2014 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R SE

Yamaha’s best-selling sport quad is the Raptor 700. In fact, it’s the best-selling sport quad period. It’s the biggest 2WD, big-bore sport quad from any manufacturer. For 2014, the Raptor saw some minor changes in the form of a cleaner-burning cylinder head and new color options that include orange and Midnight Blue. There are three models to choose from: the standard $7699 Raptor, the $8199 700R, and the 700R Special Edition we tested for $8799. What you get with the Special Edition model are the good fully adjustable shocks, a choice of gray or Midnight Blue bodywork, different front bumper and custom heel guard extensions.

rapcvr_CP22423

POWERFUL BIG BORE

The Raptor is powered by Yamaha’s proven 686cc, SOHC, four-valve, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine that is mated to a five-speed, manual-clutch transmission. Fuel is fed through a 44mm, electronic-injection system. Fuel capacity is 2.9 gallons, and since the tank does not have a petcock or reserve setting, there is a low-fuel warning light in the dash. Other warning lights are also present there, including high-engine temp and a low-water warning light.

rapsprd_CP22446-copy

This is the same powerplant used in Yamaha’s Viking UTV. If it can haul three people and 600 pounds of cargo on the Viking, imagine what it can do for just one thrill-seeker. The Raptor weighs in at 422 pounds fueled up and ready to ride. The SE model features Yamaha’s best shocks up front, sitting on dual A-arms with 9.1 inches of movement. Out back, a single solid-axle swingarm moves 10.1 inches. All three shocks feature high/low-speed compression adjustments, along with rebound and spring preload.

_CP22283

MEASUREMENTS

Those numbers are larger than the wheel travel on Honda’s 450R. Braking is provided by hydraulic disc brakes featuring twin-piston calipers at both ends. The controls for the cockpit are next to perfect. The levers operate without strain, and the seat is about as comfortable as they come. We have only seen more comfortable saddles on 4×4 quads. The Raptor’s cockpit is still narrow and sporty, so you can jockey around from side to side. The seat height is not too tall at 32.7 inches. Overall, this Raptor is slightly larger than most 450s. It has overall measurements of 72.6 inches long, 43.9 inches tall and a wheelbase of 50.4 inches. The width is just as wide as all 450s, except the YFZ450R and the Can-Am DS 450 X mx.

Raptor-700R-SE-GreyWhite3

Recently, Yamaha developed their own spec tire with the help of Maxxis. The knobbies are fairly aggressive and mounted on rolled-edge aluminum wheels. Ground clearance below the rear swingarm is 4.4 inches at the sprocket/rotor plastic skid plate. The engine compartment is also protected by a thick plastic skid plate.

TEST RIDE

We tested the Raptor SE both in the woods and in the Glamis sand dunes where we shot the photos for this article. The Raptor is made for the dunes. In fact, Yamaha undoubtedly did a lot of the development for this machine in Glamis, and it shows. Even in bone-stock trim, the Raptor tractors around the dunes and never struggles. It has so much torque that you rarely need to pin the throttle past halfway. Even climbing the steepest walls at Glamis, you could pull up on the handlebars and wheelie to the top. The suspension is equally as impressive. The dunes were choppy during our trip, and after a little tweaking of the slow-speed compression valves, we had the Raptor floating. We settled on low-speed compression at five clicks for full soft. That helped immensely over the ruts without hindering it in the turns.

_CP22231
During our test, we installed and tested a GYTR exhaust system along with a fuel controller. Power output with these simple mods was night-and-day better, and we didn’t think it needed to be further improved upon. With the uncorked exhaust, throttle response was better, and you could tell the engine wasn’t laboring as much, if any.

_CP22623

For the woods, we returned the low-speed clickers back to their neutral position and hit the trails. In fact, we took the Raptor on some of the roughest trails we know of. One particular trail we usually reserve for 4x4s was calling us, and we gave in. The beauty of the Raptor is how comfortable it is. Along with the plush seat, the sitting and standing effort seems easy. Over the rocks and bumps of this trail, we rode it as quickly as any IRS-equipped quad. Sure, it got hung up on occasion in the big boulders, but it’s light enough to muscle off or use the reverse to back up and try again.

_CP22495

Overall, it impressed us as usual. Every time we ride the Raptor 700, we are reminded of how much of a do-it-all machine it is. It works unbelievably well in the dunes and equally as good in the woods. On the tighter trails, we could leave the Raptor in second gear and chug along without stalling, and gas it for a burst of power when needed. Out in the open, the Raptor can reach speeds of 75 mph in seconds, and the ride is just as stable as it is at 50 mph.

_CP22233

So whether you are into tight woods riding, carving dunes or racing across the wide-open desert, the Yamaha Raptor 700 should be considered. And if you want to stand out, as most quad riders do, the Special Edition Raptor will help you with that too.

2014 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R SE

Engine.SOHC, liquid-cooled, 4-stroke
Bore and stroke………..102mm x 84mm
Displacement……………………………686cc
Fuel system……………………….44mm EFI
Fuel capacity…………………………2.9 gal
Starting………………………………….Electric
Transmission.Manual-clutch 5-speed
Final drive………………………………Chain
Suspension/wheel travel:
Front……………….Dual A-arms w/ 9.1”
Rear………………….Swingarm w/ 10.1”
Tires:
Front…………………………………….21×7-10
Rear…………………………………….20×10-9
Brakes:
Front………….Dual hydraulic discs w/
twin-piston calipers
Rear…………Single hydraulic disc w/
twin-piston caliper
Length/width/height..72.6”/45.5”/43.9”
Wheelbase…………………………………50.4”
Ground clearance……………………….4.4”
Seat height………………………………..32.7”
Curb weight……………………………422 lb.
Colors……………….Gray, Midnight Blue
Price………………………………………….$8799
Contact……www.yamaha-motor.com

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.