All About the Yamaha G-16 Golf Cart

by Rob Wagner

The Yamaha G-16 golf cart is a lightweight gasoline-powered vehicle that is part of the G-Series family of golf carts. It dates to the debut of the G series golf carts in 1979. The electric version of the G-16 is the G-16E. Designated as the G-16A Gas Ultima, the golf cart runs on a 10-horsepower engine with passenger-car features and an air-cooled muffler that keeps the engine quiet.


Yamaha launched the first G-Series golf cart in 1979 with a two-stroke gasoline-powered engine with an oil-injection system. It featured an electronic ignition system. In 1980, the electric version debuted. Five years later, the G-2 arrived with an injection-molded body and a four-stroke engine with overhead valves. The mid-1980s models featured bucket seats, turn indicators, head and taillamps, glove box, storage compartment and windshield as standard equipment. Yamaha launched the G-16 in 1996 in four factory colors. During the same year, Yamaha introduced the G-16's sister model, the G-16E, a 36-volt electric version with regenerative braking.


A 301cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder engine powers the G-16. It has an 8-to-1 compression ratio to help it generate 10 horsepower at 3,600 rpm. The engine uses forced-air cooling and has a positive oil lubricating system. It also features low oil warning lamp. A continuously variable transmission, or CVT, delivers the power to the wheels via Yamaha's torque-sensor clutch and overdrive units. The rear axle features helical gear components and an 11.34-to1 drive axle ratio. The golf cart is capable of speeds up to 15 mph. The G-16E uses a high efficiency General Electric motor with solid copper windings and brazed armature.

Dimensions and Capacities

The G-16's wheelbase is relatively generous at 64 inches. It measures 94 inches long, 47.2 inches wide and 46.98 inches tall. The gasoline version's engine has a 32-oz. oil capacity, and the fuel tank holds 6.3 gallons. Its turning radius is 9 feet, 4 inches. It weighs 650 lbs. without the battery and fluids. In contrast, the G-16E weighs 559 lbs. without batteries. Both carts ride on 8.5-by-18-inch tires and wheels.

Brakes and Suspension

Self-adjusting rear mechanical drum brakes provide the stopping power for the G-16. It also comes with a foot-operated parking brake. The front suspension consists of hydraulic shock absorbers and coil springs. The aluminum front hubs are permanently lubricated and have sealed ball bearings. The rear suspension uses Yamaha's "UltraPath" system of hydraulic shocks and coil springs. The steering system is a conventional worm and adjustable Pitman pin type. The steering mechanism is also permanently lubricated and comes with sealed tie-rod ends.


The G-16 seats two people on bench seat with molded-foam cushions sealed in fabric-backed vinyl upholstery on the seat back. The seat bottom is plastic. The thermoplastic body wraps around a welded tubular steel frame. Its bumpers have a 5 mph energy-absorbing collision rating.

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