Yesterday I picked up a New 2008 Yamaha Raptor 700R S.E. The S.E. stands for Sexy Edition! Heh, Special Edition actually, but it is one sharp looking quad!
Yamaha definitely did a nice job this year with their Special Edition. They always do, but this year they went an extra step and put the upgraded GYTR front grab bar and GYTR aluminum heel guards on the Special Edition. Both a very nice touch. Also, this year all the Raptor 700’s have dual compression front shocks with piggyback reservoirs, the same shocks they put on their top end YFZ450 race quad. Overall… this is one sweet ride!
So if you know me then you’re probably thinking, “WTF?! Didn’t you just get a new quad last year?!” Yes I did. I bought a Yamaha Raptor 350 S.E. last year which I was perfectly happy with until… well until Paul came back from Afghanistan and decided he wanted to get an ATV too and then did… When he started looking for quads he was looking at quads similar to the 350 I had. He thought anything bigger is kind of a lot of power probably not good for a first time rider. A true enough thought, but then he found a good deal on ebay on a used 2002 Raptor 660 and got that instead.
So of course after he got it I had to try it out. I gave it a quick ride around the woods out back and WOW! That extra power is nice! The bike accelerates REAL quick and the extra torque makes it real easy to pull off a nice jump without nosing in. Also, the bike has longer gears than my 350 so you have to shift a lot less. Real nice for aggressive riding on rough terrain. My only problem with it was that it didn’t seem to handle as well as my 350 did. Powering around curves it tended to push quite a bit as the extra torque tended to get the front light. It probably also didn’t help though that the front could use some new tires as the tread on them is pretty worn. The other thing I noticed was the quad had a little more tendency to role. You had to lean in a bit more to keep all 4 tires planted in the corners. Overall though, the power made well up for the handling issues. It got me thinking… man… I might need to consider a new, bigger bike.
That brings us to now. A little over a month later I went and got the bigger bike. I found a great dealer in Toledo, Honda East, selling quads for typically $500-$600 less than any other dealer in Ohio. I emailed the sales rep and asked him about the final out the door price. I wanted to see if there was any b.s. fees like a huge destination charge or something, but nope. The price they listed on ATV Trader Online was the real price. Well that got me thinkin’… I debated it for a few days then finally decided I’m gonna do it. I’m going to trade in my 350 and get the 700! Am I glad I did!
This thing is sweet! When I got the bike home and took it for a ride I was instantly wowed! The fuel injected 686cc engine powered right up with one push of the starter button and off I went. The power is awesome! Power slides and wheelys on demand! I was even more shocked however to find how great the handling is. The effort required for steering is real light and the bike corners great. I didn’t have any problem with the bike pushing or any role over tendency. It took the jumps like a pro and was easy to keep from nosing over in the air. I thought my 350 handled well, but this thing is way better! It was amazing how much lighter the bike felt than the 350 even though it is 21 pounds heavier! The Yamaha engineers definitely did a great job with this thing. I am REALLY happy with this quad!