Inc. - http://www.opencube.com)****
Side Panels, Doors & Bolt on Leg Minders
Yamaha Rhinos are very versatile vehicles when they come from
the factory. To take them out into the dunes like you see them being used
probably wasn't what the Yamaha design engineers had in mind.
Here we are going to
focus on roll cages, side panel or leg minders. Seats
and harnesses will be covered in another section.
The stock Rhino is very easy to get in and out of, but it is not
built with a rollover in mind. The first problem is the door opening is wide
open. During a roll, your first instinct is to try and stop the
roll. Bad idea. No matter how strong that you think you are, your leg will
not stop UTV from tipping over.
Stock Yamaha Rhino
The solution is to add a barrier that will not allow you leg to
get out of the vehicle. Lots of options to solve this are available from nets to
aluminum leg minders, to steel tubing and full doors with aluminum.
The second problem with the stock Rhino is the "roll
cage". Yamaha doesn't even call it a roll cage for liability reasons, and
either do most of the aftermarket guys. In our sue happy society, calling it a
roll cage would then somehow mean that you would be safe in a roll-over
accident. For simplicity, we are going to call them roll cages - just try not to
roll because that isn't what they were designed for. Silly, huh?
The stock cage is probably just fine for the most likely intended use of cruising around
the farm doing odd jobs, but in the dunes, a bit more strength and cross bracing
would be nice. New cages also add a bar behind the seats where harnesses (seat
restraints) should be attached.
What to look for:
Material selection - Chromoly, mild steel or aluminum
and thickness. Each material & thickness has pros and cons - cost,
strength, weight, etc. Make sure you ask questions.
Cage Design - Gussets and triangulation increase the
strength without adding much more weight.
Removeable? - Most aftermarket cages are bolt-on.
This eases the installation and also allows the customer to get their Rhino
into their toy haulers. Besides mounting to stock lower bars, does the cage
add any mounting locations? A custom made cage that is bolted or welded to
the frame is stronger than one that bolts to the factory cage location, but
cost will increase and you won't be able to get the cage off as easily or at
Restraint Mounts - Make sure the cage includes a bar
behind the front seats for attaching shoulder harnesses. Shoulder harnesses
should be attached slightly below your shoulder level. If the cage does not
allow for this, find another cage. Restraints should be as short as
possible, and mounting them down on the floor seriously affects their
Head Clearance - Make sure that all parts of the cage
are sufficiently away from all passenger heads.
Spotlight on Rhino Products
Here are the products that we have chosen to use on the