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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I have driven a Rhino and a RZR. I love my Rhino. Just like everyone else I need more power. I would like someone to tell me, realistically, how does your swap compare to the RZR. To me the RZR was just fine for the dunes. Maybe it could use just a touch more power, but I could live with it. Does the Rotax swap put me there? I would like to hear from you. Please no hype about how you can kill anything in the dunes, just a real account of how you feel the swap is doing for you.

Thanks

Tom
 

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Hey Tom,

I ride the dunes with Max Powers with his Rotax swap. keep in mind his is dialed in. He has a blast of torgue that is what set his apart from my view following him. He can motor straight up Oldsmobile hill pretty fast for example.

Max Powers is on a fishing trip right now, i am sue he will chime in when he returns. I know there are more Rotax out there. Warlock, Controled Force. Laidbackduner there are more here I just cant think of them right now. Safety meeting going on and all.
 

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Hapa asked me to add my 2 cents to this topic. Unfortunately, I haven't worked on or driven any Rotax powered side x sides.

I think you have to weigh out the cost versus benefit. For me, I don't think a Rotax swap would be all that great. Even with selling the unused Rhino parts, it is going to cost money. And, all the while, your Rhino is getting older. Meanwhile, despite the economy, mfr's will continue to develop new and improved machines. I think if money is no object, go for it. If resale value is considered, i'm guessing it will be a money losing situation. However, can you put a price on your fun?

When it comes down to it, we all have different goals, values, and budgets. Do whatever makes the most sense to you.
Good luck and have fun!
 

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Before I dumped all the compression out of my motor (686 12:5:1) I had no problems mobing the dunes as fast as a RZR. Keep in mind at that time you didnt see much long traveled ones so I did have an advantage suspension wise but none the less it can be done. This also wasnt a driver issue because the guy i was chasing around was a proffesional driver. Now i droped my compression I havent had a chance to run the dunes with a rzr yet.



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I have only been beat by 1 rzr and it had a $5,200 turbo on it that hasn't had the reliability tested yet.
For me, it was the best thing I did to my rhino. IT dune"s like a buggy, most of the time I am only using 1/4 throttle.
The best way to describe it is, when your riding a quad, your not always at full throttle, but when you need the power, it's there. The rhino drives just like that with the rotax. It has more than enough power to get you into trouble fast.
 

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I would have to recomend the rotax swap if you already have a built rhino vs buying a new one and starting over. Depending on what kind of riding you like to do, a stock rhino motor is fine for cruising most fire roads or trails,but if the dunes are your main riding place I would do the Rotax swap. It has all of the best features anyone could ask for,v-twin,fuel injected, cvt tranny,3year warranty if bought new,62hp bone stock reliability,and its quiet. Yes you can have a built up 660 that will run great but its still just a carbureated single cylinder,tail light warranty when you leave the shop you own it if she blows,and obnixiously loud exhaust. must upgrade to larger radiator to. Some people have ther own reasons for different motor ideas.If your doing it for resale you wont recoup your money,kind of like building a hotrod they never sell for what you have in them but theres a price you pay for the enjoyment of doing something you love so whatever works and make you happy just do it. Your not here for a long time just a good time.....:good:
 

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I have to agree with some of the others on the money loss. I am sure you can find ppl that will jump on a motor swapped rhino for sale, but there aren't that many. I think the resale could be lower. I have to suggest to ride in a Rhino that has a well built 686. I think you will be surprised. I have a pipe, carb and 686 w/porting. They have come a long ways in the last 2 years. Their reliability is a lot better. The price is cheap if you do it yourself. Were talking $2K. It is not going to have 60HP, but is very capable and won't leave you yearning for more like the stock 660. The first 686 I drove I was not impressed. I wouldn't have spent a dime to do one and I didn't. When I drove the second 686 months later I was bummed in 10 seconds and didn't even want to drive my stocker with a pipe. 2 weeks later I reworked mine.
 

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swap

I have to disagree with one of the previous posts in reguards to the manufacturers going to upgrade and make them better. My opinion of course, I don't believe that yami is going to make the rhino any faster just because of all the lame lawsuits going on which by the way,are being thrown at kawi and polaris from what I hear. If you want a small chassis like the rhino and it fits your style, the only way to get an 800 or bigger motor in this small package is to do it yourself..I think the lawyers are going to take the steam out of bigger motored smaller chassied sXs's..The only option I feel is for them to build it bigger,wider and longer and it sure as hell wont fit in the bed of your truck. Lets face it,new stuff,toys,cars,boats,trucks,sxs's all tank on their resale,so if you'd like it to be faster,throw in a bigger motor and beat the hell out of it and have fun,but just remember,you'll loose your money on it unless you keep it for a long time and enjoy it..besides,no rzr has a chassis like a stock rhino has,it was built better from the factory and fits the average guy which is more than I can say for the underengineered rzr..so its a good proven platform for a transplant...it will be around for many many years to come,look at the honda Pilots,still all over the dunes and they sold very few of them compared to the rhino sales,it too was a good chassis,just underpowered like a rhino..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of the replies guys. Here is my dilemma I have a sandcar and a rhino. I have always loved sandcars, but they are very sport specific. As the economy continues to churn, more and more of my friends are going from sandcars to rhino's. Well, to be honest, the rhino just doesn't give that sandcar feeling in the dunes. Here is what I am thinking.....Sell the sandcar and build something like ChopShop did

see here
Someday I Hope To Be A Rhino - GlamisDunes.com

keep the rhino stock and let the girlfriend use it.

My option B is sell the car and rotax the rhino. I will have dough left over, so I can pay off some bills or buy a new trailer, or whatever.

Option C is stay as is and just realize that the rhino is for everywhere but the dunes.

I keep leaning towards A, but with hesitation. I love to create/fabricate, but I always get sidetracked. I am worried that I will start the project and it will end up sitting for 2 years. Then I will be stuck with just a slow 660 and no sandcar.

What would you do?

BTW, we use our rhino's for trail rides, cinders, getting around Rocky Point, San Filepe and so on. I really do love all of the use I get out of it.
 

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swap

building that kind of a rhino from scratch is the same as owning a sandcar,wide,expensive,all custom,big money,no 4wd,won't fit in a truck,good for only glamis...sell the sandcar, payoff some bills...you say you like to fabricate.....do the swap yourself....I buy vehicles from insurance auctions for fun and I've seen new 07-08 renegades/outlanders go for under 2700 bucks....I've driven Maxpowers 800 powered rhino before it was tuned in and with the old exaust and cdi etc and it hauled right passed a RZR at the sand drags,and now he says its good for a bunch more power now that its running on the tune....plus its 4x4 still...a great combo and yet you can use it other than at glamis...all my buddies with suspension unlimmitted cars and funcos are selling them and its not about the resession or money,its about the fun factor...If all of us got atc 70's and met at glamis,we'd have more damn fun that we've ever had just triing to kill eachother, its not always about being the fastest...but having the most fun,a sxs lets you try just about everything and with shade over your head and a soda in your hand..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
its about the fun factor...If all of us got atc 70's and met at glamis,we'd have more damn fun that we've ever had just triing to kill eachother, its not always about being the fastest...but having the most fun,a sxs lets you try just about everything and with shade over your head and a soda in your hand..

I totally agree, in fact when we go on a guys only SXS run it is a blast. I tell people all the time, the "giggle factor" with these things is unmatched. I don't do the drags, and don't have to go 100mph, but I do love to dune. Ridin' the bowls is where it is at for me. I think I will see if I can get a ride in a 686 and a Rotax to compare.
 

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The sxs are definately the best toy I have ever bought. Our group has more fun in the sxs than the 100k sand cars. Most of our group has sold the sand cars and built more rhinos. We have never laughed so hard at some of the shit we get into with these things. I did the Rotax swap in both arctic cats just because I wanted a little more power and its almost the perfect amount and the swap is awesome I dont care what anyone says until you own one you will never know. It was money well spent. A few rebuilds on the stock motor and you will spend the same amount and still not have a great motor pkg.:D
 

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I too think the cost of the swap is a little rediculous. Luckily, you're able to recoupe some of your cost, if you start with a complete renegade or outlander. The biggest selling point for going with the rotax, in my opinion, has got to be the "reliable power." By the end of the week, I'll have gone though 2 builds on the same engine. The first being the upgrade from the 660 to 686 and the second being a rebuild of the 686 (The stock rod blew and nearly shredded the entire engine. I chalk it up to bad luck and not the reliability/quility of the original build). With all the receipts, I could have done the swap initially and ended up with a stronger and more reliable rhino. Still, the swap is a little extreme......but you can't put a price on fun.
 

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laidback - Do you have long travel on your Rhino? If not I suggest getting it. It won't make you faster, but you will dune faster because of it and have more of that sandcar feel. Where are you located? I will give you a ride in a 686
 

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I think now that the economy has cooled down a bit you will be able to find used or wrecked Rotax bikes for alot less money.
 

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I too think the cost of the swap is a little rediculous. Luckily, you're able to recoupe some of your cost, if you start with a complete renegade or outlander. The biggest selling point for going with the rotax, in my opinion, has got to be the "reliable power." By the end of the week, I'll have gone though 2 builds on the same engine. The first being the upgrade from the 660 to 686 and the second being a rebuild of the 686 (The stock rod blew and nearly shredded the entire engine. I chalk it up to bad luck and not the reliability/quility of the original build). With all the receipts, I could have done the swap initially and ended up with a stronger and more reliable rhino. Still, the swap is a little extreme......but you can't put a price on fun.

the price of a NEW quad is what is so exspensive and with people selling there toys, a quad should be easy to find right now.
add up the costs of your engine build and repairs and calculate an approxiamate time before it blows up.
My rotax has been on MANY dune and mountain trips and it drives right back on the trailer everytime. When we hit Higher elevations, I have Fuel injection and mine adjusts accordingly where a regular motor will spit and backfire and run rich.
Anyone going to the night ride next weekend is welcome to experiance the rotax difference.
I would spend every dime to do it again if I had to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
laidback - Do you have long travel on your Rhino? If not I suggest getting it. It won't make you faster, but you will dune faster because of it and have more of that sandcar feel. Where are you located? I will give you a ride in a 686
AzBdBy, I have the LSR MTS with the Bilsteins, although, I just did that upgrade. I used to dune with my foot to the floor and could only get about 39MPH while riding the bowls. Sand HWY is good for about 45MPH. I have had the Bilstein's for about a year and they made a huge difference over stock.

I am on Jomax and Scottsdale, but I have a friend who lives at 99th ave and Jomax. He also owns an auto repair shop on 111th ave and Grand, so I am always out by you. Maybe next weekend we can meet for a ride.

Who did your 686?
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the rhinos are great for "everything" but the dunes.....theyre good for the dunes not great....but it is also very fun to drive with no brakes and use momentum to get up and over the dunes...kinda like a SS mtb if you've ever done that.
Rhinos are the best "all around" machine you can buy...of course best all around means that they're never going to be the best at one thing.
 

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well i am getting mine done right now, bought a used wrecked one, a little more wrecked than i would he liked but oh,well, and am getting the swap done as we speak, i looked at this or the 686, and it made more sense to me to do this, we travel to the mountains almost every other weekend and the EFI was the deciding factor for me and that 60 horsepower is in stock form, so you can always upgrade from here.
 
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