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Yamaha Banshee Air Filters

Updated on September 3, 2011

Which air filter is right for your Yamaha Banshee?

I’m sure many of you are wondering which air filter is right for your Yamaha Banshee. I intend to go through the different filter types and what are the advantages and disadvantages that you will incur when using a particular one. The good thing about this article is that it applies to all sport quads and atvs in general. That’s right, whether you own a Raptor 700, YFZ 450, Honda 450r, or Honda 400ex, this will apply to all of them.

In my maintenance article on the Yamaha Banshee, I discussed briefly how to maintain the factory foam filter and also made a reference to the very popular K&N filter. If you recall I mentioned that the foam filter is better suited for dusty areas. The reason for this lies in the fact that the foam filter is thicker and more tightly woven than the K&N. While the K&N filter will make more horsepower, the foam filter will do a better job at protecting you engine from the dust. Therefore, at many of the riding parks across the country, it is better to have a foam filter. However, the foam filter setup from the factory on the Yamaha Raptor, YFZ 450, Warrior, and Banshee leave a lot to be desired. The problem is the way the foam filter is secured in the air box. The filter is slid onto a plastic basket and then is slid into a plastic tracks molded into the air box. The air box lid is then fastened to the air box and two plastic pieces push against the top of the air filter. Since the lid is on, you can’t see if the lid is actually holding the air filter securely against the side of the air box. This is a well documented problem with all of these quads and many people have had to rebuild engines because of dirt getting in the engine. The air filter not sealing can also cause a lean condition, which will destroy your pistons also causing you to have to perform a top end rebuild.


My suggestion is to get an aftermarket filter set up.  Pro design and Twin Air both make a setup where an aluminum plate that is sealed by a rubber o-ring is bolted you the air box and the filter is then clamped to the aluminum plate.  This filter setup greatly reduces the chance of dirt and dust entering the engine.  Pro Design also offers a K&N setup which mounts the same way.  A recommended add-on for the K&N set up is an Outwear which is a tightly woven fabric cover that slides over the filter and helps with better protection and reduces the amount of cleaning needed on the K&N filter itself.  However, the K&N may require rejetting the carb.

An added bonus to these filter setups is the ability to run your air box with the lid off.  Instead of the engine have to pull air through the snorkel on the air box, which is similar to trying to breathe through a straw, the air filter is uncovered on top allowing air to freely flow in.  This will greatly improve the horsepower that the engine can make and is usually one of the first modifications that Banshee, Raptor 700, and YFZ 450 owners make.  However, a critical part of making this modification is to rejet.  This will lean the engine out if you don’t jet up the carb or if you don’t program the computer on the newer quads.

I hope this helps some of you out in making decisions on getting a new air filter for your sport quad.  The biggest things to remember is foam is for dusty areas and a K&N is good for other areas such as sand.  Another thing that is probably just as important is to rejet or program if you decide to run with the air box lid off.  Any way you chose to go, be sure to make sure the filter is sealed good and clean it often.


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