Pimp my Rhino 2

By Premis Industry’s Brad Phillips
Photos by Zac Wathen and John Pellan


premis_rhino_readyA few months after Yamaha invented the side by side segment with its Rhino in 2004, Jorge Cuartas decided to trick out his Rhino in ATV Scene’s original Pimp my Rhino feature. Click the old feature and check out the difference four years makes in the opportunity of available UTV and RTV products. As for the new Premis Rhino the wide stance and long travel Elka suspension makes the Rhino more like a Trophy truck than a SxS. With the massive suspension and handling upgrades you can now punch the Rhino and take corners with ease at more than twice the speed of the stock one. In short the new pimped out Premis Rhino is night and day from its former days as a stockerYou would have to have been in a comma the past three years to not notice the insane rise in the popularity of side-by-side vehicles, especially the Yamaha Rhino. Whether you use yours in the dunes, on the farm, for work, or as a pit vehicle at the races you know how much fun they are and the potential they have to be even better. We immediately noticed this after we started bringing our Rhino on our film trips. We needed a way to carry all of our camera gear through the dunes and around tracks while we produced the Carpe Diem series. We also noticed the need to build our Rhino into something faster and stronger when our pro quad riders would push the stocker beyond its ability. After countless repairs and pleads for upgrades from our heavy-footed-drivers we decided it was time to “Pimp my Rhino”.

The first place we started was to improve upon the Rhino’s already impressive power plant. We use the Rhino to drive alongside the track and catch moving shots. So we needed fast acceleration and a faster top speed, a pretty tall order. The first thing we did is pull the motor. Instead of tearing apart the engine and tinkering with modifications ourselves we made the smart choice and sent the entire engine to Lenny Mumm at Mumms the Word Racing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Mumms the Word started with their own custom recipe for a port and polish of the head, allowing more air, fuel, and exhaust flow. They then added a Web Cam to control the newly ported head. The new cam brought us our improved acceleration and bottom-end without taking away our top-end speed. They then moved south to concentrate on the bore. Because of the abuse the Rhino had seen, they re-sleeved the cylinder and then bored it to 102mm, bumping displacement to 686cc. This was followed by an 11:1 High Compression Piston, courtesy of Wiseco. This helped deliver more power throughout the entire powerband. As the Wiseco high compression piston travels through its exhaust stroke the new Web Cam cam opens and lets the spent gas flow out of a new set of FMF headers and through the Powercore Silencer. The FMF exhaust system provides a great combination of power and decibel control.

premis_rhino_01Under the hood, “Mumms the Word”, but “Pimps the Word” from there on. The Premis Rhino looks and performs above expectations. Of course, gobs of power are useless if you can’t deliver it out of the motor and to the ground. To accomplish this we sent the bottom end of the motor to Lane Barnes at Pro Motorsports in West Burlington, IA. Pro Motorsports helped us send the power to the wheels using a clutch kit from Moose. The secondary clutch spring was upgraded in order to help grip the belt as it delivers the increase in power. Next they replaced the weights and rollers in the primary clutch, allowing it to spool faster for improved acceleration. Finishing off the motor is a new FCR carburetor courtesy of Dasa Racing and a Moose Utility Digital Ignition (CDI).


Team Motoworks/Can-Am Pro Racer Brandon Smith enjoys his ride as Premis President Brad Phillips launches the Rhino at the Millers proving grounds in Greenville, TX.

Premis Rider Zac Willett and Premis President Brad Phillips show off the Rhino at the Indy Dealer Show. Frame & Assorted Initial Components

premis_rhino_elkaWith the power plant in good hands, we concentrated on the rest of the Rhino. First, the chassis was stripped to the ground and sent to join the motor at Mumms the Word Racing. Here it received chassis reinforcement, including 5-point harness mounts, and several custom machined pieces for mounting new special items we’ll name later. Our Rhino was then sent to Miller Powder Coating in Des Moines, Iowa for a fresh coat of candy apple blue paint.

Once the chassis was back from paint we started assembling the bolt on goodies that we collected while we waited for the engine and fame mods. We started in the middle and worked our way out. The first item to find its new home on our built-to-the-hilt-Rhino was the Alba 3-pass Radiator. Anyone with a Rhino, especially a modified one knows how hard it is to keep things cool. Alba recognized this problem and designed their radiator twice as thick as the stocker. Besides its bigger size, Alba uses a 3-pass system to cool the water more efficiently. The stock radiator brings the coolant in at the mid-point on one side and out the mid-point on the other. The Alba radiator brings it in one side at the top, pushes it through an “S” pattern in the radiator, and then drops it out at the bottom of the other side. This is a much more efficient design and is greatly needed on a modified Rhino like ours. After the radiator was securely in place we installed the modified power plant and connected the plumbing.

There aren’t too many stock parts left on the Premis Rhino. Seen here is Alba 3-pass Radiator, Elka Elite-Series long travel shocks, Rath’s custom front push bar, Maier plastic, Duro tires, DWT wheels and beadlocks, Lone Star side panels, G-Force 5-point harnesses and more.

premis_rhino_frontThe wide stance caused by the Procraft A-arms alone demands respect. Suspension
Our next concern was suspension. We knew that the maniacs driving our Rhino were going to push it harder than most people, especially when they were at national caliber MX tracks throughout the country where they would have every opportunity to air out the Rhino. We also wanted a smooth ride when we film out the back of the Rhino for our tracking shots. Basically we wanted the best of both worlds and needed the best suspension system we could get our hands on. Without hesitation we called our friends at Elka Suspension for a set of their Elite long travel shocks. After seeing several (if not all) the built Rhinos using Elka suspension components we knew they would be able to get us what we needed. Just the fit and finish of the components are awe inspiring. These shocks are custom-built using the finest materials and are only delivered after extensive R&D. Quite honestly, the look alone is worth the purchase. The ability to adjust the preload, high & low speed compression and the rebound allows you to customize the shocks to your exact liking. They greatly reduce body roll when cornering as well as front-end diving when braking and rear-end squatting under acceleration. You also get the peace of mind knowing that it is a quality product, from a quality company. Their products have been tested by several pro racers and professional hobbyists plus Elkas’ own engineers.

Long travel suspension anyone? Of course, Elka long travel suspension components don’t do you much good without long travel A-arms to direct them. For this we turned to the leaders in Rhino performance, Procraft (formerly Rhinocraft) out of Southern California. A quick call to them got us hooked on their products. Their A-arms are built +6” wide on each side, +2” forward in the front and +2” backward on the rear all while giving you over 13 ½” of travel. This provides amazing stability in every condition. Beyond the impressive engineering specifications, these A-arms are built to last a lifetime. Procraft starts by laser cutting their raw pieces. They then insert them into a CNC machine to be bent accurately. After that they are passed on to be hand Tig welded to guarantee accuracy. To ensure their products see years of action they add grease-able and rebuild-able pivots with Delron bushings and rebuild-able upper stainless steel uprights and spherical bearings. The kit also comes with tie-rod extensions and +6” axles, plus all necessary hardware.



smith_phillips_rhino_jump02The Strongest Axles and High Performance Tires and Wheels
Even though we had new +6” axles from our Procraft kit staring us in the face, taunting us, we knew we would need more. We had already broken 3 stock axles, quickly ruining our weekend; a quick call to Gorilla Axle helped us sleep better. Their axles provide reliability un-matched by any other. Starting with one of the industries strongest steels, 4340 Chromoly, Gorilla Axle machines the piece to accurately fit the application. They then send them off to be heat treated and then cryogenically treated to ensure absolute strength and durability. Beyond their strength, Gorilla Axles are able to work at an uncanny 40 degree angle. Allowing for larger tires and lifted machines.

Finishing the transition of power and handling to the ground is a set of Duro Power Grip tires mounted on DWT Spyder Performance Beadlock rims. The tires were chosen because of their aggressive tread and their ability to reduce hard impact landings. The sidewall on the tire is also designed to prevent puncture and protect the rims. A bonus to the well-thought out tire and wheel package is the agressive and sexy look the combo exudes.

The DWT Spyder wheel provides the sick look we were going for and the strength we needed to handle the abuse that would soon unfold from the go-fast professional quad racers that would surely be testing out available traction the Rhino offers. Finally the tire and wheel combo is capped off with DWT’s Performance Beadlocks. In the end we arrive with the perfect tire and wheel package that provides us an almost zero chance of rolling the bead off the wheel.

The stock seats were not shelved simply because they fit and feel fine. G-Force 5-point harnesses were added however to assure both rider and passenger stay in the machine at all times.

premis_rhino_hoodNo Conservative Pimping Here
Of course everyone knows there is nothing more annoying than showing up to a race or ride area and seeing loads of other people with the same looking machine. We wanted to stand-out when we pulled our Rhino out of the trailer, after all that’s what Pimping our Rhino is all about. To achieve this we called up the leader in plastic, Maier Manufacturing. We decided on a white/blue combination and stuck to it. There is no faster way to make your ride look new than by replacing the worn out and scratched plastic. The Maier plastic was an easy and straight forward bolt on process; everything fit perfectly and complimented our other modifications well.

In the bed we added a Line-X spray to protect the bed from sliding camera cases as we cruised through the dunes. For our own protection we also added Lonestar Racing sidebars with panels and 5-point harnesses. Topping off the custom details was a one-off Baja style bumper built specifically for us by Hutchinson, Minnesota based Rath Racing. The bumper not only gives us killer looks but also provides great protection for our Baja Designs 55w halogen lights. The placement of the lights on the front bumper optimizes our nighttime view and takes away any need for the stock headlights, plus, they look sweet!

smith_phillips_rhino_jump05Pimped to Perfection
So what does all this add up to? One awesome ride! The slow crank of the motor tells is a dead giveaway as to how much compression the motor now has. After a quick slap forward of the gear shifter and a solid punch of the throttle the Mumms The Word Racing motor sends power to the Duro tires bringing the Rhino to life. The acceleration is amazing and allows the ability to charge hard out of corners when we play and keep up with our pros when we work. The suspension lets the driver charge into the corners without a care and hit the largest of jumps with ease and confidence.

The pairing of Procraft and Elka components gives a solid feel in the air and on the ground while pitching the machine just right for a solid landing. The bumps and dips in the ground are all but unnoticeable as you fly across them at a top speed of 65 MPH.

The Baja Design lights do a great job of brightening the expression on the faces of people watching you fly by. The modifications provide performance and fun while still maintaining the ability to use the Rhino for hard work. Thanks to all the companies listed on the following specs page we successfully pimped our Rhino to absolute perfection and the end result is precisely what we wanted and needed.



Pimp Players
Premis Industries, Pro Motorsports, Pro Craft Industries, Elka Suspension, Maier, Baja Designs, Gorilla Axle, Alba, Iowa City Motorsports, Lonestar Racing, Hot Cams, Moose, Mumms the Word Racing, Duro Tire, Douglas Wheel, Miller Powdercoating, Line-X, Rath Racing

Type: liquid cooled 4-stroke SOHC
Bore & stroke: 102mm x 84mm
Porting: Mumms the Word Racing (319-390-0281)
Piston: Wiseco
Valves/cam/springs: stock/Web Cam
Starter button: stock
Carburetor/airbox: Dasa FCR/none
Air filter: K&N
Exhaust: FMF Powercore
Fuel: Sunoco Purple
Oil: Yamalube

Clutch basket/plates/springs: Moose clutch kit
Transmission: stock
Sprockets: n/a
Gearing f/r: n/a
Shifter: stock

A-arms (width, in.):Pro Craft (67.5 in)
Spindles: stock
Tie-rods: stock with Pro Craft extensions
Front shocks (travel, in.): Elka (13 inches)
Steering stem: stock
Steering stabilizer: none

Swingarm (length, in.): Pro Craft A-Arms (68.5 in)
Rear axle (in.)/carrier: Gorilla (front and rear)
Rear shock (travel, in.): Elka (14.5 inches)
Dump box: stock with Line-x coating

Tires, front: Duro Powergrip (AT25X8X12)
Tires, rear: Duro Powergrip (AT25X10R12)
Wheels, front: Douglas Spyber PB (12 in)
Wheels, rear: Douglas Spyder PB (12 in)
Hubs f/r: stock

Calipers f/r: stock
Pads: stock
Rotors f/r: stock
Brake pedal: stock

Frame: stock with modification
Roll cage: modified stock
Bumpers: Rath
Doors: Lonestar side bars
Skid plates/bellypan: none
Fuel tank: stock
Body plastic/graphics/number plate: Maier /custom / none
Seats: stock with G-Force 5-point harness
Claimed UTV weight (lbs.): 1123

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