Friday, October 12, 2007

Yamaha Rhino, now a 700 (and fuel injected)

Over the last four years Yamaha's Rhino 660 has remained virtually unchanged - why fix it if it ain't broken I suppose. But succumbing to competition from Polaris, Kawasaki and now Honda, Yamaha surely wanted to do something to stay on top of the competition.

Now called a 700, the Rhino is now powered by the same liquid-cooled, 686cc, fuel-injected engine from the popular Grizzly 700. While the new fuel injection system allows for quicker starts and consistent operation in changing environments, it does not give the Rhino a faster top speed which will remain around 40 miles per hour.

Another significant upgrade is all new dual rear disc brakes, which replace the rear driveshaft-mounted single disc system , that will remain but only as a parking brake.

Doors will now come standard on the Rhino, keeping mud and debris out of the cab, but more importantly providing protection to drivers and passengers legs. In fact, Yamaha is offering all previous year Rhino owners to have the doors installed for free. You must take your Rhino to a Yamaha dealer to have the work done, as Yamaha states customers cannot install the doors themselves.

Passenger grab handles, cup holders and a new under-hood tool-free air filter address many of the issues that have been brought up by previous Rhino owners, as well as matching some of the features of the new Polaris RZR.

For details on the new Rhino 700 along with a whole lineup of special edition and optional package models - including Ducks Unlimited (hunting equipped) and Midnight Armor (carbon fiber look with flames embedded inside) - see the Yamaha Outdoors website.