OWNER’S REPORT: Yamaha Blaster

Way back in 1988 Yamaha introduced the Blaster, and the 200cc sport quad was a big success from the get-go. For the next 18 years it held onto the title as the best bang for the buck in the world of ATVs. The simplicity of its air-cooled, two-stroke engine and basic manual-clutch design enabled it to sell at a low price while providing loads of pure riding fun. It remained as a popular machine for teens up until its last model year of 2006.

During its production run of nearly two decades, many Blasters were sold, and many are still roosting the trails today. This is evident by the large stack of owner survey forms we received. Although you can no longer buy a new Blaster, there are plenty available on the used market at affordable prices. If you’re shopping for one, you should know that the only significant change occurred in 2003. From this year on, the Blaster had its headlight moved to a restyled nose section, but the biggest improvement was the new disc brakes.

From 1988 to 2002, the Blaster’s weakest feature was its drum front brakes. You’ll note that this is the biggest gripe from the owners in this survey. These were the owners of pre-2003 machines, though. The others had no complaints with the new and improved disc brakes. Most also liked how cheap and easy it is to hop-up the Blaster’s simple two-stroke motor. It doesn’t take much to add another 10 horsepower. You can usually find good deals on Blasters, and it’s actually a great extra quad to have on hand for a girlfriend or novice rider to learn on.

blaster 2

HHHH= most responses
HHH= many responses
HH= some responses
H= few responses

Model year
(of surveys received)
2006 9%
2005 1%
2004 18%
2003 14%
2002 12%
2001 6%
2000 9%
1999 8%
1998 6%
1997 3%
1996 5%
1995 6%
‘94 to ’89 0%
1988 3%

Types of riding
Fast trail riding HHHH
On a track HHH
Leisure trail riding HHH
Sand HHH
Snow HHH
Mud HH
Organized racing H
Hunting & fishing H
Work & hauling H

The one thing you like most about your Blaster
Two-stroke power HHHH
Nimble handling HH
Easy to start H
Simplicity H
Durable H
Easy to hop-up H

The one thing you like least
Brakes HHHH
No electric start HHH
Suspension HH
Not enough power HH
Nothing H
Too small H
No reverse H
Engine wear H
Short wheelbase H
Pre-mixing oil H

If you could improve one thing on your quad
Brakes HHHH
More power HHH
Make liquid-cooled HH
Add reverse H
Suspension H
Nothing H
Tires H
Add electric start H
Engine life H
Make bigger H
Gearing H
Axle bearings H
Clutch H

During normal usage, what broke, malfunctioned or prematurely wore out?
Brakes HHH
Nothing HH
Cables HH
Tires HH
Piston & rings HH
Sprockets H
Lights H
Clutch H
Reeds H
Oil-injection pump H
Wheel hub H
A-arms H

What accessories have you added?
Exhaust HHHH
Tires HHH
Big-bore piston HHH
Nerf bars HHH
Reeds HH
Handlebars HH
Air filter HH
Bumper HH
Wheels HH
Skid plates HH
Sprockets H
Brakes H
Axle H
Seat H
Shocks H
Levers H
Handguards H
Carb H
Graphics H
A-arms H
Lights H

Happy with the outcome?
Yes 100%
No 0%

How do you rate your Blaster’s durability?
Excellent 82%
Okay 18%
Poor 0%

How do you rate its quality & attention to detail?
Excellent 58%
Okay 42%
Poor 0%

How do you rate its performance compared to other quads in its class?
Excellent 73%
Okay 27%
Poor 0%

How do you rate your local Yamaha dealer?
Excellent 40%
Okay 57%
Poor 3%

Would you recommend a friend to buy a Blaster?
Yes 97%
No 3%

If you were to buy another ATV, what would it be?
Yamaha YFZ450 HHHH
Raptor 700 HHH
Honda 450R HH
Banshee HH
Raptor 350 HH
Honda 400EX HH
Suzuki LT-R450 H
Can-Am DS450 H
Suzuki Z400 H
Raptor 250 H
KFX450 H
Honda TRX250R H
Yamaha 4×4 H

What dream quad would you like to see the manufacturers offer?
450 two-stroke HHH
EFI Banshee HHH
Race-ready quad HH
YFZ 4×4 HH
New Honda 250R HH
500 twin Banshee HH
Raptor 800–1000 HH
New Blaster w/ reverse H
4-stroke Blaster H
500 2-stroke w/ reverse H
2WD UTV buggy H
Street-legal quad H
4-wheel-steering 4×4 H

blaster 3

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