2007 Yamaha Raptor 700R GYTR Project ATV 0

We took our stock 07 Raptor 700R and made it faster by adding a Big Gun dual exhaust, Power Commander and Fuel Customs Intake in part one of our build. Now that the ATV is faster and sounds even better, we are looking to add some armor to this bad boy since we seem to be hauling ass everywhere these days. So for part two we bolt on a trio of GYTR hard parts and let Renthal give us a little help with a new set of chain and sprockets.

The GYTR Accessories catalog at Yamaha is impressive. Anything you could want for your Yamaha sport ATV or dirt bike is available and only a click away. For Stage 2 of our Raptor Project Bike we requested a few key pieces of protection designed specifically for the Raptor.

We will start with the most obvious addition and one of the best protection upgrades available for ATV riders: GYTR Nerf Bars. Not only do they protect the rider from side impacts, but also offer a measure of safety from getting the rider’s feet tangled in the wheels – something that’s easy to do when the trail starts getting gnarly. The GYTR setup is manufactured from aluminum and features 1.5-inch nylon webbing. Our test unit looks good in basic black web, but they are also available in blue and red as well.

The GYTR Nerf Bars add aesthetic appeal to the Raptor 700R.

The GYTR Nerf Bars add aesthetic appeal to the Raptor 700R.

Installation of the nerf bars was a breeze. It took maybe 30-minutes from start to finish, thanks in part to the GYTR hard parts being specifically designed for application on Yamaha products. The instructions are very clear and the mounting hardware is well-engineered. The brackets bolt on easily around the steel frame rails of the ATV while the heel-area bolts to the stock pegs with four provided fasteners. Our GYTR Raptor came with the GYTR Aluminum Footwellsand they were obviously integrated into the nerf bar design from the beginning because they fit perfectly. This combination not only looks sharp, but as we mentioned earlier, provides added protection for the rider.

Up front, a new GYTR Sport Front Grab Bar replaced the hammered stock unit that had seen better days. The ball-burnished grab bar looks good, much better than the black plastic faux-bumper, plus it has some function. First of all, it allows you to manhandle the bike when you get stuck, and also assists when loading or unloading. Of course there’s the protection from impacts as well. Our stock bumper was bent from a collision that the previous owner claimed happened during a head-on in the tight dune worm-trails. Both quads were on the brakes but hauling ass when they came together. The bumper and the aluminum mounting plate bent in toward the fender, serving its purpose but needing replacement.

Installation took slightly longer than normal because I had to bend the steel mounting points back into shape before I bolted it on. If anything, the mild-steel mounts that compressed under the previously mentioned impact, are probably the weakest link in this system.

Installation of the GYTR Glide Plate took all of 15 minutes and helps to protect your ride.

Installation of the GYTR Glide Plate took all of 15 minutes and helps to protect your ride.

The final piece of the puzzle is the GYTR Plastic Frame Glide Plate. This quarter-inch-thick polyurethane skid plate protects the bottom of the Raptor from impacts, allows the ATV to glide over obstacles that might normally cause it to get hung up (Think log crossings or boulders) and keeps muck from building up between the engine and lower frame rails. It took longer to install the glide plate than I was expecting. Instructions are clear and the hardware is as high-quality as the nerf bars but it turns out the mounting process on the instructions needs to be followed to the T. You loosely assemble the mounting brackets, loosely insert the eight mounting bolts and then go about the process of tightening everything down. Don’t get in a hurry to crank on those bolts.

One of the only knocks against the glide plate finish is that the bolts are stainless-steel with slotted-screwdriver heads. So, my concern is that once they do get smashed on in the rocks that it may be difficult to extract them. After a few rides, it hasn’t been an issue so maybe I’m just bitching for no good reason.

With the GYTR hard parts installed we turned our attention to the drivetrain for some complimentary performance upgrades. We already have a full exhaust system, Fuel Customs Intake and Power Commander so it was time to change the gearing. Since we were upgrading sprockets, it’s always a good time to swap out that stock chain as well.

Renthal is one of the most respected names in powersports chains and sprockets so we chose them once again. A 520 O-Ring chain connects a 37-tooth rear sprocket and a 14-tooth front. The 14-front is the same as stock and going a tooth down from the stock 38 to a 37 in the rear gives the 700R a little longer leg to work with – no problem with the added power.

Both the GYTR Bumper and Nerf Bars had impeccable welds.

Both the GYTR Bumper and Nerf Bars had impeccable welds.

According to our friends at DTR Racing the odds of breaking a chain and having it bind up around the countershaft sprocket increase as you build your bike. Adding teeth to the countershaft sprocket can require removal of the stock case guard. It’s recommended that anyone running these higher horsepower bikes or running taller gears, equip their raptor with the inexpensive bit of insurance called the Moose Racing ATV Poly Case Savers. It’s easy to install and could save you thousands of dollars in repairs.

As it is, the stock gearing runs out pretty quick with a mid-range bias so we will mess with different gearing throughout the project and report back. For trail and dune riding the 14/37 combo is decent. It has extended the usable spread of power long enough that I don’t need to upshift quite as often. I find myself in third and fourth when dune riding more than fourth and fifth, and the engine has no problem staying in the power.

We have the 2012 Dune Fest coming up on August 1-7, 2012, so we will be there shredding sand and having a good time with the trusty 700R. Stop by on Movie Night where MotoUSA is the sponsor and we’ll have a fleet of Raptors and duners with us.

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