Friday, January 4, 2008

A refined Yamaha Rhino 700FI

I reported the announcement of the new Rhino 700 back in October. It has since been officially released, with a lot of reviews popping up from a press introduction ride in Tennessee.

The word that keeps coming to mind for me - "refined". In fact, the Yamaha product manager is fond of the phrase "smoother, quieter, more refined" when describing the new 700FI. While the machine looks identical to the older models, a whole slew of things have been addressed and improved. The primary changes and basics were covered in my previous post. Here I want to address this refined aspect...

Creature comforts

  • The airbox is now located under the hood, reducing cabin noise and making filter service hassle free. This makes a big difference when trying to talk with your passenger or even just driving by your self on long rides.
  • Claimed 70% reduction in vibration from rubber mounts for the engine and exhaust
  • A barrier was added behind cab (between the dump bed) that will keep noise, dust and heat from entering the cab.
  • A smooth tailgate plate that prevents dirt and water from being held there
  • Softer seat and a larger, softer steering wheel with palm grips
  • And similar to the Polaris RZR, cup holders and storage
  • New passenger grip with attached handle in addition to existing grab bars have been added.
  • Side doors that feature a latch system similar to that of Jeep

Normally I don't think much of these little details myself, but a funny story to make a point - I'm driving to my practice track yesterday, and as I'm passing the local motorsports dealer, an SUV pulls out the parking lot pulling a trailer with a shiny new Yamaha Rhino 700, with boxes of accessories piled around it. As the car goes by, I'm checking the ride out and notice a feeble looking 75-80 year old at the steering wheel! So the thing with side-by-sides in general, and especially the "refined Rhino" is that we have whole new categories of people in general being introduced to the quad sport overall. I've heard this same thing regarding the farming and ranching folks.

Quad Magazine and Dirt Wheels both have articles in February 2008 issues. Some online articles of the same press introduction that also include videos are at ATV Riders and King's Outdoor World blog.