Thursday, December 6, 2007

Yamaha Raptor 250 vs Honda 300EX

The shootout everyone has been waiting for, and Dirt Wheels has one on page 52 of their January 2008 issue called "New school vs old school" while ATV Scene is working on their own comparison. I've already started to see questions about what riders will be on in the Youth Production class in GNC and WPSA racing, where the 300EX has dominated since the inception of the class no that the Yamaha Raptor 250 is an eligible choice. I guess the real test might begin then, but here is what we have today...

2008 Yamaha Raptor 250

First things first, the Honda is a "larger" quad all the way length, height, width and definitely weight. It even has larger tires, which were in fact too tall for the liking of Dirt Wheels testers, with a lot of tire roll.

Both have trusted motors, Honda's being on the market for 15 years and extremely reliable, while the Yamaha Raptor 250 engine comes from the Tricker motorcycle sold overseas. The Raptor has much more torquey power from low to top range, making it seem like a much more powerful ATV although the Honda's larger engine does give it the top speed of the two quads.

Suspension differences are obvious, with the Honda more tuned for basic offroad conditions and the Raptor for tracks or more aggressive riding. But overall...

"The Yamaha is hands down the best handling ATV of the can turn it on a dime and it is very controllable on the ground and in the air" - Dirt Wheels

In the ergonomics department, the nod also went to the Yamaha.

2008 Honda TRX300EX

One thing the 300EX has while the Raptor does not is reverse, which may or may not be a big deal depending on your riding.

In the end, the verdict is clear.

"Honda, and others, will need to make some major upgrades, or we will see the Yamaha Raptor 250 at the top for many years to come" - Dirt Wheels

Furthermore, at $4999 the Honda 300EX is a whopping $1100 more expensive! As would say, "this means that the buyer standing in the dealer showroom can either purchase a stock 300EX or buy a Raptor 250 with $1100 worth of accessories for the same price." And this is exactly what they are currently evaluating as you can see from the above link. They have not actually done any testing yet, but have installed what $1100, or $1065.55 to be exact, will get you in GYTR parts for the Raptor 250. The existence of an actual GYTR performance kit for the Yamaha 250 is notable as well, since you won't find anything similar for the 300EX.

We'll keep you updated on the forthcoming ATV Scene tests as well as feedback from riders and racers that start sliding them around, right here on the ATV and Side-by-Side Blog as soon as we get it. Or, if you've already made up your mind - don't forget the Yamaha deals we just mentioned!