The Wolverine RMAX 1000: Gritty UTV Adventures
The Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 1000 takes on tight trails in Colorado.
Story by John Pangilinan | Photos courtesy of the manufacturer
Nestled in the palisades of western Colorado, surrounded by a landscape of sculptured rocks, lies Gateway Canyons Resort. A hub for adventure and relaxation, this outdoor utopia served as our home base as we explored the stunning heart of “red rock country.” With miles upon miles of trails and various natural scenery to discover, we had a lot of ground to cover within just two short days. Thankfully, we were well equipped for travel in the new Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 1000.
The Wolverine RMAX 1000 is Yamaha’s latest UTV that’s capable, comfortable and versatile. Powered by a twin-cylinder, 108hp, 1,000cc gas engine that can top speeds of 70 miles per hour, it’s a “serious” vehicle.
The outdoor recreational industry has exploded in the past couple of years, with people flocking to travel, escape and simply reconnect with nature. Many people have added a UTV or ATV to their adventures to be able to explore more.
After this experience, I can see why the popularity and demand for these machines are at an all-time high.
While camping, they can provide a convenient way to travel and explore without breaking down camp or packing up a rooftop tent. They can provide utility in case you need to haul wood, camping gear and other items. Most importantly, they‘re flat-out fun to drive.
Driving a UTV is a more-connected experience. Much like driving with the top off a Jeep, its windows down and without a windshield, you’re immediately made aware of the elements. The crisp air enters the cabin, along with dirt and dust, allowing you to literally smell and taste nature. The heat of the sun and the coolness of shade can be felt driving through various environments. It’s as close as you can get to an adventure motorcycle … but on four wheels.
Inside, the Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 1000’s cabin is chock-full of technology and ergonomic features to help keep the drive enjoyable.
The bolstered seats helped keep my body planted and in place, especially on quick and fast turns. The steering wheel movements were smooth and precise, and a passenger had access to use the quick-adjustable handhold. The integrated Adventure Pro was lockable, removable and provided navigation, including the ability to leave breadcrumbs to track your travels. Audio was supplied by a small interface and a few speakers.
“With a 600-pound cargo capacity, the RMAX 1000 offers a lot of utility. Additionally, this UTV can tow up to 2,000 pounds, adding to its already impressive résumé of features.”
On The Road
In search of epic views, we blasted at speed through the packed-gravel fire road, kicking up dust in our wake. The vehicle accelerated with a quick and smooth response as it opened up on straight sections. Along the way, we encountered mixed terrain, including uneven ruts, rocky roads and level changes. The suspension handled everything with grace.
“Inside, the Yamaha Wolverine RMAX 1000’s cabin is chock-full of technology and ergonomic features to help keep the drive enjoyable.”
The UTV features four-wheel, independent A-arm suspension with a significant amount of travel (14.2 inches), providing capability combined with comfort. Additionally, the vehicle offers various driving modes, including “sport,” “trail” and “crawl,” along with the options for 2WD, 4WD and a diff lock.
We logged more than 200 miles behind the wheel and encountered elevation changes from 4,500 feet to more than 10,000 feet.
With time, my comfort level with the Wolverine RMAX 1000 grew. As we navigated through the steep mountainsides’ tight turns and narrow passages, there were a few moments that commanded respect. The UTV instilled confidence as it securely gripped the ground and steered with precision. The Dirt Commander tires on the model I drove were well suited for the ever-changing terrain—from hard-packed dirt to loose soil and mud.
UTVs can often access places that would be tough to navigate by traditional truck or automobile. They allow for more time to soak in the sights. This became apparent when we settled in for our first lunch spot, which overlooked a large canyon with 360 degrees of breathtaking views. Of course, we followed all guidelines and only accessed this area via the marked trail.
Storage For A Day
Storage is just as important in a UTV as in any adventure vehicle, and the RMAX 1000 provides enough storage space for a day. This includes a sealed center console and a couple of cubby compartments inside the cabin. The use of the bed, along with the storage boxes, is key for longer, extended trips or to pack something such as a cooler.
“The RMAX 1000 Wolverine is Yamaha’s latest UTV that’s capable, comfortable and versatile. Powered by a twin-cylinder, 108hp, 1,000cc gas engine that can top speeds of 70 miles per hour, it’s a ‘serious’ vehicle.”
With a 600-pound cargo capacity, the RMAX 1000 offers a lot of utility. Additionally, this UTV can tow up to 2,000 pounds, adding to its already impressive résumé of features.
For those looking to modify and get a bit more out of their vehicles, there’s a handful of product manufacturers that make it easy to customize, along with upgrade packages directly from Yamaha. From upgraded tires, winches to storage boxes, there’s a plethora of parts readily available.
The Yamaha RMAX 1000 is an extremely capable vehicle that’s quite versatile. It offers utility for hauling, as well as a lot of fun while adventuring. It adds another level of excitement while camping and traveling, with the ability to explore more and soak in the sights.