2015 Yamaha Raptor 700R Ride Review from the Oregon Dunes

Climbing hills are one of the Raptor 700R's specialties.

Climbing hills are one of the Raptor 700R’s specialties.

Yamaha recently flew members of the media out to ride test their newly improved 2015 Raptor 700R at the Oregon Sand Dunes in Winchester Bay, Oregon. I have been lucky enough to swing a leg over all the past Raptors, including the first one, the 2001 Raptor 660R, some fifteen years ago. Hard to believe, it has been that many years already. Anyway, I have always liked the Raptor a lot, in fact I consider the Raptor 700R as my all-time favorite dune quad. Don’t get me wrong, over the years I’ve enjoyed roosting tidal waves of sand on a Banshee and have had some epic ride sessions on 250cc two stroke and 450cc four stroke machines where we carved the dunes like pro motocross riders, but for a weekend’s worth of good times in the sand my weapon of choice is the Raptor 700R. Unlike any 450, the big bore Raptor 700R provides real sport handling in a ride-all-day hassle-free-package. It’s our industry’s version of the Cadillac CTS wagon.

But, with stricter emissions standards for 2015, would the mighty Raptor start to be less-mighty? I know EPA emission guidelines forced General Motors to clog up their newer Duramax diesel power-plant so newer trucks didn’t make quite as much power as my old 2006 LTZ Duramax Silverado did. With this example, I think you can better appreciate what the engineering team at Yamaha pulled off with the new Raptor 700R. Instead of decreasing the power of this year’s Raptor 700R they’ve actually increased the Raptor’s power 10% over last year’s model, all while increasing fuel economy 8%. No wonder why they had us out to stab some throttle in the Oregon sand.

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One of the revisions on the new Raptor 700R's engine is its single port exhaust. It allows the engine to breathe better and will surely be easier to clean as mud can no longer get wedged in this area.

One of the revisions on the 2015 Raptor 700R’s engine is its new single port exhaust. It allows the engine to breathe better and will surely be easier to clean as mud can no longer get wedged in the Y area of a duel exhaust port.

So the new evolution of the Raptor 700R provides more power from a less thirsty Raptor that omits less emissions. Yamaha pulled this task off by improving on the Raptor’s fuel-injected 686cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, four-valve, single-cylinder engine with a crafty new Air Injection System, new cylinder head, new cam, new single port exhaust system, new piston and rod, new updated valve timing, new fuel injection mapping, new balancer shafts, new muffler and they increased the compression from 9:2:1 to 10:0:1

Other improvements over last year’s model include slightly larger front and rear shocks, new front and rear suspension settings, a new electronic control unit and new Maxxis 22-inch front tires (up one inch from last year’s model) which also feature a stiffer sidewall, new treads and a flatter profile.

I rode the new Raptor 700R pretty much all day and got to know it quite well. As before, (post 2006 when Yamaha got really serious about making their decent big bore sport quad the best in the business), I felt right at home on the machine. It’s lightweight, handles well with long-travel suspension and remains planted with a decent low center to gravity feel. With this, whoops are manageable and fun, jump landings are soft and plush, turning is a breeze and roosting while steering with the rear of the machine is addictive. The new and improved engine provides tons of torque, enough that you can even ride all day in 3rd gear if you like. But, unlike some big bore machines that offer nothing but top-end, mostly unusable power, when someone rides up on you and shows you a wheel, there’s plenty of snappy quick-revving power ready on tap when it’s time to rock and roll. When you tuck in and mash on the throttle they’ll know you mean business by the Raptor’s effortless big-bore four-stroke bark that you’re no longer just cruising the trail.

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Besides the engine and long travel shock improvements, a new DID X ring chain, Yamaha went with taller, stiffer 22" Maxxis tires up front for better handling and comfort.

Besides the engine & long travel shock improvements, and a new DID X ring chain, Yamaha went with taller and stiffer 22″ Maxxis tires up front for better handling and comfort.

Summing up the ride, braking is outstanding, ergonomics are just as perfect as usual and power wheelies are even easier and more fun than ever. To tell the truth, it’s hard to find shortcomings with this machine, I like it that much. The only negative I felt was a slight front end darting on harder packed areas of our ride but only at high speeds and only when I didn’t have a good hard grip on the bars. This may have been helped by adjusting the front shocks to plant the front end a little more, but I never touched them, it wasn’t that big of a deal. If this becomes an issue for you, an aftermarket steering dampener would solve this slight nit-pick of mine. This may actually be a give and take situation, because the new Maxxis front tires work very well, and you’ll appreciate this in low to mid speeds cornering situations.

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Here's a sneak peak of the 2015 Raptor 700R Special Edition model. Besides the black, white and red frame color combo it will come with GYTR heel guards and front grab bar.

Here’s a sneak peak of the 2015 Raptor 700R Special Edition model. Besides the black, white and red frame color combo it will come with GYTR heel guards and front grab bar.


yam_raptor700r_DY5T7773 Thanks to Yamaha’s continued sport quad passion, a high-revving, arm-yanking, racer-type 450 isn’t your only choice for fun sport riding on an ATV. If you’re looking for the best big-bore sport quad on the market, especially if you’re big on dune-riding, look no further than this year’s Raptor 700R.

The 2015 Raptor 700R looks clean and sharp in a Yamaha blue and white color scheme. The 700R price is$8,199 – no price increase over the 2014 models. A Special Edition model with unique black-white plastics and red painted frame plus GYTR heel guards and front grab bar is also be available for $8,799 MSRP. A standard base model (Raptor 700) is also offered.

2015 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R SPECIFICATIONS:
Engine Type: 686cc liquid-cooled w/fan, 4-stroke; SOHC, 4 valves Bore x Stroke:102.0mm x 84.0mm Compression Ratio: 10.0:1 Fuel Delivery: Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI), 44mm Ignition: 32 Bit ECU Starting System: Electric Transmission: 5-speed w/reverse; wet multiplate clutch Drive Train: 2WD; sealed O-ring chain, eccentric adjustment Suspension Front: Independent double wishbone w/piggyback High- /Lo-speed compression, rebound and threaded preload adjustment, 9.1-in travel Suspension Rear: Cast aluminum swing arm w/rebound, High-/Lo- speed compression and threaded preload adjustment, 10.1-in travel
Brakes Front: Dual ventilated hydraulic disc, twin piston Brakes Rear: Ventilated hydraulic disc, twin piston Tires Front: Maxxis® AT22 x 7-10 Tires Rear: Maxxis® AT20 x 10-9 L x W x H: 72.6 x 45.5 x 43.9 in Seat Height: 32.7 in Wheelbase: 50.4 in Ground Clearance: 9.5 in Fuel Capacity: 2.9 gal Wet Weight: 422 lb Lighting: Dual 30W Krypton multireflector headlights & 3.9/0.5W LED brakelight Warranty: 6 Month (Limited Factory Warranty) Color: Team Yamaha Blue/White
2015 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700R SE SPECIFICATIONS:
Engine  Type 686cc  liquid-­cooled  w/fan,  4-­stroke;  SOHC,  4   valves
Bore  x  Stroke 102.0mm  x  84.0mm
Compression  Ratio 10.0:1
Fuel  Delivery Yamaha  Fuel  Injection  (YFI),  44mm
Ignition 32  Bit  ECU
Starting  System Electric
Transmission 5-­speed  w/reverse;  wet  multiplate  clutch
Drive  Train 2WD;  sealed  O-­ring  chain,  eccentric  adjustment
Suspension  /  Front Independent  double  wishbone  w/piggyback  High-­ /Lo-­speed  compression,  rebound  and  threaded   preload  adjustment,  9.1-­in  travel
Suspension  /  Rear Cast  aluminum  swing  arm  w/rebound,  High-­/Lo-­ speed  compression  and  threaded  preload   adjustment,  10.1-­in  travel
Brakes  /  Front Dual  ventilated  hydraulic  disc,  twin  piston
Brakes  /  Rear Ventilated  hydraulic  disc,  twin  piston
Tires  /  Front Maxxis®  AT22  x  7-­10
Tires  /  Rear Maxxis®  AT20  x  10-­9
L  x  W  x  H 72.6  x  45.5  x  43.9  in
Seat  Height 32.7  in Wheelbase 50.4  in
Ground  Clearance 9.5  in
Fuel  Capacity 2.9  gal
Wet  Weight** 422  lb
Lighting Dual  30W  Krypton  multireflector  headlights  &   3.9/0.5W  LED  brakelight
Warranty 6  Month  (Limited  Factory  Warranty)
Color Black/White
2015 YAMAHA RAPTOR 700 SPECIFICATIONS:
Engine  Type 686cc  liquid-­cooled  w/fan,  4-­stroke;  SOHC,  4   valves Bore  x  Stroke 102.0mm  x  84.0mm
Compression  Ratio 10.0:1 Fuel  Delivery Yamaha  Fuel  Injection  (YFI),  44mm
Ignition 32-­Bit  ECU
Starting  System Electric
Transmission 5-­speed  w/reverse;  wet  multiplate  clutch   Drive  Train 2WD;  sealed  O-­ring  chain,  eccentric  adjustment
Suspension  /  Front Independent  double  wishbone  and  threaded  5-­way   preload  adjustment,  9.1-­in  travel
Suspension  /  Rear Cast  aluminum  swing  arm  with  preload   adjustment,  10.1-­in  travel
Brakes  /  Front Dual  ventilated  hydraulic  disc,  twin  piston
Brakes  /  Rear Ventilated  hydraulic  disc,  twin  piston
Tires  /  Front Maxxis®  AT22  x  7-­10
Tires  /  Rear Maxxis®  AT20  x  10-­9
L  x  W  x  H 72.6  x  45.5  x  43.9  in
Seat  Height 32.7  in
Wheelbase 50.4  in
Ground  Clearance 4.4  in
Fuel  Capacity 2.9  gal
Wet  Weight 422  lb
Lighting Dual  30W  Krypton  multireflector  headlights  &   3.9/0.5W  LED  brakelight
Warranty 6  Month  (Limited  Factory  Warranty)
Color Team  Yamaha  Blue/White

 

More information at www.YamahaMotorSports.com

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