The Perfect Teen ATV

First ride on the 2008 Yamaha Raptor 250

Aug. 15, 2007 By Dean Waters

We just returned from Long Beach, CA where we had the chance to ride and see the brand new 2008 Yamaha Raptor 250. Yamaha setup a test course for us right on the edge of the bay with Long Beach in the background. It was a very unique riding experience and great test course. Now on to the Raptor 250.

Yamaha Raptor 250 with Long Beach in the background.

Yamaha official marketing material will tell you this ATV is for age 16 and up but for the real world this could be the perfect quad for the teen rider in the 12-17 age group. The CPSC still has a strangle hold on the ATV industry requiring these recommendations. For the aggressive teen rider there was a big gap in the market between the 50cc - 90cc models and full-size adult models. part of this gap was because of Yamaha's discontinued Blaster 2 stroke. Most of the problem is due to CPSC regulations and the expectation for any rider under 16 to be on a machine 90cc or smaller.

Other manufactures have 250 models but these models are really designed for the new or entry level adult or teen rider with features like shaft drive and automatic transmissions. In the past there has really only been a couple options for the aggressive or experienced rider, the Honda 300EX or the Yamaha Blaster. Of course due to the limited choices many teens jumped direct to 450 race models. I don't think that is a good choice but was somewhat forced on them. The Yamaha Blaster was discontinued since it carried a two stroke so that further limited choices for the teen rider.

Raptor 250 in Action
Yamaha Raptor 250 doing what it dos best

Most race sanctioning bodies have introduced the youth 12-17 yr old class in the last couple years with rules that limit them to a Blaster or a 300EX. Our hope is that these rules will evolve into a 250 four stroke class and other manufactures will follow Yamaha just like they did when Yamaha first introduced the YFZ450 in 2004. Suzuki, Honda, Can-Am, Kawasaki are you listening?

A young ATV rider who started on a 50 and has been advancing their riding skills needs to step up from a 90 to a model with similar features as the 450 level race bikes. The Raptor 250 fits this rider perfectly. The Raptor 250 is a lightweight machine with many features right off the YFZ. The Raptor 250 is 15 lbs lighter than the Blaster and somewhere around 100 lbs lighter than a Honda 300EX. The Raptor 250 is chain driven which will allow riders and racers to pick the gearing and tires that fits their application.

Raptor 250 Front View
Raptor 250 + Race Components = Perfect Teen ATV Racer

Ride Impressions

The 2008 Yamaha Raptor 250 is sized smaller than most adult models yet has plenty of room for a larger rider. When you first see the Raptor 250 it is obvious that it is a smaller machine and sitting on it for the first time it defiantly felt smaller. In fact my first reaction was that it was too small for adult riders but after taking a lap around the track I found that was not the case. I adapted to the size and it had plenty of room to move around on for the aggressive rider.

Brakes are excellent with the same master cylinder as the 2007 YFZ. The SE model even has the adjustable lever. Engine power felt good although we were limited to a small track for testing. This engine is a 250 engine coming from the Yamaha Ripper trials bike and modified for the ATV. It is air and oil cooled with special ducts in the front plastic directing air to the oil cooler. Yamaha used a extremely long and odd looking head pipe in order to deliver more low end power. The GYTR head pipe looks normal as the intake and exhaust give you that low end without the long head pipe.

We believe the Raptor 250 has the performance and characteristics to keep the teen rider happy and give them an ATV that will allow their skills to develop as they prepare for a 450 race bike.


Yamaha already has a number of GYTR accessories ready for the Raptor 250 and we expect many manufactures to follow. From GYT-R you can get nerfs, intake system, 96 DB exhaust systems, bumpers, and aluminum skids.

Raptor 250 GYT-R Exaust
Raptor 250 GYTR Exhaust System

Race Build

We will be building a fully race equipped Raptor 250 that will feature a-arms from Epic Racing Products. We will be adding Epic A-arms, Fox Racing shocks, wider axle, steering stem with fat bars, nerfs, intake and exhaust system. We may even have some mild engine work done.

Raptor 250 GYT-R Exaust
The Raptor 250 takes to the air with ease Newsletter
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