The Yamaha Warrior 350 changed the face of the four-wheeler market when it came out in 1987. It became such an icon that it continued to grow more popular despite its production discontinuing in 2004. The Warrior gave drivers more torque, was entry-level friendly, and was useful for any rider level.
The Yamaha Warrior 350 offers speed and versatility. It can traverse hard packs, swamp holes, sand, and pavement. The Warrior was the world’s first electric start ATV and grew to be a top-selling quad even after a 17-year production run.
So if you’re wondering if you should get a Yamaha Warrior 350, or just looking for tips on how to restore your old quad, keep reading about this impressive ATV.
What Is a Yamaha Warrior 350?
The Yamaha Warrior 350 was produced from 1987 to 2004 and is considered by many to be one of the best ATVs Yamaha has ever made. This sport ATV was designed for strong midrange pulling capabilities and was fitted with a snorkel kit for mudding and riding in shallow water. The Warrior was initially intended for casual and sport riding and received high praise for its practical, fun, and user-friendly design.
Yamaha stopped producing the Warrior 350 in 2004 to launch a different model to improve the line’s performance. The Warrior line became known as the Raptor, with the machine barely changing since its introduction. By that time, other companies took after Yamaha to use electric starter systems on their ATVs/UTVs. Almost two decades have passed since the final year of the Yamaha Warrior 350’s production, but its cult-like following’s love for the sports quad remains unaltered.
Yamaha Warrior 350 Specs (2004 Model)
- Engine – Power comes from a four-stroke, air-cooled single-cylinder SOHC engine with a bore of 83 millimeters and a stroke of 64.5 millimeters. The engine displacement is 348 cubic centimeters. A 36-millimeter Mikuni carburetor handles the air-fuel mixture with a compression ratio of 9.2:1. Fuel tank capacity is 2.4 gallons/9.1 liters (the gas tank varied in size and held 3.2 gallons on early models).
- Drivetrain – Power travels via a six-speed manual transmission inclusive of a reverse gear. It has a two-wheel drive with a sealed O-ring chain.
- Ignition – It uses an electric start system and auxiliary recoil pull-start mechanical backup.
- Tires – The Yamaha Warrior 350 rides on AT 22 X 7-10 front tires and an AT 22 X 10-9 rear tires with tubeless aluminum wheels.
- Brakes – It uses single-lever hydraulic front discs and rear hydraulic disc foot brake.
- Suspension – The front suspension features a fully independent double-wishbone with five-way adjustable shocks. The rear suspension utilizes a swing arm with a steel finish and a single shock absorber. Both suspensions allow 7.9 inches of travel.
- Dimensions – The quad’s overall length is 6.03 feet/inches, and the width is 42.5 inches. Its height is 42.5 inches; ground clearance is 4.9 inches. The vehicle wheelbase is 47.2 inches; the seat height is 30.1 inches. Dry weight is 397 lbs./180.1 kg.
- Exterior – It is composed of a steel frame and plastic body material. The ’87 model came in white and blue while more recent models came in black and red. It comes equipped with full floorboards (driver side), a front bash plate, and 30-watt multi-reflector headlights.
What Is the Yamaha Warrior 350 Top Speed?
A stock Yamaha Warrior 350 can reach speeds of up to 63 mph on even surfaces. Potential top speed is affected by weather, rider weight, quad condition, upgrades, and several other factors, so results may slightly differ for individual drivers.
If you have already done a Raptor rebuild, then mods on this machine would be a piece of cake (since the Raptor shares the same engine as the Warrior 350). For pro-level motocross and off-road riders who want to build a champion Warrior 350, they usually go to a professional outfit such as the Duncan Racing International (DRI) to improve their quad.
Riding Like a Champ – How to Increase Yamaha 350 Warrior Top Speed
One of the simplest, least expensive ways to gain power is to replace the stock system with a lighter, less restrictive exhaust and intake combined with jazzed-up cams. By itself, upgrading the Yamaha Warrior 350 exhaust to a JFG RACING Slip-on Exhaust Muffler (view on Amazon) already does the job. But what’s better is it would further complement results of additional engine mods you intend to do on your quad. On the other hand, the cams would boost mid-range and top-end power without forfeiting the Warrior 350’s easy-to-ride power delivery. Plus, it is suitable for the stock piston. It would also be a good idea to throw in a new air cleaner kit that includes a better, high-flow filter with a mounting flange that seals more positively than a stock filter.
Changes like bolting on an exhaust, opening the airbox, adding a UNI filter, and re-jetting are other things that you can do to wake your Warrior up. If you ride in dusty conditions, it is advisable to get a foam filter kit. A regular K&N filter would work in not-so-dusty areas. More ambitious mods include polishing the head, changing valve springs, getting a larger carburetor, and replacing stock starter with a completely new ignition kit. These changes make the Yamaha Warrior 350 go up to speed a lot faster than the original.
Handling also plays a part in sharpening your ATV’s performance. Replacing your stock tires with racing tires improves balanced cornering and puncture resistance. You may also need to change handlebars into something with a more natural bend. Lots of options online provide sleek designs without compromising steering control. Pair this with a fully adjustable steering stem with anti-vibration bar mounts and a GPR steering stabilizer, and you’re good to go.
Minor modifications may not give as much satisfaction compared to high-end, pricey ones. Either way, mods will still rack up your expenses. But you don’t have to worry about repeat costs if you are an enthusiast who has more than one ATV parked in your garage. Nowadays, the majority of Yamaha Warrior 350 parts (OEM and aftermarket) do not solely fit one particular four-wheeler. You can transfer these race-ready parts to any other quad you ride.
Watch this video by Rocky Mountain ATV MC to learn more about the Yamaha Warrior 350 and keep it in top shape.
How to Put the Yamaha Warrior 350 in Reverse
A lot of riders shifting from a different ATV brand to a Yamaha find the reverse a bit tricky. They move the lever forwards and backward, but they are only getting first gear forward and not first gear reverse. Some have also tried pulling up and shifting the lever – pushing down and shifting it – shifting it with the engine off (among other attempts) but to no avail.
The different ways this quad is put in reverse, depending on its model year, tend to be confusing. For instance, some say that a 2000 model should be in second gear first before reverse. On the other hand, a 1995 model can only go on a reverse from the first gear. More riders say that engaging in reverse from either first gear or neutral should work. All you need to do is disengage or pull in the clutch handle, pull up on the reverse lever, and then push it backward. Still, this method does not seem to be fool-proof.
So How Is It Done?
The first thing you should know is where the reverse lever is. It is on the right-hand side of the Yamaha Warrior 350 engine, above the crankcase. Once you have found it, go on neutral then pull in the clutch. Next, you pull up on the reverse lever and then pull it back towards the rear tire. Do these first two steps correctly, and the red, reverse light will come on (if it does not, then most likely, the lever is not pulled back all the way). When the red light is on, slowly let out the clutch and you will begin to reverse.
The above steps should put you in reverse mode. However, if it still doesn’t work, you need to check whether your reverse lever may need an adjustment. You may also want to confirm that all the linkage to the transmission is still properly attached. Add some lubrication to the metal rod of the reverse lever by spraying some WD-40 or adding a bit of oil. You may have to bounce back and forth on the seat, moving the rear tires just a bit to let it slide in and get into reverse.
What Do You Get Out of the Warrior 350?
One of the things that make the Warrior stand out from the competition like the Suzuki R450 is that it has a single overhead cam design. SOHC engines do not suffer from cam phasing problems that can cause engine damage. It also costs less and requires less in-depth knowledge of advanced engines if you only intend to modify the quad to add more horsepower.
Its six-speed transmission is a plus. The addition of the sixth speed or overdrive helps to enhance fuel economy and allows higher rapidity than a five-speed one. Paired with the sports shocks, it’s also great for trail riding. The reverse on the Warrior 350 is remarkable and does a mighty job of getting you out of any situation that you may unknowingly (or knowingly) get into.
Yamaha Warrior 350 Weight Limit
A lot of enthusiasts find the strong mid-range pulling characteristics of the Yamaha Warrior 350 appealing. Riders never had a fit, nor had they been stranded anywhere. Despite its smaller size, the Warrior can carry up to 400 pounds. It is sturdy and reliable, and certainly needs fewer repairs than the Ranchers and Recons. Battery replacement is all it ever needs.
Some of the drawbacks of the Yamaha Warrior 350 involves its build and suspension. The low-end power, narrow width, heavy frame, and outdated suspension that previous owners and riders appreciate while riding on wooded trails are the same things that make them advise against using it for strict dune riding or all-out races. Some find its seating ergonomics terrible since the rider sits so deep in the saddle – it puts stress on the knees for aggressive riders. It is also extremely heavy and does not have a kick starter.
More About the Warrior
- How much horsepower does a Yamaha Warrior 350 have? A stock Yamaha Warrior 350 has 19 HP. Add a slip-on exhaust, and you can get 2-3 HP more plus increase your torque at the same time.
- What kind of oil goes in a Yamaha Warrior 350? You can use four-cycle 10W-30 to 20W-50 oil types depending on the outdoor temperature. Oil capacity is 2.6 quarts with filter change.
- How much does a Yamaha Warrior 350 cost? The Yamaha Warrior 350 price in 2004 was $4,699 – this was $250 cheaper than the 2000 Warrior MSRP. You can find one for around $350 to $2,085 depending on condition. The average value of this quad is roughly $905.
- Where is the VIN on the Yamaha Warrior 350 located? The VIN or Vehicle Identification Number of the Yamaha Warrior 350 is directly under the shifter and stator cover on the lower left tube. Sometimes the VIN is not that easy to find, especially on second-hand Warriors, due to paint applied on the frame. You may need to sand the paint off to be able to read your VIN.
- Where do I buy quality Yamaha Warrior 350 plastics? A large aftermarket now exists for the Yamaha Warrior 350 – numerous online retailers like Amazon, dealers, and trader sites sell high-grade Warrior plastics.
- Which is the better Yamaha, the Warrior 350 or the Blaster 200? It depends on what you prefer as a driver. If you like a lightweight, cheaper quad with smooth handling, go for the Blaster. If you choose a more powerful, environment-friendly ATV that you can modify, pick the Warrior.
Yamaha Motor Company Limited is a well-known manufacturer of motorcycles, multipurpose engines, intelligent machinery, and other motorized products. It was established in 1955 and based in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The company is the maker of Yamaha Warrior 350 and is also involved in the development of tourist businesses and the management of leisure, recreational facilities, and related services. Currently, Yamaha is the world leader in water vehicle sales and the second largest in motorcycle sales.
Conclusion – Yamaha Warrior 350
With its 350-cc air-cooled engine, electric start, and low-end power, the Warrior set the bar for four-wheelers. It is an enjoyable machine for both skilled and novice riders and is still popular with the racing crowd even to this day. The Yamaha Warrior 350 is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a stylish and dependable all-terrain vehicle. A quad for the ages – what more could you ask?