A foldable ROPS has some useful benefits
Things have been pretty quiet from Arctic Cat lately, but the Minnesota-based manufacturer recently filed an interesting patent application for a foldable ROPS (roll-over protection system) that would certainly make some news if it ever gets released. Check out the full application here.
We can see how the idea of a foldable ROPS could definitely be useful in a few scenarios. First, it would take less room when you are storing it in your garage or shed. If you have a small space, any way to take up less of it is a bonus. Having a foldable ROPS might also help if you are trying to load your UTV into an enclosed trailer.
Another possible use for a foldable ROPS is to reduce the height of a UTV if you have to get into more compact areas. This might be useful on a jobsite or perhaps if you need to drive under a low-hanging branch that’s blocking the trail.
Renderings in the patent application show how Arctic Cat thinks the foldable ROPS will work. The ROPS in this case include a front and rear section that meet on the top of the structure. When separated, the front and back of the ROPS will fold down to reduce the overall height of the vehicle.
The foldable ROPS idea does bring up a couple of concerns, which Arctic Cat is no doubt working on.
Will a foldable ROPS be as strong as a completely solid ROPS?
- With two connections at the top of the ROPS and four foldable joints (front left, front right, rear left, rear right), Cat will have to find a way to reinforce these areas so they retain the same level of strength as a solid ROPS. Things get even more complicated with a two-row UTV, which you can see below.
What will stop drivers from keeping the ROPS folded down permanently?
- Our guess here is that when the ROPS is folded down, the engine’s power and top speed will be greatly reduced.
Of course, all this means nothing if Arctic Cat never releases the folding ROPS on a consumer UTV. We will likely have to wait a little while to find out, but we will keep our eyes peeled for any further developments.