RAAW has finally released its very first DH Bike for mass consumption; the RAAW Yalla!. Actually, i’m not using an exclamation mark for effect; that’s the name of the bike. This one has been no secret, having raced an entire season of World Cup DH in the capable hands of Luke Williamson, Ryan Brannen, Douglas Goodwill and KJ Sharp. We got a good look at KJ’s prototype at Fort William and were impressed by the bike’s multitude of adjustable parameters.
Following that rigorous development process, the RAAW Yalla! is now available to Joe Public, with frame pricing starting at €2,990 ($2,690 USD). Before diving into the details, one of the weirdest bike launch videos we’ve ever seen is available for your viewing pleasure below.
Feature image by Ross Bell
RAAW Yalla! Downhill Mountain Bike
The Yalla! DH Bike has all the hallmarks of a RAAW mountain bike; a Horst-Link suspension platform with a massive main pivot bearing, and a brutal aesthetic indicative of form, function and durability having been prioritized above all else. That said, we think it still looks fantastic, just like its shorter-travel siblings, the RAAW Madonna 2.2 and the RAAW Jib.
Despite earlier trials with a mixed-wheel option, all three frame sizes (M-XL) of the production Yalla! run a 29″ wheelset, with the Horst-Link layout delivering 198mm of rear wheel travel damped by the rider’s choice of a 225mm x 75mm air or coil shock. In truth, the actual rear wheel travel can range from 194mm to 203mm, dependent on which one of a possible nine settings has been selected.
The Yalla! intentionally shares the same reach figures of the Madonna 2.2; 455mm in medium, 480mm in Large, and 505mm in XL; the range covers rider heights of 167 cm to 199 cm. Also intentional is use of the same machined hardware as the enduro bike (and the trail bike), in a bid to make parts manufacture and sourcing a more simple affair.
A major highlight of the Yalla! is its adjustability; chainstay length, BB height, progression, reach and head angle are all tweak-able to the rider’s preference, and can be made near enough independent of one another. Thanks to a 56mm upper headtube dimension, head angle and reach can be altered independently; increase or decrease reach by 5mm and/or steepen or slacken the head angle by 1°.
Per frame size, there are three possible chainstay lengths each separated by 5mm. In the Medium, possible lengths are 440mm, 445mm and 450mm. In the Large, possible lengths are 445mm, 450mm and 455mm. In the XL, possible lengths are 450mm, 455mm and 460mm. In line with these adjustments, there are also three separate brake mounts available to work with each setting.
Thus, that proportional approach to chainstay length we see on RAAW’s other full suspension mountain bikes does carry over to the DH Bike, but within that there is a decent amount of adjustment available to suit different riding styles, and the varying demands of different DH tracks.
In its stock (middle) setting, the Yalla! sees a BB height of 345mm. At this BB drop of 26.5mm, three different leverage curves are available offering overall progression of 23%, 25% or 28%. Low and High BB heights are also possible, each of which can also deliver 23%, 25% or 28% overall progression. How? By selecting one of a possible nine lower shock mounting tabs.
As for the kinematic… well, Ruben Torenbeek and Dan Roberts went through no fewer than eight different kinematics before settling on the one that balanced the suspension, geometry, adjustability and packaging in the Yalla! For a deep dive, put the kettle on and listen to Dan’s thoughts on the bike below.
Yalla! Frame Details
- Travel R/F: 198mm / 203mm
- Recommended fork dimensions: ATC 601.9mm – Rake 52mm
- Wheel size: 29″
- Max tire width: 2.6″
- Tire clearance: 84mm
- Rear hub: 157mm x 12mm
- Maximum Chainring Size: 36T
- BB Specification: 83 mm BSA with ISCG05 tabs
- Brake: 203mm Postmount
- Seat tube diameter: 31.6mm
- Headset: 56mm / 56mm
- Cable routing: External
- Claimed Weight: 4.2 kg (incl. shock hardware, rear wheel axle and frame protection, w/o shock, size M)
Pricing & Availability
The RAAW Yalla! is in stock now, available to purchase as a frame kit right away. The frame kit without shock, including rear wheel axle, headset and all hardware is available for €2,990 in the EU and for $2,690 USD / $3,611 CAD / 2,495 CHF / £2,244 outside of the EU. Shock options from Öhlins are in stock and Fox options will ship at the end of March.