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Ricochet Offroad Ultimate Armor Kit Review Yamaha Grizzly 450

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rocksandruts.com Ricochet Offroad Ultimate Skids Review image 1Should the name Ricochet Offroad Armor mean anything to you? Well, do you own a Dirt Bike, ATV, UTV or even an FJ Cruiser? If so, do you trust that the bottom of your engine, frame, CV boots, differentials and suspension components are protected by the stock plastic skid plates that the manufacturers provide from the factory? If you answered yes to both questions then chances are you don’t ride terrain filled with large jagged rocks or even in the woods where there are tons of tree limbs or roots on the trails. Its either that or you don’t mind riding over sticks that can tear your CV boots, or having rocks come into contact with your frame or bottom of your engine, or maybe you just have been lucky so far. Nothing could be worse than tearing a CV boot at the beginning of ride and exposing your CV to water or mud that would contaminate the joint and cause failure, even worse would be having the stock plastic skids fail and you take a large sharp rock to the underside of your engine.


If you ride hard, and often, in any type of terrain other than mud, a set of aftermarket aluminum skid plates is money well spent. Providing much improved and needed protection over stock skids for your ride, they prevent damage from trail conditions that can lead to down time and costly repairs. This is why if you don’t know the name Ricochet or their products, you should!


rocksandruts.com Ricochet Offroad Ultimate Skids Review image 2Ricochet manufactures their skid plates out of varying sizes and pieces dependent on the vehicle you need protection for. For this review we installed and tested the Ultimate Grizzly Armor Kit for the Yamaha Grizzly 450. The kit consists of their 2 piece Full Frame Skid Plate constructed from 3/16” 5052 H-32 Aluminum, their 4 piece A Arm Guard set constructed from .160” 5052 H-32 Aluminum, and their 2 piece Floorboard Skid Plates constructed from 3/16” 5052 H-32 Aluminum. All hardware required for installation along with a detailed installation sheet and stickers complete the package. Upon opening the package the first thing that caught my eye was that the Ricochet Skid Plates and A-Arm Guards appeared to be thicker than their competitors set which I had run for the 2 years prior. I grabbed my tape measure and found that they were in fact a shade thicker on every piece. This had me thinking how it was possible when their competitors’ product is advertised to be the same measurement and same material for the belly skids. As I dug through the parts and hardware I came across the next surprise. Ricochet uses clamps with T40 Torx head bolts for their A-Arm Guards and a combination of clamps and Hex head bolts for the Full Frame Skid Plates. The Floorboard Skid Plates use 4 bolts each and they are button head. With all my parts aligned I began the installation.



rocksandruts.com Ricochet Offroad Ultimate Skids Review image 3The install is pretty straight forward. It can be done while the quad is on all 4 tires, but for faster installation you need put the quad up on its rear rack. On the 450 you need to turn off the fuel before proceeding. I then winched the front end of the 450 in the air using my support beams in my garage. I have seen many people use a nearby tree also. One thing that is written on a piece of paper within every parts bag is to use anti seize on all your bolts. Trust me use anti seize or you will strip the supplied T40 Torx bolts. As I progressed through the install I began to really like their approach with using the clamps for mounting points over the A Arms and Frame. Much better than the other skids I had that utilized every OEM mounting location with washers and bolts. Did I mention half my stock locations were stripped out from the other manufacturers’ bolts being ripped out and twisted from riding rocky terrain? Well needless to say that the clamps were definitely the way to go and a big plus in my book. The only problem I encountered was that the supplied bolts for the Floorboard Skid Plates were too short.  Not all 8, the 4 6x30mm supplied bolts were too short. These bolts go to the 2 inner holes of each floorboard according to the instructions. I wound up needing to step up to a 6x50mm bolt for those locations. I talked with Mike at Ricochet Offroad about this and he is going to look into it but for all I know it could be that my welded tabs off the frame are bent. (This has been addressed by Ricochet Offroad since the review was originally published) Installation took me a little over an hour and other than needing to replace 4 of the floorboard bolts for longer ones the whole install went smooth and the fit was perfect.



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Once all the pieces were installed I realized that the Ricochet Frame Skid Plates offered more protection than my previous skids. The Ricochet Frame Skids extend past the frame and then bend upwards for added protection. My other skids barely covered the bottom of the frame tubes. Huge difference as far as I am concerned. The Ricochet skids also seem stronger to me. I took one of my old A-Arm Guards and was able to bend it with my hands. Not the case with these Ricochet A-Arm Guards. Another great feature is all the Ricochet skid plate pieces are clear anodized with the additional option of colored anodizing on certain pieces depending on application. I never had floorboard skids before nor did I ever think about needing them until a few others mentioned having sticks come through from underneath them. I figured if I am protecting the 450 why not protect my legs also from an errant pointy branch.




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With everything installed it was time to put them to the test. And what kind of test would it be if I didn’t bash them over rocks, trees and ruts. I even ran through a few mud holes to test how they drain and how easy clean up would be. So as soon as I dropped into the woods I went straight for a trail that I knew would offer me plenty of everything. For the better part of an hour I played in one rock garden before tackling some off camber rock strewn trail. Then it was off to the lake areas for a little mud action. Unfortunately we don’t have too many mud holes that are deep unless you want to bury your quad in a lake, but I managed to find a few deep enough to bury the skids in. Just traversing the trails here now, offers tons of opportunity to ride over downed trees, limbs and roots since Hurricane Irene left her mark. Over the course of two days I managed to ride away with the conclusion that the Ricochet Offroad Skids are the best protection I could buy for my type of terrain and riding style. They will be the first modification I will add to any future quads also.



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Even the addition of the Floorboard Skids proved their worth as I played around in one of the many rock gardens. I parked the 450 and went to snap a few pictures when I realized both my floorboards had rocks wedged under them. Without the skids I probably would have bent my floorboard brackets and possibly cracked my floorboards. In the 2 days of testing I managed to add quite a few battle scares and that’s fine by me because I could only imagine the damage I could have caused without the skids in place. Once I made my way home I took out the regular hose and with a few squirts all the mud and leaves washed right out. A definite bonus compared to how much mud and leaves my old skids liked to store. The design of the Ricochet A-Arm Guards should insure that I won’t have snow and ice building up around my axles and CV boots come winter time.



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Bottom line is a full set can be pricey for some, but if you ride the kind of terrain most of us do, think about how much money you will save in repairs. You can spend a little now or possibly a lot later. Your choice!









rocksandruts.com Ricochet Offroad Ultimate Skids Review image 8Pros

Best Protection Out There for the Money
Easy Installation
Offers More Protection than Competitors Sets
Custom Anodizing Options Available
Outstanding Customer Service
Drainage is Decent and Cleanup is Fast

Be sure to visit them @http://ricochetoffroad.com


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