It is only on the occasion that a purpose-built performance machine can be infused with even more performance, but Yamaha’s YXZ1000R has a chassis that can easily handle the available power from its stock powerplant. If you dare to add more power to this potent platform, all hell breaks loose. The performance nature of this beast of a UTV is escalated ten-fold, and you instantly tap into another league of performance when you add go-fast parts to this vehicle.
Eric “Ricky” Stephen, who grew up racing motorcycles and even built a couple of the Fast and the Furious franchise movie cars under his “Privateer Motorsports” name, was turned onto UTV’s after a few desert rides in these agile and fun vehicles. He was instantly hooked after his first ride, just like all of the rest of us.
His racing credentials were honed in time-attack and SCCA events on the pavement, where he enjoyed success driving his hopped-up Subaru. When the Subi wasn’t quite enough, he stepped it up to Nissan’s venerable GTR. Not even the infamous car known as “Godzilla” could provide the thrill he was looking for, so he turned to UTV’s… Well, maybe that was a little far-fetched, but Ricky’s obsession with the desert and go-fast cars is what made the UTV market so enticing for him. Four wheels had never been so fun in the dirt. After talking with Ricky about his racing career and driving style, there was no question in our minds why he chose the point-and-shoot handling style that the Yamaha provides.
After taking some time away from the dirt to race his street cars, UTV’s called him back to the softer side and grabbed his heart. What did his first race UTV look like, you ask? Well, it actually is this one-off race YXZ1000R that you see on these pages. Not only is this machine a custom, one-off build, but it is purpose-built to handle the toughest desert terrain out there.
Starting with a 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R, Ricky immediately dove into the nitty gritty of this machine, tearing it down to the bare bones. He took off all of the parts that weren’t “absolutely necessary” on the stock chassis, and he started planning the build out from there. He knew he wanted to keep everything fairly easy to maintain and work on since this car would be run in select BITD (Best In The Desert) races throughout the season, and we all know that desert racing is entirely tough on man and machine.
The list of aftermarket parts is long, but it is a list that exudes quality parts and performance accessories. Companies such as Crower (camshafts) and CP Carillo (pistons and rods) are involved, and usually those names are reserved for some of the highest-performing street car engines on the planet. If you hadn’t guessed it already, there are more go-fast parts on here than just a couple engine mods, and the most noticeable mod is the oil-less turbo system, which is built by Comp Turbo CTX 2 and is a 5150 Billet turbo. Ricky’s own company did the install and fabricated some of the parts necessary to get that spooled up air back into the engine efficiently. With freer-breathing parts abound and more power being expelled from this engine, the engine systems are all managed by Dynojet Research products. In order to manage all of the extra power and actually get it down to the ground, all of the transmission parts have undergone a Cryoheat/Cryo metal treatment process. This is supposed to keep all of the parts flowing at their utmost potential with all of this added power on tap.
Ricky can’t go fast if he doesn’t have the suspension dialed in, so that’s where the guys at Fireball Racing and King Shocks come into play. Fireball provided the long travel kit that is mated to King’s latest IBP (Internal Bypass) shock absorber technology. In the front, we find that 2.5 IBP shocks were utilized to soak up the bumps, and the rear features 3.0 IBP shocks. Not only is this setup a massive upgrade over stock, but this system also takes full advantage of the nimble chassis that the Yamaha has from the factory. Believe us, this thing flies!
We mentioned in the beginning that Ricky wasn’t going to leave anything out as he built this car, and he definitely didn’t neglect the interior. Yes, he uses this car as a race vehicle, but he also likes to take his wife with him when they venture out to the sand dunes or Ocotillo Wells, which happens to be his favorite place to ride, for a weekend of fun. The couple sits comfortably in a set of matching Sparco race seats, and they can talk the entire time via their Rugged Radios communication setup. Well, maybe she is more or less telling him to speed up or slow down all the time, but we can’t verify either of those comments…
Like most of us who want to turn our dream of racing into a reality, Ricky did just that and continues to live out his dream from behind the wheel of his YXZ. The world of UTV’s is more than just a sport, and Ricky and his wife are the epitome of a family who just wants to get out and play in the dirt. They also have the go-fast side to them when they get into the race car and go racing.
Next time you’re out at the desert or at a BITD race, make sure you look for this Privateer Motorsports/Assault Industries car. We promise you won’t miss it, unless of course Ricky flies by you on the course with the turbo spooled up and the gears banging. Again, like we said… Performance. Overload.
Full Parts List for the Privateer Motorsports/Assault Industries Yamaha YXZ1000R:
CP Carrillo – Pistons and Rods
Crower – Cam Shafts
John Reed Racing – Motec MI Kit
King Shocks – Front: 2.5 IBP / Rear: 3.0 IBP
Switch Pros – Panel Switches
Transmission and Differential parts – Cryoheat / Cryo metal treatment / Micro polishing
Comp Turbo CTX 2 – 5151 Billet oil less turbo
Privateer Motorsports – Turbo kit / Installer / welding
Dynojet Research – Tuning
Method Race Wheels – Style 401
GBC Tires – Tires
Rugged Radios – Communications & Fresh Air System
Sparco USA – Ergo II race bucket seats
Fuel Safe – Custom YXZ fuel tank
R2C Filters – Race Filter
Proline Wraps – Vehicle Wrap
Fireball Racing – Long Travel Suspension Kit
Barnett Clutches – Clutch / Pressure Plate Conversion
Fueling – VP Race Fuels
Simpson Racing – Helmet / Race Suit
Factory UTV – Skid plates
LED whips – Whiptech LED
KC HiLiTES – LED lighting
Burns Stainless – Header and Exhaust
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