Yamaha ignited the UTV market with the release of the Rhino, and these models have quickly grown to be among the industry leaders in sales. For 2008, Yamaha has released the Rhino 700 FI Auto. A fuel-injected 686cc twin with a compression ratio of 9.2:1 which has already proven itself as a strong workhorse on both their Grizzly ATVs and their Rhino UTVs.
The Yamaha Rhino 700 has an easy to use CVT transmission with low and high gear. Double-wishbone independent suspension at all four corners provides a smooth ride. Hydraulic disk brakes put stopping power to the 25-inch tires. A 7.9-gallon gas tank should allow any hunter to drive all day. Towing capacity rating is related to braking performance more than to pulling performance, but the towing capacity is a very good 1,212 lbs.
Getting the Rhino up and movin’ is as easy as turning the ignition key, while choosing the best gear for your adventure is done with the automotive-style gear shifter located on the center console. Yamaha’s ultra-reliable Ultramatic automatic transmission system transfers the power to the wheels and then to the trail — all you have to do is get on the gas pedal. The Ultramatic system keeps constant tension on the drive belt to avoid unnecessary wear and tear as well as eliminate “freewheeling,” which is sometimes felt on other machines. The result is industry leading all-wheel engine braking – a must when heading down steep hills with a full load such as a pull-behind mower or a cargo bed full of seed bags or hay. For 2008, this tried-and-true system is beefed up for increased performance and durability under the additional power of the 686cc engine.
Yamaha also has other Rhinos powered with the potent 686cc ‘fuely’ (fuel injected engine). For example, the Rhino 700 FI Sport Edition
features piggyback shocks, cast aluminum rims and a suntop. Two Rhino models come with carbureted 421cc single-cylinder power plants but still have an outstanding 12.1 inches of ground clearance and a respectable 1,100-lb towing capacity.
The Yamaha Rhino 700 has you covered in the area of standard extras and creature comforts. The 12-volt accessory outlet is appreciated by those looking to plug in a GPS, spotlight or even a cell phone charger. As always, the Rhino 700 offers padded bucket seats for both driver and passenger with headrests. And the beloved digital meter is standard on the Yamaha Rhino 700 with some snazzy updates. For 2008, the meter offers self diagnostic capabilities for easy troubleshooting, a new voltage meter for monitoring battery condition, and the new hour meter function now runs 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. Of course, with a 7.9 gallon fuel tank, you and your partner will be most concerned with enjoying the day-long ride.
Yamaha has continued to evolve their UTV with the rider’s best interests in mind. If you were to ride the 2008 and 2007 Rhino models back to back we believe the most noticeable change this year would have to be the feeling of refinement. With each generation, the engineers are weeding out the vibration, rattles, creaks, and moans and are approaching the type of precision we come to expect in the automotive industry.