Minor changes to industry leader for 2011
Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., has unveiled its lineup of 2011 Rhino 700 FI Side-by-Side vehicles, which will begin arriving at dealerships this summer.
“Yamaha’s leading Rhino continues to hold the top spot as the toughest, most off-road capable and versatile, as well as the all-time best selling, SxS vehicle,” Yamaha says in a release.
Originally launched in 2003, the Rhino helped bring about major interest in side-by-side vehicles. With nearly a decade of experience and updates, the Rhino continues to be among the class leaders and has received a bundle of best-in-class wards from the off-road, hunting, and farming communities.
For the 2011 model, Yamaha has given the Rhino a new steering wheel and adjustable seat belt, both designed to provide more rider comfort in off-road conditions. New to the Rhino line is a White Armor Sport Edition that features fully adjustable piggyback shocks, one-piece cast aluminum wheels, injection-molded sun top, over fenders, Baja-inspired front carry bar, and a special graphics treatment. The Sport model also comes with dealer-installed LED tail lights, custom shift knob and black bed rails.
The 700-class powerplant is optimized for the Rhino with a liquid-cooled, four-valve SOHC engine providing plenty of torque to tackle rough terrain. Helping manage that power is the Yamaha Fuel Injection system, which enhances its performance at high elevation and in cooler conditions.
Additionally, the Rhino engine features a forged piston designed to add durability and an aluminum cylinder body with ceramic composite coating for decreased weight, increased cooling ability and additional wear resistance. The roller rocker arms, according to Yamaha, lessen friction in the valve train reducing wear and increasing durability while providing improved throttle response and better overall off-road performance.
Yamaha’s reliable Ultramatic automatic transmission system features a centrifugal clutch that allows the drive belt to remain under constant tension providing another key point of durability. As well, a one-way sprag clutch provides four-wheel engine braking.
Adding to the Rhino’s rough terrain handling is the On-Command 2WD/4WD system with differential lock that gives the driver options with the push of a button. The Rhino 700 FI has an impressive 12.1 inches of ground clearance, and its fully adjustable and fully independent front and rear dual A-arm suspension offers more than 7.3 inches of travel.
The Rhino also features large axles and CV joints to best accommodate its engine power. Front and rear A-arm guards prevent sticks and debris from getting to the boots, but should something find a way past the guards, the CV boot material is tough and resistant to most impacts.
The Rhino 700 FI comes with a number of standard extras and creature comforts, and Yamaha offers more than 100 official accessories for the Rhino line. As with all previous models, the 2011 Rhino features a U.S. OSHA and ISO 3471 compliant roll over protection structure (ROPS). Its 12-volt accessory outlet easily receives a GPS device, spotlight or even a cell phone charger. The Rhino has padded bucket seats with headrests for both driver and passenger, and a digital meter is standard on the Rhino 700 FI providing self diagnostic capabilities for easy troubleshooting, a voltage meter for monitoring battery condition, and an hour meter function that operates only while the engine is running for more accurate servicing. The digital LCD multi-function display meter also features a speedometer, odometer, dual trip meter, clock, fuel gauge and gear position display.
The Rhino 700 FI also comes standard with passenger grab handles and cup holders, as well as rotomolded doors to keep mud, water and trail debris out of the cab. Helping keep passengers clean and keeping cabin noise to a minimum is the noise and dust shield located behind the seats. The under-hood, tools-free air filter is another added convenience.
Additionally, the Rhino features a standard two-inch receiver and is capable of towing up to 1,212 pounds while the cargo bed is capable of carrying 400 pounds. The cargo bed features an assisted dump function with tilt levers on both sides of the bed.
The 2011 Yamaha Rhino will be available in Hunter Green, Red and the Sport Edition White Armor in the summer of 2010.