Yamaha Rhino 700 FI Auto. 4×4 Sport Edition (2011) $13,399

Yamaha Rhino 700 FI Auto. 4×4 Sport Edition (2011)

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  • Reliability
  • Utility
  • Value
  • Comfort
“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.
2011 Yamaha Rhino 4×4 Sport Edition | Price: $13,399 | Displacement: 686cc | Horsepower: 29hp | Drivetrain: 4WD/2WD | Suspension: A-Arm 7.3″ | Color: White Armor
  • Comfortable interior with automotive-type controls: Stylish steering wheel, left-side foot brake pedal/right-side foot accelerator pedal, centermounted console shifter and parking brake lever, turn-to-start ignition switch, indicator lights and 12-volt accessory outlet.
  • 686cc liquid/oil-cooled, four-stroke engine and light weight add up to an excellent power-to-weight ratio and great performance.
  • Industry-exclusive fully automatic Ultramatic® transmission with dual-range (Hi/Lo) drive and reverse is the most advanced drive system available. Maintaining constant belt tension reduces wear, gives great throttle response and provides industry exclusive all-wheel downhill engine braking.
  • Industry-exclusive three-position On-Command® In/Out 4WD feature lets you switch between 2WD, limited-slip 4WD and fully locked differential 4WD— all with the simple push of a button.
  • Fully independent four-wheel suspension: double wishbones front and rear deliver 7.3 inches of wheel travel and 12.1 inches of ground clearance; five-way preload-adjustable shocks provide maximum tire contact and amazing comfort while navigating rough terrain.
  • Thick bucket seats and that great long-travel suspension system work together to provide the smoothest ride in the industry.
  • Designed, engineered, and assembled in the USA.
  • 686cc engine puts out a broad powerband. Four-valve head with 9.2:1 compression bumps power and efficiency.
  • Electronic fuel injection ensures peak performance in nearly all conditions and elevations, along with instantaneous cold starts.
  • Four-wheel disc brakes provide unsurpassed stopping power, and the parking brake is super-convenient.
  • Dual-range (Hi/Lo) drive with reverse taps into more pulling power in low and more performance in high.
  • Console-mounted dual-range (H/L/N/R) shift lever provides positive Ultramatic® transmission operation.
  • Sealed drive case keeps out water and debris, and a hand-operated side cover drain lets out what little gets in.
  • Specially designed full stainless-steel exhaust system features aluminum heat shields and a screen-type spark arrestor for superb power characteristics with minimum noise output.
  • Large-capacity aluminum radiator and oil cooler with fan-assist delivers maximum cooling efficiency and is positioned high in the frame for optimal protection.
  • Specially designed drive system air intake vent helps prevent overheating and keeps water and mud from entering the drive case.
  • Steel frame is lightweight and features outstanding durability with superior rigidity for superb handling.
  • Light, responsive rack-and-pinion steering features a fully sealed steering column and double U-jointed steering linkage for smooth operation and class-leading turning radius—even in 4WD.
  • 12.1-inch ground clearance delivers maximum underbelly protection while enhancing terrainability.
  • Low-maintenance front shaft drive features gear case and electronic servo-activated 2WD/4WD/Diff Lock via the On-Command® system. Direct rear shaft drive eliminates the U-joint for greater durability and more efficient power transfer at all rpm.
  • Heavy-duty CV joint guards protect against rock and debris damage.
  • Standard center-mounted, heavy-duty 2-inch receiver-style hitch can tow more than 1200 pounds.
  • Tough, rotomolded doors keep mud, water and dirt on the trail where they belong.
  • Stamped steel dump bed is rated to haul 400 pounds of gear, with a latch that opens from either side.
  • Aggressive Maxxis® tires offer great traction, longer life and a comfortable ride.
Additional Features:
  • Equipped with two cup holders for even greater creature comfort.
  • Digital instrument panel boasts multifunction LCD display with speedometer, odometer, dual tripmeter, hour meter, 4WD status, transmission position, clock and fuel gauge.
  • Integrated, easy-to-read fuel gauge makes it easy to keep track of your fuel supply.
  • Large, specially designed seats are extra plush and supportive for all-day driver and passenger comfort.
  • Dual 30-watt multireflector Krypton bulb headlights with high/ low beams feature stylishly sleek cat-eye design; dual 5-watt/ 21-watt tail/brake lights.
  • Large, 7.9-gallon fuel tank allows for long rides.
  • Maintenance-free battery provides power, even in cold weather.
  • Cool, comfortable steering wheel and passenger grab handles.
  • Assembled in Newnan, GA, USA.
MSRP* $13,399 (White Armor) Available from July 2010
Type 686cc liquid-cooled w/fan, 4-stroke; SOHC, 4 valves
Bore x Stroke 102.0 x 84.0mm
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Fuel Delivery Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI) , 41mm
Ignition 32 Bit ECU
Starting System Electric
Transmission Yamaha Ultramatic® V-belt with all-wheel engine braking/H, L, N, R
Drive Train Yamaha On-Command® pushbutton;3-way locking differential; 2WD,4WD, locked 4WD; shaft drive
Suspension / Front Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment, 7.3-in travel
Suspension / Rear Independent double wishbone; 5-way preload adjustment, 7.3-in travel
Brakes / Front Dual hydraulic disc, twin piston
Brakes / Rear Dual hydraulic disc
Tires / Front AT25x8-12 NHS
Tires / Rear AT25x10-12 NHS
L x W x H 113.6 x 56.6 x 73 in
Wheelbase 75.2 in
Turning Radius 153.5 in
Ground Clearance 12.1 in
Fuel Capacity 7.9 gal
Wet Weight 1199 lb
Bed Capacity 400 lb
Towing Capacity 1212 lb
Instrumentation Digital LCD Multi-function display; speedo, odo, dual trip, hour, clock, fuel, and gear position
Lighting Dual 30W Krypton multi-reflector headlights & dual 21/5W brakelight
Warranty 6 Month (Limited Factory Warranty)

Yamaha pretty much created the recreational side-by-side segment when it introduced the first Rhino in 2003. Eight years later the 2011 Yamaha Rhino 700 FI Sport Edition keeps the Rhino’s impressive lineage going strong.

Yamaha offers over 120 different factory installed accessories for the 2011 Rhino. These range from bumpers and mud guards to beverage coolers and stereo systems. All these options are available so that the rider can transform their Rhino into exactly what they want – a tough work capable machine or a comfortable trail riding unit. Our test unit came equipped with a handful of these accessories, including a two-piece tilt windshield, canopy frame, front and rear bumpers, front cargo rack, and a winch.

Regardless of the application for your Rhino the unit comes standard with a 686cc four-stroke single cylinder fuel injected engine. This motor gives the machine plenty of power and torque for normal riding or for working.

The machine derives its workhorse capabilities from a few key areas including the rear cargo box, towing capabilities, and functional racking systems. The Rhino’s cargo box is fully dump capable with a pneumatic shock and dual handle quick release system and the bed can be loaded with a payload of 400 pounds. The bed also features multiple tie-down points so you can strap down anything which needs to be transported. 

The tailgate operates with dual latches located on either side of the box. We found this latch system to be a little frustrating when loading the bed by without any help. Loading heavy items required us to set down whatever it was so we could open the gate. Granted most things can just be lifted over the side or rear of the box this was still aggravating in the event that you need to drop the tailgate for something like an oversized item.

The racking system on the Rhino is fully customizable with front racks, rear racks, and cab mounted racks. These serve any number of purposes from gun cases, roof mounted racks for a boat, and water proof boxes. These allow for a lot more storage room on the unit and certain combinations of racks allow you to have full doors and a cab on your Rhino (very nice in inclement weather!).

During our test ride we were about seven miles from home when it started to rain pretty hard. We are happy to report that our accessory windshield and standard roof kept us completely dry, while our fellow riders on other ATVs all got soaked.

Once the storm clouds cleared we got a chance to put the Rhino to work. The Rhino is capable of towing up to 1,200 pounds with a standard two-inch hitch receiver mounted on the rear of the machine.

We hooked up some equipment trailers and used the Rhino to move some items around our property. The Rhino’s power was ample for towing a variety of weights with the unit in low gear.

One of the issues we had with the Rhino while towing was with the factory installed rear bumper. It was so low near the hitch receiver that hooking up some of the trailers was a chore. We had to line them up perfect and in a few instances we had to slip the tongue of the trailer under the bumper with the latch down before opening it and dropping the tongue on the ball. Overall, however, working with the Rhino was generally simple and efficient.

When the work day is over and it’s time to have some fun the Rhino was ready to go. The front and rear suspensions are set-up in a double independent wishbone fashion and allow for 7.3 inches of travel. As an added bonus the suspension is fully adjustable.

The suspension was quite comfortable on the trails, eating up bumps and making our ride quite enjoyable. We pushed the Rhino in corners and it responded with excellent grip and less body roll than expected. The suspension gave the Rhino a full foot of ground clearance on the trail which made clearing obstacles very easy. For some of the things that were a bit too high the Rhino featured skid plates front and back to protect it from damage. The skid plates are designed with a smooth surface to let the Rhino easily slide over obstacles.

Another nice feature when trail riding is the Rhino’s size. With an overall length of 113.5 inches (9.47 ft), width of 56.6 inches, and wheelbase of 75.2 inches this RUV can fit in some of the tightest trails out there. The Rhino’s four wheel disc brakes and 1,212 wet weight also help make it very nimble on the trails.

Helping make the trail ride smooth is the Yamaha Ultramatic transmission, which features a car-like drive selector on the dash of the machine. The shifter moves between low, high, neutral, and reverse gears. The Rhino also features a car-like parking brake which is operated by a hand lever on the side of the driver’s seat.

Also easily accessed from the cockpit is the on command drive system which allows the rider to switch between 2WD, slip 4WD, and fully locked differential 4WD. The switch is designed to shift through the different drive modes one step at a time beginning in 2WD and ending in the fully locked 4WD differential.

When you look at the design of the Rhino you’ll notice it differs depending on which accessories you order. Certain racking options can change the look of the machine by covering or replacing the plastic fascia.  On our test unit we had roof rails running the length of the machine and supported by bars off the side of the cargo bed. This rack was designed to hold a boat on the roof and get it into remote locations.

You have to be careful with some of the features you order because they can inhibit the performance of your machine. For example, the canopy frame on our unit prevented the rear cargo box from dumping and the front bumper could potentially rub on the tires if turned hard at the right angle.

The cockpit of the Rhino is comfortable for both driver and passenger regardless of options you choose. Some of the additional comfort options include a 12V plug-in for operating devices in the cockpit, speaker system with an MP3 player plug-in, and racks for storing and hanging things.

More storage is located in the automotive style glove box on the passenger side of the cab. The floor boards have a “checker plate” pattern on them to provide extra grip for the riders.

Low knee-height doors wrap both sides of the cockpit and are easily opened and closed from outside and inside the machine. These doors are in place to prevent the riders from having their knees caught on any obstacles which may pass by the machine such as branches; saving you from injury. The doors are also in place to prevent riders from sticking their feet out of the machine during a ride and thereby preventing injury.

The passenger has a well placed handle to hold with their left hand and an additional handle on a moveable strap which is attached to the left side handle. This gives the passenger two places to hold onto against cornering g-forces and bumpy terrain; the handle is bolted to the bottom of the seat so the passengers own weight acts as like an anchor for the strap and handle to pull against.

Other features in the cab include car-style lap and shoulder seatbelts, turnkey ignition for starting, both throttle and brake pedals, and a steering wheel for controlling the machine. The main LCD gauge features information such as speedometer, odometer, and fuel gauge along with a clock, hour metre, and indicator. The RUV also features automotive style lights on the front and rear. 30 watt Krypton headlights with high and low beam settings make riding in low light and at night easy for riders to see. The rear of the box has two LED style brake lights and (an option in certain regions) you can have a turn signal kit installed to let you operate your vehicle on the road.

The Yamaha Rhino is a work capable machine which is still more than capable of trail and pleasure riding. Given the wide spectrum of options and features this machine is customizable to your personal needs. If the base model isn’t what you are looking for then you can create the machine of your dreams on the back of the powerful 700cc engine, making the Rhino a great fit for just about any off-road fanatic.

One Comment

  1. Any Pics of the new color? Dying to see it.

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