Pros: Power, reliability, sound, FUN!
Cons: A fully adjustable front shock would be nice!
I hope this to be of general interest...and maybe even 1/2-way grammatically reasonable!
I've been acquainted with Yamaha 2T twins since '71 with an R5B. Had several others (R5s and RDs) after that with literally hundreds of thousands of miles on the lot.
My Banshee is an '05. Color is the only difference of significance from '01.
Yep! I am biased, having an affinity for and 'romantic' attachment to this machine. I love the sound, the acceleration, the power. Reliability of this family of Yamaha is legendary. Most rider's problems are a result of improper tuning or bolting on a bunch of junk that they think has a 'bling' factor, but doesn't actually improve the way the machine runs. In a lot of cases a spate of bolt-ons can make the machine run WORSE.
My Banshee is currently setup with RB-Design's modified carbs (bored to 28mm and taper-bored to 30mm), DynoJet kitted, K&N (in OEM airbox), RB-Design's modified head (squish mostly, some static comp increase), VF3 reeds and programmable Dynatek ignition. The TORS system has been removed to enable easier carb tuning AND to get rid of relatively common TORS failures. Stock pipes...because I do NOT want to loose that Banshee purr.
In the front of the Clymer manual there is a statement regarding the 'legendary' lousy bottom-end of the Banshee. They say, '..but thanfully it has a bullet-proof clutch that can handle it.' (words to that effect)
The way anyone's particular Banshee runs is completely a matter of tuning. My Banshee has NO bottom-end response problems, that a function of head, carb, and intake control modifications. I can lift the front-end anytime I choose (within reason..not in 6th gear at 70 mph of course). Nothing has been done to take away from the top-end scream of the Banshee, either. About the time you think it cannot possibly spin any higher, it runs out another 1500-2000rpm. It's enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
Mine is solely a sand machine. I wouldn't use it for woods/trail riding. It's slung too low for that, and tends to get hot if you don't keep air running through the radiator. There are impeller upgrades and aftermarket radiators to be had if overheating is a problem for you.
I see literally dozens of Banshees every time I ride. They range from mild to wild. The Banshee is perfectly suited to GREAT riding fun in basic stock form, but if you have the desire to make a 100 HP drag machine..you can do that, too!