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January 9, 2017
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“Whoa dude, Yamaha put a twin-cylinder 2-stroke motor in a quad!” That’s what ATV riders were saying back in 1987 when they walked into a Yamaha dealer and saw the new Banshee for the first time. Up until then a single-cylinder 250cc 2-stroke motor was the standard choice for fast riders. The excitement factor went up considerably with two screaming cylinders pumping out massive quantities of 2-stroke power.


Even today, 30 years later, there’s still nothing like the feeling you get when riding a Banshee. Especially one that has been modified to produce even more power. You get addicted to the sudden acceleration that occurs when the engine comes on the pipe and the front wheels start lifting off the ground while you struggle to hang on. That’s why you still see Banshees at riding parks and their owners proudly customizing their machines with all kinds of “go-fast” parts.

The good news is that there are plenty of aftermarket accessories still being made for Yamaha’s legendary 2-stroke twin. The Dirt Wheels found this out when began working on our Project Banshee. There were plenty of shops to choose from for rebuilding the crank, porting the cylinders and replacing the pipes. Improving the suspension and handling was also available from the various choices of shocks, A-arms and other components.


We’re in the final stages of wrapping up our Banshee build and it’ll be ready for a special feature in our March issue. The article will give you all the info on how you can pick up a used Banshee at a good price and fix it up to be an awesome machine. Until then, we provide you with this preview of how it’s looking so far. Stay tuned.

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