SCRAMBLER VS. RAPTOR
; Today’s 4x4 quads are getting so
fun, they rival that of pure sport
quads. Some have 1000cc engines
and nearly a foot of wheel travel.
Using CVT transmissions and full
floorboards, they are easy to control
and a blast to ride. In many situations, we like to ride a modern 4x4 as
much as we do a pure sport trail
machine. To find out which machine
was actually more fun to ride, we put
the hottest sport 4x4, the Polaris
Scrambler, against the king of trail
and dunes, the Yamaha Raptor, in a
grudge match. We took the two on
several long trail rides to see just how
much fun they can provide.
Price-wise, the two are quite differ-
ent. The Polaris is quite expensive at
$12,000. But for that money, you do
get a bigger engine, four-wheel
drive, floorboards and power steering. The Raptor is not cheap, either.
Starting at $7700, it’s one of the most
expensive sport quads you can buy. It
has a strong single-cylinder engine,
lightweight aluminum frame and a
300-pound weight advantage.
What is very comparable is the
wheel-travel numbers. Polaris gives
the Scrambler dual A-arms up front
with 9 inches of wheel travel. Dual A-
arms are also used at the rear end
with an incredible 10. 25 inches of
travel. The Raptor, too, uses dual A-
arms up front and is supplied with 9
inches of wheel travel. Out back, a
standard, solid-axle swingarm is
used with 10.1 inches of movement.
Our test mule actually has another
$1000 invested in it in the form of
more aggressive tires and a Barker’s
slip-on exhaust system.
Although these two powerplants
are significantly different, their
power-to-weight ratio is similar. Both
have smooth, torquey four-stroke
mills that are exciting to ride. The
Scrambler and many other 4x4s use
a twin-cylinder engine. In this case,
it’s a parallel design with 850cc and
70 horsepower. Factor in the 745-
pound (dry) weight reading and the
machine pushes about 10 pounds per
Yamaha powers this Raptor with a
When riding a pure sport quad, you
have to be a little more on your game.
You have to concern yourself with using
the clutch, separate brakes and shifting. But, those features have their
advantages in many places.
Sport quads all feature a solid-axle, sin-
gle-shock swingarm. This setup is light-
weight and the best for sharp cornering
and controllable jumping.
Very little gets in the way of a good
sport 4x4 quad. Only off-camber trails
or real deep whoops give them any