By Bob Humphrey
You want a Side-by-Side (SxS), but not just any SxS. This one will be a customized machine, suited specifically to your outdoor endeavors. You could spend hours surfing the Web, reading catalogs or visiting dealers. Or, you can create and save accessorized SxS variations in the Build-Your-Own section of Yamaha’s website. If you choose the latter, I’ll be glad to help you. Let’s get started.
First we’ve got to choose a model. Given that we’re serious outdoorsmen who will be using our SxS for a range of applications from hunting and fishing to building food plots, let’s go with the 2013 Rhino 700 FI Auto. 4x4.
Next comes color. We have four choices: green, camo, red or black, but as it will be a hunting vehicle, let’s trick it out in Realtree AP Camo.
Now for cargo and storage. Options include soft and hard bed covers, a cargo net and bed rails. A hard cover is weatherproof, but a soft cover offers more flexibility. And let’s throw in a cargo net for hauling loose cargo in rough terrain.
A roof would be nice to keep the sun and rain off. Soft is more economical and flexible, but once it’s on, we intend to keep it there. And a hard roof will hold up to the elements and conditions of consistent use better. We could throw in a front end bra too, but that would cover the camo; so let’s not. But I definitely want a windshield to cut the wind and make the ride a little more comfortable. A full windshield would be nice, but might be too warm in the summer; so let’s go with a half.
How about some extra lighting? We might be going to or coming from the field in the dark, so I’d opt for a wide beam. And a hand-held spotlight would be nice for tasks like tracking wounded game or field dressing.
We’ll be hunting, and want to transport our firearms as safely and securely as possible. Let’s add a gun rack and a couple deluxe gun boots.
We passed on the bra for cosmetic reasons, but we still want to protect our investment, and ourselves from the rigors of field use. Let’s add overfenders to reduce mud and water spray.
A-arm and front and rear frame skid plates. We could also add some front and rear grab bars, and perhaps a brush guard.
Now for the work side. Front and rear chains and a winch will help us till up the toughest ground and ensure even if we get stuck, we won’t stay that way for long, and won’t need to call for help if we’re back in the boonies.
Now, with Yamaha’s interactive Build-Your-Own section, we can view the right side and underside of the vehicle, and print a picture and a personal shopping list, which will make ordering easier when the time comes to turn our dream into reality.
In the mean time, we’ll become a member of 'My Yamaha' so we can save all the information we compiled. That will also give us access to many exclusive member benefits like building a customized web page and setting it as our browser's home page, and building and saving a wish list for genuine Yamaha parts and accessories. We can also view and print vehicle maintenance schedules, service specifications and owner’s manuals.