2006 Yamaha Rhino - Special Edition
DuneGuide.com Yamaha Rhino Review - A 2006 Special Edition Yamaha Rhino
Cross an ATV with a pickup truck and you get an UTV. UTVs or
Side by Sides are incredibly popular in general, but in the dunes, their
popularity is off-the-charts.
On a trip to Sand
Mountain, we had the opportunity to test out a 2006 Yamaha Rhino 660 Auto
4x4 Special Edition (specifications).
The Special Edition differs from the standard Rhino with a silver frame and
springs, steel blue bodywork with a special logo and graphics, standard LCD
gauge, special seats, sport steering wheel and cast aluminum wheels. Nice
additions for a few extra bucks.
New for 2007 Yamaha Rhino models:
All of the Rhinos now come with digital dash and fuel gauge.
Silver SE - Pre-load adjustable piggy-back shocks, molded
roof, aluminum wheels.
New for 2008 Yamaha Rhino models:
All-new 686cc engine puts out plenty of broadband power. New
four-valve head with 9.2:1 compression and forged piston bumps power and efficiency.
Electronic fuel injection ensures peak performance in nearly
all conditions and elevations, along with instantaneous cold starts.
Tough, rotomolded doors keep mud, water and dirt on the
trail where they belong.
New four-wheel disc brakes provide unsurpassed stopping
power, and a new parking brake is super convenient.
Cool, comfortable new steering wheel and new passenger grab
Now with two cup holders for even greater creature comfort.
New underhood tool-free air filter is a snap to service.
New Stainless Steel Exhaust with Spherical joints
New front differential
Bigger CV Joints and Axles
Larger Radiator and Fan
New Brake Pad Material - Eliminates Squeaks
CVT filter has been redesigned
Shifter, new Parking Brake and Passenger Grab Handle
Under Hood Air Filter
We decided to put the Rhino through the paces on a trip around
the base of Sand Mountain. This gave us a good chance to see how it handled the
flats, whoops, side hills, and climbing with two guys in it. The Rhino has
a dry weight of 1049 lbs., but even with the a bone stock engine we were quite impressed.
The Rhino borrowed technology from Yamaha's already proven 4x4 660 Grizzly
(engine, transmission, and front and rear differentials).
The Rhino is great for cruising around the flats. Very
comfortable. Easy to start and maneuver.
We tried to get it up to Super Bowl, but it just didn't quite
have enough to get there with two guys in it.
Although it fell just a bit short of making it up to Super
Bowl, it was able to climb out of Toyota Gulch (near the Wall).
Right out of the box, the Rhino is very capable. It has decent
power and suspension. If you are a trail rider, or just want to cruise down to the
vendors or your friends camp, the Rhino is a great vehicle. It is easy to drive for the novice, but fast enough for an
experienced rider to still have fun. And since you can take a friend with you,
it is a great way for newbies to see the dunes and learn how to drive from a
more experienced rider.
The Rhino surprised us in what it could do in the dunes, but
also concerned us at the same time. If you are not an experienced duner, we could
see how you could get in over your head pretty quick out in the dunes. In our
opinion, if you want to hit the dunes hard, there are a few things that could
be done to make it a safer and more capable vehicle.
Rhino Suspension: the Rhino comes with fully independent
four-wheel suspension: Double-wishbones front and rear deliver 7.3 inches
of wheel travel and 12.1 inches of ground clearance. Decent for easy trail
rides, but with stock-width a-arms, it feels like
it could tip on side hills, or run out of suspension going through the
whoops or hitting a witches eye. So if you are serious about taking it for
more serious dune rides, either invest in some aftermarket suspension, or
know the vehicle's limits. In stock form, the Rhino has a 75"
wheelbase, and is 54.5" wide.
Rhino Long Travel Kits
Seat Belts: The stock seat belts won't do well
enough in a roll-over. To keep driver and passenger in the vehicle, we'd
recommend a set of 4 point harness restraints.
Rhino Safety & Rhino
Seats & Harnesses
Rhino Roll Bar/Cage: If you are just using your Rhino to
cruise the flats, you are most likely good to go. It is very easy to
get in and out, and the likelihood of a rollover is slim. But out in the
dunes, we would be concerned with the strength of the roll bar and the
openness in the doorway. In a rollover, it would be human nature to
try to stop the rollover by sticking your foot out. In stock form,
there is nothing to prevent you from doing this. A door, net or additional bar
is necessary to keep your feet in the more protected cab.
Rhino Roll Cages
More Power: What true dune nut could leave a stock
engine alone? In stock form the Rhino has:
- 660cc, 4-stroke single, liquid-cooled w/fan, 5-valve SOHC
- Bore x Stroke - 100mm x 84mm
- Compression Ratio - 9.1:1
Adding more power to your Rhino can always be used to get you up to places the
stock engine can't get to now (e.g.. Super Bowl, the top of Sand Mountain
or racing up Oldsmobile Hill). There are options to swap out the CDI box (changes rev-limiter)
and makes the timing curve a bit more aggressive. There are also air
filters, exhaust and jetting that will help. A few companies have big bore
& stroker kits, and we've even seen a few turbos and blowers.
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
Rhino Special Edition
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