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From 2004 to 2008 Yamaha was on the cutting edge of our industry, coming out with three exciting vehicles - YFZ450, Raptor 700, and Rhino 660 and 700. The YFZ led the way for 450cc sport ATV's. The Raptor 700 overhauled the entire industry with its trail stomping power and fuel injected motor.
The Rhino was the first popular sport side x side. I owned a YFZ450 and a Rhino 700 and I loved both of them. I loved taking my YFZ to the track and the dunes. What a great bike. But, I was getting older and my daughter was getting older so it was easy to fall in love with riding the dunes out at Glamis while strapped in to with a seat belt, not having to change gears, with my little trooper strapped in beside me (I am aware that taking a small child for a ride in the front seat of a Rhino is not the smartest idea. We'll just add it to the list). I know that's lazy but hey, why do you think side x sides are so popular? But 2008 was it. Polaris introduced the RZR in 2008 and Yamaha just kind of stepped aside and let them take over the industry.
The Raptor 700 and YFZ450 are still going strong, but why hasn't Yamaha done anything with the Rhino? Had they come out with a Rhino 1000 to answer Polaris I believe they would still rule the roost. For some reason Yamaha seems content to let Polaris steal the show, and it's hard to understand. Their latest new side x side is the Viking. It is a pretty cool machine, but it's 686cc motor is almost identical to the Rhino 700. Adding another rider will just slow that motor down.
Why not come out with a really cool 1000cc sxs that has a motor based on one of Yamaha's killer snowmobile or street bike motors? Was that not feasible? Is the Viking really all they have as a comeback for the XP900 and XP1000? What do you think?
Disclaimer: What you read in these blogs are just individual opinions. This is for informational purposes only and is information gathered over several years working in the industry and hands on experience. We realize there will be people who disagree with some of the information posted as well as people who may have more insight. That is what this blog is all about and why we really appreciate your comments as well as formats like this. We all have the ability to learn from each other. So please, read on!