A revamped Badger – this was how some off-roaders and parents saw the Yamaha Raptor 80. But it was more than that. Launched in the early 2000s, this mini quad breathed new life into the utility-filled youth segment. The small 4×4 reminded Yamaha’s following of the big-bore Raptor 660 – sans the 5-speed manual clutch, 21-inch tires, and preload-adjustable suspension.
The Yamaha Raptor 80 is a youth ATV introduced in 2002 featuring a 79-cm3 engine, reputably strong chassis, and simplistic functionality. A kid-oriented vehicle from Yamaha’s sport-quad lineup, the 4×4 is favored by many for its aggressive looks, superb handling, and beginner-friendly design.
It was such a big hit with both ATV publications and consumers that it never got off the top ten list of youth ATVs during its first three years. One of its highlights was being ranked 3rd out of 34 youth quads in the market by ATV Magazine in 2006. However, it went down to 17th place in 2008.
Was this drop in popularity and patronage unanticipated? Continue reading this guide to not only have this question answered but also learn more about the capabilities of the Yamaha Raptor 80.
About the Yamaha Raptor 80
Although the first youth ATV was introduced in the ’80s, it was not until the late ’90s to the early 2000s that current big-name manufacturers started producing kid-friendly four-wheelers. The Yamaha Raptor 80 was one of those vehicles. This mini version of the big-bore Raptor catered to smaller hands who took an interest in being out of the house and taking day-long trail rides (or at least, rides that lasted until the sun went down).
Unlike most youth quads today with a slew of fancy tech, the Raptor was straightforward in its design, gas-powered, and had a 3-speed transmission. It kept youngsters safe but, at the same time, taught them about mechanics and physics at an early age (who knew the upkeep of an ATV could prepare kids for middle school?). The mini 4×4 may be small in size, but it excellently traverses dirt tracks and sand. Furthermore, it made the ideal leisurely ride on the ranch or farm.
Setting the Stage
The Yamaha Raptor 80 had seven different models – no multiple trims – and offered three color options throughout its production run (enumerated in the pricing section of this guide). But before the lineup could see any substantial changes and be the go-to vehicle for parents and guardians, it came to a halt in 2008. The decision behind the production cease was not one of failure, but rather to pave the way for an even greater vehicle experienced young riders or teenagers would find difficult to outgrow – the Yamaha Raptor 250.
Yamaha Raptor 80 Specs & Features (2006 Yamaha YFM80RV)
Engine & Lubrication
Despite its small displacement, the 79-cc Raptor offers adequate fuel capacity and a powerful engine ready to take on level trails and a few bumpy roads. The carb is a 16-mm Mikuni, and the compression ratio is, in fact, slightly higher than that of the 250-cc Raptor.
|Type||Air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC|
|Cylinder Arrangement||Forward-inclined, single-cylinder|
|Bore x Stroke||47 x 45.6 mm (1.85 x 1.80 in)|
|Displacement||79 cm3 (4.82 in3)|
|Carburetion System||Mikuni VM16SH|
|Starting System||Electric starter|
|Lubrication System||Wet sump|
|Air Filtration||Wet type element|
|Recommended Fuel||Unleaded gasoline w/ minimum PON rating of 86|
|Fuel Capacity||1.8 US gal (6.9 L) / Reserve: 0.2 US gal (0.9 L)|
|Engine Oil||SAE 10W-30 Yamalube-4 / Alternatives: SAE 5W-30, 20W-40 w/ API service classification of SJ or higher & no chemical additives.|
Stay away from oils with a diesel classification of CD or those labeled Energy Conserving II or higher
|Oil Capacity||0.85 US quarts (0.8 L); 0.13 US quarts (0.12 L) – gear case oil|
|Horsepower||6 hp/6.08 PS (4.47 kW)|
Adding a higher-rev CDI, performance exhaust, or a 4th gear and replacing stock knobbies with ITP Holeshot MXR6 Tires (view on Amazon) will make the quad roll easier and give you a 3-5-mph gain on top-end speed.
It is only natural for the Yamaha Raptor 80 to have the same driveline components as its 250-cc successor. A three-speed geared transmission, wet, multi-plate automatic clutch system, and shaft-driven final drive deliver power to the wheels for the kids quad. The shaft drive, in particular, makes for more efficient transmission and helps boost rider confidence due to eliminating the need for manual shifting. The only downside to the wheeler’s powertrain is that it does not have reverse.
|Type||Constant mesh, 3-speed forward|
|Clutch||Wet, multiple-disc, automatic|
|Primary Reduction System||Spur gear|
|Primary Reduction Ratio||65/20 (3.250)|
|Secondary Reduction System||Shaft drive|
|Secondary Reduction Ratio||19/18 x 34/10 (3.588)|
|Gear Ratio||1st – 39/11 (3.545)|
2nd – 35/17 (2.059)
3rd – 31/22 (1.409)
|Turning Radius||2.4 m (7.87 ft)|
The quad’s inability to accommodate a headlight is understandable, given the low amperage of its main fuse and the specs of its stock battery. Thankfully, aftermarket Yamaha Raptor 80 parts like RM Stator kits (view on Amazon) and LED lights make equipping the Raptor with additional lighting possible. Don’t worry about battery drain as long as you include an on-and-off switch for the makeshift headlight.
|Ignition System||CDI (Capacitor Discharge Ignition)|
|Generator System||A.C. Magneto|
|Spark Plug, Gap||NGK CR7HSA, 0.6 – 0.7 mm (0.024 – 0.028 in)|
Tightening torque: 12.5 Nm (1.25 kgf-m, 9.1 ft-lbf)
|Battery||12N7D-3B format 135 x 75 x 150 mm (5.31 x 3.00 x 5.94 in – L x W x H)|
|Voltage Capacity||12V, 7Ah/(10 Hr)|
Tires & Brakes
The four-wheeler’s front and rear brakes are adequate for kids – although older children may find it lacking. On the other hand, stock tires are reliable and perform excellently on wooded trails and rocky surfaces. Do not go beyond the range of 17 kPa (0.17 kgf/cm2, 2.5 psi) and 23 kPa (0.23 kgf/cm2, 3.3 psi) when inflating or airing down tires. Similarly, the maximum pressure when seating tire beads should only be 230 kPa (2.30 kgf/cm2, 33 psi).
|Front Tire||Tubeless, Dunlop® KT586 AT18 × 7-7|
|Recommended Tire Pressure||20 kPa (0.20 kgf/cm2, 2.9 psi)|
|Rear Tire||Tubeless, Dunlop® KT587 AT18 × 8-7|
|Recommended Tire Pressure||20 kPa (0.20 kgf/cm2, 2.9 psi)|
|Tread Depth Limit||3 mm (0.12 in)|
|Front Brake, Operation||Drum brake (right-hand)|
|Rear Brake, Operation||Drum brake (left-hand, right-foot)|
The quad offers short-travel suspension on both front and rear. The front suspension has a leading arm suspension – a straight axle setup that works like a backward swingarm that does not allow independent movement of the front wheels. While this particular setup (plus the absence of front shock absorbers) does not pose a big problem for beginner riders, it makes for mediocre bump absorption, adds to overall weight, and limits improvements owners can do on the vehicle.
|Frame Type||Steel tube|
|Caster Angle, Trail||1°, 3.8 mm (0.15 in)|
|Front Suspension, Travel||Leading arm, 57 mm (2.24 in)|
|Rear Suspension, Travel||Swingarm, 56 mm (2.2 in)|
|Front Shock Absorber||Coil spring/oil damper|
|Rear Shock Absorber||Coil spring/oil damper|
The Yamaha 250 Raptor’s overall dimensions are pretty big for an 80-cc youth ATV. That should come as no surprise, though. After all, the Raptor’s bodywork comes from the old Badger frame. While this makes the quad reliable, it also screams the need for improvement.
|Overall Length||1,537 mm (60.5 in)|
|Overall Width||841 mm (33.1 in)|
|Overall Height||940 mm (37 in)|
|Seat Height||669 mm (26.3 in)|
|Wheelbase||1,030 mm (40.6 in)|
|Ground Clearance||100 mm (3.94 in)|
|Dry Weight||110 Kg (242 lbs)|
|Curb Weight||116 Kg (256 lbs)|
|Maximum Loading Limit||95 Kg (209 lbs) – inclusive of rider weight, cargo & accessories|
The Raptor 80 comprises a tubular steel frame and plastic body panels available in solid bluish-white, deep purplish-blue, and black. Styling and ergonomics reflect the aggressiveness of the Yamaha Raptor lineup. The machine comes standard with hand grips, front and rear fenders, front and rear bumpers, and handlebars. The Raptor does not come stock with a headlight, but you could equip it with a LED light or an equivalent and just run a wire from the battery.
Yamaha Raptor 80 Worth
Depending on model year and package inclusions, the price of the mini Raptor’s base model could go anywhere from $2,499 to $2,599. Adding accessories – including a front grab bar, 12V auxiliary plug and receptacle kit, hour meter and tachometer, and a rear cooler rack – increases the MSRP by $220. Average retail ranges from $710 to under $1,700. Top-end build projects would cost entirely different.
For a full list of list prices for all Raptor 80 models released, refer to the table below (Source: Nada Guides and Kelley Blue Book):
|Year – Trim – Model Number||List Price||Retail/Trade-In Values|
|2002 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80RP)||$2,499||$710 – $935|
|2003 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80WR)||$2,499||$725 – $955|
|2004 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80WS)||$2,499||$740 – $1,640|
|2005 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80RT)||$2,599||$760 – $1,000|
|2006 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80RV)||$2,599||$800 – $1,055|
|2007 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80RW)||$2,599||$925 – $1,220|
|2008 Yamaha Raptor 80 (YFM80RXL)||$2,599||$1,075 – $1,415|
As for secondhand Raptors, you can find most of them in different trader and auction sites. They are typically 2002-2004 models worth between $1,400 and $2,400. These pre-loved bikes are in great working condition, with minimal cosmetic/engine damage and near-stock condition. These units are rarely modded or rebuilt, except for the shocks, tires, and lighting.
Yamaha Raptor 80 – Pros and Cons
The Raptor is best known for its aggressive looks, sportiness, and reliability. However, parents and owners wish to see Yamaha come up with a true youth performance quad on par with its bigger-displacement siblings. The mini Raptor does have many benefits but could still do better in matching its adult-size version in functionality and power.
Here are a few of the positive and negative qualities of the four-wheeler worth considering before buying one:
- A speed governor embedded in the vehicle’s thumb throttle serves as an extra safety measure.
- The small gap between the footpegs and vinyl seat and its low seat height sit smaller kids well.
- Hand and foot levers near the right footpeg are easy to operate.
- A choke lever, electric start button, and keyed ignition make startup easy – with the latter providing an extra layer of safety and ensuring youngsters can only ride the quad with parent supervision.
- The manual 3-speed transmission makes for a great training ground for beginner riders preparing for a more aggressive riding style or larger machine.
- Bumps and light landings are not a problem for the Raptor 80, despite its short-travel suspension.
- The wheel-and-tire assembly tends to be a rollover hazard.
- Butterfly screws in the carburetor back out and cause the engine to ingest the screws, causing problems.
- Front and rear shocks are stiff and not preload-adjustable.
- Wheel travel runs out as soon as the vehicle hits the ground.
- The long reach on the thumb throttle may not be ideal for children with small hands.
- 7- to 10-year-olds cannot perform the strong pull required for the rear handbrake on the left side of the handlebars.
- The quad does not have a reverse, making it troublesome to get out of sticky situations or spots with no room to turn around.
- Kids over 120 lbs find the vehicle’s powerband and top-end speed underwhelming – even if it is appropriate for muds and sandy hills.
Yamaha is a Japanese manufacturer held in high esteem as one of the progenitors of the ATV industry. Founded in 1887 in Shizouka, Japan, the firm began as a piano and reed organ manufacturer before venturing into motorcycle production post-WWII and, eventually, into the production of off-road vehicles such as the 2002 Yamaha Raptor 80. Today, Yamaha continually inspires its consumers with its motorsport vehicles, speed boats, outboard motors, and personal watercraft.
Conclusion – Yamaha Raptor 80 Review
From its inception until its final year in the market, the Yamaha Raptor 80 still had its distinct blue body color, VIN still stamped on the frame, and top speed still set in the factory to 25 mph – among other things. This lack of change gave a feeling of security for parents with smaller kids who were first-time riders. Similarly, it challenged the mechanical genius of more advanced youngsters to think of ways to improve the quad’s performance.
Yamaha realized early on that the scope of the mini Raptor’s niche was too narrow. The first three years of production were what got Yamaha to see that as the skills of young riders grew more and more advanced, the vehicle remained stagnant. Clearly, the 4×4 needed a wider powerband, more instrumentation, and better suspension to match the skills and expectations of 12-year-olds.
That said, the Yamaha Raptor 80 may not be ideal for teenagers in search of thrills and a solid training vehicle. However, it is undoubtedly perfect for nouveau riders who need a non-intimidating ATV where they can learn the ropes of off-road riding.
Kris is an avid off-roader and outdoor enthusiast who loves to brave the elements and take on challenging terrain. He also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others so that they, too, can appreciate the ride.