All-new Wolverine X2 side-by-side devours farming duties.

Story Peter Pap

The 2019 Yamaha Wolverine X2 is an entirely new design, with improvements in nearly every area over the outgoing model. It is more compact and has a better turning circle, making it more nimble on tight trails, while the lower dash-height offers better visibility. 

It shares the recent X4 model’s 847cc parallel-twin engine, which is mounted lower in the chassis for better handling. The engine is quieter than the outgoing 700cc variant, has less vibration, 32 percent more power and 47% more torque. There are low vibration engine mounts and improved insulation in the interior, making the X2 more comfortable and quieter for passengers. 

The suspension is excellent and able to handle most situations. KYB piggy back shocks offer 221-millimetre front and 226mm rear travel with full adjustment for preload, high and low speed compression and rebound, so you can tailor the ride to suit your needs. On standard settings the package feels spot-on, with nice compliancy and surprisingly no bottoming out, scraping or rude spikes.

Handling is very predictable – even when on the limit there is lots of feedback well in advance. Grip is very good and wheelspin easy to control. The lock-diff works well, but it is more than capable in 4WD. 

Power is strong and linear, with the X2 scrambling up hills with ease and pace. You’d be hard pressed to do similar speeds in a ute while maintaining visibility and the necessary safety margin to be in the right spots while avoiding bumps and obstacles – especially on some of the gnarlier trails. 

The speed-sensitive electric steering is fabulous in feel and weight. Brakes are well proportioned and give strong control. The fuelling from the X2’s drive-by-wire technology offers quick throttle response, and you can accelerate, brake for a corner and get on the gas again with very little lag. Knobby tyres give lots of bite, and with their low pressures soften the ride and offer added compliancy with excellent grip, especially in muddy situations. Even through a creek crossing, traction on smooth slippery rocks was impressive. 

The hill descent feature was a standout – with no foot on the brake or accelerator, the X2 kept a walking pace, thanks to its excellent engine braking. 

The high doors offer good side protection from branches and other elements and the roof works well to keep the sun and glare out. There is adjustment for seat and tilt for the steering. The X2 has new LED headlights for high/low beam and taillights and reverse offering increased visibility. 

The dump cargo bed is able to carry 272 kilograms and has a hydraulic-assist-tilt function plus useful tie down points, and a tailgate. It can also tow up to 907kg. There is a speed-management system so you can restrict the speed to as low as 40km/h.

The X2 is pre-wired for all the available accessories, making later installation easier. Such extras include a winch, front windscreen (great for colder climates, rain, wind and dust), a cargo box and fully enclosed cabin. Another new feature is the Yamaha Adventure Pro GPS powered by Magellan. It’s an android-based tablet with a rugged casing that monitors a wide variety of vehicle systems and can also be used to do such things as taking and geocaching photos. The unit can be taken out and used in other vehicles as well. 

The chassis is electro-coated before powder coating to prevent rusting inside the frame tubes.

The X2 can tackle a lot of chores and at 700kg it also leaves a relatively small footprint and impact, while adding a touch of fun and excitement to your day. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #122

Outback Magazine: December/January 2019