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YXZ taking notice; RZR still sharp

By By Dave McMahon

Yamaha’s sport UTV entrant gains immediate favor at Sand Sports Super Show, but Polaris RZR still No. 1

The 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R category-launching pure sport side-by-side didn’t take long to make an impact among UTV enthusiasts.chart pg1

A survey of select attendees at the Sand Sports Super Show in Costa Mesa, Calif., in October found that while the Polaris RZR remains the most popular side-by-side model regardless of price for 2015 (ranked as the first choice by 49 percent of the attendees and the second choice by 25 percent), RZR interest was significantly diminished by the introduction of the Yamaha YXZ1000R. The YXZ captured 29 percent of the first choice, the majority coming from the RZR. The Can-Am Maverick also suffered a loss to the YXZ, with its first choice at 7 percent, down from 12 percent in 2014.

The 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS having some fun in the sand.

The 2016 Polaris RZR XP Turbo EPS having some fun in the sand.

The 2014 survey showed the Polaris RZR ranked first by 73 percent of attendees and second by 11 percent. The YXZ had its global launch in September.

Clarity Research is now in its eighth season of attending the Sand Sports Super Show at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, Calif. A total of 220 side-by-side enthusiasts completed the 2015 survey at the October event.

Can-Am’s Maverick took third overall with 48 percent of the survey takers ranking it among their top three side-by-side choices. Arctic Cat’s Wildcat followed with 43 percent of the total vote, ahead of the Kawasaki Teryx (30 percent), Honda Pioneer (15 percent) and John Deere Gator RSX (11 percent).

Side-by-side ownership experienced a large jump for the 2015 show and takes over the as No. 1 powersports product owned by show attendees. An astounding 55 percent of survey takers own a side-by-side, with Polaris products continuing their dominance. Four out of five respondents who own a side-by-side ride Polaris vehicles. Of those survey takers who own a side-by-side, 61 percent of them own a RZR, and another 20 percent own a Ranger. Yamaha Rhino (12 percent) and Arctic Cat Wildcat (10 percent) followed.

Also, respondents were asked to choose the three items they consider most important when shopping for a side-by-side. Horsepower was the clear No. 1, with 75 percent of the vote. Suspension (50 percent), reliability/durability (36 percent) and handling (31 percent) set themselves apart from other features. Acceleration and price (both 21 percent) were among the top considerations for only 1 in 5 survey takers.

The 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R launched in September.

The 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R launched in September.

And there are no signs of the side-by-side market slowing, with more attendees planning to purchase a side-by-side than ever before.

The 2014 Sand Sports Super Show had the highest rate of first-time attendance since data collection began in 2007. The number remains the same for 2015 at 31 percent. The median age of 2015 attendees was 42, with an average household income of $95,750.

For more information on the study, contact Dave Pagnucco of Clarity Research LLC at dpagnucco@clarityresearch.net.

One comment

  1. The numbers would be even higher for the yxz if it weren't so ugly! I think the transmission was responsible for the majority of it's popularity.


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