X 8-12
Tires / Rear: AT25 X 10-12
L X W X H: 153.5 X 64.0 X 76.6 Inches
Wheelbase: 115.6 Inches
Turning Radius: 244.1 Inches
Ground Clearance: 11.4 Inches
Fuel Capacity: 9.7 Gallons
What do you think?
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