There's no disputing the overwhelming popularity of Yamaha's almighty Raptor. Its aggressive appearance and 700cc powerplant are just a few of the reasons the Raptor ranks number one as America's top-selling sport ATVs. Its smooth power delivery and overall ease of operation have given the Raptor the reputation of being the perfect machine for enthusiasts, but what you may not realize is that like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Raptor also has an inner monster that's just waiting to be unleashed.
And unleashing is exactly what occurred when we decided to transform a stock 2009 Raptor into the ultimate big-bore cross-country racer. We know the Raptor's potential is virtually limitless and chose to push this build as far as our East Coast terrain would allow. Once we had consulted with the Raptor experts at Team Rocket Factory our game plan was prepared and set into motion. This beast would be transformed into an 804cc earth-shredding Raptor with 80 horsepower to the rear wheels. The beauty of this beast is that it wouldn't be receiving high-compression pistons therefore will not require the use of expensive race fuel. Eighty horsepower on pump gas sounds great with current fuel prices in limbo and the possibility of another increase sending the cost per gallon through the roof. To make this possible the engine had to take a road trip via UPS to Fernley, Nevada, home of Team Rocket Factory. Upon arrival the cases were split to install an 8mm Barker's crank and replace the stock cylinder with a custom White Knuckle/CP 105.5mm cylinder, bringing the total cc to 804. Without proper airflow this kind of horsepower would be impossible, so Barker's CNC machine was put to use as the head was machined to Team Rocket Factory's +1 Stage One specifications. Once the TRF custom 11:1 piston and head had been installed, a Barker's-made billet cam replaced the stocker. TRF then worked some magic on the valves and buttoned this beast up. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly, this process is extremely labor intensive, and while I am a formidable mechanic, I'll leave this task to the professionals.
If I were to receive the motor at this point, it would serve as a very expensive anchor because my stock fuel injection system wouldn't even begin to fuel this rocket. This is why enlisting a Raptor specialist such as TRF is a good idea. To simplify my life TRF installed the engine into their shop Raptor chassis and, utilizing Dynojet's new Power Commander V, designed a custom fuel/tuning map that is specifically tuned to my very engine. Barker's Performance was heavily involved with Team Rocket Factory for this project and supplied a wicked dual pipe setup along with the engine components. This pipe and the much-needed K&N high-flow filter assembly that I would be using were on hand at TRF to ensure a perfect tune. This makes my engine a plug-and-play component when it arrives.
With this kind of power a high-tensile-strength chain will put the power to the rear wheels without unwanted stretch or breaking. Broken chains have been known to shatter engine cases, and with the extensive work by TRF, I don't plan to take any unnecessary chances. Sidewinder makes some of the strongest chains and sprockets known to man, and this is the perfect opportunity to try out the company's new self-lubricating 16,000-pound smart chain and lightweight tool steel sprockets. I know what you're thinking, and yes, this chain actually lubricates itself. The O-rings are impregnated with aerospace synthetics that are released as the chain is heated. This means no sticky lube to scrub off of the underside of the fender and swingarm after each ride. This chain is available in a triple-nickel silver finish and double gold-plated, but we figured the standard finish would better serve our needs.