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Written by: PJ Crouch
Date: March 29th, 2003
I have a 93 Banshee that is for sale this is what the Cannibal is replacing. I was hesitant at first to write this because I did not feel there was any comparison. The Cannodale is far and away the superior machine. The Banshee I own still has the original tires, stock mufflers and pipes. The only mods are an amp link and a prodesigns filter adapter. I have always enjoyed riding it but I feel that it is outclassed by the Cannondale.
Power: The Banshee has sluggish low to mid power that transitions into a relatively short-lived hit. The hit makes the bike fun to slide but it is more of a token gesture because the thrill is short lived there is no breadth to the powerband. I know there is unlimited potential but stock it is fun but with little substance.
The Cannibal starts pulling fairly low compared to the banshee. Once it hits the upper mid range the motor almost has a two stoke like hit. But instead of spinning the tires wildly the Cannondale moves forward almost violently and keeps pulling long after the Banshee has signed off.
Suspension: The chassis on the Banshee even when new was not exactly cutting edge now it is just uninspired. It goes through little stuff fine probably a little smoother than the Cannibal but when speeds increase the comfort level falls rapidly. It doesn't do anything awful but it just doesn't keep up to the speeds the motor can attain when the going gets rough.
The Cannibal actually enjoys being pushed hard it encourages the kind of speed and aggression that can get you hurt if you are not paying attention. The Speed or older Cannibals with Ohlins suspension are even better in the rough. There is a certain feeling of a buffer zone before things get out of hand. What I mean is the Arvin Fox combo lets you get with it but when you reach their limit you reach the limit, and you know it. With the Ohlins when you reach their limit there is a safety margin before the spanking.
Handling: On flat smooth ground with the stock junk rear tires the Banshee makes me feel like a hero. When ridden on the pipes one can slide a banshee like a sprint car. This is the one endearing trait for me. The throttle can be kept wide open and you can powerslide to your hearts content.
I am not as comfortable sliding with abandon on the Cannondale. This act takes a higher level of commitment. The four stroke puts the power to the ground more effectively and I am more concerned about a highside. They slide well but not as effortlessly as the two stroke.
Details: The Banshee is too heavy the seat is too soft the chain is miserable to adjust but other maintenance items are easy. The brakes work fine it starts with a halfhearted kick. In the dunes the hard hit is quite effective when harnessed by paddles. The way the transmission shifts is also sloppy.
The Cannondale is light but fat up front. It is hard to get forward on steep climbs. The brakes work well although the front takes a determined squeeze. The airfilter is a chore to get to the oil is a pain to change the chain is easy to adjust. Don't even talk about the spark plug it takes an act of congress to change that. The ability to change maps is worth its weight in gold if you have different riders for the same bike.
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