Photos and Story by Matt Finley
2011 Yamaha Raptor 125 Sport ATV
First of its
Kind “Entry-Level” Quad from a Major
When you turn the key you hear and feel the fuel
injection kick in and with a push of the button
the Raptor 125 fires to life. After a few
seconds to warm up the quad I strapped the
helmet tight and pulled the gloves on.
Like I've done a hundred times on my Raptor 700R
SE, I wound it up and dumped the clutch with my
feet firmly planted on the pegs. I wasn't
expecting much from this little 125 so I didn't
lean forward like I do on the big quads.
To my delight the front end came up several
inches and I launched forward instantly. I
laughed loudly under my helmet and headed to the
track with a grin on my face that did not go
away until several hours later.
Yep, this little Raptor 125 ATV had already
passed the first real test. It has power and
plenty of it. Happily that is not what I was
So off I went, taking it easy over the jumps and
sliding moderately through the corners. After a
couple of laps I felt absolutely comfortable on
this so-called entry level Raptor which I dubbed
the mini-beast. It would do pretty much anything
I asked of it while making sure I felt
confident. It earned my trust in very short
As the day progressed I started to realize just
how long it's been since I've done any serious
riding, and my legs and arms were not shy in
telling me about it. Even with the mounting pain
in my legs I continually found myself edging
beyond my comfort zone, something I’m hesitant
to do on bigger quads. This time it didn't seem
to matter because the Raptor 125 was making it
easy for me.
- Electric push-button starting comes as standard
equipment on the Raptor 125 and works in any
gear as long as you have the clutch in.
- A Mikuni® 29mm carburetor provides light
throttle pull and excellent throttle response
across the full rpm range.
- The DC-CDI ignition system is designed
specifically for the Raptor 125 and delivers
optimum performance at all rpm levels.
- Three-chamber muffler, a proven design straight
from the Raptor 250, is light, quiet, and boosts
low- and midrange performance.
- The seat and handlebar position are designed to
offer an ideal riding position and maximum rider
- Independent double-wishbone front suspension
with five-way pre-load adjustable shocks gives
7.5 inches of wheel travel.
- Rigid and light swing-arm is controlled by a 7.9
inches of wheel travel, for consistent wheel
control and rider comfort.
- Low, 28.1-inch seat height provides rider
comfort and allows optimal rider movement.
- Triple hydraulic disc brakes deliver excellent
stopping power even in wet conditions.
- Easy-to-use eccentric chain adjuster means
hassle-free chain maintenance.
- Wide 19-inch front and 18-inch rear Maxis® tires
provide plenty of grip and awesome handling.
- Single 30-watt headlight boasts an aggressive
look and offers great illumination.
- YFZ-type parking brake for parking convenience.
- Raptor and YFZ lineage rolled into one sporty
ATVs with engine sizes over 90cc are recommended
for use only by riders age 16 years and older.