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  1. #1
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    Innocently I entered a fun enduro ride this morning with full confidence that I and mt TDub were equal to the challenge of a trail through farmland. It started off fine and I pottered off even overtaking a few riders. I found that I stalled on the first river crossing but mainly because I was not confident enough to get up the momentum to plough through.



    Then I made it up a long rocky pass and stopped at the top to take in the scenery. I took some proud pics of the bike and will try and get them on here at some point. I set off after a drink and descended the rocky pass into very rocky country . The path was tight and could not be taken any slower than I did. Another river crossing came and the required some speed to ascend the bank which took me into a very rocky bit of path faster than I would have liked and bang! I hit rock with my gear lever and foot peg and found myself on a mountainside with no gears. I got out my multitool and set about trying to fix it but could not. It was jammed behind the protector. Along came a father and son on a Gas Gas and an XR 200. The father who introduced himself as Tom, pulled out a bigger multitool and eventually we got the gear lever free and functional. I thanked Tom and off they went. I found them futher up the trail when he once again came to my assistance, this time with a steep clay bank after a river crossing when my new TW32 clogged and spun uselessly.



    Tom had stopped and was fiddling with his sons Honda which had died. It had no spark and nothing could induce it to fire. I said I would find the shortest route back to the start and fetch my truck and get it as close as I could. I was 20kms in and hot and tired. The sun had come out after a cold start to the day so I was overdressed. I headed off happy with an excuse to cut out the rest of the course and do the last 10 km on farm roads. Before I got off the course and onto farm roads I managed to flip the bike ass over kettle and drop it twice trying to ascend a very steep bank.



    I guess I learnt that the TW is not cut out for enduro, but will get you home and fetch help for an ailing Honda the of the same vintage as my TW. So I took some satisfaction in that. The electric starter is handy for all the stalling in obstacles that are taken too slowly since it does not have the suspension to go through any faster.



    I watched others hopping around on their highly sprung bikes like Toms Gas Gas with full Ohlins suspension. I decided that even if I had one, I rather ride this course on a horse and use the bike for tracks since it can keep up a gallop for hours while a horse cannot. I used to endurance race on horses and since they look where they put their feet, you can look at the scenery. This became even clearer when I walked part of the course after parking the truck and setting off to look for Tom and his boy and it became apparent that that I would never choose a route like this to ride a bike. I had not noticed how pretty the indigenous forest was when I rode through.



    I decided that from henceforth I will choose the route and in the interest of safety and sanity, it will be a TW friendly route that will not require much micro management of the front wheel and enable one to look around and admire nature. As I write I can feel the stiffness setting in arms and shoulder. My lower half is not a problem and is nowhere as stiff as I get from playing polo so I was fit enough to stand up on the pegs when need be.



    Here endeth my report of taking the TW and myself to our respective limits. It was instructive to me and hopefully can serve to head some wanna be TW enduro riders off at the pass.

    Am going to slide into a soothing bubble bath and then, bed.

    Malcolm

  2. #2
    Senior Member YTWTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Torque View Post
    Innocently I entered a fun enduro ride this morning with full confidence that I and mt TDub were equal to the challenge of a trail through farmland. It started off fine and I pottered off even overtaking a few riders. I found that I stalled on the first river crossing but mainly because I was not confident enough to get up the momentum to plough through.



    Then I made it up a long rocky pass and stopped at the top to take in the scenery. I took some proud pics of the bike and will try and get them on here at some point. I set off after a drink and descended the rocky pass into very rocky country . The path was tight and could not be taken any slower than I did. Another river crossing came and the required some speed to ascend the bank which took me into a very rocky bit of path faster than I would have liked and bang! I hit rock with my gear lever and foot peg and found myself on a mountainside with no gears. I got out my multitool and set about trying to fix it but could not. It was jammed behind the protector. Along came a father and son on a Gas Gas and an XR 200. The father who introduced himself as Tom, pulled out a bigger multitool and eventually we got the gear lever free and functional. I thanked Tom and off they went. I found them futher up the trail when he once again came to my assistance, this time with a steep clay bank after a river crossing when my new TW32 clogged and spun uselessly.



    Tom had stopped and was fiddling with his sons Honda which had died. It had no spark and nothing could induce it to fire. I said I would find the shortest route back to the start and fetch my truck and get it as close as I could. I was 20kms in and hot and tired. The sun had come out after a cold start to the day so I was overdressed. I headed off happy with an excuse to cut out the rest of the course and do the last 10 km on farm roads. Before I got off the course and onto farm roads I managed to flip the bike ass over kettle and drop it twice trying to ascend a very steep bank.



    I guess I learnt that the TW is not cut out for enduro, but will get you home and fetch help for an ailing Honda the of the same vintage as my TW. So I took some satisfaction in that. The electric starter is handy for all the stalling in obstacles that are taken too slowly since it does not have the suspension to go through any faster.



    I watched others hopping around on their highly sprung bikes like Toms Gas Gas with full Ohlins suspension. I decided that even if I had one, I rather ride this course on a horse and use the bike for tracks since it can keep up a gallop for hours while a horse cannot. I used to endurance race on horses and since they look where they put their feet, you can look at the scenery. This became even clearer when I walked part of the course after parking the truck and setting off to look for Tom and his boy and it became apparent that that I would never choose a route like this to ride a bike. I had not noticed how pretty the indigenous forest was when I rode through.



    I decided that from henceforth I will choose the route and in the interest of safety and sanity, it will be a TW friendly route that will not require much micro management of the front wheel and enable one to look around and admire nature. As I write I can feel the stiffness setting in arms and shoulder. My lower half is not a problem and is nowhere as stiff as I get from playing polo so I was fit enough to stand up on the pegs when need be.



    Here endeth my report of taking the TW and myself to our respective limits. It was instructive to me and hopefully can serve to head some wanna be TW enduro riders off at the pass.

    Am going to slide into a soothing bubble bath and then, bed.

    Malcolm




    apart from the gear lever and the water problem, it sounds more like you met YOUR limits rather than the Tw's limits. I demand satisfaction as a new TW owner

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sly Fox's Avatar
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    A great story, sorry you and your bike got banged up a little bit. Yes, the TW is limited. I guess the clue is in the name 'Trail Way'. It's made for a gentle and happy life.

    However, in the ice and snow of January this year a friend and I went up to the frozen hills. He was on a sorted enduro DRZ400, I was on my trusty little TW. He suffered big time. While I was having fun sliding about he was crashing hard. The DRZ was too high you see, he couldn't put both feet down at once. He quit. Ha!
    We're in 'Bat Country' now....

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    I found the limits of a stock TW except for the TW32 tire. I now know why some spend so much effort trying to get more suspension and traction with mods and ATV tires. But clearance is a fixed thing and enduro bikes are high for a good reason I now see.



    YT, if you "demand satisfaction as a new TW owner" then do with your bike what the TW is made to do. Do not allow your romance with her let you think she is something she is not.She is not an enduro bike. I nearly damaged pegs and levers countless time since the course was on a lot on cattle paths through rock. Now I am fond of my TDub and steered her as carefully as I could through this but the problem was that she is just too low slung for the terrain. Some rocks were big enough to damage the enduro bikes but were easily avoidable, but some casualties of metal did occur. This is why enduro bikes do not have sidestands I noticed. I did not hurt myself, but could have. Several others kept the medics busy but if you compard their speeds to mine they were looking for trouble. I avoid it but sometimes make mistakes. This was one.



    Now

  6. #5
    Senior Member xdac's Avatar
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    I find that its the rider that cant handle most of the rides. Not saying that your not a great rider- i dont know you. You cant ride the tw like a mx bike, but its got the torque ( no pun intended) to go over and thru quite a few things. Its low seat height helps a lot being able to put your feet down instead of laying the bike over. Sure its a challenge for both the bike and rider but thats the fun stuff! Ive broken foot pegs and bent levers back..that's why i bring spares. Its not that the rear tire limits you, its 1 wheel drive. Momentum is your key, and i find first gear is too low and slow speed, and second for me is almost perfect. Keeps me able to keep up momentum and still enough power to pop the front end up over something. As far as ice and mud..ill stick to 4 wheels. Leisuring riding and a few harder trails thrown in the mix to keep you attention on the trail is what i find the tw best for.
    2008 TW200 with a super cool exhaust

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rainman's Avatar
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    Sounds like it could have been a pretty sweet ride. Granted the TW is not a full fledge enduro or and MX bike, but it can hold its own.



    Yes, the TW is limited, but you have to ride it within its limits.



    For example, my Dad has and '87 and I have a '90. I'll go up and over logs, hills, rocks, through water and mud easily, while he falls and stalls. Its the rider, not the bike. I'll walk down a hill to rescue him after a couple failed attempts and I'll ride it to the top with no problems.



    Keep practicing. Enter another ride and see how it goes. I was scared to death after doing a poker run last year, but I did the same one this year and I did very well.
    If you can't find it, grind it

    1990 TW200

  8. #7
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Lack of traction from a loaded up tire is a rider problem. It is very easy to unload a tire. Simply shift up a gear, wide open throttle, and dump the clutch. Now you know what to do. Go back and conquer that hill.




  9. #8
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    [size="4"]I will readily admit that I am known more as a horseman than a motorcycle rider/petrol head. I know that there are horses for courses and make a practice of not banging square pegs into round holes and often advise people to do the same.



    But that guy Tom was a salted enduro rider and he took my TW and put the back wheel into the water and spun it till it cleared, put way more gas than I did, had a run at the bank and spun in the clay on the steepest near vertical spot. I found another way around the bank and took her up that way.



    The thing is the countryside on those farms was perfect to explore on a TW but you have to choose your own route. Going the set route was folly since it was made to test bikes made for such obstacles.



    I must say that Tom did not run the TDub down but just said that a dual purpose tire was not working.



    It was a lesson for me and as much as we might worship at the alter of the TDub, like our leaders we admire, they are fallible and in the real world are often found to have feet of clay.



    Reading for the day:

    Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

    This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

    His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. (Daniel 2:31-33)



    Malcolm
    [/size]

  10. #9
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    Yes Sly Fox - I like having my feet close to the ground. I know why the foot pergs are samm since there is a lot to snag on this low to the ground. I now see why some terrain calls for those highly sprung machines. I will stick to easier going and do not like banging my TDub up. Yup, the gentle happy life for me and the TDub.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    I had a look at the specs of the most common enduro bikes I saw on the trail. They are 50% higher in clearance, 30% lighter and nearly twice as expensive as a TW. I did not look at horsepower since I did not lack any of that.



    So these are simple stats that explain why we have limitations with a TDub which fits a limited budget and can deliver a lot of dual sport and utility (bangs for your bucks).



    When we were students we used to have a similar go anywhere pride in our old VW Beetles which we called our VDubs. The thing is they were limited in clearance and we pounded their pan with undeserved punishment but got to some great fishing spots. We reckoned they were as good as 4x4s.



    Now I am no longer a student I have 4x4 truck and can see that the old VDubs were asked by us to do things they were not made for. I am not going to ask the same of my TDub again. I don't like bending and repairing bikes. I won't even take a friend's KTM over than kind of country because if I bend it I will have to mend it.



    You guys who don't agree, let me leave you to your own school lesson of hard knocks. I have finished this lesson and got off quite lightly.



    Malcolm

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