Yamaha Raptor 250 Project - Overview

You can win this modified monster!

Story by ATV.com Staff, Photography by Jeff M. Vanasdal, Jun. 29, 2009
 

If you’ve been following along at home, you’ll know that ATV.com has been busy building up a Project Yamaha Raptor 250 that one of our lucky readers will get to take home.

Though the Raptor was already head and shoulders ahead of the rest of its 250cc sport quad competition, we thought it would be fun to outfit it with a variety of bolt-on accessories and replacement parts to boost the performance and give it a new look.

Our goal was to build a machine that just about anybody with basic set of tools and a little knowhow could duplicate for themselves at home without pulling their hair out from frustration. Also, since the Raptor 250 has a reasonable sticker price to begin with, we wanted to keep the budget within reason. The end result certainly isn’t a full-on race quad, but it is a machine that has more power, improved handing and comfort, added protection and a much bigger “Wow” factor than what you’ll find on the showroom floor.

Before: Stock 2009 Yamaha Raptor 250.
After: ATV.com's Project Yamaha Raptor 250.

Best Fit

When it comes to accessories for Yamaha ATVs, GYTR is probably the best place to start.  Not only does GYTR make a huge variety of great products for every Yamaha in the fleet, but everything always fits perfectly.

If you buy GYTR accessories for your Yamaha, you know they’re going to fit.

GYTR accessories are only made with Yamaha ATVs in mind. Not once did we have to worry about drill holes not lining up or bolts not fitting properly. All our GYTR accessories fit the Raptor like they were made by the same people. Go figure.

Biggest Bargain

Adding new wheels to your ATV is always a big expense, especially when you want some eye-catching alloy wheels with color inserts. Imagine our surprise when we called up MotorSport Alloys to ask about the striking S3 Redline wheels in Phanton Blue and found out a complete set of four costs less than $300! As a matter of fact, we did some searching and found one on-line dealer who had a set for $249.

Under $300 for a set of these beauties!

Looks are subjective, but we love these wheels. You can find better performance wheels, but good luck finding anything that looks nearly as good for anywhere near that price.

Problems

The V-Lite bumper required a little creativity to fit our Raptor 250.

Because we didn’t mess around with the engine and stuck to easy-to-install bolt-on parts, we didn’t really run into any major problems on this build. However, we did have a few issues that caused us to scramble.

First, we had mix up with our tire and wheel sizes. Initially we wanted to wrap our MotoSport Alloy wheels with Kenda Kutter tires. The problem was the Kutter rear tires were 8-inch, while the rims were 10-inch. Fortunately, Kenda quickly shipped out a set of Kenda Klaws that fit perfectly.

The V-Lite front bumper from DG Performance is a great looking piece, but the top brackets were a little too spaced out so the stock bolts wouldn’t quite fit. This turned out to be a very easy fix. All we had to do was place the bumper in a vice and squeezed the top brackets a little bit. Problem solved.
 
Without a doubt our biggest problem was getting all the parts delivered at the right time. This was really only an issue for us because we were doing the build in stages and we had deadlines for each article. Ultimately, everything we needed was delivered and we were able to complete the build.

Last Minute Addition

SDC billet parking brake block off

Our Project Raptor builder/writer, Jeff Vanasdal, had some billet aluminum parts made specifically for the Raptor. He added a +1 billet bar clamp and riser in Part 4, but he was still waiting for one more part to get finished.

Just in time for this final article Jeff added a new Santor Design Co. billet parking brake block off, which included new O-ring and bolts. It’s available in bare and black anodized finish.

According to Jeff, the parking brake block off is a must if you want to race, plus it looks trick, there’s les clutter on your bars, and it’s easy to install. You can pick one up from SDC for just $18.95.

If Money Was No Object

The stock shocks are great for recreational riding, but if you want to race an upgrade might be in order.

If money was no object, we’d probably buy everything anybody makes for the Raptor 250. For most of us non-lottery winners, however, money is indeed a very big factor.

A shock upgrade was probably the most obvious omission. A good set of shocks from Elka, Ohlins or Fox, however, would have added another 50 percent or so to our total build cost. It just didn’t make sense for us to spend that kind of money. If we had, our build cost would have been more than the sticker price on the Raptor 250.

If the winner of the Project Raptor plans to use the unit for racing, then a shock upgrade makes a lot more sense. If he/she just wants to have some fun playing around the trails, the current setup is more than adequate.

Wait…There’s More!

In addition to taking home the Project Raptor, the winner is also getting hooked up with the latest gear from Shift Racing.

Shift Agent Helmet

The winner gets to choose between Shift Squadron pants and jersey or Shift Strike jersey and pants. Shift Racing is also supplying a DOT approved Agent helmet and a pair of Tactic or Strike gloves.

The Squadron jersey features fade-resistant sublimated graphics, screen-printed logos with woven outside patches and a unique collar shape for added comfort.

Shift Squadron Jersey Shift Strike Jersey

The Strike jersey is made with eight-panel construction for increased comfort and performance and a two-piece Lycra insert collar for added comfort. A full mesh back and vented underarms add breathability.

Squadron pants provide a baggy fit and go over the boots. The pants feature six pockets, including two large zippered cargo style pockets. The full-grain leather inner knee panels provide heat and abrasion resistance. For those hot days, the lower legs zip off and the pants are converted to long-length shorts.

Shift Squadron Pants Shift Strike Pants

Strike pants come with an articulated waist and knees to conform to the rider in the attack position. Strike pants also feature full-grain leather inner knee panels, as well as strategically placed vent and stretch zones for added airflow.

Contest Details

The contest to win the Project Raptor will be opening soon. It’s absolutely free to enter, but you need to sign up for the ATV.com Newsletter. Once the contest is open, you’ll receive an email with all the details.

Good luck to everybody!

Raptor 250 Project Sponsors:
Yamaha Motor Corporation USA
DG Performance
Fasst Company
Kenda Tires
Maier Plastics
Moto Grips
MotoSport Alloys
PowerMadd
Pro Armor
Quad Tech
Santor Design Co.
Shift Racing

Yamaha Raptor 250 Project Costs
Power & Performance
GYTR Performance Muffler $349.95
GYTR Carburetor Jet Kit $39.95
GYTR High Flow Air Filter $51.95
GYTR Billet Air Filter Adaptor Plate $59.95
Wheels & Tires
Kenda Klaws Tires (Front) $91.88 (x2)
Kenda Klaws Tires (Rear) $104.82 (x2)
Motosport Alloys S3 Redline Wheels (Front) $68 (x2)
Motosport Alloys S3 Redline Wheels (Rear) $73 (x2)
Protection
GYTR Nerf Bars (Black Bars with Black Webbing) $269.90
DG Performance V-Lite Front Bumper $109.95
DG Performance Alloy Grab Bar $69.95
DG Performance Baja A-Arm Guards $89.95
DG Performance Baja Skid Plate - Full Chassis $109.95
Handling & Comfort
Fasst Company Flexx Handlebars $349.95
PowerMadd Star Series Handguards $34.95
Quad Tech Seat Cover $125.00
Pro Armor Kill Switch $30.95
Moto Grips Death Grips $15.99
Santor Design Co. +1 Oversized Bar Clamps / Risers $75.95
Santor Design Co. Parking Brake Block Off $18.95
Eye Candy
Maier Plastics Front Fender $268.89
Maier Plastics Rear Fender $252.33
Maier Plastics Hood $63.57
Santor Design Co. Resurrection Graphics Kit $135.95
Riding Gear
Shift Pants $139.95 to $149.95 (Squadron)
$79.95 (Strike)
Shift Jersey $39.95 (Squadron)
$29.99 (Strike)
Shift Gloves $24.95 (Tactic)
$19.95 (Strike)
Shift Agent Helmet $99.99

Related Reading
Yamaha Raptor 250 Project – Part 1
Yamaha Raptor 250 Project – Part 2
Yamaha Raptor 250 Project – Part 3
Yamaha Raptor 250 Project – Part 4
Yamaha Raptor 250 Project – Part 5
2009 Yamaha Raptor 250 Review
Yamaha Raptor 250 Project – Giveaway