How do you know what year Banshee you have?
Yamaha produced the Banshee in the USA from 1987 until 2006. While the bike remained relatively unchanged, it was updated several times. To determine what year your Banshee is, you need to look at the frame’s vin number. It’s located right behind the foot shifter on the frame rail:
This is a 17 digit number, and it will look something like this:
The 10th digit is the important numeral. In the photo above, the 10th Digit is a “T”. The “T” means that this model unit is a1996 model. Compare it to the following chart to determine your year:
1987 - H 1994 - R 2001 - 1
1988 - J 1995 - S 2002 - 2
1989 - K 1996 - T 2003 - 3
1990 - L 1997 - V 2004 - 4
1991 - M 1998 - W 2005 - 5
1992 - N 1999 - X 2006 - 6
1993 - P 2000 - Y
Sometimes the frame VIN numbers are removed, painted, or powdercoated over. This makes discovering the exact year of your Yamaha Banshee much harder, but not impossible. Start by determining what type of chassis you have. You will need to look at the upper suspension arms. From 1987 until 1990, Yamaha had “J-arms”:
After 1990, and until 2006, Yamaha switched to upper “A-arms”:
You can also look at your CDI Box to help narrow down the year. There are several different part numbers located on a stick on the box itself:
1987-1994: 2GU-50/2GU-51 (round plugs)
1995-1996: 3GG-00 (square plug with sharp corners)
1997-2006: 3GG-10 (square plug with rounded corners)
We will tackle the largest age bracket 1997-2006 next:
You can look at your taillight, the 1987-2001 Banshee used a smaller taillight, without a brake light:
From 2002 - 2006, they used a larger style with a brake light, that looks like this:
You can also look at this chart that Yamaha posted on its website to show different color schemes that they produced (not every color is shown here though).
So hopefully this guide will help you determine the year of your Banshees, or at least narrow it down a little bit!