Yamaha tweaked its big-bore sport ATV for 2013 in order to keep the Raptor 700R at the top of the sport segment. For 2013 the 700R has front fenders that have been moved forward 50mm to allow more room in the saddle. Our 6'0" test rider never felt his knees come into contact regardless of body position or level of aggressive riding.
The steel and aluminum chassis is powdercoated a silver/gray color which matches the engine, and Yamaha shod its big straight-axle quad with new tires. It traded out the old Dunlops for a new set of Maxxis tires. The tread pattern provides excellent traction and a stiffer sidewall limits roll and maintains predictable sliding. We rode the Raptor on dry Oregon trails and sharp volcanic rocks and never had an issue with the front end pushing or the chassis getting unsettled.
A twin-piston rear brake caliper comes straight off the YFZ450R, replacing the old single-pot binder and providing plenty of power and feel. The 700 still uses its proven fuel-injected single cylinder with dual counterbalancers and a five-speed transmission with reverse.
Not only did the ATV get upgrades, but Yamaha managed to lower the price by $300 dollars for the Raptor 700R and $200 for the Special Edition compared to 2012 models.
In addition to the blue/white Raptor 700R and Special Edition, Yamaha also offers a Raptor 700. This machine has non-piggyback shocks without compression or rebound adjustment and a non-adjustable front brake lever. Buyers will get two sets of graphics to choose from and a very palatable price tag of $7699. We only got a chance to ride the R model, but the 2013 Raptors are heavy-duty fun and performance that are unique in the sport quad market.