XS650 Banshee Charging System Swap

xs650 chop DSCN2766 587x312 XS650 Banshee Charging System Swap

Hack the xs650 yamaha charging system -

The banshee alternator swap

Ted- The xs650 charging system is the weak link in a otherwise bulletproof machine. I know a number of guys have successfully run a Yamaha banshee magneto alternator in place of the stock OEM charging system with no problems. I’ve run this particular set up on my Bike for the past year. A little over a year ago Hugh sent in some pictures of his rephased-xs650-chopper which also runs the banshee alternator setup. Hugh put this article together on how to do the The banshee alternator swap.

Hugh- Your stock charging system WILL FAIL YOU at some point, and it is $$$$ to fix, and you’ll likely have trouble again. The stock XS650 charging system is terrible for many reasons. It requires nearly 40 Amps just to “Turn-On” the system. Sucks for almost dead batteries. It won’t charge at idle and uses a brushed alternator style system – Charging requires contact of moving parts.

xs650 chop 100 5186 587x440 XS650 Banshee Charging System Swap

Reason to swap to the good stuff: Will charge at idle, Non-Contact system (nothing to wear out) No Battery required, will need a condenser if not using a battery. You can sell the stock stuff (if it still works) to some schmuck on Ebay and probably pay for this whole swap plus a cheap 6 pack!!

  • Here is what you will need:
  • Used Parts:

1. YFZ350 Banshee Stator Bracket – Usually about $10-20 on Ebay Any year will work.
2. 3 Phase Stator – Can be found on ebay new or used. List of useable stators below.
3. YFZ350 Banshee Flywheel. Any year will work.

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1. Mounting Plate for Stator. Contact Hugh’s via PM or Click here to order.
2. 3 Phase Regulator – I have a connection to get these new cheaper than most can be found used.
3. 5/8″x3/16″ woodruff key – Can be found at Lowe’s Hardware for under $1
4. Use your stock battery, or a capacitor. OR, you can have the best of both worlds and use a tiny 12Volt gel battery.

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The stock OEM charging system.

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Pull the rotor.

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Then pull the pin at the bottom of the case.

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Assemble the Banshee Stator Bracket to the Aluminum Disk supplied in the kit using the supplied hardware. No washers are needed, but a little red lock-tite is recommended. Once assembled and modified, it should look like this. (Hardware will be included in the package, just not shown here)

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At this time you will need to modify the Woodruff key mentioned in the list of needed parts. The Banshee Flywheel uses a 3/16″ key, while the XS650 crankshaft uses a smaller key. This took about 5 minutes with a good file.

The Woodruff key is the small part on the crankshaft. When you install it on the crank, it should fit like this. Feel free to loosely slide on the flywheel to test fit as you are working on this step. I like to use a little grease to hold these in place during final assembly.

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Once you have the key installed on the crank, its time to install the Stator Assembly. Use the supplied bolts and washers. It should look like this. Use a little lock-tite during final assembly, but right now you are just mocking it all up… There is an important step later you’ll not want to miss.
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Now, you’ll want to make sure that the wiring is secured.

I have found that not all stators are wired equally, so I didn’t have the disks cut for this operation, its all on you. Don’t worry, its easy. Slip the supplied wire clamp over the 3 stator wires and position it in a place out of the way and routed to where they won’t be clamped, rubbed, chaffed, etc..

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Now you will just be slipping on the Banshee Flywheel, carefully lining up the woodruff key to the notch on the flywheel as you go. Make sure the wiring is free and clear, but there is plenty of room, so don’t stress too much.

Reinstall your cover, route wires away from the chain (duh) and reinstall your controls and all that mess you took off to get started.

(Ted- Use loctite on final assembly or the world will crash on your head)

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Now you’ll be ready to pull the old alternator cover off and steal the timing marks off of it.

(Not all xs650 have this steal timing marks)

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You’ll find that the stock timing tabs will fit nicely on the side cover.

Drill and tap a 4mmx.070 hole and use the stock screw to fasten it to the cover.

You can again use a through hole and a bolt/nut if you want.

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Slip the side cover back over the cases. Locate TDC by looking through the spark plug hole, using a special tool whatever you want. Mark the Flywheel with a corresponding cut to T on the timing tab.

It doens’t have to be perfect, because once you start the bike back up, you can slide the tab back and forth while using your timing light to the “Fire” location.

I marked it first with a marker/pencil. Then I cut a notch into the flywheel using a dremel, file, whatever..

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Wiring is now the the only major thing left.

Hook up the 3 wires coming from the Stator to the 3 yellow wires on the regulator. It doesn’t matter which wire go where, just make sure all the yellow wires are used.

Red goes to the battery/condenser and green is a ground. You are all done.

Obviously you’ll need to mount the regulator somewhere, but this is all for the how-to.

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Wiring diagram. This is ONLY for the charging system, the rest of the wiring on your ride is up to you.

NOTES: If you are using a TCI ignition, you’ll need to change over to points or Pamcopete’s awesome setup before doing this modification. You’ll get the timing working first, get it all timed properly and use the timing marks from your setup to reinstall the timing tab on the side cover.

Here is the list of sourced Stators that should work.

I’ve never had to buy a new one for any reason, they work just fine used off of ebay/CL. I stole this list from another source, be sure to double check bolt patterns and that a Stator has 3 Yellow wires coming out of it (mine had 3 black, but it works just the same, you just need a 3 Phase Stator)


Honda CBR600 F1 86-90
Honda VF500 84-85
Kawasaki VN800 Vulcan 00-05
Kawasaki VN800 Classic 01-06
Kawasaki VN800 Drifter 01-05
Kawasaki ZL600 86-87
Kawasaki ZX600, ZX-6 Ninja, ZZR600 85-04 [!!NOT ZX6-R, ZX6-RR 98+!!]
Suzuki VS800 92-07
Suzuki VX800 90-93
Suzuki VZ800 97-04
Suzuki LT250 91-96
Suzuki LT4WD 91-96
Suzuki LT-F4WD 91-98
Yamaha XV250 Route66 88-90
Yamaha XT600 90-95

XS650 Permanent Magnet Alternator Swap Kits – ONLY $27.50.

They are Laser Cut from 6061 Aluminum and make the swap a breeze.

They are currently $27.50 shipped in the US and include hardware and instructions.

Click here to order

For an additional $42.50 I can include a brand new regulator to work with this system.

Click here to order

Don’t get stuck using the stock system, it will fail you, and it is $$$ to repair.

I do cranks, cams for the rephase.  I also have Fork Lowering kits as well.


Click here to Win A Free Charging brackets.

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  1. Tim says:

    Will a combined solid state regulator/rectifier be compatible with this swap?

  2. joebob says:

    do u still need the rectifier?

  3. joebob says:

    sorry guys ,i was tired ,do u still need a regulator for the banshee set up?

  4. Bmd says:

    Hey does anybody know where I can find one of those stock timing tabs? Havent had any luck on ebay or mikes xs yet. Thanks

  5. Paul says:

    Are there any other flywheel or stator brackets that could work? You mean to tell me the Banshee was the only thing made with that engine?

    With this mod, parts prices are going up and finding a stator bracket and flywheel will put you over $150 with shipping for those two parts alone. Throw in the stator and adapter and its gets spendy.

    Another option would be great if its around.

  6. Fabbastard says:

    I believe pamco makes something too, if ya dig around a bit on this site you’ll find something…

  7. pete bailey says:

    can anyone supply a complete kit for the banshee swap, and how much would it be?
    and post to the uk…………………pete

  8. cole says:

    just bought an xs650 with a banshee charging system. tried hooking up an electric start and now the regulator is fucked. what regulator should i buy!?!?!?!?!?

  9. james theissen says:

    Hi Hugh…i’m working on the conversion. I got a kawasaki vulcon stator…already had the banshee bracket and flywheel. but>>>>i got to the point of putting on the flywheel, and it’s hitting the stator, and not seating down on the crank all the way!!! help! james Stator dim are 130X42X20 as needed, banshee bracket looks exactly like yours (i thought at first my bracket was too ‘tall’, then i thought it was the stator thickness…but now i’m stumped!

  10. IOCWA says:

    Hello James… Don’t profess to know a lot about this but I do recall reading somewhere that some timing plates needed to be trimmed down on a couple of spots in order to sit flat on the engine cover… might be something, might be nothing… you’ve probably fixed it bu mow anyway… would be Good to hear what it was…!

  11. james says:

    Hi IOCWA, well, i think i might of found out what’s wrong. I fab’d my own mounting plate from .190″ alum. turns out Hughs plate is .110″. So, i’m thinking that difference is what’s keeping the flywheel from seating all the way on the crank. I should have Hugh’s plate by tomorrow…james

  12. PaPaDocsChop says:

    hey hugh, gotta say thanks for the tech tips. in the process of choppin 2 ’80 xs’s and a ’78 cb750. need to read through it again and check ur blog spot out…. gonna give it whirl on both. i’m down to wiring and rear fender on my hardtail; just getting started raping the stock yammy. thank you 2; hugh and ted; for putting in the time on this for all us jokers out here. Thank You.

  13. Daryl milla says:

    That set up is awesome and easy to install bike fired up first kick runs like new 1972 xs650

  14. fanoboss says:

    where’s norm ?

  15. Charlie says:

    I have an 81 xs650 special with a crapped out charging system…otherwise in great condition…feel lucky to have it. I’ve got a Clymer manual, I get the importance of reading everything, making notes then writing out the steps required, marking parts as I take them off, taking digital fotos of dissasembly process that I’ve not done before, and paying close attention to advice from people a lot more experienced than me. I’m a beginner wanting to get better at living with this great old motorcycle.

    I have read a bunch of websites regarding switching to PMA (Hughes Handbuilt) and PAMCO ignition swaps. I get why these are real good moves to make and get that I need to do these projects in a careful way, and since I am just moving into this new world of hands on motorcycle work……I sure don’t expect to be hand fed and I prorbably missed some of the the details but…. I have some questions I’d like some advice for:

    [1] Is it advisable to do the PAMCO ignition swap BEFORE doing the PMA(Hughes Handbuilt kit just arrived)? If so why?..electronics is unfamiliar area so I’m eager to learn whatever I can. If not, I’d like to get started with the PMA kit sitting on my work bench.

    [2] Which of the various PAMCO ignition kits from Mikes would be best for my bike? I do not expect to build a high performance engine..just going for max reliability.

    [3] What are the big ignorant errors a novice like me should be aware of in doing these swaps?

    [4] I have read the correct order of the projects I have in mind should be [a]do the ignition, [b] then do the PMA, then [c]timing chain, [d] then valves. Is that correct?..again I’d like know the why of this sequencing so I get ahead a little on understanding this wonderful old machine.

    [5] Are there training videos that cover the PMA swap? PAMCO ignition swap?

    Thanks for any advice,

  16. pete Bailey says:

    any after market electronic ignition system is better than stock..i have used boyer branson in the last four chops and i cant fault it. But living in England boyer is by far the most easyest to get hold of…can be fitted in an hour or so and gives a exellent spark,best with copper core ht leads,modern silicone leads have such a high resistence that you only get half the power from the coil…[thats why all compertition bikes and cars use copper core]…….

  17. Reid says:

    Anybody tried to use the banshee ignition with the swap? It seems like its possible since your stator plate and flywheel are already set up for it.

  18. srbtjeep says:

    Charlie, I don’t think it matters which order they’re done in, and as to which kit, I, myself went with the kit that included the coils, because I figured it’s all part of a system. The most important thing you can do is familiarize yourself with the components you’re installing, and the order in which they should be installed. I have installed the Pamco ignition and removed it a couple of times, just so I know how it goes. Read the instructions, they’re pretty thorough, too. I’m gathering the parts for the Banshee swap, and can truthfully say, if I do another one, it’s going to be with the complete Hughs Handbuilt kit. He’s been most helpful to me, answering my questions and giving me tips.

  19. Vince says:

    Can i use the stator off a banshee as well? Is it a 3 phase? Also what is a capacitor? Is there one on a banshee?

    1. Oscar says:

      It’s a like a battery but more reliable, it hold a positive charge , and only releases it when needed.