We like to cover the spectrum of affordability with our projects. Some, like our Honda 400X, are affordable, easy and very effective. For our project Raptor, however, we decided to not constrain the project with a budget but rather shoot for the stars. With the Raptor in pieces in Trinity’s shop, we compiled some other parts to install for part one of the project Raptor build. If you’ve been keeping up with our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dirtwheelsmag, you will recall some of the build pictures and conversations.
For part one, we installed the following:
• Fasst Co. Flexx bars and brake clevis: $349.99/$39.99
• Houser +1.25 anti-vibe steering stem: $239
• Houser Pro-Bounce nerf bars: $475
• ITP Holeshot XC tires: $78.99 (f) ea/$105.99 (r) ea
• ITP T-9 Pro Series GP front/Trac-Lock rear wheels: $87.29 ea/$169.99 ea
• ODI Rogue locking grips: $29.95
• Trinity Racing Stage IV dual exhaust: $799.99
• Trinity Racing 734cc engine kit: $1768.53
The kit includes:
• JE 105.5mm 12.5:1 piston
• Trinity Racing Raptor 700/Rhino 700/Grizzly 700 734cc cylinder 105.5mm
• Pro-ported cylinder head
• Stage III Hot Cam
• Heavy-duty valve spring kit
• 33mm exhaust valves
• 39mm intake valves
• 106mm T.E. gasket kit
• Works Connection Elite clutch perch and engine plugs: $149.95/ $39.99
BARS & STEM
To install the taller steering stem and taller Fasst Co. Flexx bars, we had to make some more slack in the throttle cable by routing it under the right side of the fuel tank and trimming the plastic heat separator between the engine and fuel tank. We started by pulling off all the plastics from the seat, allowing us to access the two bolts that hold the stem on behind the gas tank and the single nut on the bottom of the stem. The stock unit is lighter, but made of weaker material and is too short, causing the bars to feel very close to the tank.
The Houser stem is made from 4130 chromoly tubing, which is super strong, lightweight and powdercoated Candy Blue to match the rest of the Houser parts we ordered for our Raptor build, including a gorgeous long-travel kit you’ll see in the next installment. We ordered up an oversized bar clamp to fit the Fasst Co. Flexx bars, which use a 1 1/8 bar mount like the Renthal Fatbar. The Houser stem mounts in the factory location and includes a new nut for the bottom mount. Installation is straightforward and easy, and the Candy Blue stem brings the bars up higher for a more open riding position. Aside from looking much better than the stock stem, it’s stronger and features rubber-damped bar mounts to kill vibration to your hands and arms.
The Fasst Co. Flexx bars are an interesting product to say the least. Using a pivot on each side of the bars, the handlebar portion flexes up and down while riding. It cuts down on shock through hard-edged impacts as well as vibration and is adjustable by adding different-thickness shims and elastomers, which are included in the kit. We used the reds; they’re a medium-softness bumper that feels right when you ride. Once you get used to the Flexx bars, you don’t realize they move; you just feel less chop and rattle through the bars than you do with a solid bar. While they are an amazing product, the biggest drawback is their price. At $349.99, there’s a definite gap between the Flexx bars and a normal oversized bar.
The Flexx bars are strong, and just like a shock, they are compression (push) and rebound (pull) adjustable via the five sets of elastomers provided with the bars. Regular grips and accessories fit on the bars without issue. We also ordered up a Fasst Co. rear-brake clevis, which is the part that attaches the pedal to the master cylinder. The stock piece has some slop in it, contributing to a loose, floppy rear-brake pedal that doesn’t inspire much confidence or finesse. The billet-aluminum clevis has a machined stainless insert and pivot that is machined to fit the Raptor’s rear-brake clevis perfectly, eliminating slop. Simply put, it works.
Works Connection supplied us with their Elite clutch perch, which is a 100-percent billet-aluminum clutch perch and lever with a quick-adjust wheel that makes tuning out clutch slack a breeze. It looks nice, has a lever-reach adjustment and features a three-bearing pivot for smooth action. The lever is shorter than stock, and the whole assembly looks much nicer as well. The engine plugs are a strictly aesthetic modification, but they liven up the engine a bit with a splash of color.
To round out the controls, we used a set of ODI’s Rogue locking grips. These grips are made from a rubber grip pre-bonded to a plastic tube that slide over the bar with two billet-aluminum clamps that lock the grip to the bar for zero possibility of slippage. You can swap out grips in seconds via two Allen screws. They’re great for racing or recreational riding, and we like how the Rogue grips make the bars a bit fatter and easier to hang on to, especially after getting the Raptor back from Trinity!
NERFS & TIRES
For some added stability, we got a hold of a set of Houser’s Pro-Bounce nerf bars in Candy Blue as well. Think of them as a set of Flexx bars for your feet. The pegs have rubber elastomers underneath them and a rubber-damped pivot that allows the pegs to actually have “suspension” travel. The result, again, is reduced vibration and shock under hard landings or hits. The Pro Bounce nerfs are aluminum tubes that bolt to strong steel mounts to eliminate the welds from cracking when the ATV’s frame flexes. They are simple to install, fit great and actually thread pretty easily. Our least favorite part of installing nerf bars is threading the nets, but Houser’s small steel buckles make it pretty simple.
To add some traction, we contacted ITP about a set of wheels and tires that would hold up to the incredible horsepower our Raptor would soon be pumping out. Tall 20×11-9 rear ITP Holeshot XC tires were bolted onto a set of T-9 Pro Series Trac-Lock wheels, which will ensure we don’t blow a tire off the bead when unleashing the Raptor’s full-throttle fury. Up front, we stuck with a standard T-9 GP wheel, and all four were ordered in a polished finish, but black is also available. The front tires are a huge 22×7-10 to cover big terrain holes and trail debris without flinching. ITP’s Holeshot tire is a proven performer, so we figured we couldn’t go wrong with them!
The final part of our “Project Raptor: Part 1” was the big motor build Trinity pulled off for us. The Raptor made 54 horsepower on Trinity’s dyno when we dropped it off with a full-HMF pipe, Fuel Customs intake and an MSD Blaster fuel tuner. After all the parts arrived, Trinity tore the motor down and proceeded to build it back up much bigger. The stock 102mm piston was traded up to a custom JE 12.5:1 compression (stock is 9.2:1) piston that measures an incredible 105.5mm in diameter. The head was ported per Trinity’s specs, and oversized valves were installed in the head to maximize airflow. Rounding out the top end was a Stage 3 Hot Cam and a heavy-duty valve-spring kit to keep the valves from floating at high rpm.
Trinity buttoned the whole thing back up and handed it back to us in a little over a week, which included a custom dyno tune for the now-734cc engine. The final dyno run laid down a screaming 76-horsepower run on pump gas from the beastly large engine, showing that Trinity means business! Considering the bone-stock Raptor put out a little more than half that, we would say it’s a pretty good increase. It’s a full 15-plus horsepower more than the fastest factory race team 450s ever put out, and it also has a ton more torque!
Even with the big motor package, the Raptor’s stock starter motor spins the big mill to life with ease. It idles just like stock, and the Trinity duals are almost as quiet as our HMF with the medium silent core. It revs like stock, too; crack the throttle and the big single roars to life—although you can tell it breathes quite a bit differently now. Pulling away, you can basically drop the clutch at idle and pull away without stalling, which shows just how much incredible torque the new engine has. Stabbing the throttle too quickly in any gear either results in a ridiculous amount of wheelspin or a very quick view of the sky, so throttle control is a must without an extended swingarm. The heavier-than-stock ITP wheels and tires don’t faze the Raptor at all. In fact, the 734 loves the taller tires, as it gives you more room in each gear to stretch your arms with the insane power this thing puts out.
The Houser stem and Flexx bars made a huge difference in comfort when sitting or standing, as the bars are a few inches higher and vibrate even less than they did on the stock machine. The Raptor is a very smooth engine to start with, and with a low rpm ceiling, it doesn’t buzz too badly. The Flexx bars take up harsh impacts and G-outs with ease, and it almost feels like you added an inch of travel to your suspension. Part one of the Raptor build was all about power and comfort, and we added a lot of both here. The Pro Bounce nerf bars cut down shock to your feet and give you a much more solid platform to stand on than the small stock pegs, and the netted heel guards are even more comfortable than the aluminum GYTR units that came on our Raptor 700R SE.
We can’t wait to put more time on our Trinity-powered Raptor 734 and bring you some more concrete evidence of just how stinking fast this thing is, and that’s what we’re working on now. All the parts we put on the Raptor this time will have even more effect during part two of the Raptor build as we tear into the chassis and turn the Raptor into a terrain-devouring land missile!
Fasst Co: (877) 306-1801, www.fasstco.com
Houser Racing: (877) 6-GO-FAST, www.houser-racing.com
ITP Tires: (909) 390-1905, www.itptires.com
ODI Grips: (951) 786-4755, www.odigrips.com
Trinity Racing: (877) FASTOYS, www.trinityracing.com
Works Connection: (530) 642-9488, www.worksconnection.com