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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My son rides a Raptor 250 and Mommy is on a YZ85, I opted for the YZ 125 and must say its a blast if the conditions of the track is condusive. Our local track which was hardpacked recently closed down and we looked at our options this weekend. My son had a blast on Zone 7, one of the tracks we evaluated this weekend. Problem is it's a sandy and on the YZ's it feels like we are out of control most of the time. Advice is you have to pin it to get the YZ's moving. YEAH Right... if I pin it I'll pin myself straight into hospital. On the other hand my son had a blast on this track with the Raptor 250 / So did the other riders that have YZ250F / YZ450F's. Seems that the four strokes handle the "sandy" conditions better due to the low down torque that it generates. Needless to say myself and my wife are social riders. Neither of us are experienced MX riders and our total time combined on the YZ's is probably no more than 80 Hours or a bit less. So while we were watching our son have a blast on his Raptor 250 while we became mere spectators we started toying with the idea of trading the YZ's in for two Quads. Either two 450's or a 250 Raptor for Mommy and a 450 for myself. There's also the option of a 700 for me.

I guess everyone's heard the remarks and comments made that Quads are dangerous. I DON"t know what to believe anymore. My son's been on a Quad since he has been two years old. We upgraded him to a Raptor 250 recently and I have posted photos and numerous threads on the matter. Since he's had his Quads he has never had a fall or accident. On the TTR-50 he had a minor spill and suffered no injury. (Channing rides with full Body Armour and neckbrace). I've had numerous spills on my YZ which resulted in a broken finger, and what felt like a displaced hip. Mommy's had about three falls so far and seems to pick up injuries in the hip area.

At the track about 80% of the riders are dead-set against quads (Coffin on wheels, Meat Mushers, Bone Grinders and Widow Makers) to name a few of the names given to quads. Seasoned Quad riders that opted to swop there Quad for a MX bike swears high and low that they would never ever touch a quad again and that it's a dangerous piece of machinery. Explanation's are that they defy the laws of science. How can a solid axle combined with two independant absorbers be stable as this inherently creates instability within itself and it follows you in death situations. Go over the bars and the quad will ride over you, spill it sideways and the quad will follow you, flip it backwards and it will land on top of you. Then there's the horror stories where legs get snapped of clean and ankles are broken.

I've always relied on resources like this forum to point me in the right direction... and amazingly its worked. The Raptor 250 my son's riding was a big step up and I had mixed feelings about my decision. The forum members contributed in my final decision and it was a good one.

Are these machines as dangerous as what they imply and why is it that I would feel safer on the track on four wheels compared to two.

Myth or Truth

Let me hear from the Forum members who have the experience so that I can make an informed decision.

Attached Thumbnails;
Mommy on the YZ85... , My YZ125 and my amazing SON.
 

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A-10 Crew Chief
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Has your wife tried ridding on your son's 250 to see how she likes it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Stuckey

Yes she has, but the 250 seems a bit small. In 2006 we purchased a Raptor 700 for my wife and five days later she wrote it off and ended up in hospital for four weeks. A plastic surgeon had to put her arm back together. The accident was due to incorrect setup of the suspension by the dealer. When the quad was delivered the suspension was set at it's hardest. She ended up hitting a bump and which launched the Raptor 700 into the air. When she landed it literally threw her like a horse. Insurance did an investigation afterwards and the accessor which is an avid quad rider spotted the probem with the suspension. Needless to say.... we got paid. The Dealership closed their doors a couple of months after that. All I know is that the Dealership and Insurance eneded up in a legal proceedings. The accessor had taken photographs of the quad that was written off by insurance. Since then my wife's been hesitant to climb on a a quad.

ME
 

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They are only as dangerous as the person holding the controls.
If your son is enjoying his 250 with no injuries then it is reasonable to assume that you have done a good job of teaching him riding technique.

Personally, I grew up riding 85s,and 125s and really enjoyed it as a kid.
Then about 15 years ago I trashed out both my knees doing backflips on icy snow.
Since then I do not have the ability to catch myself on a bike. My knees just can't take the side load anymore. So for that reason I went to quads.

I can tell you that I see more broken bones at the BMX track then I do at the MX track. And rarely if ever at the recreational riding areas. Just avoid the crazies that gather at the dunes on the holidays and you'll be clear in most cases.

I have had a few IGOs (involuntary get offs) but nothing compared to a typical MX rider. It all depends on how you ride. The first time i went OTB (over the bars) was purely my in-experience at a MX track that was new riding territory for me. I went over a double and came up short and nosed it high and hard into the back of the lander cart wheeling the quad a few times. Yes, the quad did land on me. Despite my efforts to go to the side as I went over, the quads first flip landed on my calf and the final resting place was upside down on top of me at the bottom of the hill. That being said - I had the proper equipment on as always and I walked away with only severe bruising where the quad bounced off my calf.

About two years later I was riding a different track - again, new to me. and on my third lap around I was starting to hit the gas and get a feel for what it was going to take to clear the various jumps on the track. When I came up short on a 60ft Step Up in front of the grand stands. Casing it so hard I drove my Tibia into my knee cap.
I rode it out in 2nd gear and completed my lap, spend the rest of the day in the pits while my boys rode, packed up the quads at the end of the day, drove home, took a shower and then had my wife drive me to the hospital as the pain was starting to kick in. 6 screws and a rod later my shin is better than it was before.

Now all of that being said.
I will tell you that we used to ride Desert Trails 90% of the time. Since we live next to the open desert that meant 2 hours nearly every day for a couple of years. All without injury. It was not until we started riding MX Tracks and pushing my limits that I got injured.

Injuries will happen regardless of MX or ATV. All you can do is train and prepare and ALWAYS wear your gear. I have my kid wear a Leatt Brace in addition to his helmet and full gear. And it has saved him numerous times. He started riding at age 9 and was racing his YFZ450 in the ITP Quadcross when he was 12 against adults of all ages.

As far as 450 or 700 for you.
The 450 is a race engine and will be happier revving higher. It also has a closer ratio transmission that will require shifting more frequently.
The 700 is a dune/trail engine that likes to go along in 3rd gear most of the time with enough torque and powerband to handle just about anything without having to change gears.

The 450 is a little lower and harder and jumps very well - a great riding for going fast.

The 700 is a little more upright and soft and goes faster in a straight line that most anything you will come across. Great for Dad's that want to have the power to show up the kids on their 450's while not having to work at it.

I will ride my 700 all day long in any condition, but when we go to the track - his 450 is the quad to have. It has the response to handle the quick stop, go, launch, brake, turn, launch type riding of the track. The 700 just doesn't rev up as quick in stock form.

They ultimately make about the same amount of power.
They just go about it different ways for different ends.
The 450 is geared for Track, The 700 is geared for Dune/Trail.

If your not sure - Go riding with a friend that is willing to swap rides with you. or Buy Used, try it out and if you like it then find your dream quad and go crazy.
Your already in the Raptor forums so you have a good idea of what the best thing is ;)
 

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A-10 Crew Chief
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Awesome write-up Sazjun! I agree with everything you stated. Mufassa, Just get a couple 700s and call it a day! lol. Accidents will always happen, the outcome depends on how well you prepare for them. I am sorry to hear about your wife's injury. All I can suggest is to get back on and try again. Everybody knows their limits, and how well they are willing to push them. Just tell her to take it slow until she regains her confidence.
 

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+1 for what was said earlier.

I think if your going to be at the track more then the woods i would go with the YFZ450. If you like to go to the woods alot i would get a 700 for your self.

Respect the machine and it will respect you.
 

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I don't mean to sound like a dick, but are you saying the dealer got sued? It's not really their responsibilty to make adjustments to the quad after it has left the showroom unless they are specified by the owner to do so. I don't think it's too fair that they could possibly get into legal trouble for selling a quad that caused its customer injury due to the owner not adjusting shock stiffness to their personal preference. However, I am glad your wife was able to recover from the incident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Blue

South Africa things work a bit different. The Quads are shipped from the distributor and the dealership assembles them. The dealer is responsible for doing the pre-delivery inspection on the Yamaha Product. They literrally have to bring the product to the factory spec, which includes setting up of the suspension to factory spec. Don't know if it works the same in the US
 

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The machines are indeed assembled in the US just as they are in SA, we're all getting them off a boat from Japan. The factory spec would not take into account your wife's weight. If the dealership had that information and stated that they had setup the shocks for her then I expect RaptorBlue's issue is a mute point.

The 06 Raptor 700's front suspension consisted of a 3 position preload adjustment. The rear was a 3 way adjustable (preload, compression, rebound) shock. Subsequent models from the 07 special editions and all of the 08 and up models have 4 way adjustable front and rear shocks. My point is that while the quality of the shock has improved the number of factors involved with adjusting them has grown exponentially.

Any factory setting would not take into account the rider's weight or the intended use of the shocks. This setup work should always be done by a qualified professional if you do not possess the ability/knowledge/desire to do so yourself. I would not rely on most dealerships for this service.

I feel that if you are planning to spend that much time at the MX track then the YFZ450R would be my first choice over a Raptor 700. The difference in handling is pronounced despite the similarity in measurements b/w the old YFZ450 and the 700R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I visited the dealership this morning and had a look at both the Raptor 700 and the YFZ 450.

The Raptor 700 is much higher and bigger than the 450. I guess hence the reverse gear on the 700. Sitting on the 700 is truly like getting on a horse and the riders position is comfortable and not strained. The 450 is much lower and wider and looks much lighter than the Raptor 700.

To be Honest, I don't like the Raptor 700, its just to big and the centre of gravity is much higher than the 450. I was told by the dealership that the 450's suspension is considerably harder than the Raptor 700. When you hit bumps on flat roads (Tin roof Roads) you can feel the arm pump. They also told me that they can have the standard shocks dialed in at a company that specialises in suspensions on ATV's. Don't know the term that he mentioned but apparently they "soften it up a bit while monitoring it on some kind of a calibrating machine.


My gut feeling at the moment is the YFZ 450 R's...

Extra's

Nerf Bars
Kill Switch
Pro Taper Bars
Spacers / front and back

Roll of Toilet Paper to clean my arse after the first ride..:)
 

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I don't think you'll really be needing spacers on that 450R considering it is already near 50" wide
 

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The yfz 450R is an awesome bike my buddy one and we ride all the time. Don't listen to anything the dealer says those guys talk out their butt all the time. Like one guy tried to tell me a polaris 450 mar quad with 18" tires is faster than a raptor, I told him to get on the 450 and ill get on the stock 700r by it and if he could beat me on it ill buy it right now. Let's just say he quit blowing smoke and shut up about it being faster. Anyway The yfz 450R is only 17lbs lighter than the raptor so not much weight saving there. Spacers are not needed for the R its close to 50" already and spacers are the cheap and dangerous way to widen a quad. The stock axles will bend under the extra leverage the spacers add. The long travel suspension is super nice and can be dialed in nicely. If you need the suspension dialed in better than take it to a shock tuner yourself don't go through the dealer unless you like getting raped.
 

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If you need the suspension dialed in better than take it to a shock tuner yourself don't go through the dealer unless you like getting raped.
well who doesnt like that once in awhile! hahaha :thumbsup:
 

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