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Yamaha OEM Rock Sliders and Skid Plate

This is a discussion on Yamaha OEM Rock Sliders and Skid Plate within the Gear & Accessories forums, part of the General Discussions category; This is my review/installation tutorial on the Yamaha OEM rock sliders and skid plate. I would like to thank Yamaha for the opportunity to review ...

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator MassiveOverkill's Avatar
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    Yamaha OEM Rock Sliders and Skid Plate

    This is my review/installation tutorial on the Yamaha OEM rock sliders and skid plate. I would like to thank Yamaha for the opportunity to review these items. I have to subject my X4 to conditions\situations I normally wouldn't chance, and the addition of these protective items gives me a lot more peace of mind subjecting it to unavoidable abuse.

    The rock sliders are part BG4-F11D0-V0-00 for the X4 and part B8K-F11D0-V0-00 for the X2 and retail for $249.99

    The skid plates are part BG4-F84P0-V0-00 and retail for $699.99 and work with both the X2 and X4

    This install is based on someone purchasing both the rock sliders and skid plates as they will commonly be bought together as complementing items.

    Here are the rock sliders. They are heavy at 30 lbs for the pair and are solidly constructed. They are simply installed by 4 bolts per side with a dual nut plate at the front



    The skid plates are 3/8th inches thick UHMWPE. They come in 4 pieces; 3 long belly pieces and then a short rear skid. This is important as you'll see as you read on. I'll try and update weight when I find out



    Both of the above accessories install perfectly onto the X2/X4 without any machining or modding necessary. The fit and finish is superb. To show you the quality and engineering excellence of the skid plates, I'm going to compare it to Can Am's engineering folly. The more time I spend with Can Am the more grateful I am for having bought Yamaha.

    The skid plate retention system is typical in that it uses cupped washers and spring nuts. In this picture, I accidentally used a button head bolt for illustration (I hadn't opened all hardware bags yet), but it will work for our example. The actual fastener used is a standard 10 mm hex head bolt.



    You'll see that the skid plate has a small lip milled into each place where a cupped washer goes so that the washer sits flush with the surface. This is important as you'll see when I show you Can Am's design



    This is what happens to those washers when they don't sit flush and use a protracted design. These are off our squad's Can Am Commander Max 1000 XT, I had to replace 90% of those washers and 70% of the nuts and they aren't cheap.



    You can see why. Notice not just how bad the fasteners stick out but the gaps between the panels. Can Am doesn't use fully-welded steel plates like Yamaha, only these very thin plastic panels. Now you know why the Yamaha SxS' weigh more than their competition. Because Can Am uses thin material, the stock skids have to be made in smaller sections with large gaps between them longitudinally. Rocks love to catch on these gaps and rip the panels off. With Yamaha's no-gap longitudinal design, the chance of ripping off a panel is greatly reduced if not eliminated.







    If perspective buyers had to work on a SxS or see one that's been around the block before they purchased it I guarantee you there would be a lot more Yamaha sales.

    Onto installation. First thing you want to do is wash the underbelly well. It would be a good idea to also clean the top side of the bellypan as after installing the skids, many of the open holes are blocked off. Don't worry, you still have drain holes for oil and transmission, but the rear skid has to come off for rear differential fluid change, but it's small with only 4 fasteners. You can also drill your own holes if you like but the purpose is to provide complete protection, including stray branches that could get into the existing open holes.

    First thing you want to do is remove the front fenders, each held on by 2 bolts



    The remove the 2 bottom hex head bolts at the bottom of the wheel well. You won't reuse these for skid plate installation



    Out back you'll remove the four screws holding on the lower rear fender well guards on each side





    Once you have those pieces removed, grab your hose and soap and wash again, especially the front as once you pry back the plastics you'll find plenty of dirt trapped in there.

    For the rock sliders, it helps if you have a helper but I was able to do it by myself. Insert the bracket of the front of the rock slider into and behind the frame.



    For the following, don't tighten the bolts all the way, just hand tight.

    Insert a bolt into place to temporarily hold the front in place and then grab the black dual nut plate and insert it behind and screw the bolt into it. Be careful not to drop the dual nut plate or you'll have to fish it out.



    Install the 2nd bolt



    The rear also uses two bolts but they insert through the inside of the frame out to the threads on the rock sliders



    You can now tighten down all 4 bolts after checking alignment. Go ahead and reinstall the front guards and rear lower wheel well guards, but do not reinstall the 2 lower front wheel well bolts as new ones are provided with the skid plate hardware.

    Onto the skid plates, see all those open holes, most of them are about to disappear. What may look like corrosion is actually the reflection of the carpet off the still-wet belly pan.



    We start at the front with installing the spring nuts. Here's the locations without them installed yet



    Two front ones installed. Make sure the nut is on the inside of the frame, you'll proceed along the pan installing the remaining spring nuts



    We can now proceed to installing the skids starting on either side. Instructions state to use a helper. I asked my friend 'Jack' if he would help hold up the back side of the skid while I held the front and installed the first cupped washer and bolt. All should be loosely tightened



    After installing both sides you do the middle skid. 'Jack' was too tall so I asked his son Junior to help hold up the center skid. Notice the gap between the center and side skids or lack thereof. There may be a few millimeters between them at most which is critical to maintaining integrity when hitting rocks/branches and preventing them from catching on these gaps.



    Rear skid goes in last, that transition between the center/rear skid becomes less pronounced when all fasteners are final-tightened



    When all 4 skids are installed you can install the front button head screws. There's also a metal plate to secure the center skid at the front which isn't pictured. Notice how the front of the side skid is curved up



    After checking fitment, making sure all skids are placed so that gaps are minimized you can do a final tightening on all the fasteners.

    Some shots of the final install





    Evaluation

    I haven't had a chance to go on some rocky trails yet but without even doing that I can tell you some benefits I've already noticed:

    -It's more stable........the extra weight of the rock sliders and skids is all placed at the lowest part of the vehicle, lowering its center of gravity. I actually installed these items before the HMF exhaust as I knew they would help with making the X4 more stable at 60+ MPH speeds. I no longer worry about stability of the chassis but I still do about the tires at those speeds

    -It's quieter. You heard right. While the X2/X4 is a quiet machine already, the belly pan can act as an echo chamber. With the added mass of the skids, sound from the engine doesn't bounce off the belly pan and is absorbed. Likewise, rocks that get thrown up under aren't as noisy and road noise is lessened as well.

    -That thick plastic isn't just a good sound insulator, it's also a good thermal insulator compared to just metal. What that means is cold snow you're running over won't migrate into the cab as much in winter and the heat radiating off the pavement won't transfer into the cab as much in summer. With many of the belly pan holes being blocked off, heat from the engine should be retained in the winter. It could be a problem in the summer however.

    -Not that the X2/X4 need it, but the rock sliders and skid plates both increase the structural integrity of the chassis.

    -There's not as much dust coming in. The skids block off many of the open holes so dust doesn't migrate in as easily. Cleaning out the top of the pan could be more troublesome however.

    -The rock sliders help a little in dirt splashing up on the sides. The purpose of the rock slider not only protects the side rails, but also pushes the rock off to the side so it doesn't hit your lower fascia. If the rock sliders get beat up, they're replaceable vs beating up the lower rails, which aren't replaceable.

    -No gaps between the skids.........no nasty rocks or limbs are going to catch on the edges and pry them off and the there's only 1 gap perpendicular to travel between the center skid and rear skid

    -It may help with going over belly-high snow and/or mud as it make make it easier to move through from both less friction, and from all the holes being covered

    -Salt corrosion from winter eliminated on the belly. Easier cleanup and less chance of mud sticking to the belly

    -Increased resale value

    -The only improvement I could see is maybe providing a rubber plug at drain points.
    Last edited by MassiveOverkill; 11-02-2018 at 05:54 PM.
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    STI HD beadlocks wearing Tusk Terrabite 27x9x12 tires
    OEM windshield, soft cab, and roof
    OEM skid plates
    OEM rock sliders
    OEM A-arm guards
    OEM cargo box
    Check out the Yamaha X2/X4 FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/671163569748779/

  2. #2
    Experienced Piston Yamaha's Avatar
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    Excellent write up!
    MassiveOverkill likes this.
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  3. #3
    Slow Poke
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    First off, nicely done. Secondly let's give Jack and Jack Jr a big hand.

    Now, I thought the X2's came with full skid plates or is that just the R Spec? Also I see around the holes after you washed it, looks like the paint or powder coating is coming off or is the that the factory skid plates?

    Nice Job

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  5. #4
    Super Moderator MassiveOverkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigshoe327 View Post
    First off, nicely done. Secondly let's give Jack and Jack Jr a big hand.

    Now, I thought the X2's came with full skid plates or is that just the R Spec? Also I see around the holes after you washed it, looks like the paint or powder coating is coming off or is the that the factory skid plates?

    Nice Job
    Thanks!! X2/X4's come with full length, welded steel plates on every model. When I saw those pictures I thought (how could I have missed that?!?!). If you look closer, it's the reflection of the carpet onto the wet surface of the pan and not corrosion. I'll update the post.
    2018 Blue Wolverine X4
    First Wolverine X4 to break the 60 MPH barrier
    Over 6000 miles and 425 hours
    Hunterworks prototype sheave with easy cleanout port, 22 gram HV weights
    Weller Racing ECU flash
    HMF Titan Series Quiet slip-on Exhaust
    Walker Evans shocks
    Swiss-cheesed airbox lid
    NGK Laser Iridium spark plugs
    Tinkseal additives
    STI HD beadlocks wearing Tusk Terrabite 27x9x12 tires
    OEM windshield, soft cab, and roof
    OEM skid plates
    OEM rock sliders
    OEM A-arm guards
    OEM cargo box
    Check out the Yamaha X2/X4 FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/671163569748779/

  6. #5
    Sparky jimclemjr's Avatar
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    Nice write up! Would suggest that fasteners get some anti-seize during installation. Or could spend the extra and get SS bolts if they are not (nice bright and shiny graded bolts but can't tell, at that price they should be lol). A few years down the road it will be appreciated especially if you plan on keeping it.
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    Evil Kenevil
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    Massive, once again you have done a great job of providing info to this forum. Thank you for your effort.
    MassiveOverkill and MORSNO like this.
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    Spectator
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    Does the x4 not come stock with skid plates? Or is that just the se?

    Also, is any one worried about the plastic moulding around the front wheel wells just in front of the doors? To me it's going to snag on something, especially in reverse.

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    Hog Chaser DirtRider612's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godti View Post
    Does the x4 not come stock with skid plates? Or is that just the se?

    Also, is any one worried about the plastic moulding around the front wheel wells just in front of the doors? To me it's going to snag on something, especially in reverse.
    All of the models come with a fully welded in skid plate.
    2018 Wolverine X4 SE
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  10. #9
    Super Moderator MassiveOverkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godti View Post
    Does the x4 not come stock with skid plates? Or is that just the se?

    Also, is any one worried about the plastic moulding around the front wheel wells just in front of the doors? To me it's going to snag on something, especially in reverse.
    Quote Originally Posted by DirtRider612 View Post
    All of the models come with a fully welded in skid plate.
    The stock skid plates are probably the nicest of any model SxS but the UHMWPE skids prevent the stock welded skids from getting banged up for added peace of mind\resale value. Some have ripped the stock front mouldings off but that's expected if you get in tight quarters. What would you replace them with? I suppose you could remove the 10 mm bolts and secure them with plastic fasteners so they act a sacrificial lamb.
    2018 Blue Wolverine X4
    First Wolverine X4 to break the 60 MPH barrier
    Over 6000 miles and 425 hours
    Hunterworks prototype sheave with easy cleanout port, 22 gram HV weights
    Weller Racing ECU flash
    HMF Titan Series Quiet slip-on Exhaust
    Walker Evans shocks
    Swiss-cheesed airbox lid
    NGK Laser Iridium spark plugs
    Tinkseal additives
    STI HD beadlocks wearing Tusk Terrabite 27x9x12 tires
    OEM windshield, soft cab, and roof
    OEM skid plates
    OEM rock sliders
    OEM A-arm guards
    OEM cargo box
    Check out the Yamaha X2/X4 FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/671163569748779/

  11. #10
    Spectator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveOverkill View Post


    The stock skid plates are probably the nicest of any model SxS but the UHMWPE skids prevent the stock welded skids from getting banged up for added peace of mind\resale value. Some have ripped the stock front mouldings off but that's expected if you get in tight quarters. What would you replace them with? I suppose you could remove the 10 mm bolts and secure them with plastic fasteners so they act a sacrificial lamb.
    Oh, okay, so you put skid plates over your skid plates.

    I'll take a pic this weekend of that trim I'm worried about tearing off.

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