When we found our project Banshee, it was an ’04 that was beaten in every way. The engine was blown,
the suspension was tired and its looks were a mess. Affordable aftermarket parts solved all its problems.
much back when you could walk into
a Yamaha dealer and buy a brand-new
UPGRADING THE HANDLING
The Banshee’s basic, non-rebuildable
front shocks are adequate for a stock
350 when they’re fresh, but our ’04s
were tired. Race Tech’s rebuildable
G3-S shocks gave the Banshee state-of-the-art front suspension, and Race
Tech fully rebuilt the stock rear shock
to give the Yamaha a balanced, better-than-new feel. The Banshee’s tires and
wheels had also seen better days, so
we replaced the wasted original rolling
stock with DWT XC tires on DWT aluminum wheels.
GETTING ON IT
Riding any Banshee is electrifying
from the moment you light the thing off
with the kickstarter. Firing up a big-bore
version tuned for race gas with racing
exhausts is a flood of good sensations.
The crackle from the pipes and the
aroma of race fuel and two-stroke oil let
you know the two-stroke twin is ready
to get to work.
Stock Banshees are light on low-end power, but our long-stroke, high-compression mill pulls solidly off the
bottom. As with all Banshees, when it
comes on the pipes, there’s just nothing like it. The 400 makes a stock 350
feel like somebody pulled a plug wire
off. Feeling the power hit is so much
fun, we backed out of the throttle again
and again just to feel its afterburner-like
acceleration kick in.
Race Tech’s G3-S shocks and the
expertly rebuilt and -valved rear shock
eliminated the Banshee kick we didn’t
care for. Stock Banshee suspension
is harsh. The Race Tech components
are plush and responsive and have
much better bottoming resistance for
big G-outs and jump landings. Our
project machine delivers all the excitement we’ve always loved the Banshee
for, with better handling and the power
dialed to 11. Memories have a way of
beating reality, but this Yamaha makes
us want to live in the present.
Stock Banshee suspension is harsh. Race Tech’s
G3-S shocks and the expertly rebuilt and -valved
rear shock eliminated the Banshee kick we didn’t