AWORK OF ART
The beauty of a Banshee
By the staff of Dirt Wheels
❏ How many twin-cylinder, two-stroke quads has there ever been?
The Banshee is the only one. Yamaha
caught the world totally off-guard
when they came out with this unique
machine back in 1987. No other ATV
manufacturer was willing to compete with Yamaha’s Banshee, so it
remained in a class by itself for 20
years. You can no longer go to a
dealer and buy a new one, and that’s
why it’s important to keep the remaining Banshees in good running order.
If you’re going to put forth the effort
to restore an old quad, the Banshee
should be at the top of your list.
That was Kevin Steed’s thinking when he picked up an old 1995
Banshee several years ago. It was in
sad shape, so he went to work tear-
ing it completely apart to start from
scratch. For the heart of the beast,
he didn’t just rebuild it, but rather
took it many steps further to untap
the two-stroke twin’s hidden poten-
tial. When he got through, the 410cc
engine had a 4-mil stroker crank
and custom-ported cylinders. With
38mm Keihin slide carburetors and
CPI pipes, it cranked out 90 horse-
power on the dyno. The custom-pro-
grammable CDI box allows for quick
adjustments to alter the powerband
for different terrain.
Kevin knew his Banshee would be
fast in a straight line, but he wanted
it to handle in the same league as a
modern 450. The first priority was suspension. He selected a combination
of Lone Star Racing’s +2-inch-wide,
+1-inch-forward, long-travel A-arms
and Works dual-rate shocks up front.
On the rear, he’s running a +6-inch
arched JL Engineering swingarm and
Axcaliber +2-inch axle.
With this much time and money
invested, Kevin figured he should go
all out and made sure his Banshee
looked pleasing to the eye as well.
He bought some buffing wheels
and compounds, and went to work
hand-polishing every bit of exposed
aluminum. For the steel frame, he
had it smoothed out, and then pow-
The stock 350cc Banshee engine was hopped up to 410cc and it
doubled in horsepower. The explosive acceleration required some
major upgrades to the suspension and handling as well.