2003 Yamaha Blaster ATV - Reviews by Off-Road.com

Big Stuff in a Little Package

Feb. 01, 2003 By ORC STAFF
After 15 years with virtually no changes, Yamaha has finally redesigned the Blaster. Why did it take so long? The Blaster has gained a reputation as being the best "bang for the buck" in the entry level sport category and has continued to be a good seller for Yamaha. So if it ain't broke, why fix it?!

The #1 complaint from Blaster owners has been the poor brakes. Just check the aftermarket and you will find a number of solutions for the pre-2003 Blaster owner. Yamaha has solved the problem in 2003 with all new front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, straight from the Yamaha Raptor. Did Yamaha change anything else? The other changes are new plastic styling to give the Blaster a sportier, more Raptor-like look. And built into the bodyworks is a new 35 watt multi reflector headlight. The only other change is Raptor-style handelbars to lighten up the steering and provide a more comfortable ride.



Brakes The new triple hydraulic brakes are just the ticket for the Blaster. No more complaints about poor brakes - we found them to work perfectly. Even with a larger rider we were able to bring the Blaster to a stop in all conditions. Now you can spend your hop-up money elsewhere!

The new plastic on the 2003 Blaster gives it an agressive Raptor-style look

For the sand dunes we slapped on some Maxxis Roosters on Douglas wheels from Rocky Mountain ATV


We took a new red and black 2003 Blaster out to put it to the test. The first thing you will notice about the Blaster is its smaller size. With a seat height of 29.1", the Blaster's seat is more than 4" lower than the Raptor. To a large adult, the Blaster feels quite small but to a smaller or younger rider, the Blaster feels like it was made for them. You won't find a handlebar-mounted choke or an electric start, but the controls are comfortable and the new handlebars feel like a Raptor.


You won't find any changes in the engine compartment and we found nothing to complain about. The 200cc two stroke almost always fired up on the first kick, even for the smaller riders. The engine has plenty of power to get you around and with a set of Maxxis Roosters and Douglas wheels from Rocky Mountain ATV, it could climb most any hill we could find at Dumont Dunes. With a smaller rider (135 pounds) we were able to coax the Blaster up to a top speed of 57MPH.


The short width and wheelbase of the Blaster provides for a somewhat choppy ride, compared to a full size ride like the Raptor or the Banshee, but beginner level riders found that it worked just fine for them. Our test riders found the Blaster suspension could soak up several feet of air with no problem. When the rider is ready for more suspension, there are plenty of aftermarket suspension components available for the Blaster.


We like the looks provided by the new body work on the Blaster. A new look was long overdue. The red and black color scheme is nice, and looks good with our new ARC riding gear from Rocky Mountain ATV. the only problem with the black plastic is that it shows scratches more than lighter colors. We are not real fond of the balloon style tires that come from the factory - it would have been nice if Yamaha could have put some updated sport tires on the rear of the Blaster.

The Blaster has plenty of power for wheelies

While the Blaster suspension isn't recommended for huge air, it does handle fair amounts nicely


If you are looking for an entry level sport machine, the Blaster will now give you even more "bang for your buck" in 2003. At $3,199, smaller riders will have no shortage of fun factor on this machine. When you are ready to customize your 2003 Blaster you will find a huge assortment of aftermarket items available to fit it.

Want to race your Blaster? No problem - the AMA has just approved a youth class for 14 and 15 year old riders. The initial details are: 91-200cc 2-stroke/91-300cc 4-stroke production ATV 14 & 15 (new class) -- With rider in normal riding position with hands on handlebars, there must be a bend in the elbows, fingers must reach all control levers. When standing on the foot rests or floor boards there must be a minimum 3" clearance between seat and inseam.

Sounds tailor-made for the 2003 Yamaha Blaster!


See the Yamaha Blaster Photo Gallery for tons of pictures!

Contact Information

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA

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