There are more aftermarket goodies for the Yamaha Raptor 700R than you can possibly imagine. Everything you can dream of has been built, fabricated, painted, bolted-on and welded to these popular ATVs so looking at my stock 700R in the garage was causing me fits. This particular Raptor was destined to be a dune machine almost exclusively so our first order of business was to make this a dune-worthy weapon. The Oregon Sand Dunes is a favorite playground of ours with its steep hills, twisty trails and epic ocean vistas just a few of the top reasons to come ride here. So how could we make this Dune monster growl louder? Read on…
The first order of business was to get more power out of this 700R, so we begged Big Gun to let us sample one of its most popular full systems, the Big Gun EVO R Series Dual Exhaust
($692.99). It features a pair of 304 stainless steel headers mated to a set of beautiful aluminum cans topped off with Big Gun signature anodized-red end caps. The end caps are easily removed so you can install the optional USFS spark arrestors, quiet-core inserts or simply re-pack them when the need arises. All the welds are trick and the machines pieces are first rate. Big Gun takes pride in fit and finish, and it shows.
The clean look and improved performance offered by the Big Gun EVO R Series Dual Exhaust makes the minimal amount of work needed to install the system well worth the effort.
We hauled the trusty steed to our friends at DTR Racing (503-589-1300) in Keizer, Oregon, for help with the installation process. DTR are renowned Raptor tuners and an essential part of the ATV scene here in the Pacific Northwest and we’ve worked with them on our 2010 raptor 700R Project Bike once before. It was a good thing they were willing to help because although the actual exhaust installation process took all of 60 minutes, including removing the single header and muffler that makes up the stock system and wiggling the dual unit into place, we came across a few sticking points that they were able to address.
On the shifter side of the engine near the back of the cases there is a wiring harness routed along a similar path as the Big Gun header. This looked like a potential problem and DTR has seen this before with other dual systems for the Raptor. The solution is to fabricate a 3x4-inch aluminum plate that bolts to the backside of the engine using existing bosses. They add a layer of heat tape on the inside of the piece for an added level of protection from the hot header. From there, the EVO R-series install is straight forward. Another heads-up for self-installation is that on our system the brake-side (right) header is routed close to the frame so you have to take care how you align the two parts in order to keep the header from rubbing on the frame. Other than that the system lines-up perfect and looks ultra-clean.
To get the most out of your Big Gun exhaust, they now offer the Big Gun TFI Power Box
($249.95). This compact and easy to install hardware ensures maximum power from your full system upgrade. With eight manually adjustable settings the Power Box is not as complicated as some more advanced systems, so it doesn’t require a laptop to adjust settings, but that is the key to its design. Installation took approximately 10 minutes and it tucks cleanly inside the airbox with the provided double sided tape.
DTR Racing insisted that installing the Fuel Customs intake system and K&N Air filter makes all the differnce when looking to bump the Raptors performance.
When it came to the airbox, we were at a crossroads in our Raptor Project build. While the full Big Gun system and Power Box are destined to bump performance there is one more piece of the puzzle that DTR Racing insists makes all the difference when they built a Raptor for us a couple years ago: The Fuel Customs intake system and K&N Air Filter
. The process requires the airbox be removed or modified and DTR prefers to modify the existing air box by cutting 75% of it away. This allows for the original mounting location of the stock ECU and a cleaner fit and finish for the entire process. On the down side, you don’t want to be tackling any mud-bogs now that your airbox is gone. The Raptor is now officially a dune machine with the ability to tackle trails in dry conditions. DTR calls this a Stage-3 build that includes a full system, TFI and modified air intake. From here, you can get the most out of hotter cams, bigger throttle body and a few other tricks, but that is a story for another time.
The Fuel Customs air-intake system is the preferred intake of choice by DTR and the installation process takes all of 90-minutes to two hours. When it was done we ran the Raptor on the DTYR dyno and tuned our Project Bike to an impressive 9 horsepower gain from 45 hp in stock trim to 53 ponies. DTR says they usually expect to see 47-50 horsepower from a typical Stage 3 build like this.
On the down-side the Big Gun Evo R-Series Dual Exhaust is loud. It rattles our dB testing results to the tune of 98 Db, which makes it a tough sell in areas where noise restrictions are enforced. At the Oregon Dunes a 96-Db limit is enforced so we would have to use it exclusively during competition, hill climbs and sand drags during the annual Raptor Rally or Dune Fest held at our favorite play area known as Winchester Bay, or risk the potential ticket.
Looking at the dyno chart you can see that impressive gains were made across the power curve that make that added noise seem so well worth the trouble. From start to finish it gains five horsepower off the bottom gain up the entire face of the power curve before wrapping and topped out with almost 10 horsepower up on top end. The torque curve improved in a similar manner gaining 3-4 lb-ft across the range and ending with a 7 lb-ft gain. Out on the dunes and our top-secret test track the Raptor 700R was just as impressive in the real world as it was on the dyno.
Even though the 700R has a load of power in stock trim the delivery is fairly mellow. This is appealing for a lot of reasons but any gearhead will attest that more power is almost always a good thing. Thanks to Big Gun, Fuel Customs and DTR our 700R now has more bite to go along with its bark. It’s hard to stay off the gas since the system sounds so bad-ass and the improved power delivery makes it feel like an entirely different animal. Throttle response is instantaneous and it pulls much harder throughout the entire range. If you’re a Raptor 700R owner and are looking for more power then consider this Stage-3 build as your template to success.
You will notice from the photos and videos that we added a little bit of functional bling to our big boy too. Yamaha has a full line-up of GYTR products so we ordered up a trio of parts that are a necessity for any ATV. We start with the front bumper and a pair of GYTR nerf bars and nets. The pair adds some aesthetic appeal while providing much needed protection. The GYTR Glide plate (Skid plate) was added as well. This allows us to mow across sharp peak dunes and protects the soft underbelly of the 700R. We will go into more details of the GYTR products once we get some time under our belt with these hard parts in our next installment.