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By: Matt Finley

Yamaha Raptor 700R SE

Raptor 700R SE
Raptor 700R SE

Yamaha has brought sport ATVs to the next level with the new fuel injected 2007 Raptor 700R SE. This is clearly the Cadillac model of the new sport class quads, with all the power you’ll need along with a very comfortable and natural ride. This quad is not just a bigger size for the Raptor 660 motor; it’s a complete re-build.

Performance and Handling
After spending a short amount of time on a borrowed 2006 Raptor 700 with stock suspension in the sand at Gordon’s Well, we were so impressed by the all-around quality and comfort of the Raptor, even with stock suspension, that we knew further review would be necessary.

When you first climb on the Raptor, you’ll notice the wide, comfortable seat and the cushy suspension. The controls are easy to reach and comfortable to hold on to. When you start the 686cc single cylinder engine, you’ll know there's a ton of power before you even go anywhere. Once you take it out to the dunes or on the trail, you’ll quickly notice the differences between the Raptor power and comfort and any other sport ATV you've ridden. But let it loose in the desert and you'll be able to fully unleash that powerful 4-stroke thumper and take advantage of the extra 2” in width from the previous 2006 model, and the lower center of gravity, which both help to greatly reduce that “tippy” feeling you got with previous builds.

Add to that the Yamaha Fuel Injection (which should adjust for altitude changes, reducing/eliminating the coughing and sputtering you get from normally aspirated engines), along with the Digital TCI ignition, and you’ve got a serious performer.

With a-arms and steering cloned from the race-proven YZF450, wider stance and lower center of gravity, all-around balance, and the fuel injected motor, this quad should prove to be a leader for years to come.
Need to stop? Eventually we all do, and to that end, the new Raptor has twin-piston YZF-type hydraulic front brakes with a reduced-size drilled rear disk. It also includes a link-type parking brake with auto-adjust. The one bad thing we noticed about the parking brake is if you are holding in the clutch while reaching over to pop the e-brake on or off, it will come down and pinch your fingers. It should only take a couple times before you learn to release the clutch first, or move your hand further out on the clutch lever before engaging/disengaging the e-brake.

Fully Adjustable piggyback-type shock boasting 10.1" of travel.
Fully Adjustable piggyback-type shock boasting 10.1" of travel.

GYT-R Accessories
There is already a whole line of trick accessories and graphics designed by the GYT-R accessory engineers specifically for the Raptor. The Raptor sports eye-catching graphics in the tricked-out orange with black carbon fiber, and the newer white with blue carbon fiber.

The 700R SE came with awesome suspension upgrades, which make it a breeze to float in the dunes or cruise in the trails. The brand new highly adjustable Kayaba pre-load suspension, with dual rate springs and 9.1 inches of travel in front, coupled with the fully adjustable piggyback-type shock boasting 10.1” of travel in the back, will soak up almost every rock, bump, and jump you can throw at the Raptor.

At first glance at the double wishbone front a-arms, you'll see square-shaped uppers and round lowers. The average rider or on-looker will probably not notice this, but it's something you might find a bit confusing, if not embarrassing in certain circles. But make no mistake; the new aluminum square tubes on the upper a-arms are working brilliantly and solidly with the STEEL round lowers in a very sturdy and innovative combination, along with the new oil damper to provide optimum flexibility in suspension setup.
Yamaha has made it very easy to remove the air box and replace it with a new silencer, and there are already EFI units out there that will allow you to tweak it in just right.

2007 Raptor 700R SE
2007 Raptor 700R SE

Overall Impression
The 2007 Raptor 700R SE is the complete sport ATV package. While it may not compete directly with the YZF-450 race-based quad, the 700R SE will just about dominate every other sport ATV out there. In the dunes or on the trail, it is one of the most comfortable rides we’ve seen, with a very generous and wide power-band to take you anywhere you want to go, whether you're just off idle or pushing red-line. The suspension will easily make quick work of any bumps, ruts, or jumps you hit intentionally, as well as being very forgiving when you hit many of those obstacles you didn’t intend to hit.

It has the un-canny ability to stay flat and solidly on the ground with the wider stance, new tires and that unforgettable suspension. It’s not a wheelie monster like the older Raptor, but if that’s your game, you can easily stand it straight up with just a little bit of traction and roll-on power at your beck and call.

It’ll stop on a dime in just about any terrain, yet will allow you to easily break the tires loose to slide you confidently around sharp or unexpected turns. It’s very forgiving and is a much more rider-friendly quad for newer riders than any big sport quads we’ve seen so far. Yet, it has everything you need if you’re an experienced rider and want to take it to the limits.

All that power and great suspension with an astounding graphics package will surely make the Raptor stand out. The beautifully cut fenders, the ominous front grill, the sleek looking front headlights and embedded led brake lights in the rear make this a beauty from any angle. However, most people who aren’t actually riding one will be viewing it from behind. About the only thing that originally didn’t appeal to us were the all-black stock rims with the flat black meats, but they grew on us and quickly became part of the mystique that is the 2007 Yamaha Raptor 700R SE.

Type 686cc liquid-cooled, SOHC 4-stroke single w/fan, 4-valve
Bore x Stroke 9.2:1
Carburetion Yamaha Fuel Injection (YFI), 44mm
Ignition Digital TCI w/16-Bit ECU
Starting System Electric
Transmission 5-Speed manual clutch w/reverse
Drive Train 2WD; sealed o-ring chain, eccentric adjustment
Suspension/Front Independent double wishbone, 9.1" travel w/piggy back with high/low speed compression, rebound and threaded preload adjustment
Suspension/Rear Cast aluminum swing arm, 10.1" travel w/piggy back with high/low speed compression, rebound and threaded preload adjustment
Brakes/Front Dual ventilated hydraulic discs, twin pistons
Brakes/Rear Ventilated hydraulic disc, self adjusting park brake function
Tires/Front AT21x7-10 radial
Tires/Rear AT20x10-9 radial
L x W x H 72.6” x 46.1” x 44.5”
Seat Height 32"
Wheelbase 50.4"
Ground Clearance 4.4"
Dry Weight 396 lb.
Lighting Dual 30W Krypton multi-reflector headlights & 3.9/0.5W brake light
Warranty 6 Month (Limited Factory Warranty)

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