Golfdom gets a behind-the-scenes look at Yamaha’s new lineup of UTVs

By |  January 23, 2018 0 Comments

The Golfdom team was out in Kennesaw, Ga., earlier this month to get a behind the scenes look at Yamaha Golf-Car Co.s new UMAX product line.

A few key improvements that caught our eye on the UMAX models include a larger and quieter gas engine or a powerful AC electric engine, smoother suspension, larger cargo bed, bucket seats and added storage spaces.

“We reached out to numerous golf superintendents, course operators and industry professionals to get their suggestions on how to enhance our utility vehicle, and a substantial number of their recommendations have been incorporated into the new UMAX line,” says Tom McDonald, president of Yamaha Golf-Car Co. “In addition to its quietness, UMAX now represents the ultimate in power, performance, versatility and comfort.”

The UMAX utility vehicle has been widely reengineered and incorporates some design features derived from other Yamaha vehicles, including the new Drive2 gas golf car, and the Yamaha Viking Side-by-Side off-road vehicle.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from the company’s newest generation of golf utility vehicles:

Improved durability

Tom McDonald, president of Yamaha Golf-Car Co. and Golfdom EIC Seth Jones checking out one of the newest models.

With the new UMAX product line comes a shift in style. The new models are moving away from the look of a golf car to more of an all-terrain vehicle. The more rugged look complements the actual increase in durability and longevity of the vehicle gained by replacing plastic body panels with extruded aluminum. UMAX also offers a larger cargo bed (33 inches long by 46 inches wide) bearing loads up to 1,000 pounds. Additionally, UMAX features a side-filled fuel tank, a first for Yamaha utility vehicles.

Engine upgrade

The gas-powered UMAX utility vehicle boasts a 12 percent larger, 402cc engine with some noise suppression features derived from Yamaha’s new Drive2 gas golf car.

The UMAX gas vehicle features Yamaha’s signature electronic fuel injection system (EFI), which offers smoother, more responsive acceleration and the industry’s smallest carbon footprint. The UMAX electric vehicle features Yamaha’s new alternating current-powered (AC) engine, which reduces battery amp hour usage and dramatically increases torque to better climb hills and travel faster and farther.

Rear Coil Suspension System

Traditionally, the rear suspension system on a utility vehicle has been designed to provide the smoothest ride when there is a heavy load in the cargo bed, making the ride uncomfortably stiff under regular driving conditions. But, UMAX features a progressive rear suspension system derived from Yamaha’s acclaimed off-road vehicle division. The suspension features individual coil springs with dual compressions, or two distinct coil spacings on a single spring; a standard spacing on the top of the coil spring for lighter travel, and a tighter coil spacing on the bottom for transporting heavy loads. The result is a smooth ride and enhanced handling under any conditions.

Bucket Seats

The traditional bench seat has been replaced, as the UMAX utility vehicle takes a page from Yamaha’s Viking Side-by-Side (two forward passengers) off-road vehicle by adding two front bucket seats.

Expanded Storage Options

For these models, a new under-hood storage compartment is available. It opens like an automobile hood and is sealed to keep water out. There are also two restyled in-dash storage pockets with anti-slip rubber mats, an added storage area near the cup holders, and new storage space between the seats, fit for a cell phone or tablet.

Additional features

The Yamaha UMAX utility vehicle features a single, center tailgate latch that you can operate with one hand. An easily accessible latch behind the front seats releases the cargo bed. The vehicle also comes with new LED headlights for a vivid white beam and broader light coverage. A high-beam accessory is available as an option. Finally, the accelerator and brake pedals have a molded rubber cover for added comfort.

YamaTrack GPS Utility

YamaTrack GPS Utility syncs to a computer or tablet and can track the location of all utility vehicles, maintenance equipment and golf cars. YamaTrack can even create an on-course geofence to establish a virtual perimeter around sensitive environmental areas, rain-soaked turf, green surrounds and the like.

Photos: Yamaha (1,3) Seth Jones (2)

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