Yamaha Moto 4 ATV Review (Specs and Features).

Yamaha Moto 4 ATV Review (Specs and Features).

Yamaha introduced the Yamaha Moto-4, a first of its kind, in 1985. The introduction of this vehicle prompted the transition from three-wheel to four-wheel ATV design, and manufacturers worldwide followed suit. Farmers, hunting groups, and regular consumers welcomed the four-wheeler. While the Yamaha Moto 4 was a huge sensation in the 1980s, many people are curious about how it compares to modern ATV standards.

The Yamaha Moto 4 was the first all-terrain vehicle. It is powered by a 196cc engine, has an electronic starter, a reverse gear, an automatic transmission, and a snorkel air intake. Its four-wheel design makes it safer to go off-road and more fun for rides.

If you’re trying to save money on rebuilding, buying your child their first novice quad, or looking for maintenance recommendations for this ATV, you’ll find it all in this comprehensive review.

Yamaha Moto 4: Overview

Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a Japanese company with headquarters worldwide. It was started in 1955 in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. It sells more motorcycles and more water vehicles than any other country. Aside from running its global operations well, it also helps build tourist businesses, facilities for recreation and leisure, and services.

Yamaha is known worldwide for its high-quality cruiser and off-road motorbikes, snowmobiles, multipurpose engines, intelligent machinery, and other motorized products. Yamaha Moto 4 is one of these products.

When the Yamaha Moto 4 was introduced in 1985, three-wheel design ruled the all-terrain sector. ATCs, or all-terrain cycles, featured strong engines at the time, but they were not the safest or most stable to ride across rough terrain.

Yamaha innovators noticed that these challenges were holding back ATVs and intended to kickstart the shift to four-wheeled ATVs. As a result, Yamaha’s first four-wheeler was created.

The Yamaha Moto 4 design feature a four-stroke, 196-cc engine with high torque, a centrifugal-automatic clutch, an electric starter, and a snorkel air intake.

The Moto 4’s remarkable mobility on uneven terrain was aided by a reverse gear that assisted during deceleration.

Front and rear racks provided additional storage and hauling capacity, making them perfect for both recreational and utility use. Riders also reported a more steady and secure riding experience.

Yamaha offered three additional engine displacement variants for the Moto 4, namely the Yamaha Moto 4 225, 250, and 350, which came with manual transmission and 4WD options. Even though the Yamaha YFM200 launched the Moto 4 series, its twin, the Yamaha Moto-4 350, became the recognized Moto-4 model from 1987 till 1995.

The Yamaha Moto 4 350, also known as the YFM350ER, served as the prototype for other Yamaha models, including the Raptor, Big Bear, Warrior, and other YFM designations. This sport ATV, equipped with a larger 329-cc engine, was built for powerful mid-range pulling capabilities as well as aggressive mud bogging and riding in shallow water.

Yamaha Motor 4: Specs and Features


The vehicle is powered by a four-stroke, air-cooled single-cylinder SOHC engine with a bore of 67 mm and a stroke of 55.7. The engine has a displacement of 196cc and is forward-inclined. A Mikuni carburetor with a compression ratio of 8.5:1 and a compression pressure of 883 kPa (9 kg/cm3, 128 psi) regulates the air-fuel mixture. The fuel tank has a capacity of 2.5 US gallons/9.5 liters, with a reserve of 0.5 US gallons/1.9 liters.


It features a CDI magneto electric start system, a Mitsubishi ignition coil, and an A.C. magneto generator.


Its power travels via a five-speed automated constant mesh gearbox, including a reverse gear. It is a two-wheel drive with a top power output of 11.5kW (15.6PS) / 7,500r/min. Later variants from 225cc to 350cc include manual transmission and 4WD.


It has a right-hand drum brake in front and a single hydraulic disc foot brake in the back.


The Moto 4 has a swing axle front suspension while the rear suspension swing-arm have a steel finish.


The overall length of the quad is 68.9 inches in the U.S. and Canada and 72.8 inches everywhere else. Height is 40 inches, and width is 41.1 inches. The ground clearance is at least 8.3 inches. The wheelbase of the vehicle is between 44.1 and 44.3 inches. The height of the seat is 28.5 inches. For the U.S. and Canada, its core weight with oil and fuel tank is 406 lbs/184 kg, and for all other markets, it is 423 lbs/192 kg.


It has a steel frame and a plastic body. The front and back fenders can be protected from the weather with a Heavy-Duty, Triple-Waterproofed ATV Cover. The ’85 model has a snorkel to get air in and racks in the front and rear. It has a 45-watt bulb in the front and a 7.5-watt bulb in the back.


The Yamaha Moto 4 has Dunlop KT982 22 X 8-10 tires on the front and Dunlop KT988 22 X 10-8 tires on the back. The wheels are tubeless. The front wheels have 2.6 inches of travel, while the rear wheels have 4.33 inches.

Yamaha Moto 4 Identification

One of the most common questions about Moto 4 and Yamaha ATV models is how to tell which one it is. And there’s a good reason for that: it helps people buy the right accessories and parts for their quad and fix it the right way. There are two ways to do it: by analyzing the model code designation or by decoding the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Model Code Designations

Yamaha has made about 19 different codes for ATVs so far, but I’ll only list the ones that begin with YFM so you can tell the difference between a Moto 4 and other Yamaha ATV models:

Model Code Designation Marketing Name
YMF80 Badger
YMF100 Champ
YFM 200DX/225/350ER Moto 4
YFM350FW Big Bear
YFM350X Warrior
YFM400 Big Bear
YFM400FW Kodiak
YFM600 Grizzly Hunter
YFM600FW Grizzly
YFM660 Raptor

Vehicle Identification Number

The VIN is a standard numbering system for determining who made the car, how it was made, what type of engine it has, and when it was made. It is a 17-digit code of letters and numbers that is unique to each car. For quick decoding, you can enter the complete 17-digit code online on the Yamaha VIN decoder website.

This code is written on the frame of all Moto-4 models near the left foot-peg when you seat on the ATV. But this location might be different across models. You can also find the VIN on the neck of the frame near the triple-tree, between the engine and the A-arm, or just in front of the left front foot-peg. Using a wire brush to clean the frame will make the VIN more visible.

Yamaha Moto 4 Maintenance Tips

You must perform maintenance if you want to enjoy using your quad for a long time. Like any other ATV, the best way to take care of your bike is to read the owner’s manual.

When it comes to the steering and braking power transmission systems, servicing a Moto 4 may be slightly different from servicing other vehicles.

Here are some more tips for taking good care of your Moto 4:

  1. Protect the battery of your ATV when you’re not using it during the winter.
  2. Regularly inspect the oil, coolant, and fluid levels.
  3. Examine the connectors and filters.
  4. Maintain proper tire pressure and tire inflation on the ATV.

How much does a Yamaha Moto 4 Cost?

It is not easy to figure out the exact amount the 1985 Yamaha Moto 4 costs. However, the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the 1987 Yamaha Moto-4 YFM225T is $2,599. Nada Guides gives a price range of $265 to $1,275 for the 1985 Moto 4 YFM200N model.

The auction prices range from $199 to $2,237. Motos that are in bad shape or are being sold for parts can only be sold for $199-$550. Anything else that costs more than $550 is in fair to very good or excellent condition.

Most of the on-sale ATVs at auctions and second-hand stores are from 1986 to 1992. The  ATVs at these auctions may require minor repairs to the electric pump, push-button start switch, sprayer tank, or battery. There are a few four-wheelers that might need new tires, parts, and bodywork due to the poor condition they were stored in.

Some of these ATVs are cheap because they have been sitting around for a while and their engines won’t start or run. Even if the model year is older, those with titles, snowplow attachments, or front and rear cargo are more expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Yamaha Moto 4 80 a part of the Moto 4 series?

The Yamaha Moto 4 80 is not in the same series. The Yamaha YFM80 is called the Badger and was released before the Yamaha Moto 4 YFM200. It was manufactured from 1985 to 1993.

How many cc is a Yamaha Moto 4?

There were four different kinds of the Yamaha Moto 4, each with a different engine displacement. There are 196cc in the YFM200, 223cc in the YFM225, 230cc in the YFM250, and 329cc in the YFM350ER.

How fast is a Yamaha Moto 4?

The top speed of a well-maintained 225-350-cc Yamaha Moto 4 is between 45 and 50 miles per hour. The YFM200 has a lower top speed range between 33 and 37 mph. If you install some mods to your Moto 4, these numbers could still go up.

How do I change the oil on my Yamaha Moto 4 350?

The owner’s manual has 11 steps to change the oil in your Moto 4. It’s best to follow those steps and pay attention to any instructions that say “CAUTION.” For example, the parts to lose and not to lose when removing the drain plug; also, you shouldn’t let any foreign element get into the engine.


For a first-time, this beast is a great first quad. It’s also a great place for a skilled mechanic to start building a buggy or practicing rebuilding.

Yamaha engineers and those who currently own the Moto 4 both value it as a fun vehicle that showcases innovation. So it’s not surprising that this little truck is still around and probably will be for a long time.