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.


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.


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.


The stock OEM charging system.


Pull the rotor.


Then pull the pin at the bottom of the case.


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)


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.


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.

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..


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)


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)


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.

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..


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.


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.


  1. tadd442 says:

    is this posting missing a few pics?
    AWESOME write up!

  2. tadd442 says:

    Is there an advantage to using the slotted stator brackets found on e-bay? I am not yet familiar with setting the timing on the XS650 and was wondering if it was worth buying or not. Also, how can a guy SEE if the stator is indeed a 3 phase unit?

  3. fanoboss says:

    More Info Please.

  4. HUGH says:


    There area few pics missing, I’m sure Ted is working on that though 🙂

    If you can find a stock Banshee Timing Plate, then you are good to go. If you can only find the slotted ones, they work just fine as well. The slots are there to adjust the timing on a Banshee, but play no role in the XS650 Swap.

    3 Phase Stators will have 3 of the same color wires (and only 3!) coming from the stator, typically yellow or black, but all the same color. If you purchase a used stator, don’t get to mixed up as sometimes they come with a timing pickup as well and it will have 2 more wires. You will completely remove the timing pickup from the harness and only use the 3 wires coming from the stator. Hope that isn’t too confusing.

    PS, do not buy a Banshee Stator!! You need one from the list of approved stators, the Banshee Stator does not work with this swap – just to be clear.

    If at anytime you guys have questions, comments, or tips and ideas for new products, just email me at HughsHandBuilt@gmail.com and I will respond as quickly as possible.

    Hugh Owings
    Hugh’s HandBuilt

  5. shoe says:

    I’ll be posting pics of my build soon. I did the banshee swap with hughs bracket and rectifier. After I rewired everything it started in three kicks. Now it starts on the first kick every time. I can honestly say this swap and pamco petes ignition are the best things I have done to my bike so far, especially since price has been a factor for me.

  6. tadd442 says:

    @ fanoboss, did you want ME to elaborate, or were you referring to the article?

  7. fanoboss says:

    No just more articles like this…ty bro.

  8. tadd442 says:

    agreed….this one kicks ALL types of ass!

  9. tadd442 says:

    what is meant by “disks cut”?

  10. tadd442 says:

    nevermind….I read it slower and figured out what he meant……DOH!

  11. Fabbastard says:

    Pretty handy bit of info (thanks), but how about giving us a ball park price on what the total swap project would set me back $ wise as I would love to just turf my battery all together. And ya what about the missing pic’s

  12. Ted says:

    @ shoe- “I can honestly say this swap and pamco petes ignition are the best things I have done to my bike so far” Yep, pamco petes ignition and PMA swap made a huge difference in maintenance and performance. If Yamaha were to re-release the xs they probably do something similar.

    @ Fabbastard – “missing pic’s” issue is fixed.

    @ tadd442 – “I read it slower and figured out what he meant……DOH!” It might take some of the guys that haven’t play around with electrical much reading over the article a couple times before they get it. If it doesn’t make sense keep reading until it does. haha.

  13. HUGH says:

    Well gang, if you need more information, feel free to email me and I will answer any questions you may have.

    Total cost has been about $225 all said and done, and then you can sell your stock stuff on ebay to recoup some costs.

    My Kit $27.50, I also offer a NEW Regulator for $42.50 (These are prices shipped in the US)

    Stators are roughly $30-60 used on ebay.

    Timing plates are $10-30 on ebay/CL/Local ATV shop

    Banshee Flywheels are the highest cost part, running about $80-100.


  14. tadd442 says:

    Thank you Ted & Hugh.

  15. Fabbastard says:

    Thanks Hugh! Again a bunch of handy info.

  16. Barney says:

    This is a great write up and has inspired me to do this upgrade.

  17. Fongbros says:

    Been reading about this swap for some time now, but never tried it. Will try it for sure. Kiss that battery goodbye!
    Thanks for the great article.

  18. DADDYGCYCLES says:

    Nice write up.
    Going to order one and try it out. I have done in the past the older NINJA ALT on the outside on other bikes now you got me wondering and the mind going 1,000 miles a hour. Ninja ALT. was great on KZ and GS drag bikes because it took the extra weight off the crank and increased horsepower. So you had the best of both worlds DRAG and Street. GREAT WORK

  19. Dave O'Toole says:

    Love this “sort” of article and love this particular article. Can’t wait to get me spanners out and try it. More of the same please.

  20. HUGH says:

    I have several How-To’s and tech out there, but I’m gonna start doing more on the Blog and with Ted if everything goes as planned. Make sure to check out XS650Chopper.com’s giveaway!! I have donated 3 kits to this site, so check it out, get on the mailing list. https://xs650chopper.com/2011/01/win-a-free-banshee-charging-brackets/

  21. DADDYGCYCLES says:

    Have you ever used a MSD IGNITION on one of these builds . I just got one to play with and i have seen them on AFTERHOURSBIKES all the time and the older ones are cheap online. I use them on DRAG BIKE Builds i do but used with a electronic ignition they put out some spark and i always didn’t think the ALT. could take it . Maybe this is the way to try. I was going to use a external ALT and the MSD . You just got me thinking with this.

  22. HUGH says:


    I usually rephase all of my builds (see my blog for more on that too!) and Pamcopete and I worked really hard at making the ignition work out well. No magic black boxes, all hidden under the cam covers, making it a very clean install for a Hi-Po engine.

    I’m a huge fan of Pamcopetes setups, since he developed the 277 ignition on my engine and has been sending me things to test when he develops a new part or a change in the system.

  23. HUGH says:


    The stators that this system use are used to running Fuel Injected bikes, multiple ignitions (4 cylinder engines) and hi-powered lights. I think we’ll be fine with our chops and bobs with a tail and headlight 🙂

  24. Doug says:

    Excellent write up. Hope to utilize this system myself on a 79 that never can seem to get completely finished.

  25. Carla says:

    Great post! Just the information I need for checking my charging system, thanks.

  26. Rad Ventures says:

    Help, I know this is a little off off topic bit you guys seam to electrial so here goes:
    I have a 1970 xs1 it had the seperate rectifier/regulator, I am refoing the wiring and want to know if a combo rec/reg from a 1977 XS750 work on my bike? I’m not done wiring yet but would hate to finish and find out it will never work.

  27. Cynthia says:

    This is a great educational post. I am sure it would be a great help to many bikers like me who have little experience in bike repairs specially the electrical wiring. You have presented it so good that I think anyone can easily do it even with limited knowledge. With those clear pictures, I think I can do it. Thanks!

  28. Enormous Balls of Steel says:

    This article will help many unravel the great mysteries of XS ignitions mods. Many thanks.

  29. Ted says:

    @ Rad Ventures- You’ll be okay. You’ll have to wire the rectifier/regulator together.

  30. smiley 1980 says:

    I bought a new regulator for my 73 xs and it’s still not charging! I’m sure it’s the stator,and I was about to buy a new one. Untill I seen your swap! This is a good set up!

  31. DADDYGCYCLES says:

    Thanks Good write up and i am going to try it. Looks like the way to go and i can try some ignitions that i got in stock and see how it goes. I have PAMCO here ..So off to EBAY to find some parts.

  32. pete bailey says:

    can i run this system with a boyer branson electronic ignition set up?

  33. Dave O'Toole says:

    re Pete bailey – I have Boyer set up. I’d be keen to know too.

  34. kermel says:

    Can I use a RD350LC rotor and RD350LC stator ?
    De stator is wider than 20 mm.

  35. HUGH says:

    The Boyer system uses a cam triggered pickup, so I see no reason that it won’t work just the same.

    If you are using a TCI ignition (80-84) then you will need to change ignitions over to a cam triggered setup, otherwise, you are set…


  36. Dave O'Toole says:

    @Hugh – I couldn’t see any reason logically why not. I just know that Boyers are supposed to be a bit sensitive to voltage. Thanks Hugh for the reply and your efforts and input into this thread.

  37. Hans says:

    Hello Kermel
    Yes ,you can also use a RD350LC rotor and RD350LC stator . I drive now my XS over 3 years with this combination.

  38. kermel says:

    Gents, Thx for answering the question!.

  39. Ted says:

    The winners for the contest have-been e-mail to Hughs. Thanks..

  40. Tim says:

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

  41. joebob says:

    do u still need the rectifier?

  42. joebob says:

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

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. Fabbastard says:

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

  46. 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

  47. 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!

  48. 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…!

  49. 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

  50. 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.

  51. Daryl milla says:

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

  52. fanoboss says:

    where’s norm ?

  53. 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,

  54. 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]…….

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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?

  58. Oscar says:

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