Raptor or YFZ450?

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Dear Motorhead,

I am in the market for a new quad and am torn between the Yamaha 700 Raptor and the YFZ450. I am a sucker for displacement, but from what I’ve heard the 450 is one mean SOB. 

I want to buy one of them and install some reliable horsepower and handling mods right off the bat. I have $3-$4,000 extra to put in either quad after the purchase. I have no plans to race but want to be able to carry the mail when I want to.

Any suggestions in what mods I should do first will be greatly appreciated. 

BTW…I bought your latest issue at Walmart and as a first time buyer I can say I am very impressed. 

Hope to hear from you soon.

Thanks in advance,



Thanks for your email!

Without telling me what you have experience with in the past, I am reluctant to recommend one of these ATV’s.

The 450 is a purpose-built, dead serious competition targeted ATV. The Raptor is a much more versatile, trail friendly vehicle which, in my opinion – is the right choice for a non-racing buyers.

The power is super broad, it’s EFI and the chaissis is super compliant for both trails and dunes.

After you buy one or the other, we can talk performance mods!

Good Luck!

Motorhead Mark

Hi Craig,

I thought I would chime in as I have a lot of experience with both these units being one of the sport riders of our publication. 

The 450 is a great ride but if your not focusing on the track you might want to stay away from it. The mill is already running at the top percentile of it’s power range and modifying it can be a nightmare if you want a reliable and trail-able sport quad that’ll really haul donkey. 

The 700 Raptor in the SE package gives you almost everything you’ll find on the 450 including a sweet suspension package if you do happen to find yourself on the track wanting to throw down a few laps and heat up the shock oil.

Modifying the EFI mill is not terribly hard and the available modifications to really pump up the juice are out there.

If you’ve got 3-4 grand to throw into the ATV I’d recommend the SE Raptor and then take a look at either a big bore kit with a plug and play tuner box, a pipe/air, filter and some other goodies. Or go the whole way and throw a turbo kit on it.

Now the turbo kit is pretty serious and will probably run you a little more green but if you’re looking for something that is absolutely wild on horsepower the turbo kits out there really do impress. 

Just a few thoughts, 

AJ Lester

Dirt Trax Online
Dirt Trax Onlinehttps://www.atvmag.com
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