For the past three years, Southern California racer, Doug Eichner, has traveled the AMA Grand National circuits. He has enjoyed the “thrill of victory” with the Duncan Racing team. To do this, Doug was competing in the Open Pro/Am class, aboard a ’96 Banshee. For this article, we will call his quads the HOT-ROD BANSHEE’S.
For the past three years, Eichner has flown home from the Loretta Lynn’s National Finals with the season championship trophy. Despite assaults on his championship title every year, from riders on big-bore FourTraxes, big-bore four-strokes, and other modified Banshees, Doug has reigned supreme.
As of this date, Eichner’s Banshee has competed in a total of 30 Grand National events, winning 18 of them and incredibly boasting a 0 DNF record.
MORE HOT-ROD BANSHEES
For an inside look at Hot-Rod Banshees, and what this trick racing machine is all about we set up a test of this unit at Glen Helen Raceway( http://glenhelen.com ).
We joined Doug Eichner, and the Duncan Race team, ( www.duncanracing.com) for a day of practice at the world-famous Glen Helen Raceway motocross track in San Bernardino, CA.
The Banshee engine features Paul Turner Racing/Duncan Racing (PTR/DR) National Midrange Porting and PTR/DR Powerheads. The bore and stroke are 65.25mm x 54mm with a final displacement of 359cc.
The rod is stock with a Pro-X piston and stock crank welded and trued by DR. This powerplant also features DR Adjustable Timing Plate, DR Masterflow Intake System, and Pyramid Reed Valves. The twin carbs are 34mm Keihin PJs with the DR Superflow mod. The airbox remains stock with a K&N filter and FAB 1 oil.
The exhaust system consists of Paul Turner Racing Midrange Pipes (triple-plated chrome) and FatBoy silencers with Cascade billet exhaust clamps. The Duncan team uses Trick fuel with Maxima 927 mixed at 32:1 for the Banshee. The spark plug is a Champion N6YC.
CHASSIS & DRIVE SYSTEM
The entire frame is a Laeger Banshee unit, with Laeger Honda-style Pro Trax A-arms, spindles, and steering stem. The front and rear shocks are WPs with 11 inches of wheel travel. There’s also a Duncan Racing steering stabilizer.
Outback, the swingarm is a Laeger one-inch-under ’88–’89 FourTrax-length Pro Trax unit with a Dominator 48-inch rear axle and RPM Millenium Carrier. The quad also features a CR500 rear shock linkage. The wet weight of the entire machine is 385 pounds.
The drive system features a Hinson Billet Clutch Basket and a DR C33 clutch kit. The team uses Maxima MTL Racing transmission oil and Tsubaki O-Ring chain with Maxima Chain Wax. The 15/39 (MX) sprockets are manufactured by Sprocket Specialists.
TIRES, WHEELS & BRAKES
The front tires are 18-inch radial small car tires, while the rear meats are 18-inch Turf Tamers, all on Douglas Red Label wheels with Champion Beadlocks. Front hubs are Duncan Racing Honda units, while the rear hubs are RPM Honda Taperlocks. Generally, the team uses 10 psi in the front tires and 8 psi in the rear.
The brake calipers are stock Honda TRX250R with Braking pads and rotors. To top it off, there’s DR steel-braided brake lines and the team uses Maxima brake fluid.
CONTROLS & OTHER GOOD STUFF
Handlebars are Renthal Suzuki Quad bends with a CR Motion Pro throttle, YZ250 clutch lever, Motion Pro cables, Scott Grips, and a Pro Design tether kill switch. Nerf bars are aluminum AC Components brand, as is the rear grab bar. The front bumper is a DR chrome unit and the footpegs are called AC Pro-Peg nerfs. Other special setups include a DR Shift Star mod and flywheel mod.
In the styling department there’s a Cascade custom seat cover, black anodized rims by Roll Design, polished mag cover, chromed front bumper, pipes, swingarm, and A-arms. The entire Laeger frame is powdercoated.
The Dirt Wheels crew took a spin on Doug’s Banshee at Glen Helen, and the general consensus was that this machine is a handful! It’s not that it was evil-handling or anything, but when the power hooks up it really takes off.
A top-caliber rider, like Doug, tames the beast by rolling the throttle on at just the right time. He then gets his weight in the correct position. Even on the straights, we were having trouble keeping the front end down on the traction-filled course.
We were especially impressed by the plush suspension—this thing feels like a Cadillac when landing off the jumps. It was also nice to brapp-pp around on a Banshee that isn’t much heavier than a Honda FourTrax.
“I think it’s a kick to ride!” said Doug. “It has all the horsepower you want, which makes it great for jumping because you have plenty of speed to clear tabletops and doubles.”.
“It’s got a pretty good bottom-end, for a Banshee. It actually rides a lot like my Honda. And with the Honda brakes, I can really drive hard into the corners. About the only time, I feel the extra weight, is when I case it or land it on the flat, off a big jump.”
“The trick is to stay on the gas when you land. As far as tracks go, I like the big, wide-open ones, much better than the tight circuits, especially when I’m on a Banshee,” said Doug, with a hint of a big smile emerging.
“About the only things we do differently when we switch it over to TT racing, is change the swingarm to a minus-three-inch [from an ’88–’89 standard Honda length]. We’ll also lower the A-arms, install different shocks, and a swaybar. We even take it to the dunes sometimes—it’s my wife Joan’s favorite machine!”
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