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Discussion Starter #1
This will be a bit long, sorry about that..

I'm not a young guy, I'm in my 50's. Have been a Yamaha consumer for most of my adult life, even ran Enduros in the South in the 175 class riding Yamaha. Most of my on and off road bikes have been Yamaha. I believe in the brand.

I am a n00b to this forum and a SXS novice, but not a novice when it comes to performance machinery. In addition to competition on my ole IT 175, I also raced SCCA events in a variety of stock and highly modified sports cars for many years.

Hurt my back and have a lot of trouble riding bikes. Had to give that up. Not interested in an ATV. But SXS have my attention. I need a combo work/play vehicle - plow snow, clean up land (I own, and live on, several acres in the Southern Rockies) and various other landowner tasks. And I wanna play. Where I live I have access to miles and miles of 4X4 roads, seldom used, scenic and fun. No heavy duty use and certainly no competition, just riding for enjoyment with Wife and dogs.

Convinced from another thread that the Rhino can handle my considerable snow plow needs (thanks to all who graciously posted in that thread & YamahaCrazy who started it) I had decided to get a Rhino.

Problem. No one has them in the Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado areas. Some possibly coming in to dealers in a few months.

So I started doing some due diligence that I should have done right from the start. Rejected most of the competition after some research. But...

I stumbled on to the Can-Am Commander. Features, power, fuel consumption are all impressive. The difference in $$$ is not an issue to me.

I've been impressed with the knowledge that many of you have exhibited on this forum (I've been reading and lurking A LOT) so here is my question, "Why should I buy the Rhino instead of the Can-Am?"

Please, I'm looking for serious discussion to help me understand why YOU prefer the Rhino to the competition. Not trolling, just looking for solid discussion. "'Cause Can-Am sucks" would not be helpful, which means I'll get several of those responses now that I have made that comment ;-) - just a n00b here, not to forums in general.

So if you kind folks could give me a hand here and educate me a bit, or at least give me your well thought out opinions, I would be most appreciative.

TIA and thanks for taking the time to read this.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

I love my 700 rhino, it does everything from work to play. My biggest complaint about the commander is the visco lock four wheel drive system. The reason is, it is the same for the most part as an all wheel drive car. The rear wheels have to lose traction for the front wheels to lock. To my knowledge they will only stay engaged as long as the sensors say they are needed. My wifes uncle sold his rhino to by one, i have experienced first hand him not being able to climb over logs, go through the snow, etc.. as well as the rhino because of the four wheel drive. The rhino locks into four wheel drive and wont come out until you take it out, need more traction, put the locker in. The commander has a lot of sensors and safety devices that i dont like where as the rhino is simple, turn the key and go. The rhino isnt as fast, but it is reliable, the commander has a smoother ride, imo, but the rhino is pretty smooth also. I have heard that the commander has had other issues that you would expect with a new unit that just came out, but i dont know enough about those issues to talk about them. For a little fun, check out "the snow commander" on you tube. That is my wifes uncle in his commander in the snow, and thats me on my old blue grizzly pulling him out.

Hope this helps.
 

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I'll take a shot.
IMHO, the Rhino has been around the longest and Yamaha has a solid platform.
Performance of the competition has left Yamaha in their dust, but it sounds like that's not a concern to you. The Can Am has really good performance and is probably a well built machine, but hasn't been around as long.
I have bought and will continue to buy Yamaha products because they simply build some of the best quality stuff out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome to the forum!

I love my 700 rhino, it does everything from work to play. My biggest complaint about the commander is the visco lock four wheel drive system. The reason is, it is the same for the most part as an all wheel drive car. The rear wheels have to lose traction for the front wheels to lock. To my knowledge they will only stay engaged as long as the sensors say they are needed. My wifes uncle sold his rhino to by one, i have experienced first hand him not being able to climb over logs, go through the snow, etc.. as well as the rhino because of the four wheel drive. The rhino locks into four wheel drive and wont come out until you take it out, need more traction, put the locker in. The commander has a lot of sensors and safety devices that i dont like where as the rhino is simple, turn the key and go. The rhino isnt as fast, but it is reliable, the commander has a smoother ride, imo, but the rhino is pretty smooth also. I have heard that the commander has had other issues that you would expect with a new unit that just came out, but i dont know enough about those issues to talk about them. For a little fun, check out "the snow commander" on you tube. That is my wifes uncle in his commander in the snow, and thats me on my old blue grizzly pulling him out.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the welcome! And, yes, it helps. This is exactly the kind of thing that I am looking for. I'll do some more research on the Visco Lock. Sounds like the Rhino system is more what one would want in those conditions.

I have seen the video that you referenced. The link is also in another thread on this forum, but can't remember where. Since the driver of the Commander is your Wife's uncle, I'll refrain from comment on his driving skills. :-D

But I bet you guys got a good laugh out of that whole situation. Funny stuff...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll take a shot.
IMHO, the Rhino has been around the longest and Yamaha has a solid platform.
Performance of the competition has left Yamaha in their dust, but it sounds like that's not a concern to you. The Can Am has really good performance and is probably a well built machine, but hasn't been around as long.
I have bought and will continue to buy Yamaha products because they simply build some of the best quality stuff out there.
Performance is not a huge issue, but sheer power obviously has advantages even for a casual rider.

Reliability is a concern. Being familiar with Yamaha for so many years, I know what kind of product they make. I am comfortable with their product build and reliability. But I am not familiar with Can-Am. I've looked around the 'net for information, but (perhaps because it is a relatively new product) that kind of info is lacking. I have read of people having this problem or that, but the same can be said for Yamaha or any brand. I suspect that you can find anecdotes or horror stories about all of the current UTVs. Therein lies the problem. Like I said above, I am comfortable with Yamaha. But I just don't have enough info to feel comfortable OR uncomfortable with Can-Am. Not enough to go on.

Thanks for the feedback. Very helpful and appreciated. Makes me think more about the whole reliability issue.
 

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welcome!

yes the biggest downfall of the commander if the Visco-lock and the electric throttle.

depends on the riding your gonna do. if you do I would say if you do 4x4 then you will not be happy. I was riding with a commander and the driver was getting very mad because he couldn't get over a 2 out of 10 obstacle, that about 5-6 rhino's had no problem going over.

the biggest downfall with the rhino is power, you'll want more....in the dezert and mountains it's not bad, but in the dunes is where you'll want it.

but with a few mods you'll be happy with it. I love mine.
 

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I own a Can Am Outlander and a Rhino, so I might be a little biased. I will therefore refrain from commenting on this subject, but I will post the link to the Can Am forum I am also on and let you look for yourself and make your own decision. Each has its ups and downs. It comes down to personal choice of what is wanted/expected. No matter which way you go, may you enjoy what you have!

www.can-amforum.com
 

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commanders on my buddys quad dyno in stock form put out 54hp, my 686 puts out 48.5hp on that same dyno and has stock valves in the motor,its tuned pretty well, but you have to take into account the curb weight of the commander being I've heard upto 1500lbs...thats 300lbs over a rhino....they have better suspension which is a given,but you have to pay like 17gs for them...I'll stick with a rhino and throw some suspension arms and shocks at it and not have to deal with all the computer and sensors and poor can am quality....rotax engines are good, I just don't trust the can am part of the equation...
 

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I've got an 800 Rotaxed Rhino and the wifey has the 1000 X Commander .....both great machines .....

the Rhino has true 4 wheel drive as has been mentioned ...if your plowing, that should be high on your criteria list by all means ....the Commander's STOCK visco lock would be a down side for your application, but for $500, the BRP QE guts will bolt into the Commander front diff and get you VERY close to the true locked up frontend, so that is a great option for you should a Commander be your forte ...

This particular Commander is currently running with throttle by cable and the fuel and ignition responsibilities have been divorced from the factory ECU completely.... altho it has a couple of bugs to be taken care of, it's going to be premier for throttle by wire delete.....the CanAm racers are chomping at the bit for a Commander driven by themselves rather than the BRP computer ....can't blame them a bit IMO .....Lance

...sent with TapaTalk...please excuse brevity & no smileys
 

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I recently purchased a new Rhino 700 Sport.

I chose the Rhino because the 4wd system is simple and 100% effective.

The Polaris uses the "On Demand" AWD system that gives true 4wd. It's the system, however, that must slip the rear tires a very small amount before the front tires engage. That system is effective but not quite as simple and nowhere near as involved as the Yamaha. The Polaris is nice in that you can set the drive mode to 4wd and forget about it. It'll steer easy on high traction surfaces but in loose surfaces provide up to 100% in a fraction of a second and then back to 2wd again.

The Can-Am allows the operator to switch between 2wd and 4wd; however, the front differential is a progressive locking unit. It'll spin 3 wheels until the front differential builds enough pressure to engage the 4th wheel. It's like a really good limited slip but absolutely not as positive as the Yamaha locker or even the Polaris AWD.

On a side note, I've also gathered that the Can-Am electronic throttle control may have the tendency to also function as engine based traction control. In other words, the machine may reduce engine power in certain circumstances that might normally require higher wheel speeds. I'm not sure on this but it may be something worth investigating.

The Yamaha clutch system was a big seller to me. It's reliable as long as you don't burn up the wet-clutch by running big tires without clutch modifications. The belt is going to last a long, long time on most machines. Jest be aware that the wet clutch isn't going to take an infinite amount of abuse: use low range when going slow or putting a load on the motor and the transmission is going to go the long haul.

I guess the last really big selling point of the Rhino to me was its size. It's perfect. Two people can ride without rubbing shoulders. It's still narrow enough to fit down tighter trails. It can squeeze into the bed of a pickup truck. The size just works for me. The Commander seemed huge in comparison.

Those are some of the main reasons I went with a Rhino.
 

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Well I will take a stab at this as well.
I am new to the sxs thing only becasue the wife was not big on driving her own quad. The main reasons I went with my rotaxed rhino is, ability to have a bed or 4 seats, narrow stance when compared with a ranger, weight, and plenty of power.

Sounds like you need to determine which is more important the trail riding or the working? The can am is a sport sxs not a work sxs in my opinion.
If you are leaning towards the riding side than the rhino is more of a fit just by the width issue. If the work thing ends up being more important than I think you should seriously look at a ranger 800 xp. These thing seat 3 or 2 and the dog, plus a big bed to fill up with work tools.

My rhino weighs 1260 lbs and get about 20 mpg. Hope this helps.
 

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Well I will take a stab at this as well.
I am new to the sxs thing only becasue the wife was not big on driving her own quad. The main reasons I went with my rotaxed rhino is, ability to have a bed or 4 seats, narrow stance when compared with a ranger, weight, and plenty of power.

Sounds like you need to determine which is more important the trail riding or the working? The can am is a sport sxs not a work sxs in my opinion.
If you are leaning towards the riding side than the rhino is more of a fit just by the width issue. If the work thing ends up being more important than I think you should seriously look at a ranger 800 xp. These thing seat 3 or 2 and the dog, plus a big bed to fill up with work tools.

My rhino weighs 1260 lbs and get about 20 mpg. Hope this helps.
The Commander not a sport machine although your opinion is highly regarded ....BRP did it right to hang a pickup bed onto a awesome powerful and handling machine! Thus the reason so many people have purchased it for play ....but it is sport _utility as is the Rhino ...

sport is all your SxSs without a bed ...RZR mainly, but the wildcat is also sport only and is targeted to trample the RZR

...sent with TapaTalk...please excuse brevity & no smileys
 

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i happen to have a commander 1000x and a rhino 660 i love them both. to me for a work vehicle the rhino is the way io have it full cabbed heater the works and it will plow great. im putting tracks on the commander for playing in the snow, all around it you want an exciting ride the commander will give you that very quickly. the commander is like a snowmobile clutch doesnt have the wet clutch like the rhino so take offs are not as smooth with the commander as for the 4x4 it works great for ME other people dont like it. all in all the rhino is still my favorite even though the ride is worse the commander seating is very nice and also easy on the back as i have a bad one to.
 

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I really think Saintlybees would be better off with a Rhino over most anything else for plowing .....best sport_utility platform built IMO ...Lance

...sent with TapaTalk...please excuse brevity & no smileys
 

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Saintlybees,,, I have an 06 660 stock motor Rhino. I came from a poloseraris and have never regreted it although I know you are not looking at Polaris. I mentioned it only that I changed brands do to the overall utility and sport. I use my Rhino around our 45 acres, to play with, work with, load with tools, firewood, have electric launcher for clays that goes in the bed, gun rack for driving to range etc.. for me it is the best cross need sxs you could have, reliable, simple to operate, etc. We plow, tow, haul and ride... love the 4x4 mechanism.. I recently pulled my flatbed trailer with 80 large bales of hay.. NO light trailer..( yes I know I was over capacity.. :) still runs great and works great.. I think you might be dissapointed in the utility side of the commander. Sport I am sure it is just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
@dbestduner
Don't plan to do any serious 4X4, nor much, if any, running in the dunes. I think that there are some places south of me where I could do that, but I am more into mountain trails/roads of which there are plenty in my area.

@SilverHornet81
Thanks for the link. I've already signed up and am reading through some of the posts/threads there. I had found another Commander forum as well, but RhinoForums seems like a much better "home" forum. ;-)

@camshaw
No offense, but those Rhino numbers seem a bit strong to me, so I assume your Rhino is well modified even though it still has stock valves. I also realize that those are dyno numbers, but since I have no dyno a fair comparison of stock machines would be about 42 HP @ the engine for the Rhino and 71 HP for the 800 Commander. Not close at all in stock mode.

Price also seems a bit off. An 800R XT is listed at $13,399 which is comparable in terms of add-ons to the Rhino 700 FI Sport Edition which also lists for $13,399.

Thanks for the input! :)

@LBR
I agree with you that the Commander is not just a sport machine. It has some very utilitarian functions (that dual level bed is flat awesome and holds 200 lbs more than the specs on the Rhino). But the continuing comments about the 4X4 system raises a major concern in my mind. No doubt in my mind that the Yamaha platform is a good one.

@ChrisH
More good comments about the 4X4 system and the clutch. And yes, the Commander does seem big in comparison. I'm going to test ride a Commander next week and am trying to find a Rhino to even look at so that I can make that comparison in person. One dealer expects to have a used Rhino 700 in sometime within the next 2 weeks. That might at least give me something to look at.

@Redstroke
I plan to use the machine for both purposes. Which is more important? I dunno, but probably the work side of things.

@mtgrizzlymn
Yeah, seating is important. Very important, especially if I am going to be spending hours in the seat. Since I am not going to be competing, a sharp, aggressive launch is not that critical. Much more worried about torque and the ability to get that power to the ground without spinning wheels while plowing. Probably going to use chains on either, if the conditions get bad enough. Things can get pretty slick up here (8000ft altitude) at times during the winter.

@expoman55
That is exactly how I plan to use mine. I've been using my Subaru and a small garden trailer to work on my land and paying someone to plow my snow. Not a good solution. A UTV will give me a work vehicle AND a new toy all at once. Seems like a "can't lose" proposition to me.

Great comments, folks. You are all giving me a lot to look into and to think about.

Your posts are very much appreciated. :icon_thumleft:

Edited for clarity.
 

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i agree rhino would be better for him
 

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I also want to commend our op here from his very first post ...a stately way to explain himself inquiring in this fashion......most op posts have too much brevity and opens the bashing door ......nice job Saintlybrees!

...sent with TapaTalk...please excuse brevity & no smileys
 

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x2... Nice job SB
 

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my 686 is stock stroke on the bottom end,just greaseless clutch and a spring,has a carb and pipe and cdi,piston,port job....the topend and cam is all matched by a friend of mine who use to port heads for the bmw race team...dyno'd it last monday at 48.6hp at the rear wheels,a week before on the same dyno the commander made 54hp at the wheels,it was a stock 1000 commander...I personally think the factories claims of HP are out in left field....it was a dynojet quad chassis dyno at the proshop in stanton ca...mine runs on pump gas 91 octane....stock wet clutch....I'm sure a commander will smoke it, but through the dunes I'm sure he wont be too far out in front.....oh and a rotax your rhino on this particular dyno with pistons and cams puts out 52hp,thats the 800cc job,not the 975 commander...maybe his dyno is not very generous compared to other dynos,but dyno'ing the other sxs's has given us a guage to compare my 686 against....
 
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