The Yamaha YXZ1000R Story

By now every hardcore UTV driver has gotten word of the newest pure sport UTV. The Yamaha YXZ1000R is on the ground pounding the competition on many formats and is gaining the interest of many more every day.

It was on September 1st 2015 that I first laid eyes on this machine and what an incredible introduction that was. The YXZ was to be Yamaha’s jump back into the performance UTV market and it came in with guns blazing. In a market saturated with equipment not only aging in technology but that needed something more than another wind generating device on the engine to create a new feel of excitement in the cab, Yamaha took a different approach.

The YXZ1000R has its critics and some folks discounted the effectiveness of a shift-able transmission in today’s marketplace of UTVs that is full of CVT-driven machines. I considered this a new chapter in factory-built machines. Please do not get me wrong as I love a good belt driven Side-by-Side, but we live in a world where we always have our eyes open for the next big idea and I think this was a great one.

2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R Action Right

I had my first chance to drive the YXZ1000R in the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California. The day was such a blur that I barely had time to focus. All of the engineering that had been laid out for us was just too much to take in on just one six-hour ride. The one thing I knew was that it was very fun and the engagement between the driver and car was so much different than anything else. A good kind of different, I might add. I’ll admit it had been a learning curve to get the YXZ to perform like I wanted it to, but this new way to experience a UTV sure was fascinating.

Fast forward to just last week, the first week of March, and we had the opportunity to get back into the seat of the YXZ1000R to get to know the machine a little more. The photography had been taken care of before hand and our sole focus was to ride the ever-loving crap out of the rig to test it in ways not seen on our first run. Our ride location was Superstition Mountain in South Central California near the town of El Centro. This location is a favorite of the testing crew for Yamaha and it would prove to be a great blend of slow paced crawling through rocky steep walled canyon washes and up gravel littered razorback inclines where the single track seemed to disappear into the clouds. It was a real treat to get the YXZ1000R into terrain that some said it could never function in and, quite simply, prove them wrong.

2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R Action Front

If you are into the details you will know that the cockpit of this rig is set up for comfort and security. After locking in the three-point belt I started the triple cylinder engine and stared intently at the RPM gauge while brushing the throttle a few times. The sound of that tightly wound fuel injected engine is incredible. I was told that downshifting was good, but to wait a little longer before up-shifting to get all we could out of the engine’s power range before getting into the next gear. Short shifting was not an option and if the light on the dash had not come on I should simply keep pressing the go pedal.

I pulled into fourth gear somewhere around 55-60 mph and began to get to know the YXZ1000R once again. One thing I began to remember was how well balanced and predictable the machine is. Even if I slammed the face of a tall flat whoop (none of the whoop sections at Superstition were consistent enough to really get a rhythm) at speed it would track very straight. It was as if the rear of the car knew its place and stayed in the lines. There were a couple of times when the rear would buck a little, but again the track of the YXZ1000R was firmly in line each time with no sign of swapping sides. This is most definitely important when in a high speed rough terrain situation, because if the rear of a UTV starts to step out from side to side, it only gets magnified from then on and usually gets very ugly quick with little chance of recovery.

2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R Cornering

The YXZ1000R feels very stable and planted while turning and the Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 tires love to bite into the sandy terrain for positive feel and responsive acceleration. This Side-by-Side likes to carve corners and big berms, giving the driver confidence to go in much faster than normal. I’m not telling you that getting the YXZ to bicycle on two wheels isn’t possible, but it sure seems to be a lot harder than in other UTVs.

Yielding very flat cornering just adds to the excitement in the cab of the YXZ, but what really got my attention during the ride was the way I could simply shift into second or third gear and lug this engine all over the tight canyon trails through rocky outcroppings and slowly creep up over those tall single tracks with sheer drops on either side. It is that kind of universal use that makes this machine great and I do not think it is fair to discount those abilities. I know the YXZ1000R is built for high-speed desert use, but it is also very capable of cruising the mountain trails. Of course, the FOX shocks work much better the faster you go, but they performed quite well even at creeper speeds.

2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R Orange

Visibility is at an all-time high in the YXZ1000R thanks to its sharply sloped front end. This allows you to get an even better visual of what is right in front of your tires. While some people think the FOX shocks sticking out of the front plastics is a cool design, I think it’s more of a driving feature than a styling cue as it keeps as much bodywork as possible out of your line of sight.

I was able to ride the YXZ1000R through long winding washes, up steep ridgelines and even stepped down into the gas pedal in the sand dunes. I left that ride location knowing so much more about this machine.

2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R Beauty

For all of those who think I found no wrong with the machine, I beg your pardon. The one thing that seemed to get me was the heat radiating in the lower right leg and butt cheek from the center console. This is where that incredible transmission of the YXZ1000R is hiding. I’m not sure how to remedy that, but to tell you the truth I was having so much fun I didn’t notice until the ride was through.

via The Yamaha YXZ1000R Story –

Job Fair


Stop in Wednesday, March 23 from 4-8PM at our job fair (at Lakeside) or send your resume to

Available positions include: Receptionist, Powersports Sales, Marine Sales, Marine Parts & Accessories, Boat Rigger, Powersports & Motorcycle Technicians, Marine Technicians, Service Writers, Yard/General Labor, Drivers, Dock Installation Crew

We offer competitive wages and benefits, health insurance, 401k, paid vacation, paid holidays.

Please direct questions to Danielle Maneke, 231-972-4146 or 616-754-9185.


Pontoon Boat Safety Tips

Prepare for the next boating season by brushing up on these safety tips.

As the winter begins to fade in the rearview mirror and summer approaches, now is the perfect time to brush up on safety tips for your pontoon boat. It is important to make safety your top priority so that you can enjoy your time out on the water and ensure that everyone onboard is risk free. Make sure to have an ample amount of life jackets on your pontoon, because more than 80 percent of people who die in boating accidents are drowning victims.

Don’t forget that it is illegal to operate your pontoon while under the influence, and keeping your attention on the water and other boats is essential. In California, alone, more than 50 percent of boating accidents occur when one boat crashes into another. Here are some other important safety tips:

  • Make sure passengers are seated and wearing proper safety gear before leaving the dock.
  • Use the anchor when you want to remain stationary.
  • Avoid excessive speed and sharp turns.

These tips and other will help you stay safe out on the water when enjoying your pontoon.

Take advantage of our excellent service department at Lakeside Motor Sports to make sure your boat and safety gear is ready for this season.



Originally article published on November 20, 2015

Image credit: Manitou

More Female Riders Than Ever

Female motorcycle ownership is at an all-time high according to the latest data from the Motorcycle Industry Council. The MIC’s latest Motorcycle Owner Survey found that women account for 14 percent of all U.S. motorcycle owners, well up from the 8 percent reported in 1998.

“Women continue to embrace motorcycling like never before,” said Sarah Schilke, national marketing manager of BMW Motorrad USA and chair of PowerLily, a group consisting of female motorcycle industry professionals. “Of the 9.2 million owners, more of them are women than we’ve ever recorded. In fact, the number of female owners better than doubled from 2003 to 2014. And, among the more than 30 million Americans who swung a leg over a motorcycle and rode at least one time in 2014, a quarter of these riders were women.”

Among younger generations of owners, the percentage of women is even higher. Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners, and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners, are women. Among Boomer owners, women make up 9 percent.

“It’s encouraging that we’re seeing more women among the riders who are entering the sport,” Schilke said. “Motorcycling is for anyone and that’s being recognized by younger generations and non-traditional customer segments.”

The Owner Survey also revealed what type of bikes women prefer. Cruisers are the choice of 34 percent of female riders. Scooters rank a close second at 33 percent, followed by sport bikes at 10 percent. In the survey, of some 48,000 American households, women were also asked to share their top three reasons for riding motorcycles. They answered “fun and recreation,” followed by “sense of freedom” and “enjoy outdoors/nature.” When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, women rate “Fuel Economy” and “Test Rides” as the most important decision-making factors.

The study revealed that female riders are safety-conscious. While 60 percent of women took a motorcycle safety course, only 42 percent of men had any formal training. In some state motorcycle safety training programs, women make up 30 percent of the student population.


Other key survey results:

  • The median age for female motorcyclists is 39 versus 48 for males
  • More than 49 percent of women motorcyclists perform their own maintenance or have a friend or relative do it, instead of taking their bikes to a shop
  • New bikes are preferred over used by 57 percent of female riders
  • 49 percent of female motorcyclists are married
  • 47 percent of female motorcyclists have a college or post-graduate degree

The MIC Motorcycle Owner Survey is free to MIC members, but can be purchased by non-members for $12,500.

The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. As a not-for-profit, national industry association, the MIC seeks to support motorcyclists by representing manufacturers, distributors, dealers and retailers of motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, ROVs, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts, accessories and related goods and services, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants.

The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office in metropolitan Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at


Originally published December 23, 2015, PowerSports Business

Image credit:

Polaris Acquires Helmet, Goggle Brand 509

Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII) announced the acquisition of 509, an after- market leader in snowmobile helmets and goggles. 509, a privately owned company based in Spokane, Wash., joins Polaris’ grow- ing portfolio of aftermarket apparel and accessories brands, which includes Klim, Kolpin and Pro-Armor. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are always exploring opportunities to make Polaris a stronger, more competitive global company. As we look toward the future, parts, garments and accessories will continue to be a growth driver for Polaris,” said Steve Eastman, president of Parts, Garments and Accessories for Polaris. “509 is a growing brand that resonates with snowmobile enthusiasts and complements our current portfolio. As snowmobile enthusiasts ourselves — and hav- ing worked with 509 on co-branded goggles for three years — we like their products; we like their brand, and we like their team.”
509 will continue to operate as a distinct brand under the leadership of Tom Delanoy, founder of 509, who will continue in his role of president. Operations will remain head- quartered in Spokane. 509 was advised by The Meriwether Group.

“The 509 brand was created from an authentic and passionate love of snowmobiling,” said Delanoy, 509 founder and CEO. “We have a passion for making highly technical riding gear and producing award-winning films and media content that truly captures the amazing experi- ence of snowmobiling. 509 is very excited to be a part of the Polaris family. Sharing the same passion and vision with the company that mass produced the first snowmobile six decades ago is truly a great fit for us. We look forward to banding together and building an exciting future for the 509 brand.”


Originally published January 2016, Powersports Business.