We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next variation on the strong-selling Yamaha Viking introduced last year and today marks the official intro of the next generation.
The 2015 Viking VI is a 6-seat, stretched version of the original 3-seater. Built on a new frame, the 6-passenger Vike uses individual bucket seating complete with seatbelts and headrests for each rider.
Like the original Viking that has the middle seat placed slightly behind and tilted 5-degrees back compared to the outside front seats, the Viking VI uses the same layout only carries the middle seat technology to the backseats as well (Note: The drivers seat is adjustable).
Power comes from the same torque-blessed EFI 686cc single used in the 3-up version and Yamaha’s super-reliable Ultramatic CVT with electric selectable and locking 4-wheel-drive. Electrically assisted power steering is standard on the VI.
Maxxis Bighorns are the meat-of-the-day and the VI’s suspension delivers 8.1-inches of travel all the way around.
Combined with the cool tires and ample ground clearance (11.4-inches), Yamaha’s On-Command 4WD system pretty much guarantees this 6-place ride will handle the slimiest goop you can find – even with a full load of humans onboard.
It’s interesting to note the Viking VI’s engine is mounted way back, under the cargo bed for maximum weight distribution when the buckets are full.
There are steel skidplates underneath to protect the undercarriage from rocks and stumps and the bodywork is swept up on each side “to reduce potential for friction in rough terrain”.
We’ll be doing a more detailed report on the Viking VI in DirtTrax magazine soon.