Clarion Builds Fortifies YXZ1000R with Body and Cabin Upgrades

As a special Clarion Builds mini project, Clarion Builds has taken on the build of a 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R SE.  As with any project we take on at Clarion Builds, there is an extensive list of modifications to undertake with the help of our great partners. The YXZ1000R is already a top performing side by side, and it being a new 2016 model means there is nothing to overhaul in the mechanical department. After all, we did say this was a “mini project.”  While you’ve seen us do some pretty wild restorations and upgrades to iconic classics, this vehicle is very different from our BMW 2002 and Acura NSX builds in the sense that it’s new. So it being new and already a leader in its class in terms of performance and capabilities, that left us room to improve on its already aggressive styling, enhance ergonomics, increase safety and of course, make it sound amazing.

The growing aftermarket for powersports left a lot of options available for Clarion Builds to choose partners for the build.  But as you’ve heard from us before, our partners need to meet the same high standards for quality products that Clarion has, and that is why when it came to safety, styling and ergonomics, bringing on Assault Industries was an easy decision. Assault let us pull from a large catalog of parts to enhance our Yamaha YXZ1000R build.  To start, we improved the one area that can be a soft spot on any Side by Side - the tie rods. Assault Industries Turret Style Heavy Duty Front Tie Rods are sturdy direct bolt-on replacements made with 6061 T6 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum and can handle any terrain you throw at them. Additionally, Assault Industries hooked it up with skid plates to protect vital suspension parts as well as front shock guards and more aggressive front and rear bumpers, all of which will undoubtedly add to the vehicle's durability and overall function.

Ergonomics plays an important role in getting the best performance out of any powersports vehicle, and the Yamaha YXZ1000R SE already does a fantastic job with a bolstered seat, confident driving position and planted feel while driving.  However, that did not stop Assault Industries from finding ways to improve on an already great package, and being a part of the Clarion Builds program, together we will be going all out to make this one of the slickest YXZ1000Rs out there! First on the list of items to upgrade is the steering wheel. We didn’t choose just any steering wheel though and opted to go with Assault Industries’ Ballistic D and made it removable with a quick release steering wheel hub.  The Ballistic D Steering wheel is designed to provide additional knee clearance with its flat bottom and aid with ingress and egress by allowing the wheel to detach. To improve the shifting feel of the YXZ1000R’s 5 speed sequential shifter, Assault supplied us with an aluminum shift knob.  It is a direct replacement for the stock steel shifter with a hand grip design to improve shifting feel.  To keep our occupants safely in their seats, an H-Style 5-Point Racing Harness has been installed.  This will help keep both driver and passenger secured in the seats during spirited driving and when the vehicle gets airborne.  With the driver firmly in place, a Stealth Series Convex UTV rear view mirror has been installed to aid in rear visibility while driving.  And lastly, just in case of a thermal event, the Quick Release UTV Kidde Fire Extinguisher Kit was mounted.

On the outside of the vehicle, there is very little room to improve on Yamaha’s excellent design. So, we had little to work on in terms of form and opted to focus heavily on function. One definite area to improve upon is supply of power. Without power, there would be no juice to run lights or a sound system, and that is why we installed the Yamaha factory optioned 2nd battery kit. This system is designed to help power 12-volt auxiliary systems like LED lightbars and, of course, a purpose-built Clarion Powersports sound system. Off-roading in the dark is challenging, so to help light the way after the sun goes down, we selected the Alpha Powersports 14" LED Light Bar with front mounting bracket, and mounted it to the front of the vehicle out of the driver’s line of sightFor those longer treks through the desert or woods, we have installed Yamaha’s rear cargo box to help hold our trail gear and supplies, as well as provide additional space for our advanced electronics.

Now, it has been mentioned a couple of times that this beastly off-road machine will be packing a Clarion Powersports audio system, but we'll save the audio/electronics install for our next blog post.  Be sure to check in at to follow along as we continue the build of this 2016 Yamaha YXZ1000R SE.

Alyson Yarberry