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2008 Yamaha Raptor 250 ATV Press Intro
2008 Yamaha Raptor 250 ATV Project Build

2008 Yamaha Raptor 250
2008 Yamaha Raptor 250
West Virginia -When Yamaha released the Raptor 250 Sport ATV in late 2007, it quickly became the leader among the class of its sub 300cc counterparts with features that are typically only found in larger displacement ATV models, so we decided it would be the perfect machine for competing among the youth ranks in cross county and motocross racing for our young rider.

Whether the new Yamaha Raptor 250 would live up to the hype was yet to be seen. After visiting our local dealership and inspecting the new machine in 2007, we felt the Raptor would allow us a platform to begin a build on this machine that could pull duty in the XC and MX world for our young rider. Being that our rider is short in stature, the lightweight (313 LBS dry) and overall smaller size provided a perfect fit for our rider.

2008 Yamaha Raptor 250

Yamaha Raptor 250 ATV Side View

Keeping the machine basically stock for the first few months would not be hard as very few aftermarket companies had yet to embrace the new machine, but Yamaha's GYTR team had just about everything covered, from bumpers to exhaust if one wanted to immediately start adding on the goodies they had to offer. We chose to sit back and watch as slowly companies started making more and more products for the ATV. It wasn't long before suspension, exhaust systems, graphics kits, control arms/swing arms were on the market allowing one to really start building on what Yamaha had given us in stock form. Still, we chose to ride the machine stock and see what issues we felt would need to be attended to, as we started planning our eventual build.

2008 Yamaha Raptor 250 ATV double wishbone A-arm front suspension
2008 Yamaha Raptor 250 ATV sportier chain drive
Up Front, The Raptor 250 comes with double wishbone A-arm front suspension with five-way adjustable preload and offers 7.5" of wheel travel
In the rear, the Raptor 250 is chain driven and has a class leading 7.9" of wheel travel. Also, it has the same hydraulic rear brake system found on the YFZ450

The machine itself has a lot to offer and stock for stock would get my vote for best 300cc or below ATV model in its class. The stock suspension is adequate for its target market, it handles decent for being a fairly narrow platform and the power is more than enough to keep it right beside any other model in this range. For a price tag just under $3,700 it could well be the perfect starting platform for a young rider that is ready to step up to a manual clutch and more power. If your rider is above 5'8", I still feel the Honda 300ex may be a better fit, but this is subjective and up to what the rider feels comfortable with. With all the typical model info long since released, we got the opportunity to really dig into this machine and see if what it offered out-weighed any drawbacks we would find.
2008 Yamaha Raptor 250
2008 Yamaha Raptor 250
In stock form, the raptor 250 is nimble and has a smooth power delivery
The layout of the controls will fit a wide variety of riders, both big and small

Riding and learning took up the better part of late summer and early fall as the Raptor 250 just kept chugging along. We also had a Honda 300EX here that was set up with the typical modifications to offer us a side-by-side comparison. Our rider was able to put laps in on both machines and literally had his pick of which machine to either keep or sell. When it was all said and done, for our rider the Raptor 250 suited him best, and the 300ex was sold to help fund the build up of the new machine.

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