2009 Yamaha ATVs Unveiled

A New Utility Quad, Baby Raptor and Refined Raptor 700R Debut for 2009

Jun. 06, 2008 By Craig Perronne
Embargos are a tricky thing. Manufacturers give us a sneak peak at their latest ATV’s but we are not allowed to talk to anyone about them until a certain date. Of course the temptation is to give an enthusiastic “screw that” and post the latest information immediately but good luck getting invited to another sneak peak ever. It is like dating Jessica Alba but not being able to tell any of your friends until Jessica is comfortable with the world knowing she is dating a peon like you.

Over a month ago, Yamaha pulled back the curtain for us on what it has in store for 2009. We spent the last agonizing 30 days biting our lips and withholding that information until now. The embargo has finally been lifted and we can finally divulge what we saw a month ago.

Without further ado, we bring you what’s new with Yamaha’s 2009 ATVs.

Yamaha filled the gap between the Grizzly 450 and 700 with the all new Grizzly 550

Grizzly 550 FI

If you wanted a bit more power than the Grizzly 450 but didn’t want to step up to the 700, then the new Grizzly 550 FI is right up your alley. Based on the Grizzly 700 platform, it also uses a destroked version of the 700 engine that measures out to 558 cc. An all-new cylinder head is also used as well to improve throttle response and bottom end power. The 700’s fuel-injection was also remapped and reworked to match the new, smaller engine. Spent gases exit through a full stainless steel exhaust system that is highly rust resistant.

Plenty of other features grace the new Grizzly 550 FI as well. Yamaha’s electric power system is utilized that makes steering even when fully locked a breeze. The Ultramatic transmission also makes it easy to ride and uses a one-way sprag clutch for natural feeling engine braking. Power flows through a direct drive-shaft design for strength and minimal power loss.

Suspension is independent all the way around and features five-way adjustable shocks at each corner. Those shocks are also mounted to the lower A-arms for a lower center of gravity feel. The front arms are what Yamaha refers to as WideArc. This design maximizes ground clearance by having the arms flat for an additional 2.5-inches before curving down to meet the spindle.

Other cool features include a gas tank mounted under the seat for a more nimble feel and a lower center of gravity. A super cushy seat keeps your ass happy on long rides and an improved gate shifter makes for easy operation. Yamaha even redesigned the thumb throttle to keep your thumb happy as well. And while they were thinking of you, Yamaha designed a large sealed storage container for an easy place to keep your stuff. Yamaha’s new digital meter is also included to relay all types of information.

The Raptor 700R received some slight (but cool) tweaks for 2009.

Raptor 700R

The Raptor 700R is the number one selling sport ATV on the planet so obviously Yamaha doesn’t want to completely reinvent the wheel. Rather Yamaha did some slight tweaking but they are actually some pretty cool tweaks beyond the usual graphic changes and color updates.

Other additions to the 2009 Raptor 700R include new front shocks that have a 5 mm longer stroke with improved comfort settings. The shocks also have high and low-speed adjusters and easier to use adjusting knobs. A new thumb throttle also finds its way onto the 700R and features a new shape for better feel and less fatigue.



At the heart of the refinements is a new digital meter. While this might not seem like that big of a deal it is a fairly comprehensive meter that includes a speedometer, dual trip meters, odometer, clock, warning indicators and full diagnostic capabilities. Plus it just looks trick compared to the old gauge setup.





Raptor 90

It used to be that when you wanted to get the little one on a quad they would have to deal with an outdated machine. Beam suspensions, non-adjustable shocks, odd styling and weird tires have all been part of the youth ATV market but Yamaha has changed all of that with an all-new Raptor 90. It has been completely designed from the ground up to give your kids one sweet ride.

Styled just like the bigger Raptors, the 90 also has similar features such as a double-arm front suspension and adjustable shocks.

While the new styling makes it look like a baby Raptor, it also shares many of the same features of its bigger brothers. A double A-arm suspension with 4.4-inches of travel and five-way adjustable shocks is found up front. In the rear is a swing-arm suspension with 3.3-inches of travel and a five-way, pre-load adjustable shock. Hydraulic disc brakes are found in the rear while sealed drums are utilized up front.

A very cool feature of the Raptor 90 is the adjustable CDI Rev limiter. It allows engine speed to be restricted to 4,800 RPM in restricted mode. In open mode 8,800 RPM can be reached making it perfect for those getting on an ATV for the first time. A fully automatic CVT transmission also makes learning easy while full floorboards keep legs and arms out of harms way.

[Editor's Note - So how do they work?

Our first hands-on test ride is barely a month away, on the Grizzly 550. Rest-assured that our own Rick Sosebee will give it a thrashing it deserves. Lucky guy.]

Off-Road.com Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!