Motor City ATV

Yamaha Banshee – The 350cc Liquid Cooled ATV

The Yamaha Banshee is a legendary 350cc liquid cooled two stroke ATV four wheeler. Yamaha produced these in the USA from 1987 – 2006, and they are still making them in the rest of the world. This was one of the fastest ATVs ever produced, and reigned supreme until the YFZ450 was created to replace it in 2004.

The engine was basically the exact same from 1987 until 2006, as well as most major components, except the changed the frame suspension from j-arms to a-arms in 1990. The rear wheel hubs had the same bolt pattern 4/115mm bolt pattern all years, except 1989 and 1990, when they changed it to 4/156mm; because of this Warrior, Raptor, and YFZ450 rims and wheels will also fit a Banshee. The electrical was updated as well in 2002 to include a brake light. Most parts will fit any year and are interchangeable including: the plastic fenders, rear brakes, seat, radiator, front and rear shocks, axle, hubs, lower a-arms, gas tank, cylinders, head, cases, crankshaft, carbs, petcock, tires, skid plate, coil, flywheel, transmission, shift forks, air box, air filter, handlebars, shifter, levers, swing arm, tie rods, impeller, pipe hangers, steering stem, bumper, grab bar, sprocket, rotors, reeds, head, side covers, kick starter, clutch, intake boots, and even the exhaust.

The electrical had 4 generations 1987-1994, 1995-1996, 1997-2001, and 2002-2006. They kept the same materials, but they changed the wire plug connectors on the on/off switch, the key assembly, the cdi box, the stator, and the taillight.

One of the most popular modifications for a Banshee is changing the exhaust pipes. By simply changing the pipes, you can gain up to 20% more power! Usually people accompany this with a new aftermarket air filter, and rejetting the carbs. Another popular feature to add power is porting and polishing the cylinders.

The suspension was a weak point on this unit, mostly because it wasn’t updated since the 1980s. To combat this, many people add aftermarket a-arms that are wider and farther forward (+2+1), a wider axle, and aftermarket shocks.  Without a doubt, the Yamaha Banshee is one of most reveered and respected ATV to come along.

Written by Ray VanSteenkiste

Motor City ATV