WHY? Protecting a vital part of the cooling system. Yamaha did a pretty good job of tucking the radiator up and out of harm's way, but I often have to deal with tall grass on the ranch and one never knows what manner of debris lurks there. Seeing those delicate radiator cooling fins in harm's way prompted me to go looking for some protection for them. Yamaha sells a radiator guard, as do many aftermarket suppliers; all of them look similar so it's just a matter of choosing by quality and price. I saw a post on the RhinoForums.net board from a Rhino owner (Travisl_2727) who had made his own guard and was offering to sell to other members. The guard looked good and I like to support small businesses when possible so I decided to buy from him. He had a guard for sale on eBay so I logged on and made the buy--$35 shipped.
SERVICE. Great. I paid for the guard immediately after closing the auction and received a receipt immediately from the seller. I received a shipping notification with tracking number within 48 hours, and the kit arrived at my door via UPS ground three days later. That's excellent service by anyone's standards--kudos to Travis for internet shopping the way it should be done! The unit was boxed in a plain brown wrapper and came with hardware but no installation instructions. The guard wasn't particularly pretty, but I didn't buy it for its looks. It looked to be solidly constructed and strong.
INSTALLATION. Piece of cake; the job took me less than ten minutes. There are four mounting holes in the frame in front of the radiator. The stock radiator looks like this:
The new radiator guard simply slips into place in front of the radiator/oil cooler and the four studs on the guard fit through the existing mounting holes. Fasten it in place with the included nuts and washers and tighten with a 7/16" wrench. You're done! Here's how it looks:
RESULTS. Great. The new guard is sturdy enough to keep most trash out of the radiator fins yet open enough to allow adequate air flow. Painless installation is a plus too.
WORTH THE MONEY? Absolutely. There aren't many mods that are this functional at a price this low! Highly recommended...