Possible new owner. What year TW is the best?
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Thread: Possible new owner. What year TW is the best?

  1. #1
    Member Wambat's Avatar
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    Possible new owner. What year TW is the best?

    Looking to by a TW200 used and was wondering if there is one year that might be better than other years. I see they are pretty much unchanged so it probably doesn't make much difference. Would like one with kick start along with the electric and like the front disk brake. Was there a year they had both? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Hi Wambat, welcome to the forum!

    Following is some good information from our recently departed friend.

    Brian
    lizrdbrth posted this some time ago

    All TW's are great bikes. Some (slightly} greater than others, depending on your point of view.

    '87's had one-year-only charging systems and ignition modules. The '87 lighting coil was designed to power one 35w bulb at full rpm with A/C current and had a separate circuit for charging the battery that was rectified to D/C current.

    Aside from that, they are essentaially no different from an '88-2000 model. They're becoming a parts problem with regard ONLY to the electrical systems.


    In 2001, Yamaha giveth us a front disc brake, (but taketh away our kickstarter) slightly more alternator output, a new CV carburetor, and a resetable trip meter.

    So basically the bike has had 3 versions of charging system, picked up a disc brake and lost its kickstarter in 24-odd years.

    All plastics are interchangeable from year one to present. Lots of lovely Barbie colors over the years if yer into that. lol

    The basic motor is the same and all parts will interchange except for the left side covers, which have slightly different castings to accomodate the different charging and CDI systems over the years. Later models had a self-adjusting cam chain adjuster. Intake manifolds, carb boots and cables are a bit different between the early and late carbs but late also fits old, and vice-vera.

    Quality control has worsened considerably on the later model motors, so watch for base gasket leaks. Yamaha has issued a Bandaid in the form of an "improved" base gasket, but the real problem stems from random batches of crappy cases. Some suck, some don't.

    All front end parts will swap between years. The disc front end differs from the drum only in the left lower legs and that the lower triple tree has a tapped hole for the brake hose mount.

    The late model carb drives from the right, early model's cables are on the left.

    Swingarms and rear wheels are all the same.

    Disc front wheels have thicker spokes and the spoke lengths and lacing pattern is different from a drum. Same spoke count. As far as I'm concerned both are equal in terms of actual braking distances. It's more a matter of "feel" than effectiveness. Pick yer poison here. Drums don't bother me at all. I own both.

    The rear brakes are all the same. They blow.

    Gas tanks are all the same except later models got a smaller gas cap and Cali models have a fitting for a vapor hose.

    Early models have better starter solenoids, relays, and electrical components overall, IMO.

    Later models have more output and slightly more sheltered and better protected wiring harnesses.

    Lower fork legs lost their drain screws at some point. Early models had them. Huge maintenence issue.

    Kickstands, frame gussets and welds are better on the older units. Whether this was neccessary or not is arguable, but they are different.

    While this is not a rant against Yamaha, be aware that numerous cost cutting measures like this have been initiated over the years. Most were also accompanied by some fairly significant improvement. Most are insignificant in the real world, but can complicate parts ordering and modifications. Recently some have discovered that the rear muffler mount location has been changed slightly, for example. So even though a 20 year old muffler is identical in every other respect it won't fit the latest and greatest. The good news is that the bike is rock simple to begin with.

    The only real interchangeability problems I've encountered have been between the electrical systems, wiring harnesses and switchgear. Lots of variations here, with minor, sniggling changes to the various connectors and components.
    r80rt and Tennessee TW like this.

  3. #3
    rbm
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    Hello and welcome! What he said^^. You really can't go wrong with any year, I'd personally stay away from '87 though.

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    Member Wambat's Avatar
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    Boy this is good info and what I was looking for. I had a XT225 about 10 years ago, 94 I think. That's back when I was doing a lot of trail riding. It didn't have a kick starter but looked like I could put one on it but never did. Always felt uncomfortable about that. It had a CV carb that never was right and I put a old time round slide Mukuni and after getting the jetting right it really ran much better. It was a OK bike. Been riding a BMW R80 G/S that I bought new in 85 and just last winter fixed up an old Honda trail 90 that I like a lot but think I may sell it and upgrade to a TW. I still have my 71 Hodaka Wombat from many years ago. Thanks for the info.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    The absolute best one is the one you get for a good price and looks exactly like you want it. Have fun.
    rurlndum likes this.
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    Senior Member PalmStateCrawler's Avatar
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    '88-'00 or '01-'14. Pick the "options" you like and find one at the price you can afford. I would not pick a gen1 model but thats just me. The only upside I see of purchasing a gen1 is it comes with a kicker that otherwise can be added to a gen2. Or you can just pick a color scheme...
    '13 690 Enduro R too many frickin farkles...
    '07 KLX250 farkled (wife's bike)
    '86 BW80 farkled to size
    '10 TW200 you will be missed

  8. #7
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    If you are fortunate enough to find a super low mile Garage Queen like my 91 that was owned by a guy in his mid 60s since new and never ridden anywhere but at his camp ground, you jump on it! Otherwise, I would be searching for a low mile, lightly used, adult owned in any year past 1987. I personally think the Gen. 1 bikes were made a bit better but the changes made in 2001, Carb and disc front are good upgrades. I would not hesitate if I find a nice Gen. 2 and the kick start kit can be added.

    Here is something no one has mentioned yet. If you can find one that was owned by one of our forum members and has some, most or many of the desirable add ons you can make a great score and don't be afraid to pay a premium because I can assure you, those add ons add up pretty darn quick and my $1400 bone stock 91 is well over $2900 right now. When you start adding racks, seat cushions, bark busters, oil coolers, Jimbo shields, new sprockets, tires, tubes and numerous other goodies you can easily break out another thousand and more and keep on going.

    On the flip side, If you just want something to beat on that you plan to leave pretty much stock then still look for a low mile and well maintained in any year from 88-2014. I have heard it here many times that the TW engine is bullet proof but that only counts if it gets the proper maintenance and adjustments along the way. Oil is cheap insurance so change it often!

    GaryL
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  9. #8
    Member Wambat's Avatar
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    This all sounds like good advice. Are these bikes still 100% Japanese made? Hate to hear that they have lost the front fork drain plugs. I know that's something that the Chinese replacement forks for the Honda trail 90 do. And they are very bad forks. What kind of mileage do you guys get from the tires? I will be traveling county black tops with 45 mph speed limits most of the time, but will be doing some off road in mostly sandy soil to check my hog traps. I will be traveling 7mi each way on these county roads and then about 3miles off road to check the traps. Have used my ATV but have to load it up on a trailer and haul it to the lease and that's a hassle. So have been using my trail 90 as it is still tagged and legal. And it's OK but would like something with a little better ride and a little more power.

  10. #9
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    The stock rear tire will be perfect for your hogging and will last 10,000 miles or more. The stock front tire will work, but wears quickly into a saw-tooth pattern that is really noisy on pavement. A Shinko 244, Kenda 270, or IRC GP-1 would be a significant upgrade in function and longevity when the time comes. The TW203 and TW204 "dualsport" tires will let you down in sand.




  11. #10
    Senior Member old white truck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TW-Brian View Post
    Hi Wambat, welcome to the forum!

    Following is some good information from our recently departed friend.

    Brian
    lizrdbrth posted this some time ago

    All TW's are great bikes. Some (slightly} greater than others, depending on your point of view.

    '87's had one-year-only charging systems and ignition modules. The '87 lighting coil was designed to power one 35w bulb at full rpm with A/C current and had a separate circuit for charging the battery that was rectified to D/C current.

    Aside from that, they are essentaially no different from an '88-2000 model. They're becoming a parts problem with regard ONLY to the electrical systems.


    In 2001, Yamaha giveth us a front disc brake, (but taketh away our kickstarter) slightly more alternator output, a new CV carburetor, and a resetable trip meter.

    So basically the bike has had 3 versions of charging system, picked up a disc brake and lost its kickstarter in 24-odd years.

    All plastics are interchangeable from year one to present. Lots of lovely Barbie colors over the years if yer into that. lol

    The basic motor is the same and all parts will interchange except for the left side covers, which have slightly different castings to accomodate the different charging and CDI systems over the years. Later models had a self-adjusting cam chain adjuster. Intake manifolds, carb boots and cables are a bit different between the early and late carbs but late also fits old, and vice-vera.

    Quality control has worsened considerably on the later model motors, so watch for base gasket leaks. Yamaha has issued a Bandaid in the form of an "improved" base gasket, but the real problem stems from random batches of crappy cases. Some suck, some don't.

    All front end parts will swap between years. The disc front end differs from the drum only in the left lower legs and that the lower triple tree has a tapped hole for the brake hose mount.

    The late model carb drives from the right, early model's cables are on the left.

    Swingarms and rear wheels are all the same.

    Disc front wheels have thicker spokes and the spoke lengths and lacing pattern is different from a drum. Same spoke count. As far as I'm concerned both are equal in terms of actual braking distances. It's more a matter of "feel" than effectiveness. Pick yer poison here. Drums don't bother me at all. I own both.

    The rear brakes are all the same. They blow.

    Gas tanks are all the same except later models got a smaller gas cap and Cali models have a fitting for a vapor hose.

    Early models have better starter solenoids, relays, and electrical components overall, IMO.

    Later models have more output and slightly more sheltered and better protected wiring harnesses.

    Lower fork legs lost their drain screws at some point. Early models had them. Huge maintenence issue.

    Kickstands, frame gussets and welds are better on the older units. Whether this was neccessary or not is arguable, but they are different.

    While this is not a rant against Yamaha, be aware that numerous cost cutting measures like this have been initiated over the years. Most were also accompanied by some fairly significant improvement. Most are insignificant in the real world, but can complicate parts ordering and modifications. Recently some have discovered that the rear muffler mount location has been changed slightly, for example. So even though a 20 year old muffler is identical in every other respect it won't fit the latest and greatest. The good news is that the bike is rock simple to begin with.

    The only real interchangeability problems I've encountered have been between the electrical systems, wiring harnesses and switchgear. Lots of variations here, with minor, sniggling changes to the various connectors and components.
    Is this a sticky? If not, it should be. Russ was the man.

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