Aluminum heel guards come stan-
dard on the Raptor 700, along with a
small plastic flare. The footpegs are not
as fat as the ones on the YFZ450R, but
they are comfortable for long rides.
Yamaha’s Raptor 700R is one of the
best production machines you can buy
for the dunes. The YFZ450R is another
great choice. The Raptor is a bit more
comfortable and has the torque to
lug itself around without laboring the
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.
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 han-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 4x4 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.
Recently, Yamaha developed their