The timing couldn’t have been better for Ricochet Offroad to introduce their Complete Skid Plate Set with the new UHMW option for the redesigned 2014 Kawasaki Teryx 800. Especially for me since they released it shortly after I picked up my brand new 2014 Kawasaki Teryx 800 2 seater! The Teryx came from the factory with the standard OEM plastic and thin steel skid plates that might be enough protection for farm or casual use but are not nearly robust enough for serious trail riding. The Teryx is built like a tank with the exception of the plastic floor pans which are notorious for breaking. The constant worry of breaking a floor pan or inner fender seriously detracts from your otherwise enjoyable riding experience.
This is just one of many reasons that you should consider adding quality protection to the underside of your ride as soon as you can. This picture shows the plastic front factory skid plate that was cracked in less than 500 miles of trail riding and it basically fell apart when unbolted.
When you first unbox the Ricochet skids it seems like there’s a lot of pieces with the UHMW and aluminum combo but really it’s not too bad. The installation instructions are excellent and as long as you install them in the order the instructions suggest it’s really straightforward. Ricochet took their already great aluminum skid plate design and added the option of incorporating a layer of UHMW onto it so that you get the benefits of the UHMW as well as the strength and light weight of aluminum. It’s a really ingenious idea and one of those things that make you say “why didn’t I think of that?”.
The skids use the same cup washer and bolt style setup as the OEM skids and utilize the factory bolt holes.The aluminum plates have threaded inserts that allow you to attach the UHMW skins with the same cup washer and bolt setup. The job can be done by yourself, but if you have someone to help hold the pieces in place as you start a few bolts it will make the job go much quicker. Using removable thread locker such as blue loctite on all the cup washer bolts is recommended.
The A-Arm guards are much better than the OEM small plastic units and will go a long way towards preventing torn CV boots, just be mindful to rinse the mud out of them after you ride in the mud. Ricochet cuts out nice oval shaped drain holes to help keep mud buildup to a minimum and aid in cleaning.
The set was luckily delivered the day before our trip to Windrock OHV park and the armor got put to the test big time at Windrock! We were on some of the gnarliest rocky trails in the whole park and the skids performed beautifully! Unless we flipped the Teryx on it’s top and beat the skids with a sledgehammer I don’t think the abuse could be much tougher than what we put them through at Windrock. There were 2 stock Teryx’s with us on the ride and they ended up with all kinds of bruises on their undercarriage as well as 2 bent lower front A-Arms. My Teryx was well protected with the Ricochet off-road Armor and it didn’t suffer any damage at all.
The skids offer excellent protection and the optional UHMW layer helps to glide over rocks and absorb some of the impact if you come down hard on a rock or other obstacle. The only part that is left exposed is the very front lower frame rail just behind the front tire, I wish Ricochet would have extended the coverage a little farther up toward the wheel well but it would be a very complex joint and weld area that would surely add cost to the end product. All in all though I feel like this set is the top of the line available since you get the protection of the sturdy aluminum plus the favorable properties of the UHMW. I can only note one other small negative and that is you will need to remove 2 pieces to gain access to the oil filter but in my opinion that’s is a very small concession for such excellent overall protection of your expensive UTV. You have to remove the center cover on the OEM units also so it’s only a few more bolts with the Ricochet set up and adding a separate access panel might compromise strength so it’s not a big deal at all, it might just add 5-10 minutes to your oil change time. However Ricochet does provide access holes for all of the service drain plugs so the removal of any other skids isn’t necessary for fluid changes.
The set we received was an early production set. Ricochet has since started shipping the skids with an aluminum piece that runs down the outside of the UHMW plate on the outer left and right side to provide a little extra support for the UHMW panel in that area since the design of the Teryx doesn’t really permit any fasteners in that area. Ricochet also wanted me to mention that they are working on an add on piece to extend the protection further up the front floorboard area in light of the problems of cracked floorboards on the Teryx so those of you that already have Ricochet skids installed keep your eyes peeled for that add-on in the future. Ricochet is continuously improving their products and they listen to what their customers want, so you can buy with confidence.
If you have recently bought a new UTV I would highly recommend adding a set of Ricochet skids to it as soon as possible, it will be much easier to install them now versus waiting until your undercarriage is all beat up to install some protection. The folks at Ricochet have been in the business of protecting your ride for a long time and the quality of their product reflects that. I would not hesitate to recommend their products for whatever you ride. I think they’ve really hit a home run with this hybrid of aluminum and UHMW technology, it really is like having your cake and eating it too!
Here’s a link to the set we installed….. http://www.ricochetoffroad.com/store/page539.html
-Sturdy Aluminum plus the benefits of UHMW
-Excellent fit and finish
-Quality product backed by a top notch company
-Slightly restricts access to Oil Filter (removal of 2 panels vs one)
-Lower frame rail coverage isn’t full length of frame