Warrior Repair – Intake

Broken Warrior Intake
Last summer, when we went out to Nebraska to ride, I had some trouble with my Warrior. While riding in Headworks Park, the bike just didn’t want to run. When the problems first started I pulled the choke out, and it would run a little better. A few minutes later it stopped running completely. After some inspection we discovered that the rubber intake manifold had cracked.

Attempts to wire the carb to the engine just didn’t work out and my riding was done for the week.

New heavy duty Yamaha Warrior intake manifold

Once we got home, i called our www.portableacnerd.com and I got on good old eBay and ordered me up a brand new, heavy duty replacement. I don’t remember the cost off hand, but around $30. Had a couple challenges putting it on. Both ends of the manifold are the same bolt pattern, but it they are rotated in relation to each other. I bolted the engine side to the carb, and then couldn’t figure out why it was at such a weird angle. Got that fixed, and the holes on the carb side were a little small for the studs. Had to take my drill and expand them a bit, not sure what the story was on that.

While replacing this I discovered that I was missing three of the four motor mount bolts, a common problem with the Warrior. The probably cause of the failure of the manifold was excessive engine vibration. Had to go get some bolts and lock nuts to fix this.

Our next outing, the trip to Red Feather with Jed, ended up being the FIRST (and so far only) TIME since purchasing the Warrior that it came back from a trip without a breakdown. Hopefully I’m getting close to having all of the bike’s issues worked out.

Warrior Upgrades – Handlebars and Banshee Shocks

In my continuing quest to improve my 1988 Yamaha Warrior I made two modifications.

Banshee shocks compared to a Warrior Shock
The first major change was adding two Yamaha Banshee front shocks.

As you can see in this picture, the Banshee shocks are longer than the stock Warrior shocks.

Warrior with one Banshee shock installed
I purchased both of these of ebay after a significant amount of research into the best/easiest modification to make. Paid around $100 for both, not a bad deal when a good set of aftermarket shocks are AT LEAST 3 times that. This picture is of the bike with one shock installed.

It was a bit tricky putting these on by myself. Had to compress them down an inch or so, and that’s quite a chore by hand.

Warrior with both Banshee shocks installed

The shocks turned out to be a GREAT upgrade. The weekend before I put them on we made a trip to Red Feather, and the Warrior suspension really wore me out. Jason has an LT250R, Jeff has a Wolverine, and Jed has a Banshee. I was always well behind these guys, not just because I’m slower (actually my Warrior keeps up really well with the Wolverine), but because the bike just didn’t handle well.

Shortly after putting these one we went up the Poudre to the Green Mountain trail. Rode in the snow and had a blast. The Warrior was like a different machine, much more manageable. Worked great, right until Jeff broke a tie rod, but that’s another story…

You might also notice the new handlebars. These are YZ High bend I ordered from Rocky Mountain ATV. Nothing special, just steel bars. Figured I’d use them until I bent them, since I wasn’t sure how they would work. I’m pretty happy with them, make the bike much more comfortable to ride. I

will probably get the same bend in some aluminum bars sometime down the road.

Warrior Pros and Cons

As I’ve posted before, I’m the proud owner of a 1988 Yamaha Warrior 350 (YFM350X).

Since I’ve owned this machine for a little over a year, I thought I would list a few pros/cons to the machine. Keep in mind that most of the people I ride with either own 2-stroke sport machines (banshees, LT250s) or 4-stroke sport machines (Raptors, 400ex, Bombardier DS650s, Wolverine 450), so my comparisons will be mostly based on how my Warrior behaves compared to those machines.


  • Reverse – Reverse is a must in any ATV, unless it is REALLY light. Banshees are OK without it, but the DS650 is a real nightmare to move around and should definitely have Reverse.
  • Size – The Warrior is a great size for an all around machine. It’s comperable to the Raptor size wise, not too heavy, easy to ride. Lighter would be better, but for a 4-stroke it is very manageable.
  • Torque Curve – The 350 4-stroke Warrior power plant is very rideable. Compared to the 600+cc machines it is much more manageable and trail friendly. A Raptor 660 (or 700) can be very difficult to deal with on the trail due to it’s tremendous amount of power.
  • Popularity – The Warrior was the best selling quad on the market for many years and is virtually unchanged from 1989 to 2005. This means that there are many, many aftermarket parts, used parts and individuals out there available to give out advice on modifications and improvements.
  • Consistency – Yamaha has done a great job of having very consistent design in all of their sport machines. Many parts from the Raptor and Banshee will interchange with a Warrior. This makes finding wheels, tires, shocks and any number of other items much easier.
  • Pull Start – The later models didn’t have it, but I LOVE having a pull start. Seems like the battery is always dead in the stupid thing.


  • Power – Probably my number one frustration with the Warrior is lack of power. I know, I listed this as a pro, but at the same time it is a bit of a negative. I read about guys that are doing all kinds of crazy things with their machines, but mine just isn’t there. Might just be wore out, maybe I’ll have to do a rebuild.
  • Suspension – Warrior suspension is STIFF. it will beat you to death riding across the dunes. Fortunately this is easily remedied by replacing the stock shocks with a set from a Banshee. They are supposedly a direct bolt in – as soon as I find a set I’m going to try it.
  • Handlebars – Warrior stock bars are really tall. They make you feel like you are down in the machine. Most newer designs have lower bars that give the rider more control. I’ve replaced mine with a set of CR High dirt bike bars, but haven’t had a chance to ride it yet. Pics will be coming soon – hopefully I will like it.

Currently I am happy with my Warrior. I am not completely satisfied with the power, and I’m toying with the idea of rebuilding it with a stroker crank. This may be an option, or I may just buy a Banshee for Sand Dunes riding and keep the Warrior for the trail.

ATVs are Cool

Finally bought an ATV this spring. Not anything too exciting, but a good starter bike.

1988 Yamaha Warrior 350

It’s a 1988 Yamaha Warrior (YFM350). Not sure yet if it’s a long term machine or not. I like the Warrior for a variety of reasons and it seems to be a good trail bike, but there were some design changes between 88 and 89. I’m thinking about selling it and getting a newer one. If anyone out there has links or information on what changed with the 89 models and why, or what parts swap between Blasters, Banshees and Warriors, let me know – it will make my decision easier.