Interview: Chad Wienen

If you know anything about ATV racing, then you know the name Chad Wienen. You can’t even flip through your favorite ATV magazine without finding MANY advertisements about products that Chad races with or endorses like the FOX Chad Wienen Signature Series FLOAT 3 EVOL RC2 shocks. If EA Sports released an ATV racing video game, Chad would be the cover art. We caught up with the newly crowned 2013 AMA ATV MX National Champion. Here’s a few things you might not know about the life of the circuit’s best rider.

Chad Wienen

WATV: What ATVs or UTVs do you currently own?
Chad Wienen: I actually own a fleet of Yamaha YFZ450R’s, a Yamaha Raptor 90, a Yamaha Grizzly, and every machine I raced during my Pro career: Honda, Suzuki, Kawi and Can-Am. Along with my two Championship YFZ450R’s from 2012 and 2013.

WATV: You started racing in 2006, got sponsored by a factory team in 2007,  and won the AMA ATV Pro National Championship in 2012 and 2013. To what do you attribute your huge success?
CW: I actually turned pro in 2006. I would have to say a strong will to win and also all the support that I have had along the way to get me over all the ups and downs along the way.

Chad Wienen

Kids, this is what lots of podium trips and a successful business looks like. Theme music optional.

WATV: When it’s not race weekend what is your favorite type of riding and where do you go?
CW: Riding at my track at home or going to Sunset Ridge MX (Walnut, IL) for a weekend of riding.

WATV: You’ve had so many great accomplishments and records in ATV racing. Which one means the most to you?
CW: Last season breaking the most consecutive race wins in a season. 7 overall wins in a row.

WATV: What do your pre-race and post-race meals consist of?
CW: I eat eggs in the morning and a small sandwich during the day. Usually a hearty meal for dinner full of protein to recover.

WATV: What would we find on your MP3 player?
CW: MP3, this is the new age (laughs). iPod would have anything from some Greenday to Metallica to 3 Days Grace to Imagine Dragons.

WATV: What 5 words describe you?
CW: Relentless, determined, never give up.

WATV: Outside of racing, where are we likely to find you spending your time?
CW: Golfing, training, swimming, and hanging with friends and family.

Chad Wienen

WATV: What’s next for Chad Wienen? Is ATV racing a stepping stone to something else?
CW: Next is building a business and staying within the sport. Possibly something else…

WATV: Freedom of speech, anything else you would like to say?
CW: Thank you for the interest and ride fast and safe. (If you) need anything for your racing needs check us out at

Chad, thanks for slowing down for a moment to catch up with us. Best of luck to you in the 2014 season and with the continued success for Wienen Motorsports.

To see more about Chad check out or follow him on the AMA leaderboard at Just look at the top of the list.

PREVIEW: 2014 Yamaha ATV and Side X Side Lineup

It’s that time of year again. The riding season is in full swing and manufacturers are making their announcements for the new year’s models. Yamaha has released their 2014 utility lineup to include an all-new side x side and a few subtle changes to the Grizzly 700 ATV.

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4x4 EPS

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4×4 EPS. Yamaha stock photo.

The biggest news in Yamaha’s ORV line is the introduction of the Viking FI 4×4 EPS Side by Side. The days of the Rhino are over with the Viking staking its claim as the exclusive Yamaha Side X Side. The Viking is powered by the newly improved 686cc engine that has been very successful. It uses Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission and benefits from engine braking in 4WD and reverse. The Viking has a cargo capacity of 600 pounds in its dump bed and a ground clearance of 11.8 inches with steel skid plates.

Perhaps the most notable feature of the Viking is the seating for 3 people. The center seat is set back slightly to help accomodate all three without sacrificing comfort. Even with the added seat, the Viking is only 61.8 inches wide compared to 56.6 inches on last year’s Rhino. All three seats include 3-point seat belts making the Viking the perfect family side x side without being stretched into a dirt limo. The Viking will hit showrooms in Realtree AP HD in August 2013 at $13,249. As the hunting season rush calms down, the Hunter Green ($12,499 MSRP), Steel Blue and Red ($12,699 MSRP) models will arrive in September 2013. Both Steel Blue and Red include soft-top roofs.

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4x4 EPS

2014 Yamaha Viking FI 4×4 EPS. Yamaha stock photo.

The ATV lineup for 2014 remains very similar to last year. The only change to the Utility line is in the Grizzly 700. The 700 gains low end, mid range and top end performance thanks to a new cylinder head and enhanced engine settings. The compression ratio has also been raised from 9.1:2 to 10.0:1 with the help of a new piston shape. Yamaha also advertises longer front and rear suspension settings and improved steering for better rider comfort. In addition, the EPS models have updated EPS settings for comfort’s sake. Cosmetically the Grizzly 700 also has new graphics on the fuel tank. The Grizzly 700 continues to be offered in three models, FI 4×4 Auto, FI 4×4 Auto EPS and FI 4×4 Auto EPS Special Edition.

2014 Yamaha ATV Grizzly 700

Removed, so far, from last year’s roster are the Grizzly 125 Automatic and Grizzly 300 Automatic models. This makes the Grizzly 350 4×4 Auto the entry level system. Yamaha does continue to offer the Grizzly 450 4×4 in EPS and non-EPS. The Grizzly 550 FI Auto 4×4 is the smallest model with fuel injection and also available in EPS and non-EPS. These models are unchanged.

2014 Yamaha ATV Grizzly 450

To see more details of the 2014 Yamaha ATV and Side X Side lineup check out the Yamaha website at:

PREVIEW: 2013 Yamaha Sport Lineup

Now assembled in the USA! 2013 Yamaha Raptor 700 with the Patriot graphics. Yamaha stock photo.

Yamaha continues a tradition of thrills with their announcement of the 2013 sport ATV lineup, including the redesigned Raptor 700’s. The 2013 Yamaha sport line features a total of 10 different machines, the largest offering in the industry. Only Can-Am even comes close with their 8 sport models.

2013 Yamaha Raptor 700R SE. Yamaha stock photo.

The Raptor 700’s are sporting a new style thanks to resculptured plastics. New stopping power is backed by twin piston rear braker calipers and Maxxis rubber replaces the Dunlop tires that have served previous Raptor models. The all-new base 700 model starts at $7,699. The Raptor 700R gets new piggyback shocks all around and an adjustable front brake lever to tune to your desires for $8,099. The 700R Special Edition (SE) also adds custom graphics and a GYTR front grab bar and heel guards all for $8,799, a $200 drop from last years model. Perhaps the biggest news is the Raptor 700’s are now assembled right here in the USA.

2013 Yamaha Raptor 700R with the Yamaha Sport Front Grab Bar. Yamaha stock photo.

The race ready YFZ450, YFZ450R and YFZ450R Special Edition units return this year virtually unchanged. On the otherhand, is there much you can really improve on in the YFZ line?  The YFZ450R SE and YFZ450R pricetags stay firm at $8,949 and $8,599 respectively while the YFZ450 goes up $100 to $6,899.

2013 Yamaha YFZ450R. Yamaha stock photo.

The Raptor 350, 250, 125 and 90 also go unchanged for 2013 continuing to capitalize on the proven recipe. The Raptor 250 and 90 keep the same price point as last year at $4,599 and $2,699 while the Raptor 350 and 125 each add $100 for $5,599 and $3,499.

2013 Yamaha Raptor 250 with Nebula graphics. Yamaha stock photo.

Last year Yamaha introduced custom graphics packages for certain units that were available in white. That trend continues with new graphics for the YFZ450R, YFZ450, and Raptor 350, 250, 125 and 90.

2013 Yamaha Raptor 350 with skulls and flames graphics. Yamaha stock photo.

PREVIEW: 2013 Yamaha Utility Lineup


Photo courtesy of Yamaha Motors

Yamaha has released their utility lineup for the 2013 season. This year offers few changes over the 2012 model year, but the lineup will continue to be an industry leader. Most recently, Yamaha released details on the 2013 Grizzly 700 FI Auto 4×4 EPS Special Edition. The change is purely cosmetic; the new edition is a tactical theme with subdued graphics and black aluminum wheels. The 2013 Rhino 700 FI Auto 4×4 Special Edition also gets the same tactical treatment. The pair perfectly suit those preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

2013 Yamaha Grizzly 550 FI EPS in Realtree AP Camo. Courtesy of Yamaha Motors.

The Grizzly 700 continues to offer an EPS and a non-EPS. The Grizzly 450 and 550 also continue to be offered in EPS and non-EPS models. Missing this year is the Big Bear 400. Yamaha has retired the last of the Big Bear series and with its removal has discontinued the last manual transmission utility ATV in their lineup. If you are buying new you’ll be riding an automatic. The 125, 300 and 350 4×4 continue to be available unchanged. The Grizzly 125 and 350 4×4 still have the older body style.

The 2013 Rhino 700 FI Auto 4×4 continues to be the exclusive side by side for Yamaha. There are no major changes for the Rhino beyond the previously mentioned tactical Special Edition.