Yamaha Banshee YFZ350

a four-wheeled adrenaline rush

up, up and away

the powerful 350 two-stroke twin was very fast and tricky to ride properly

What's in a name? When considering the machine you see here before you... everything.

Because nowhere, is there a 2-stroke ATV that sets the pulse screaming and wailing like Yamaha's YFZ350 Banshee.

And then, just when you think its safe to ride one, Johannesburg Yamaha take the already fast Banshee and make it super fast. My first comparison was, it rode like a light-switch. It's either ON or OFF. In order to get the quad to go, you have to rev the motor quite high and slip the clutch, because there hardly any guts low down, but once you hit the power band it literally takes off... and you'd better be holding on. It's like a whole new ball-game. There's no power and then suddenly there's mega power.

We took the Banshee down to Wild-Thing Raceway (South of Johannesburg) to do our test and photo shoot. Riding the YFZ350 fast around the track takes some getting used to, because unlike the predictable power-curve of a four-stroke, you have to get the two-stroke into the power before you attempt a jump or turn. Get it wrong, and you either bog the motor down with hardly enough power to get up the inclines or through the corners, or you'll get into all sorts of trouble trying to control the Banshee up the ramps and through the bends. Once you get familiar with the throttle control, it becomes almost handable (for a novice like me).

A standard YFZ350 has a 347cc, 2-stroke, liquid- cooled twin. Bore and stroke is 64 x 54mm...

fast and light weight

photos by Dylan and Kenn Slater.

Banshee courtesy of Johannesburg Yamaha. Telephone 011 454 3866.