Hello and welcome! The TW will handle the washboard just fine, IMHO.
Hi Everyone...... new member here.
Just throwing this out for all you experienced TW riders. I'm seriously considering either a TW200 or XT250. I'm leaning towards some fat tire fun with the 200. Drop the tire pressure a bit and I know that wide rear knobby will suit the rides I'm gearing towards. I'll be riding low speed (10-20 mph) on very loose rock, gravel and sand back roads as well as severe washboards like those in Death Valley...... the worst. I know the 250 has greater suspension for higher speed on washboards for running on the ridge tops. But, I'm not looking for hi speed drifting around on washboards running 30-50 mph. How does the TW handle rough washboards in 10 to 20 mph range?
Thanks for your insight
Hello and welcome! The TW will handle the washboard just fine, IMHO.
How much do you weigh? The answer to this will determine if it is serviceable as is or if some slight modifications will be required.
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Man who runs in front of motorcycle gets tired. Man who runs behind motorcycle gets exhausted.
Well, all depends if you want to skip across the tops of the washboards (We call'em Whoops or Whoop Dee Doos around here), or roll through them riding them out. You can hit them faster and "kinda" skip through them. I do, but not to fast. Your a light guy compared to me, so you should be good. Just remember, like you said, TW suspension is kinda lame with 5" or 6" travel, and non adjustable damping both, front and rear. I ride mostly soft sand, so it's washboard city here, and I manage, but not ideal. Other than that, the TW is perfect for what your looking to do. My opinion of course....
Hitting washboard or hoop T doos I just stand up and let the bike do it's thing. Easing along at 10 to 20 is not an issue. Mostly it depends on depth and frequency. I weight 270 and my stock 200 does just fine. You won't be disappointed in one.
When I got my TW in 2010 I didn't like riding it OVER 20 mph on loose gravel or washboard! It took a while for me to decide to replace it and what a difference it made. Now I recommend to newbies who intend to ride a lot of gravel and washboard to replace it right off the showroom floor! That and lowering the tires to about 12/14 have made the TW as good on gravel as any bike.
I go to Death Valley every other year or so, and now I have no problem tackling the Racetrack road at 30 to 40 mph (well, some of it anyway ) . It's the perfect bike for there as it will do that sort of riding as well as the worst of Steel Pass without blinking an eye. The only thing it gives up to the XT250 is extended highway riding at 65mph and up. That and the small tank...you will almost certainly need to carry an extra gallon. I plan no more than 100 miles without that.
Also, I dropped the front sprocket to 13 teeth right off the showroom and really prefer that. I can still go 60 if I have to, but the rough technical stuff is less intimidating.....it's the closest thing to a trials bike out there.
It is true that riding at whatever speed will allow the bike to plane on the tops of washboard will give a smoother ride, but I agree with you, I'm too old for that and the penalty clause is too stiff. If I can see well ahead and the washboard is about 2-3 inches, fine. Like the North Road or Westside, for instance. Add some blind corners or severe 6 inch washboard and I might go as slow as 10 or even 5. For me, since really bad washboard is such a small part of all my riding and rocky technical stuff a large part, there was no question that the TW was what I wanted.
A year later, I traded mine off for an hour with a buddy on his XT225, and he wouldn't give it back!!!
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Another thing to consider is what version of the TW you intend to get. They fall into two categories — ’87 to 2000, and 2000 to present day.
The TW doesn’t have a lot of rear suspension travel, as it’s not supposed to be as fast as an XT250.
I’ve heard tell that the newer ones are more comfortable to sit on (rear suspension wise) — while the older version can seem a little “rigid”. I’m 180lbs and on a ’98, and it feels a little “stiff”.
My advice is to get the bike and try it out on those trails, and if you do need to re-work the rear suspension, get back on here and we’ll show you what can be done (which is quite a bit).
The XT250 is a different bike altogether — but you’ll be going so fast you’ll miss out on a lot of scenery, and a lot of the trails it can’t get up.
The TW is more about the journey — not how fast you get there ………
Do you operate on a sales commission? Because you just tipped the hat in my purchase of a 2015 TW200 over a XT250!
Great information and thank you very much. I was out on Hunter Mtn Road, Tea Kettle Junction and Race Track two weeks ago in my full size stock 4x4 Dodge Ram. Third time out to the Race Track, first time in the Dodge which I thought would handle the washboard better..... wrong! Had to back down to 10mph in a couple of spots because the washboards were so severe. Biltstein external reservoir shocks are going on all 4 soon which should help along with lowering tire pressure. Have you tried Lippincot Mine Rd on the TW200? Class 4 offroad. I'm know of Steel Pass but now need to research it for a trip on it with the TW. Took the Dodge Ram down Lippincot on our way out! Wild.... 2 miles in 2 hours as I crawled over the road as my son was out in front guiding me. Down near the bottom, 4 bikers blew by us as I'm still picking along at 10-15 mph and trying not to break a motor mount or shake anything loose. That's when I started thinking of a TW200 again.
Just got off the internet looking at the Kenda and Shinko tires you recommended. Probably will be picking up the 2015 TW200 within the week and will switch over to either the Kenda or Shinko. What is your preference and size? Thanks for the info on the sprocket too.
What you described is exactly the type of riding I will be doing. I spend a lot of time all over the eastern sierras on both sides of the Owens valley. I can't wait to take the TW into those off the path backroads and trails exploring.
Have you ever been to the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine? Probably have.
I'm a newbie to this site and have found it to be extremely helpful. Thanks for your time and spot on info!
I know your not asking me, but I do ride soft sand (35+ years) and pretty big and deep washboard sections. I ended up buying the Kenda K270 in a 5:10 up front due to everyone here saying that tire or the Shinko 244 in same size. I got the Kenda because they've been around a lot longer. Better tire company IMO. Now, with the low power of the TW, it's kinda hard to wheelie long, if at all. The 5.10 is a heavy tire. And the knobbie pattern is more of a medium to hard packed pattern. My next tire WILL be the Kenda K760 in a thinner size. The 760 is for soft terrain/sand, and a thinner size will allow to keep the front tire light and high through the washboards. They are sized different. 120/100 = 5.10, so I'll either get next size narrower 110/100, or narrower yet 100/100. There are a few here that use the 760. Qwerty is one, but don't know if he'll chime in or not. I haven't seen him post in a while. Maybe something else to consider since your riding sandy terrain.....