The Yamaha YFZ350 Banshee is one of the most iconic quads ever. It was produced from 1987 to 2006 and soon became a popular model.
In the early ‘80s, there was a fierce battle in the ATV world, and Yamaha didn’t want to fall behind Honda and Suzuki, its main competitors. Unlike other brands, which used or adapted dirt bike engines for their quads, Yamaha used a mild version of the RD350LC high-performance street bike engine. The 347cc, two-stroke, twin-cylinder liquid-cooled engine was insane. The air delivery was in charge of two 26mm Mikuni carburetors with a power jet system, which helped the engine develop a high-power output at high RPMs.
When the Banshee was first introduced in 1987, it had an independent front suspension with upper J-arms and lower wishbone arms. In 1991, Yamaha replaced the J-arms with A-arms, turning the front suspension into a stronger dual A-arm suspension. The YFZ350 Banshee’s rear suspension was a swingarm with a single shock absorber. The swingarm, attached to the frame by a linkage system, allowed a progressive suspension action. Besides, Banshee’s shocks had preload adjustments, enabling users to adjust the suspension according to their needs and taste.
The YFZ350 Banshee’s chassis was made of a lightweight but hard steel frame that, combined with the suspension, gave the quad excellent handling. The combination of a mighty engine with an efficient suspension and a wonderful chassis made the Banshee one of the best ATVs of all time. During its long production run, the Banshee suffered many aesthetically modifications, but besides the front suspension redesign in 1991, it suffered minor mechanical upgrades because, as the saying goes, “stick with what works”.
In 2006, due to the increasingly strict emissions regulations and environmental awareness, Yamaha was forced to discontinue the Banshee, as happened to other wonderful 2-stroke engined legends. However, thanks to its large production numbers, there are still a lot of Banshees out there, making many ATV fans smile.
YFZ350 Banshee Tuning
The Banshee is a fast quad with excellent handling and overall performance from the factory. Its construction and almost-perfect design make it an ideal platform for tuning and upgrades, from mild to extensive modifications. The YFZ350 Banshee was used by several Racing teams, achieving some notable victories. There are many performance and aftermarket parts available to make the Banshee even better.
Suspension upgrades are one of the most common mods Banshee users make. For example, an Elka Suspension Legacy Series Front & Rear Shocks is an excellent choice to restore your suspension to like-new condition while increasing its performance. As you refresh your suspension, you may want to take your Banshee’s suspension and handling to the next level with a set of LoneStar Racing LSR DC-Pro Long Travel +2+1 A-Arms.
If you want to widen the rear track of your Yamaha Banshee to increase stability and traction, you will need an extended rear axle like the Rpm Dominator II 2 Rear Extended Axle Adjustable Yamaha Banshee +1/+4, which besides being longer is harder than the original and includes a lifetime warranty.
Another interesting mod for the YFZ350 Banshee is to replace the standard clutch basket with a high-performance part designed to dissipate the heat from the clutch more efficiently, extending its lifespan and performance under harsh conditions. The Hinson Racing Billetproof Clutch Basket is an excellent choice for replacing the stock clutch basket.
When riding any ATV at high speeds, you need control and smooth and consistent operation. That’s why many Banshee users replace their brake and clutch levers for enhanced brake and clutch levers, such as the ASV F4 Series Quad Clutch and Brake Levers; they have an adjustable range and are made from forged aluminum. This proves them practically unbreakable and gives the quad an outstanding look.
Another thing that helps riders improve control and comfort is an aftermarket steering stem from LoneStar Racing.
The Yamaha YFZ350 Banshee is one of the finest ATVs ever made. The engine is regarded as one of the best 2-stroke engines by many. It’s one of those rides everyone should drive at least once in their lifetime, as driving a Banshee is an unforgettable experience. Thanks to the many performance and aftermarket parts available, the Banshee can be customized to suit any riding style or preference, making it a versatile machine that continues to captivate enthusiasts to this day.