Joined the TDub Club - Long story
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Lion's River, South Africa
    Hi Fellow TDub Club members,

    I have just picked up a TDub and have cruised the net to find out more about them and have discovered that they have a cult following like the old XT 500 does. I owned an 83 XT for years until it was stolen in 94. It shared the stable with a 1977 Honda XL 185 I bought in 1988 and rebored so often it was 200 when stolen last year. This is South Africa and crime is rife. So I was on the lookout for a replacement to use around the farm and countryside, to have on the back of the truck when leaving it at the garage and for kids (10-17)to learn to ride on as well as my short Irish wife who is keen to give it a go. I saw a 1995 TW on a government auction of scrapped vehicles at the local Dept of Agric farm which I pass everyday. It was a bit weathered but not worn much with 12500 miles on the clock. Everything was intact except one cracked indicator. There was no key but she turned over with good compression. I set my heart on her low fat look. I'd missed out on a pair of XT 350s that went for around $600 each at the National Parks sale up the road last year but then my old Honda was still with me and had gone to look at trucks.

    On the auction day every used car shark and scrap dealer was circling around with shifty eyes and there was only one bike so my hopes for a low price were high. I ended up getting competetive and bidded twice as high as I had intended or expected and went to $1200 for a non-runner. Once the crowds had moved on to the next vehicle I went over to her. My slight sense of buyer's remorse deepened when I noticed that a side cover had been ripped off and loose wires dangled from her side. The conditions of sale were such that i had no comeback so went and paid and wheeled her over to my truck and loaded her up and headed into town to the local Yamaha dealer. Mechanics had a look and told me that the CDi unit was gone and that it looks like the engine was blowing carbon when it was running. They sent me to the spares guy with the engine number and he quoted me $330. I told him that this was devestating. He was the same Indian guy who I remembered when i had an XT and remembered me. He told me that one of their old mechanics fixes them at home and should have second hand spares. He phoned Andy and confirmed and 15 minutes I was at his gate. He looked through his boxes, found a cdi that fitted and we had spark. He remembered my old XT that broke every flywheel spanner in town, including his and was stolen with no charge to the battery as a result. We spoke dogs and fishing and he said he'd been retired since his fight with cancer began and now takes on farm and delivery bikes that don't require too much specialized equipment. He pointed out things like the shrinking spacer in the carb air intake and other things to look out for. Sure enought there was a gap. I said let me leave it with you, there is no key bit a screwdriver works.

    A couple of days later he rang and said it is ready and running like a new one. He had put in the cdi, serviced it from top to bottom, cleaned out the fuel tank and carb, changed the spacer for a new one, set the tappets to spec and put in an ingnition switch that bypassed the damaged keyswitch, replaced the battery and put in a light switch. This he said is because it had a 55w globe instead of a 35w which is not a problem if you turn it off when at low revs so it does not run down the battery. He did all of this for less than the price of a cdi from Yamaha. I paid him gladly loaded her up and took her home to the farm. When I got there the missus asked if I'd remembered washing powder. I said no but would nip off and get some. I took her for a ride on forestry tracks and over some pretty rough going on a short cut to the store. I had never felt so safe and solid in the dirt on a bike. I got home and checked the tail of the stainless aftermarket exhaust and my buyers remorse had been replaced by a good feeling. I'd never had a bike burn so clean. There was no carbon on my finger. Yesterday evening my yet to be licensed son took her off to the club to play rugby through the forest and came back grinning. I usually had to drive him in my truck so the bike got to saving me money and time right away.

    I could have bought a new chinese 200/250 for what I ended up paying but will the dealers be here inthe long run and will those bikes stand the test of time off the road? This forum has made me even happier having read the stories of the legnedary TDub. I now know why I had to bid so high. I wonder if it was the guy who stole the cdi who I was bidding against. Either way he is a loser. I had a feeling about auctions there since I had bought an untrained 2 year old horse there 6 years before and she has turned out to be legendary. I look forward to sharing more with you all and will get some pictures on here soon.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sinophilia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Verona, Italy
    Great story! We own three 1995/1996... you will love her. Look forward to see a pic of the old lady.
    Red Max - 1996 TW200 - 14/45, 320mm toothed brake disc, X-Racing titanium exhaust, Ricochet skid plate, Mule hitch pins, large pegs, VeeRubber VRM274&275 tires

  3. #3
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Paradise, Calif.
    I much enjoyed your story as well. These bikes are unique, as are many of the owners, enjoy.. Gerry

    Take care my Friend.........

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