Sports ATVs have experienced ebbs and flow in popularity and sales since the mid-1980s, and in the late 1990s and early 2000s, ATVs were flooded with innovations. All the manufacturers were racing to release the next best sport, ATV.
The transition from two-stroke engines to four-stroke engines with high revving, highly adjustable suspension systems instead of cheap oil shocks, and fuel delivery systems with carburetors to automated fuel injection. There are many upgrades from performance to engineering, but no one is able to touch Yamaha.
If you want to know more about the Yamaha Raptor series and its top features, then read the full article.
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Raptor Series Beginning
As the market leader, Yamaha had a stronghold on the two-stroke market, but they knew that increasingly strict emission standards would gradually eliminate those beloved two-strokes. In order to compete with Yamaha’s highly successful Banshee, Yamaha decided to develop the ultimate sport ATV which is way bigger than its competitors. They designed the Raptor 660 and released it in 2001. It was the first model of the Raptor series and had the ability to perform in every condition.
Yamaha Raptor 660
A reliable, powerful, and easy-to-service engine was essential to Yamaha’s mission to make a market-changing machine. So the MZ Baghira, a dual sport motorcycle engine, was chosen for the Yamaha Raptor 660. MZ was an East German company that pioneered the two-stroke engine. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed, MZ had to join forces with Yamaha.
There is a 660cc, single-cylinder, five-valve engine with four strokes in this sport all-terrain vehicle. Yamaha Raptor 660 top speed is 70 – 73 mph. Yamaha had to modify this engine to fit the Raptor’s body, which included rotating the motor forward by redesigning the cases to make it fit snuggly. The clutch was also strengthened to handle this enormous beast’s weight.
Yamaha Raptor 700
Over time, Yamaha’s competitors caught up to the Raptor 660, so they began updating it. In the evolution of the Raptor line, the Yamaha Raptor 700 was the next step released in 2006. It has a 686 cc engine with more horsepower, torque, upgraded bodywork, and a fuel injection system.
Yamaha Raptor 700 top speed is 70 – 75 mph. Moreover, it became the most durable ATV with unmatchable power that none of the competitors could catch. After so much work in 2008, Honda also made something similar, TRX 700XX, but the timing was not in their favor.
Yamaha Raptor 250
After the success of the Raptor 700, Yamaha started developing its small-sized ATV. They introduced the Yamaha Raptor 250 in 2008. It has become one of the best ATVs for beginners and fun rides. Consequently, it is small in size and made for beginners, so it has a 249 cc small air-cooled engine with four stroke and single cylinder.
Yamaha Raptor 250 top speed is 45 – 52 mph. Furthermore, it has a new-design bodywork that can be removed without disassembling electrical components, air boxes, or wiring harnesses.
Yamaha Raptor 350
Yamaha Raptor 350 is also a good sports ATV introduced in 2004. It has a DC-CDI ignition system along with SOHC 348 cc four-stroke engine. The Yamaha Raptor 350 top speed is 63 mph (101 kmph). It is also one of the finest ATVs with fast throttle response. Beginners and mid-level riders can use it and enjoy its ride.
Yamaha Raptor 80
It was one of the first sports ATVs in the Yamaha Raptor series. Yamaha Raptor 80 was introduced in 2003. It has a SOHC 79 cc 4-stroke engine which was made for children 12 to 14 years old.
Yamaha Raptor 80 top speed is 25 mph. Furthermore, it has an electric start option and 3-speed transmission, making it more user-friendly for beginners.
Yamaha Raptor 90
Yamaha introduced one more beginner ATV in 2008. It has an 88 cc engine with four strokes and an in-built rpm limiter. This limiter is the best safety feature, as the trainer can increase or decrease the power depending on the rider’s confidence and experience.
Yamaha Raptor 90 top speed is 15 – 18 mph. Like the bigger models, this ATV features authentic Raptor 700R styling, a molded front grab bar, rear disc brake, full floorboards, and preload-adjustable shocks. It’s a trail-ready bike, so just buy and enjoy it on the trails.
The Yamaha Raptor series is the king in sports ATVs, mainly because they have launched their sports ATVs in all possible categories, and their power and engineering are unmatchable. Moreover, it becomes an easy decision for people to go with a brand that is reliable and has a wide range of products.
For instance, if you want high-performance ATVs, you can consider Raptor 660 or 700, and if you are a beginner or mid-level rider, then the Raptor 350 or 250 can be your best option available. Hold on; there is also something for the kids, as Yamaha has Raptor 80 and 90 made for adults and children so they can also enjoy ATVs.