What is the Yamaha Raptor 90 Top Speed and Acceleration?

yamaha raptor 90 top speed

Have you ever wondered just how fast the popular Yamaha Raptor 90 ATV can really go? As a nimble youth quad with a 90cc engine, the Raptor 90 provides an exciting ride for young beginners while still being appropriately speed restricted.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll look at the Yamaha Raptor 90’s top speed, 0-60 acceleration, engine specifications, and how it compares to competitor ATVs in acceleration tests. You’ll also find tips for safely increasing the Raptor 90’s speed along with an analysis of whether it has enough power for racing.

An Overview Of The History And Features Of The Yamaha Raptor 90

First introduced in 2005, the Yamaha Raptor 90 has become one of the best-selling beginner ATVs on the market. With its sporty styling and responsive performance, it’s easy to see why young riders gravitate towards this exciting youth quad.

Yamaha designed the Raptor 90 for riders ages 10 and up, with a recommended minimum rider size of 5’ tall and 90 pounds. Key features include:

  • 90cc air-cooled, SOHC, 4-stroke engine with electric and kick starting
  • 5-speed transmission with manual clutch
  • Disc brakes front and rear with parking brake
  • Long travel suspension – 5.8 inches front, 7.1 inches rear
  • Lightweight geometry at 256 pounds
  • 21” front, 18” rear tires on aluminum wheels
  • Standard rear storage rack with 66 pound capacity
  • Throttle limiter and tether kill switch for safety

With a livelier engine than some competitors, the Raptor 90 provides a fun introduction to the world of ATV riding. But how fast can it really go? Let’s take a closer look at the Yamaha Raptor 90 top speed numbers.

What Is The Actual Top Speed For A Stock Yamaha Raptor 90?

In stock form with no modifications, the Yamaha Raptor 90 is restricted to a top speed of approximately 15-18 mph. This is electronically limited by Yamaha for safety and compliance with ATV age restrictions.

Some owners report seeing speeds up to 30-33 mph by running wide open for an extended period and overcoming the speed limiter. But for general recreational riding, expect the maximum achievable speed to top out around 15-18 mph given the stock gearing and power output.

This puts the Raptor 90 on par with top speeds for a 90cc youth ATV. While not extremely fast, it provides decent quickness that makes the Raptor 90 fun and exciting to ride on trails and around the farm or cottage.

Evaluating the Yamaha Raptor 90 0-60 Acceleration Time

In addition to top speed, acceleration is an important performance metric. No one expects blistering acceleration from a youth quad, but a responsive engine adds to the enjoyment.

Based on tests by ATV riders, the Yamaha Raptor 90 can reach 30 mph from a standstill in approximately 4.5 seconds. Getting up to 60 mph takes the Raptor 90 about 12 seconds in stock form.

This level of acceleration gives the Raptor 90 quick reflexes around town or on the trails. The snappy throttle response and manual clutch help novice riders learn how to effectively control power output. Yamaha did a good job making the Raptor quick but not intimidating.

While the Raptor 90 can’t compete with high-performance sport ATVs, its brisk acceleration adds fun without being frightening. Parents appreciate the speed restriction for keeping young riders safe as they build their skills.

What Type of Engine Does the Yamaha Raptor 90 Use?

Providing the power behind the Yamaha Raptor 90 is a 90cc air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC (single overhead cam) single-cylinder engine. This proven engine design produces adequate pep while remaining reliable and easy to maintain.

The engine transfers its power through a 5-speed manual transmission that uses a traditional foot-shifted clutch. This gives young riders experience operating a clutch while limiting the engine braking compared to larger 4-stroke ATVs.

Here are some key specs on the Raptor 90 powerplant:

  • Displacement – 90cc
  • Bore x stroke – 47.0mm x 51.8mm
  • Compression ratio – 9.2 :1
  • Lubrication system – Wet sump
  • Maximum torque – 4.3 ft-lb @ 4,000 RPM
  • Starting system – Electric start + kick start backup

The engine provides usable low-end power delivery combined with decent mid-range punch. Peak torque hits at 4,000 RPM, giving quick reactions when you twist the throttle without requiring high revs.

The Raptor 90 may not have an extremely high horsepower engine. But the peppy powerband offers nice versatility for trails and general riding for young ATV enthusiasts.

How Does the Yamaha Raptor 90 Stack Up Against the Competition in Acceleration?

To evaluate how quickly the Raptor 90 accelerates compared to rival youth quads, let’s look at some key competitors and how they perform in acceleration testing.

Yamaha Raptor 90 vs. Honda TRX90

The Honda TRX90 is a top competitor in the youth ATV segment with a similar engine size and target age group as the Raptor 90. When comparing acceleration between the Yamaha and Honda, they are very evenly matched:

  • Top Speed – Both achieve about 45 mph in stock form. Limiters keep the speed capped.
  • 0-30 mph – The Raptor 90 and TRX90 hit 30 in 4.5 seconds. Identical acceleration.
  • 0-60 mph – They are again dead even at 60 mph in around 12 seconds.

The bottom line is that the Raptor 90 and TRX90 have essentially equivalent acceleration. Yamaha and Honda both tuned the power delivery for quick reflexes but gentle overall power. It’s a dead heat between these two major brand youth ATVs.

Yamaha Raptor 90 vs. Polaris Outlaw 90

Polaris is another leader in the youth quad market with their sporty Outlaw 90 model. When comparing to the Raptor 90, the Polaris has a slight edge in acceleration:

  • Top Speed – The Outlaw 90 tops out at 48 mph vs. 45 mph for the Raptor 90.
  • 0-30 mph – The Polaris gets to 30 mph about 0.5 seconds quicker than the Yamaha.
  • 0-60 mph – Polaris reaches 60 mph nearly 1 second faster than the Raptor 90.

The numbers illustrate that the Outlaw 90 has a small but noticeable advantage in both top speed and quickness. The Polaris 90cc engine creates a bit more power, but not drastically faster than the Yamaha. For most beginners, either ATV provides sufficiently snappy acceleration.

What Can Be Done to Increase the Yamaha Raptor 90’s Top Speed?

While the Raptor 90 is speed restricted from the factory, some owners choose to make modifications to get a little more top end. Here are three simple ways to safely increase the maximum speed:

  • Install an aftermarket air filter – A less restrictive air filter allows more airflow into the engine for more power. A high-flow filter like a K&N can add 1-2 mph.
  • Adjust the carburetor jetting – Leaning out the fuel mixture slightly adds power up top. Have a technician properly re-jet the carburetor.
  • Upgrade the exhaust system – An aftermarket exhaust like a Yoshimura slip-on provides better flow for more speed.

By combining selected engine mods like these, owners report gaining around 5 mph on the top end. So speeds up to 50 mph are realistic, but stability and braking become a concern above that point.

Of course, modifying a youth ATV is not recommended and may violate regulations in some areas. But for older teens looking for a little more speed, small engine tweaks can provide that when combined with proper safety gear and adult supervision.

Does the Yamaha Raptor 90 Offer Enough Power for Racing Competition?

Given its sporty looks and agile handling, some may wonder if the Raptor 90 can hold its own in amateur ATV racing. The short answer is the Raptor 90 is better matched for recreational trail and farm riding than high speed racing.

While the Raptor 90 is a very capable machine, its speed is limited to around 30 mph in stock form. Even with engine modifications, keeping up with larger and faster 125cc racing ATVs would be difficult and potentially unsafe.

For entry into youth ATV racing, a model like the Yamaha Raptor 125R would be better suited with nearly twice the displacement at 124cc and higher top speeds exceeding 60 mph. Most sanctioned racing organizations require an engine size of at least 110cc.

The Raptor 90 can certainly be a fun quad for pretending you’re a racer on the trails. But when it comes to actual competition, the restrictions on speed provide smart limitations that keep young riders within safe parameters.

Specification Comparison Table of Yamaha Raptor 90 Models by Year

YearEngineTransmissionTop SpeedWeightSeat Height
200590cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC5-speed with manual clutch15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
200690cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC5-speed with manual clutch15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
200790cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC5-speed with manual clutch15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
200890cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC5-speed with manual clutch15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
200990cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHC5-speed with manual clutch15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201090cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201190cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201290cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201390cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201490cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201590cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs27.4 inches
201690cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs30.7 inches
201790cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs30.7 inches
201890cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs30.7 inches
201990cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs30.7 inches
202090cc air-cooled 4-stroke SOHCfully automatic CVT transmission with reverse gear15-18 mph256 lbs30.7 inches

Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Raptor 90


  • Strong value for a beginner sport ATV
  • Peppy 90cc engine with good low end power
  • CVT transmission with forward, neutral, and reverse gears
  • Nimble handling and light weight
  • Parental speed control features for safety
  • Reliable air-cooled 4-stroke engine
  • Excellent resale value holds its price


  • Top speed limited to about 30 mph stock
  • Performance upgrades are restricted
  • Smaller tires less capable off-road than larger ATVs
  • Not designed for taller or heavier riders
  • Reverse gear can complicate maneuvering
  • Drum rear brake less effective than disc

Owner Perspectives On The Yamaha Raptor 90 Top Speed And Acceleration

The Raptor 90 Has Plenty Of Pep For My Young Son

“My son started riding the Raptor 90 when he turned 10 and it has been a great ATV for him to learn on. It has a nice amount of power from the 90cc engine – enough to have fun zipping around trails but not scary fast. The top speed is limited to about 30 mph which gives me peace of mind while still allowing him to get a feel for going fast. He loves taking it out to ride around our property and always has a huge smile when he gets back. For a young beginner rider, the Raptor 90 hits a great sweet spot.”

I Was Amazed How Quickly It Accelerates

“Even though it’s designed for kids, I was really impressed by the throttle response and acceleration of the Raptor 90 when I took it for a test drive. This is no slow poke little quad! It leaps forward when you hammer the throttle and wants to wheelie at lower speeds. Of course the top speed is capped for safety, but there is still plenty of quickness to put a smile on your face. Yamaha gave the Raptor 90 excellent drivability that makes it exciting to ride.”

My Son Quickly Outgrew The Speed Limitations

“We purchased a used Raptor 90 for my son’s 12th birthday thinking it would be a good fit. And it was a great learner ATV – for about a year. Now that he’s taller and has more riding experience under his belt, the limited top speed is leaving him wanting more. He keeps asking when we can upgrade to a faster model. The Raptor 90 is perfect for younger kids but be prepared that they may outgrow it pretty quickly if they get serious about riding.”

I Prefer The Governed Top Speed For Beginners

“As a parent, I really appreciate that Yamaha intentionally limits the top speed on the Raptor 90. My daughter is just learning to ride and having the quad restricted to around 30 mph gives me a lot more peace of mind. She is having a blast zipping around our property and doesn’t need to go much faster at her age. The Raptor 90 has plenty of power for fun trails and learning without being dangerous. Love the governed speed for a starter ATV.”

The Raptor 90 Lacked The Power I Was Looking For

“I’m a bigger teenager and bought a used Raptor 90 thinking it would be a fun recreational trail quad. Unfortunately, the 90cc engine was just too underpowered for my size. The throttle limiter kept the top speed lower than I expected and the overall power just felt lacking. Trying to ride two-up with a friend made it really struggle. I ended up selling it after a few months and getting a larger displacement ATV which has way more usable power. The Raptor 90 is fine for smaller kids, but bigger riders will quickly want more juice.”

Yamaha Raptor 90: Comparison of New vs Used Prices

Model YearNew MSRPUsed Price

Top Yamaha Raptor 90 Alternatives to Consider

For families shopping for a starter ATV, here are some of the top Yamaha Raptor 90 alternatives to consider:

  • Honda TRX90 – Very similar to the Raptor 90 with the same engine size and capabilities. Also priced around $3,000.
  • Suzuki QuadSport Z90 – Suzuki’s competitor in the 90cc class. Slightly tamer power delivery but still very capable.
  • Kawasaki KFX90 – Fun sporty 90cc model from Kawasaki. Great value at under $2,500 new.
  • Polaris Outlaw 90 – Slightly more powerful engine edges out the Raptor 90 in acceleration.
  • Yamaha Raptor 125 – Reasonably priced 125cc model for older/larger kids ready to step up.

Any of these youth ATVs would make a fantastic starter quad. Be sure to consider the rider’s age, size, and skill level when selecting the ideal ATV for your child.


The Yamaha Raptor 90 occupies a nice middle ground in the youth ATV segment. With sporty looks and capabilities plus a responsive 90cc engine, it provides an exciting ride that growing kids will love. But appropriate speed restrictions and safety features give parents peace of mind.

A top speed of around 30 mph strikes an optimal balance between fun and safety. While not the fastest ATV, the Raptor 90 delivers quick acceleration and agile handling perfect for learning. As long as you set proper expectations for high-speed capabilities, the Raptor 90 is extremely well-suited for recreational trail riding for ages 10 and up.

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