YAMAHA YFZ450R ($8799)
This is the ATV that propelled Chad Wienen to three
AMA ATV national motocross championships in a row.
It has Yamaha’s five-valve 450 motor with Mikuni EFI in
an aluminum chassis. Yamaha is one of few ATV-makers
to offer a model in race-ready form. The R model is 48. 8
inches wide thanks to oversize A-arms and a wide rear
axle. It comes with piggyback shocks and is available in
blue or white.
YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R/700 ($8199/$7699)
There’s no mystery to the Raptor’s success. It’s still the
top dog in the sport quad world because of the incredible torque and peak power from its SOHC four-valve
motor. The new R model has upgraded piggyback shocks
offering over 9 inches of wheel travel on all four corners.
There’s also a special edition with GYTR parts for $8799.
YAMAHA RAPTOR 250 (2013 model $4599)
Fun is serious business, and Yamaha put very serious
effort into having the best production 250 sport quad. The
Raptor 250 is king of its class, outside of a few custom-built
and low-quantity machines like the Apex. It offers a modern chassis with a mild, air-cooled motor without reverse.
The little Raptor is not a 2015 model, but it’s still available
at many dealers.
APEX 50/70/90/100 (TBA)
Apex is a company in Chandler, Arizona, that has
many of the bits and pieces of its competition-oriented
ATVs manufactured overseas. The same basic machine
is offered with two-stroke motors of four-different sizes:
50cc, 70cc, 90cc and 100cc. It comes ready to race with
competition suspension, nerf bars, hydraulic disc brakes,
aluminum-spun wheels and good tires.
YAMAHA RAPTOR 125 (2013 model, $3499)
If the sensation of “fun” were to take physical shape,
it would look just like this. The Raptor 125 has a tiny, air-cooled, two-valve motor similar to that of the TT-R125 in
a modern sport chassis, similar to that of the Raptor 250.
The result is a blast for any rider of any experience. The
Raptor might seem like overkill, but not to anyone who
has ridden it. No reverse. Not a current model.
ARCTIC CAT DVX 90 ($2799)
This is the snazzy version of the Arctic Cat 90 and has
a distinctly sporty look. Under the bodywork, it’s pretty
much the same as the utility 90, but it has a front bumper
instead of racks. The motor is a single-overhead-cam,
air-cooled four-stroke with an automatic CV transmission
and reverse. It comes with a safety flag and has working
head and taillights.