Upgrade your Yamaha Raptor 700 with these best power, performance and reliability accessories.
Even as the number one selling Sport ATV in the industry, adding some of these best Yamaha Raptor 700 upgrades can improve your riding experience. I’m a big fan of this machine, especially for playing around in the dunes like I did testing it earlier this year at Winchester Bay, OR, but like anything there is always room for improvement. For some it’s the never ending desire for increased speed and power, while others might be happy with the stock performance but want better overall comfort and control. Fortunately myself and plenty of ATV.com contributors have had the chance to spend dozens of hours aboard this mighty ATV and we’ve got plenty of feedback in the way of upgrades. In fact, we’ve even taken suggestions from followers on our Facebook page who are owners and fans of the Raptor 700, to share with you.
While some of the suggestions might be considered no-brainers to you, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the “Big 3” weren’t at the top of everyone’s first to-do list. If you’re new to the game and don’t know that reference, we’re talking about an aftermarket exhaust, intake, and electronic fuel controller. Maybe this is because the Raptor 700 in stock form has plenty of torque, but the consensus around here is that there are plenty of items to fine tune this popular ATV.
So if you’re looking for some great Raptor 700 upgrades, we’re pretty sure that you’ll be happy with what you find in our list.
Table of Contents
1. Editor's Choice: Fasst Company Flexx Handlebars
Next to upgrading your stock shocks, these handlebars are the best thing you can install on your ATV to minimize impact to the riders. Where traditional handlebars found on most ATVs transfer vibration and abuse to your hands and wrists, the Flexx Handlebars from Fasst Co. are designed to individually pivot and absorb shock through a variety of elastomers that have different stiffness. Installing these bars is literally like installing shock absorbers for your hands and arms. Even better is that they require minimal modification to install them on the Raptor 700. Simply purchase a set of oversize bar adapters, and you’re good to go.
2. Works Connection Billet Engine Plugs
Don’t ask us how we know that these plugs are worth their weight in gold. While they may be considered by many as dress-up items for your Raptor 700 engine, the aluminum engine plugs from Works Connection can save you and your engine from costly repairs. When you ride and the engine heats up, then engine covers slightly expand with the heat as does any metal. This can allow the plastic plugs that come installed on the engine to become loose and potentially back out. This can cause you to start losing oil, seriously affecting the lubrication of your engine. If you’re a long way from camp or your tow vehicle, this can leave you stranded. Simply installing these plugs minimizes the chance of this happening and gives you custom bling if you so wish.
3. Aftermarket Grips
One of the best upgrades you can make to the Raptor 700 or any ATV for that matter is changing out the stock grips. The OE grips have a tendency to be very stiff and make riders prone to getting blisters on long rough rides. By changing out the grips you can get some with different grip patterns and even different compounds from spongy foam to hard rubber if that is what you like. One of our testers favorites are the Pillow Top grips from Pro Taper, which come in different thicknesses to provide a comfortable yet firm grip while you’re riding. Another favorite of some testers are the ODI Rogue Lock-On grips, which are also available in different grip patterns and denseness. A great feature of the ODI Lock-On grips is that you don’t need to safety wire or glue them in place since they’re secured by locking clamps at either end of the grips.
4. Engine Case Savers
While it’s not a common occurrence, throwing a chain can cause one of the biggest headaches for an ATV owner ever. Without a case saver it’s easy for the chain to get bunched up between the countershaft sprocket and stator cover, which can potentially overstress the countershaft causing it to shift and crack your engine case. At that point not only do you need to replace a likely worn out chain, but you’ll also have to replace an expensive set of engine cases. Case savers are designed to prevent the chain from doing this and minimize any damage that might occur. Some are available in billet aluminum in a variety of colors, but we’re pretty fond of this unit from URO which is made from Polyurethane. With 5 mounting points, this case saver is securely held in place to prevent serious damage from happening to your engine making it a great Raptor 700 upgrade.
5. Underbelly Skid Plates
While the Raptor 700 comes with some basic plastic skid plates, these can easily be penetrated by rocks and branches that can damage your engine cases and even your frame. By removing those plastic pieces and upgrading to a full length aluminum skid plate you greatly increase your Raptor’s protection. Aside from providing greater protection, a skid plate, also known as a glide plate, can help you get over obstacles easier by allowing your ATV to slide over rocks and trees without getting hung up on any edges. Increase your protection even more by adding a swing arm skid plate to protect your rear end components like the brake rotor, sprockets and chain.
6. Lighting Upgrades
Do you like the idea of riding at night but are less than impressed with the output of the stock lights on your Raptor 700? We’ve found the setup that is perfect for you. NICECNC offers an LED light bar that you can mount to your handlebars to not only increase light at night but also give you the ability to broadcast light whichever way your handlebars are turned. The light bars are available in 6, 10, and 13.5” lengths and range from 2600 to 5200 lumens of light. Since it’s an LED light bar, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your charging system or even wiring harness for that matter. Simply wire the lights into your stock system and you’re good to go.
7. Aftermarket Tires
While you might not realize it, changing the style of tire you run could be one of the best Raptor 700 upgrades you can make to improve the handling of the machine. While the stock tires work decently in a wide variety of terrains, a simple change of lug pattern and tire profile can really alter the handling and traction you get out of your ATV. One of my favorite tires for any Sport ATV is the Maxxis RAZR XC. These tires feature a flat profile for maximum contact patch of the beefy tire lugs and even better is that the compound is durable to provide long tire life and puncture resistance. I’ve tested these tires and run them on my personal ATV because of their excellent handling and durability.
8. Aftermarket Intake System
If you’re one of those owners who want an increase in performance out of their Raptor 700, you’ll want to upgrade your intake system. Not only do you want to increase the amount of airflow into your engine, but you also want to make sure that it is clean air to minimize internal damage. Fuel Customs has been manufacturing aftermarket intake systems for years and are used by some of the top racers in the country for their performance gains. The system for the Raptor 700 comes with an intake tube, K&N style air filter, and all necessary mounting hardware that you’ll need to install. Through the development of the intake tube, Fuel Custom has increased the power of the Raptor 700 on the top end and carry the torque farther in the rev range. When tuned properly with an aftermarket exhaust, they’ve seen up to a 3 HP increase at the peak of the power curve.
9. Electronic Fuel Controller
A crucial item in properly tuning your engine to get maximum performance, a good electronic fuel controller is just what you need. The X10 ECU CDI from Vortex is a direct replacement for your stock ECU and not only allows you to adjust the fuel mapping with 3 individual trim switches (low, mid, and high throttle opening), but also gives you the option of changing the timing curves with 10 pre-set ignition maps. For the average user this will be exactly what you need to get the most out of the Big 3, but if you end up getting additional motor work like porting, camshafts or higher compression pistons, your engine tuner can make custom maps to meet the engine’s needs.
10. High Flow Exhaust System
In order for your Raptor 700 engine to make more power, you need to increase your fuel delivery, amount of fresh air through the intake, and have an unrestricted exhaust system to expel the gasses. With plenty of options that range from slip-on systems, to complete systems that come with a new header, mid, and tail section (muffler) it can be difficult to figure out which way to go. While slip-on systems are decent and will give you a fair power increase, my personal favorite is to go with a complete system. Most times the aftermarket headers are larger in diameter and come in different bends to maximize torque and overall power output. The Yoshimura Signature RS-2 is a great option that comes with a stainless steel header and tail pipe, complete with USFS approved spark arrestor, and weighs over 2 lbs less than your stock exhaust system.
Why are any of these Raptor 700 upgrades necessary?
Never in this piece did we ever claim that these were necessary upgrades. What is a necessity is completely up to you. These are merely suggestions for you to consider to increase rider comfort, power, and reliability. If you’re happy with the Raptor 700 as it is, that is great. Some owners might have different wants and needs though, and that’s why we did this list.
Glad you included grips on this list, but how do I know which is the best for me?
My best recommendation is that you check out other bikes the next time you go riding. See what other people are running and ask to feel the controls. You don’t necessarily have to be riding to know whether or not a grip feels good to you or not. You can even take a trip to your local dealer to check out their inventory and see what feels good. Honestly it’s taken me plenty of changes to find the ones I like best, so fortunately grips aren’t all that expensive.
When choosing replacement tires, I can’t tell which size I should be running.
The most common size for trail riders is 20x10x9 in the rear and 21x7x10 in the front. This gives a good mix of performance for various terrains but if you primarily ride in the desert, you might want to consider running a larger diameter like a 22” rear and 23” front. This will give you increased ground clearance so you won’t get hung up on obstacles and lessen the chances of doing damage to the underside of your ATV. Some people like the thought of running an 18” rear for the increase in acceleration but you’ll lose top end speed and significantly lose ground clearance. That is why you mainly only see MX and short course racers run a tire this small.
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