Yamaha is consistently talked out when looking at off-road vehicles. This is especially true for ATVs and when comparing the Raptor 700 and YFZ450.
The Yamaha Raptor 700 vs. YFZ450 is an interesting comparison. In terms of size, the big-bore Raptor 700 will beat out the YFZ450 during drag racing and straightway driving situations. But the 450 does have excellent acceleration, but a slight lack of power makes it the second-best here.
The powerful four-stroke ATV is a Yamaha signature vehicle; the Raptor 700 and YFZ450 are perfect examples of this. This guide highlights each vehicle's key features and specifications and how they differ. Keep reading to determine which ATV is the superior option for off-roading.
Yamaha Raptor 700 vs. YFZ450
Yamaha is a well-known brand in the world of all-terrain vehicles, with the Raptor 700 and the YFZ450 being two of their most popular models. They are still manufactured today with brand-new 2023 models.
These two ATVs are intended for different types of riders and uses, but they share some characteristics that make them difficult to compare. Both are highly graded for off-road riding, speed, and racing.
Both ATVs are similarly priced with many of the same features, so deciding which is better is difficult. We will expand on this debate and compare the Yamaha Raptor 700 and YFZ450 regarding power, performance, design, features, price, and availability.
Yamaha Raptor 700 Key Features & Specifications
The Yamaha Raptor 700 is affordable and impressive, providing a unique combination of power and comfort. Below are some of the key features and specs that make this such a reliable ATV in a crowded market.
Big-Bore Power Engine & Torque
The primary performance feature of the Yamaha Raptor 700 is the big-bore power engine. This 686cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected Raptor engine provides excellent torque, fuel efficiency, and vehicle handling.
It’s built for quick revving with lightweight pistons and a durable crankshaft. Because of the digital ignition and electric starter, riders have no issues getting the engine going, and the power is felt while accelerating.
Knowing about the 9,000 RPMs of torque before riding this ATV is best because the power can intimidate new riders. It comes in handy while racing and holds up well in off-road, rocky terrain situations.
The Raptor 700 is built with a high-tech chassis using steel for added durability, riding stability, and overall weight support. This chassis includes a piggyback rear shock with 10.1-inch wheel travel and easy adjustability.
The frame also uses aluminum to remain lightweight, so the hybrid ATV can still remain one of the lightest ATVs in its class without losing durability. The two key aluminum components are the sub-frame and cast aluminum swing-arm.
This chassis is one key advantage the Raptor 700 has over the YFZ450 too. It tends to be the more durable design of the two.
Sporty Ergonomics & Controls
This high-performance ATV has sporty ergonomics and controls for better vehicle handling and rider comfort. One example is the thumb throttle lever, allowing riders to change speeds with less fatigue.
The seating is also built with sporty riding in mind. It’s a longer seat with a wider base to maximize comfort. Overall, this ATV is designed for the adventure rider, and many performance features allow you to truly test this vehicle’s limits.
Yamaha Diagnostic Tool
We will discuss the maintenance requirements for each ATV in more detail, but one key feature the Raptor 700 can offer is this diagnostic tool. It allows for easy vehicle monitoring, so anytime something is wrong, the rider will know.
This improves the vehicle’s serviceability to diagnose the current issue, rather than not knowing and only trying to guess. This saves time and money when something does break and the vehicle is due for repair.
Yamaha YFZ450 Key Features & Specifications
The Raptor YFZ450 also has an adjustable front and rear suspension system for superior handling on any terrain. It has a lightweight frame for easy maneuverability in tight trails, and its high ground clearance allows it to easily go over obstacles.
We have also listed some of this ATV's key features and specifications below. This includes a unique engine design, easy-to-handle clutch, light throttle action, and high-performance shocks.
Compact Counterbalanced Engine
The compact counterbalanced engine is race ready and uses a high-tech construction with titanium valves for quick revving. This ATV uses a 449cc engine displacement, so it’s smaller than the Raptor 700 but still packs a punch.
This engine also relies on an aluminum and steel chassis and advanced cylinder head. It’s a five-valve cylinder with excellent acceleration power, but it is not as fast on straightaways or over long distances as the Raptor.
Assist and Slipper Clutch
Another amazing feature this ATV can offer is the assist-and-slipper clutch. This allows riders to effortlessly use the clutch lever with low effort for reduced fatigue while driving. It’s also much faster because of the easy-to-move clutch plate.
We love this clutch system, and it reduces the effort needed for braking too, so hitting corners faster while downshifting is also a breeze. It integrates well with the fuel injection system, and this is a highly efficient ATV.
Excellent Adjustability & Traction
This ATV also has plenty of adjustable features for different rider sizes. This starts with the adjustable handlebars that can be changed to reduce vibrations while riding using four-way clamps.
Standard handlebar settings include 10mm forward, 20mm forward, or 10mm backward. The ATV also has wider footpegs, rigid wheels, and wide-track Maxxis tires for excellent off-road handling capabilities.
The other great thing about this ATV is the suspension and shocks. It’s more built for handling off-road terrain at high speeds, so it comes with high-performance KYB shocks and a Kashima coating.
These shocks are much longer to increase the stroke and bump absorption on rocky surfaces. A long A-Arm and swingarm rear suspension also help with vehicle balance and stability.
Differences Between Yamaha Raptor 700 & YFZ450
Now that we know some of the best features each ATV has, let's compare the key differences. These differences will determine which vehicle is best for you, depending on what you are looking for and your overall riding skills and experience.
Power & Performance
The Yamaha Raptor 700 is powered by a 686cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine producing approximately 50 horsepower. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, and the Raptor 700 can reach up to 75 MPH.
A high-performance suspension system provides a smooth ride and excellent handling on the Raptor 700. The four-stroke engine also uses a unique Yamaha fuel injection for improved efficiency.
The Yamaha YFZ450 is powered by a 449cc liquid-cooled four-stroke engine with 39 horsepower. The engine relies on a five-speed manual transmission, and the top speed of the YFZ450 is around 75 miles per hour.
It also has a high-performance suspension system as well, but it's designed for agility and stability in tight turns. Choosing between these ATVs based on speed is difficult, but the Raptor 700 certainly has more power.
The YFZ450 comes equipped with a 5-speed, wet multi-plate assist-and-slipper clutch transmission. The Raptor 700 also has a 5-speed but comes with a reverse and wet multi-plate clutch.
Many riders prefer the assist-and-slipper clutch because it’s much easier to pull, making riding the vehicle more comfortable. This is especially preferred off-road when shock absorption is a key component of vehicle stability.
Because of this key feature, the YFZ450 gets the nod as the superior option for ATV transmission. While it may not seem like a huge difference, it can impact the rider’s ability to handle the vehicle.
For vehicle suspension, we can start by looking at the YFZ450. This ATV uses an independent double-wishbone front suspension with Kashima coated piggyback shocks. This includes solid high/low compression and 9.8-inch travel.
For the rear, this vehicle has a cast aluminum swing-arm with the same shocks and 11.0-inch travel. It rides with excellent balance and provides superior shock absorption off-road.
Meanwhile, the Raptor 700 has independent double-wishbone suspension on the front with a 5-way preload and 9.1-inch travel. The rear suspension is a cast aluminum swing-arm and 10.1-inch travel. The lack of high-performance shocks is a concern for many.
Lastly, we always like to consider the maintenance requirements when comparing two ATVs because it can determine whether a rider is suited to handle the vehicle or not. It’s well-known the YFZ450 is easier to maintain.
It is equipped with advanced shocks and other off-road handling features, unlike the Raptor. Getting the Raptor 700 to this level would cost a pretty penny, and maintenance would cost more without it too.
Yamaha Raptor 700 vs. YFZ450: Which Is Faster?
The Yamaha Raptor 700 and YFZ450 are two of the best options for a fast and powerful ATV. Both vehicles are capable of high performance, but which is faster?
Both vehicles offer powerful engines and sleek designs, but riders can expect different speeds. For example, they have a similar top speed of around 75 MPH, but the Raptor 700 will go faster on straightaways.
The Raptor 700 is faster because of the more significant engine displacement. On the other hand, the YFZ450 will accelerate quicker because it’s more compact. But both have plenty of power for off-road driving.
The YFZ450 also has many race-ready features, but the smaller engine size makes it challenging to keep up with the Raptor 700. We recommend the Raptor for any drag racing and straightway speed riders.
Is The Yamaha Raptor 700 Better Than The Yamaha YFZ450?
Both ATVs have many similarities, but right away, anybody who rides each will notice a difference in acceleration, power, and torque. The advantage in this scenario belongs to the Raptor 700.
With its advanced features, the Raptor 700 is ideal for off-road riders who want to experience an exhilarating ride. For those with more experience, the YFZ450 is the superior option because of its tight handling.
In any scenario outside of drag racing, the YFZ450 is the superior choice because it provides too many features to assist riders with off-road handling. It’s also got a lighter build and solid power despite the lack of size.
We would recommend most riders start with the Raptor 700 to gain experience because it’s a more stable ATV. After learning how to ride well, moving to a smaller, sportier option could be beneficial. However, you can’t go wrong with either option.
- The Yamaha Raptor 700 is the larger ATV with a more powerful engine, better horsepower, and high-end straightaway drag racing speed. It’s also the better choice for beginners.
- The Yamaha YFZ450 is more built for performance with a smaller engine and slightly smaller body. It can handle rugged terrain better because of the shocks and more impressive suspension.
- Both ATVs can reach speeds up to 75 MPH and have enough durability to rank near the top among the best ATVs on the market.
About THE AUTHOR
45 years old. I'm in business marketing. I write for Hunt or Shred on the side. I love hiking, camping, and everything outdoors with my family. I have 6 years of experience working at an ATV shop selling, fixing, and test driving all brands and models.Read More About Gary