q The Salt Lake City, Utah-based company, Ricochet Offroad Armor, builds protection pieces for machines, from sport ATVs all the way up to skid plates and other products for Toyota FJ Cruisers. For UTVs, they have a complete catalog that includes A-arm guards, belly pans and differential guards. We ordered up a set of Ricochet’s underbelly skid plates and installed them on our RZR XP900. For the main underbelly section, Ricochet sells a two-piece kit for $399. Each section is made of 1/4-inch-thick 5052 aluminum. Together they weigh about 30 pounds. Luckily, all that weight is perfectly distributed at the lowest point on the machine. The 20 fasteners that hold the skid plates to the frame install easily, mainly because the plate itself has large fastener holes, and cupped washers help align the plates as you tighten all of the bolts. The cupped washers also recess the bolts to below the skid plate so they will not get scraped or broken off. Some of the bolts that are used are big T40 Torx fasteners, and Ricoc
het supplies a wrench in case you don’t have one. We used a socket bit on an electric impact gun to get the job done even easier. When you are working with that many fasteners upside down and under a vehicle, shortcuts are important. Another trick we used is driving our RZR up a pair of large ramps resting on a truck tailgate. This gave us the room to get under the machine and do the installation.
At the front of the RZR XP900, we installed Ricochet’s slightly thinner 3/16-inch-thick differential skid plates. These cost $100 for the pair, weigh about 2 pounds each and replace the soft-plastic plates that come on all RZRs. All of the plates are built while keeping service requirements in mind for your machine. There are access holes that allow you to drain your oil without removing the skid plates, unlike some which do not have access holes.
WHAT DID WE THINK?
It was easy to tell we needed a product like this when we removed the old stock plastic products. They were scraped, ripped and shredded from hundreds of miles of rough driving. UTVs really destroy skid plates even more than utility ATVs do simply because they are heavier keeping service requirments in mind. When you run over rocks or other debris, the obstacle really digs into plastic products. Another benefit of having the aluminum Ricochet products installed is that you can hear what the underside of your machine is going through. You can hear and feel all of the big scrapes and hits that the machine takes from the earth below; it’s a good gauge to tell you when to back off and take it easy.