The Yamaha Side by Side ATV, introduced in 2003 and continuing into 2012 as the Rhino, blew the lid off the stodgy UTV class at the time. It redefined the UTV category by showing you could have fun and still get some work done, all with the same all terrain vehicle.
We'll cover the original Rhino 660, along with the newer 700 and 450 Rhinos in this guide. What's good and bad, safety issues, what actual owners say, and even some popular accessories for these Yamaha side by sides.
The Rhino 660 that set off the explosive growth in the UTV class by combining great off road capability with plenty of useful working utility. Nobody had seen anything like this before! Better safety, comfort, and more utility than traditional ATVs - more power, better handling, and more fun than existing side by side UTVs.
Dealers were backlogged with orders and Yamaha couldn't build enough of these in their Georgia plant to keep up with the demand! Early owners were blown away - here are a few quotes:
You can see that these owners loved what the new Yamaha side by sides could do. But as usual - not everything was perfect. After a few miles some problems began to show up:
But the pros far out weigh the cons as owners give this Yamaha side by side a 4.71 out of 5 rating in a current powers ports survey. The highest of any UTV side by side vehicle. Most of the common problems were corrected, along with several improvements, beginning with the 2008 models.
Guide to Yamaha UTV Models - article details all the changes for recent models. All five of the Rhino 700 models are covered, along with the Rhino 450.
Yamaha Rhinos for Sale will show you where the deals are if you're already in the market for a Yamaha side by side.
Yamaha Side by Side Specifications for Rhino 450 and 700.
The Rhino has had some bad publicity concerning safety that has prompted an investigation by federal safety regulators. Two of the main problems were roll overs and leg injuries.
Legs getting outside the vehicle due to no doors or restraints seemed to be the problem. Warning stickers were issued that warned - "Abrupt maneuvers or aggressive driving have caused roll overs -- even on flat, open areas." That one came with a letter offering free installation of short, windowless doors and an extra hand hold, features that became standard in 2008.
Yamaha has always recommended that operators be at least 16 years old and have a driver's license. Yamaha says many injury claims stem from improper operation, modifications such as removing the protective "roll cage," or failure to use a helmet and seat belt. There was a recall issued for 2008 models concerning a leaking brake caliper although no injuries were reported as being caused by that.
Beginning in 2011, and continuing for 2012, the track width has been increased from 54.4 inches to 56.6 inches. Top speed is restricted to somewhere between 37 and 43 mph, depending on who you want to believe. Let's just say top speed for the 700 is somewhere around 40, which is about the same as the 450 Rhino.
The increase in width should improve cornering stability and lessen the chances of a rollover. Limiting the top speed is intended to help owners from getting in over their heads, though that wouldn't be our first choice of how to accomplish that.
Check out our customized links below for the best daily deals on the most popular accessories.
Front and rear bumpers along with all bumper related accessories.
Every kind of top from roll up canvas soft tops to aluminum and molded plastic hard tops.
Windshields came in a bigger variety than you might think. There's full, half, folding, and vented, plus several combinations with multiple features.
You'll find several good deals on winches, along with different mounting plates and other winch accessories.
Front and rear racks of all types - at great prices!
The best wheel and tires deals listed every day.