If there’s an ATV that can conquer the uphill sand downs without breaking a sweat, it’s got to be the Yamaha Banshee 350, across the board. This monster quad gets its power from a twin-cylinder, two-stroke, 350-cc engine; and it’s the first ATV to be fitted with such a high-performance engine in Yamaha’s production line.
What’s notable about this four-wheeler is that it is a record-holder in its own right. The Banshee 350 has a sizable two-stroke engine design on record. Also, this sports quad debuted and won the Baja 1000 in 1992, the first-ever competition since its release. Its lengthy 26-year production run, which began from 1987 to 2012, is a testament to its popularity among ATV enthusiasts. Had it not been for an environmental regulation that limited the Yamaha Banshee 350 in closed courses, courtesy of the EPA, production might have continued for a few more years.
The Yamaha Banshee 350 has a low-maintenance, bulletproof engine, making it practically indestructible. The availability of aftermarket parts makes this machine one of the most modified racing quads in its class. Furthermore, its high-end torque, incredible horsepower, and impressive manoeuverability rate, even at maximum speeds, make this vehicle a favourite among quad buffs, especially the experienced ones.
What Are the Different Models of the Yamaha Banshee 350?
The Yamaha Banshee 350 made a ground-breaking scene when it entered the ATV arena in 1987. The Banshee had a rather unique, if not innovative design, which, unlike its competitors, made it stand out from the pack.
This quad sported the twin-cylinder, two-stroke RD350 engine—the same engine mounted on Yamaha’s street bikes back in the ‘70s. When it was first released in 1983, all of the ATVs at that time had four-stroke engines. Nevertheless, the Banshee 350 delivered performed as expected and did not disappoint.
The production run for the Yamaha Banshee 350 in the US began from 1987 up to 2006. On the other hand, in Canada, production continued for two more years before finally calling it quits in 2008. As for Australia, the Banshee lasted until 2012.
Below are the different Yamaha Banshee 350 models, which were released from their inception up until 2006. Moreover, Yamaha released the 2006 Yamaha Banshee 350 Special Edition (YFZ350SEV) to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary.
|1987 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350T|
|1988 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350U|
|1989 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350W|
|1990 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350A|
|1991 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350B|
|1992 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350D|
|1993 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350E|
|1994 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350F|
|1995 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350G|
|1996 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350H|
|1997 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350U|
|1998 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350K|
|1999 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350L|
|2000 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350M|
|2001 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350N|
|2002 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350P|
|2003 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350R|
|2004 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350S|
|2005 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350T|
|2006 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350V|
What Is the Price of a Yamaha Banshee 350?
According to www.nadaguides.com, the suggested value of the 2006 Yamaha Banshee 350 Special Edition would fetch around $6,499. Meanwhile, its low and average retail values will be $2,530 and $3,330, respectively. On the same note, below are the suggested retail values of the Yamaha Banshee 350, with the inclusion of the low and average retail price, as follows:
|Year (Standard)||Model||Suggested Value||Low / Average Values|
|1987 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350T||$2,999||$430 / $565|
|1988 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350U||$3,149||$430 / $565|
|1989 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350W||$3,649||$430 / $565|
|1990 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350A||$3,999||$435 / $570|
|1991 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350B||$4,299||$435 / $570|
|1992 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350D||$4,499||$480 / $630|
|1993 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350E||$4,699||$500 / $655|
|1994 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350F||$5,299||$545 / $720|
|1995 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350G||$5,399||$560 / $740|
|1996 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350H||$5,699||$640 / $840|
|1997 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350J||$5,899||$710 / $935|
|1998 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350K||$5,899||$780 / $1,025|
|1999 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350L||$5,899||$870 / $1,145|
|2000 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350M||$5,899||$880 / $1,160|
|2001 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350N||$5,999||$1,080 / $1,420|
|2002 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350P||$5,999||$1,195 / $1,575|
|2003 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350R||$5,999||$1,685 / $2,220|
|2004 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350S||$5,999||$1,830 / $2,410|
|2005 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350T||$6,099||$2,255 / $2,965|
|2006 Yamaha Banshee 350||YFZ350V||$6,199||$2,335 / $3,070|
Specification and Features of the Yamaha Banshee 350
The Yamaha Banshee 350 gets its awesome power from a liquid-cooled, two-stroke, parallel twin-cylinder, reed valve engine. With a displacement of 347 cubic centimetres (21.2 cubic inches), the bore is 64 mm (2.52 inches), while the stroke is 54 mm (2.13 inches). Its dual VM2SS Mikuni carburettor, which is 26 mm in size, delivers a compression rate of 6.5:1. A stock Yamaha Banshee 350 produces high-end torque that can go up to 54 Nm and jaw-dropping 34 horsepower.
Lubrication and Filtration
The Banshee 350 has an oil capacity of 1.5 litres (1.6 US gal). Even though the quad requires a specific oil type for its engine, owners have the option of using a different engine oil brand that’s also widely recommended as per the ATV’s manual. The recommended oil type for the Yamaha Banshee 350 may range from any of the following:
|Recommended Oil Types||Mixing Ratio|
This all-terrain sports quad has a 12.1 litre (3.2 US gal) fuel tank and a reserve that can hold up to 2.5 litres (0.7 US gal). The Yamaha Banshee 350 requires premium unleaded fuel with 90 PON or 95 RON grades, and a 10% ethanol mixture because that contributes to optimal engine performance. However, methanol additives should be avoided because they may cause serious fuel and engine problems.
The Yamaha Banshee 350 has a manual clutch system with a wet, multiple-disc configuration. Also, the Banshee has a six-speed transmission with a constant mesh gear control, which greatly reduces stress on the gears and provides higher torque. A sealed O-ring chain, which is connected to the rear wheel, provides in the Banshee its primary drive. Below is the gear and drive ratios of the Yamaha Banshee 350.
|1st Gear||32/13 (2.461)|
|2nd Gear||29/16 (1.812)|
|3rd Gear||27/18 (1.500)|
|4th Gear||25/20 (1.250)|
|5th Gear||23/22 (1.045)|
|6th Gear||21/24 (0.875)|
|Primary Drive Ratio||66/23 (2.869)|
|Final Drive Ratio||41/14 (2.929)|
The Banshee 350 is operated using a capacitor discharge ignition (CDI) and kick-start system. This quad also has a recoil starter which serves as a backup in case the primary ignition system fails to bring this machine to life. Moreover, the Yamaha Banshee 350 uses a YTX14AH-BS battery (2V 1.2 Ah, 210-CCA), and has a magneto generator for its charging system.
This 386-pound single-seater has an independent double-wishbone for its front suspension and a swing arm suspension for the rear. Both suspension systems have adjustable fork preload damper coils. The front wheels have a decent travel of 9.1 inches (230 mm), while 8.7 inches (220 mm) for the rear. Also, the Banshee 350 has a turning radius of 11.8 feet.
Tyres and Brakes
The stock Yamaha Banshee 350 comes with tubeless Dunlop tyres—KT851A AT21 x 7-10 for the front and KT877 AT20 x 10-9 for the rear aluminium wheels. The recommended air pressure for both the front and rear tyres should be at 30kPa (0.30 kgf/cm2 / 4.4 psi). Meanwhile, the minimal tyre pressure should not go below 27kPa (0.27 kg/cm2 / 3.9 psi).
The Banshee 350 uses a dual hydraulic disc for the front wheels and a single hydraulic disc brake for the rear. The former is operated using a right-hand lever, while the latter with a right-foot pedal.
With a dry weight of 386 lbs. (175.1 kg), the Banshee 350’s wet weight is 405 lbs. Its curb weight, on the other hand, is 412 lbs. (187 kg). Also, this quad has a total loading capacity of 220 lbs. (100 kg), including the combined weight of the rider, mods, as well as cargo.
This lightweight quad has a length of 73 inches (1,855 mm), a height of 42.5 inches (1,080 mm), and a width of 43.3 inches (1,100 mm). The Yamaha Banshee 350 has a seat height of 31.5 inches (800.11 mm), as well as a ground clearance of 5.3 inches (134.6 mm) and a wheelbase of 50.4 inches (1,280.2 mm).
The steel chassis of the Yamaha Banshee 350 has a 9-degree caster angle with a 40-millimetre trail and comes with durable plastic body materials. Apart from the footpegs, the handlebars are complete with pads and handgrips, providing comfort and convenience to the operator. Additionally, the front bash plate, including the fenders and bumpers to the front and rear of the quad gives it a sleek yet aggressive appearance.
As for the lighting, the Banshee has twin headlights mounted on the front fender of the vehicle. To the rear, meanwhile, this four-wheeler is equipped with a pair of taillights, including a brake light, which provides additional safety measures for the rider.
What Is the Top Speed of the Yamaha Banshee 350?
A stock Yamaha Banshee 350 can produce around 34 horsepower and can go up to 65 miles an hour. Though some owners differ in opinion; some claim that the quad can even go beyond this figure, running well over 72 mph.
This output, of course, is dependent on several factors, such as the experience of the driver, the weather, and terrain, among others. If boosted with the right aftermarket mods, the Banshee can run a whopping 115 mph.
If you’re one of those Banshee die-hards who want to improve your 350’s performance, check the list of aftermarket mods below.
- Gear up by replacing the counter sprocket gear one size up.
- Install a high-quality airbox, such as a Uni Pod filtration system.
- Put on aftermarket slip-on exhausts. An FMF exhaust and silencer system would make a great exhaust system.
- Improve the compression rate with a suitable aftermarket compression head. However, make sure you consult a chart to know the type and size of the compression dome that suits the elevation of the area where you live.
The Good and Bad and the Add-Ins — Yamaha Banshee 350
With the Yamaha Banshee 350’s remarkable torque and horsepower, this quad has the right to earn the hearts and minds of ATV enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies. This four-wheeler has spent over two and a half decades in the production line, which proves that it’s a no-nonsense two-stroke all-terrain vehicle. However, this ATV has its limitations. Below are the good and bad stuff, as well as some add-in pros and cons, of the Yamaha Banshee 350.
The Sand King
There’s no fitting name to the Yamaha Banshee 350 than the Sand King. That’s because apart from its unique two-stroke engine, powerful torque, and outstanding speed, the Banshee is also well-known for its ability to take on any sandblasted terrain, whether it’s on a desert or a beach. Of course, those are not just this quad’s forte; it’s also perfect on dirt trails. With several Baja competitions won under its belt, it’s difficult not to call this four-wheeler the king.
Requires Less Maintenance
Perhaps one of the best qualities of the Yamaha Banshee 350 is that owners require minimal effort to maintain this speed monster of a quad, especially since it has a two-stroke engine. From the Banshee’s bulletproof engine to its sturdy steel frame and plastics, the quad is nearly indestructible. Despite this, however, you’ll be wise to regularly clean the air filters, use the correct fuel and engine oil type, and check your quad every so often.
Yamaha Banshee 350 mods are everywhere. This is the reason why the Banshee is one of the most modified quads of all time, which also adds to its lasting legacy. The ubiquitous nature of those aftermarket components, coupled with the fact that this four-wheeler has several qualities that people can improve on (like top speed or appearance) makes customization more than enjoyable.
Weak Front Suspension
Yes, the Yamaha Banshee is the sand king, but it’s not ideal for trails. That’s because the quad’s front suspension is not designed for trail-riding. Also, there have been instances where the rods get bent when the quad is driven on a motocross race. Because of this matter, most owners choose to replace the front suspension of their Banshees to prevent exacerbating the problem.
Issues With the Engine
Despite its low upkeep, the Yamaha Banshee 350’s engine is not impervious to concerns. Some of these issues are attributed to a bad engine coil. Also, there are instances in which the throttle cables fail which results in poor engine performance. Apart from this, some stock components, particularly the carburettor, also cause idling problems due to worn bores.
Add-In Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Banshee 350
Though the Yamaha Banshee 350 has a massive cult following because of its legendary status as a speed beast of an ATV, the undeniable truth lingers: it still has its disadvantages. Below are additional pros and cons of this quad.
- Additional mods for better engine performance do not cost much for the Banshee as compared to four-stroke engines.
- It is easy to modify and rebuild.
- It has decent handling features; perfect for sliding.
- It has a sturdy transmission system.
- Because it’s a two-stroke engine, gas often mixes with oil, which is bad for the engine in the long run.
- It has an outdated appearance.
- Some of its components require improvement, such as the compression dome and airbox, among others.
Why Is the Yamaha Banshee 350 So Popular?
For several years, the Yamaha Banshee 350 has remained an iconic sports quad for most ATV enthusiasts, who revered this mean machine because of its power and speed. The thought of going beyond 75 miles per hour is not something that any experienced rider can ignore. That’s something that this quad, even in bone stock mode, never fails to deliver.
Though production has ceased for several years, the Banshee never ceases to amaze people because of its spectacular features, such as a robust frame and bulletproof engine. Also, this machine doesn’t require too much maintenance.
Indeed, there’s still the issue of faulty components, which every Banshee owner need to address. Nevertheless, the prevalence of aftermarket mods gives owners the option of improving their quads to the point of perfection. In other words, the Banshee 350 is a beast of a machine that can outweigh its flaws.
About the Manufacturer
Yamaha Motor Co., Limited is the firm behind the Yamaha Banshee 350. Apart from ATVs, the multinational company also manufactures several products, namely: motorcycles, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, and automobile engines, among others. The company continue to serve its esteemed consumers through numerous products which help better their way of living.
Final Takeaway — Yamaha Banshee 350
Indeed, the Yamaha Banshee 350 has several snags, which may adversely affect its overall performance. Nevertheless, this quad continues to stand out among the rest of the pack. Thanks to its unique engine design and remarkable features, the Banshee remains a thrilling ride for both veteran and experienced operators.
Moreover, the ubiquity of aftermarket components and the Banshee being easy to modify give owners different ways to turn their quads into a work of beauty and perfection. So, say what you will about the Yamaha Banshee 350. This four-wheeler is not going anywhere, especially while it continues to rule the dunes.