Best ATV 2013: Yamaha Raptor SE

December 27, 2013
By Motorcycle USA Staff
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Motorcycle USA gets dirty recapping the highlights of the 2013 riding season in its annual Best of Awards Dirt video– including selections for best enduro, dual-sport and motocross bike, as well as four-wheeled selections in the ATV and UTV segment.

Sport ATVs have taken a backseat to UTV and side-by-sides in the quad world, at least it certainly seems that way. But Yamaha proved it still caters to the refined tastes of dune-shredding mullet heads everywhere with its revamped Raptor 700R SE.

The 2013 Yamaha Raptor 700R SE is a consistent favorite for those sport ATV riders looking to tear up the dunes and trail rather than the racetrack. For 2013 the Tuning Fork Company hit the Raptor with some changes to make it more comfortable for larger riders and improve braking performance. It may not be the most technologically advanced, best handling or even the best looking quad out there, but it is the best overall choice for weekend warriors.

One squeeze of the thumb throttle and the Raptor will hook you with its big 686cc Single. The power comes on quick down low and revs to a crescendo that will stretch your arms. This counterbalanced mill can be lugged around for lazy trail rides or wound out to leave smaller bore ATVs in the dust. Regardless of riding conditions, the Raptor’s powerplant always satisfies.

Now that the front fenders have been moved forward 50mm, riders can move around easily without the bodywork interfering. All-day rides are also comfortable thanks to a big seat and plenty of legroom.

There is nothing like riding a Raptor 700 full-tilt and for that it has always been one of our favorite sport ATVs. It’s now $200 less for the SE model and $300 for the standard R spec. Add the fact that it is now assembled in the USA and you have the best Raptor yet and MotoUSA’s Best ATV of 2013.