The X-Raid Yamaha Rally Team recently completed a successful shakedown test of the upgraded X-Raid developed YXZ1000R prototype, with the turbocharged Side-by-Side subjected to rigorous testing on arduous terrain and in demanding conditions in Morocco.
The original X-Raid developed YXZ1000R prototype made its competitive debut at the 2021 Dakar Rally, showcasing its potential by securing second place in the FIA T3.1 Lightweight Prototype class. A sixth-place finish at the Dakar in 2022 cemented its rally raid credentials, and continuous development has seen constant improvements in the performance of the YXZ1000R prototype.
Based on the production, the prototype has been designed to meet FIA regulations while maintaining the instantly recognisable YXZ1000R body design. To allow the YXZ1000R prototype to deal with the kind of terrain encountered during rallies, X-Raid has extended and reinforced the front and rear suspension arms, allowing the shock absorbers to be moved outwards, and uprated the braking system.
At the test in Morocco, X-Raid unleashed a new version of the YXZ1000R prototype for the first time, featuring a turbocharged Yamaha engine that produces significantly more useable power and provides the perfect balance between engine and chassis performance. Rough terrain and extreme heat, with temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius, provided the ideal conditions to conduct reliability tests and gather as much data on the new Yamaha engine, gearbox, and drivetrain as possible with experienced Dakar drivers Camelia Liparoti, Annett Fischer, and Mario Franco on hand to put the YXZ1000R prototype through its paces.
Not only was it a chance to see how the new prototype’s turbocharged engine would perform, but the rocky outcrops, dusty trails, and deep dunes of the Moroccan desert also gave them the perfect opportunity to dial in their chassis and suspension settings with the increased levels of power. All the drivers left the test suitably impressed by the YXZ1000R prototype’s performance and handling in the harsh conditions, agreeing that the new turbocharged engine was a big step forward.
The next step in the development of the X-Raid developed YXZ1000R prototype will be a final reliability test in September, again in Morocco, in preparation for the 2023 Dakar Rally that takes place between the 31st of December and the 15th of January.
Camelia Liparoti: ROV Racing Coordinator, Yamaha Motor Europe
“We conducted the test in some extreme conditions in the desert, so I am delighted with how the new prototype performed. Temperatures rose to over 45 degrees Celsius, and the rough terrain and sandy conditions put a huge amount of stress on the machine, which was perfect for a shakedown to see how the turbocharged Yamaha engine reacted. I honestly feel we now have the perfect balance between chassis performance and engine power. It was essential to conduct this test, especially in conditions similar to those in which we will race, and we are delighted with the result and how the new engine complements the chassis, but there is still more work to do.”
Sven Quandt: Managing Director, X-Raid
“Our focus for this test in Morocco was to work on the suspension setup, the performance and especially the reliability of the new engine but as well the complete Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype. We managed to complete the suspension setup side of things, and we are happy with how the new engine performed in the extreme conditions of the desert. There are always some small things to work on, but with the high temperatures and tricky terrain in Morocco, I think we had the perfect conditions in which to see what the new machine could do. The original prototype was designed to allow beginners a way to get into cross-country racing and have fun. After the first Dakar, we knew we had a great chassis, and that is where we started our development, improving it step by step. We knew the next step was to provide more power, but reliability was crucial, and the engine needed to work with the rest of the machine. After this test, we can see the real potential of the latest iteration of the Yamaha YXZ100R prototype, and I can say we are really happy with the performance until now.”