New bike, new adventure, new questions.
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Thread: New bike, new adventure, new questions.

  1. #1
    Junior Member pushinluck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Plant City, FL
    For the past 2 years I have been traveling the United States country side on a bicycle (around 17000 miles). When I stopped in North Carolina for a visit with family and friends a friend had a surprise for me. It was an astonishingly clean 1987 tw200. I don't know a great deal about motorcycles/dirt bikes but my friend is an expert/professional and said I would love the bike. I have many question but fail at every attempt to use the search function so I'm just going to ask away. I am sure some if not all of the questions have been asked before but its hard to search for CDI or carb when you limited to words over four characters. My riding style will be mostly road, dirt road, distance and cruising (30-40 MPH sounds comfortable). Also dashing into the woods for night time undetected (stealth camping).

    1. Gas mileage. I understand the bike receives decent gas mileage but I was wondering how to receive the best gas mileage. I'm sure easy on the throttle and a windshield are on the list but what about other things? Gearing, jet, tire type or general aerodynamics.

    2. Tools and parts. What essential tools do people travel with? What extra parts? Can tools to fix most problems be carried in a bag on the bike. Tire patch, chain, cables? What about a CDI, I read the 87's are one of a kind would it be a good idea to grab an extra one just in case?

    3. Co2 or DC air pump?

    4. Solar panel trickle charge for battery or unnecessary? Running GPS, charging phone and tablet computer and led camping lights.

    Anything else that I can't think of right now or that I haven't thought of that could solve a lot of potential trouble?

    Thanks for any advice and I look forward o becoming an active member of the community!

  2. #2
    Senior Member assquatch20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Hey, welcome to the club.

    1. At the speeds you're talking (and about any other) stock condition is probably the best mileage you'll get unless you get into high altitudes. 4500+ feet usually starts to affect jetting. From there you can carry extra jets or get into those Intellijet/Dial-a-jet things. You will be a little displeased with your front tire when in gets slippery, so a Shinko Golden Boy is a nice upgrade that's similar to stock. The stock rear is fine for me, but other folks like a lot of rubber, which may or may not drop your mileage and rub some things raw.

    2. You can carry pretty much every tool you'll need for most repairs with you, and there is a thread that I'd imagine someone will know that tells you the common ones. You'll want patches/tubes, a couple tire levers, your wrenches for sure. An extra master link and a few links. Bailing wire is nice, and given it's an '87, I would consider trying to find another CDI. One thing is a few screws on this bike (the brass ones on the carb for instance) use JIS screwdrivers, but look like phillips. You don't want to make that mistake in a pinch and strip them out. As well the screws holding the float bowl should be replaced with allen heads honestly. You can ebay a stainless allen head bolt set that covers most of the motor as well. Remember the JIS screwdrivers though.

    3. A lot of us will tell you to just use a bicycle pump and patience. The others both have some drawbacks. Electricity is obviously hard to come by sometimes and the CO2 cartridges sometimes leak when you put them on the valve, or you find you haven't carried enough for the large rear tube.

    4. I'm not sure if the '87 had e-start or not, but I do know its electrics are a bit unique, so compare loads and draw on paper before you go plugging stuff up maybe. A nice solar panel I'd really recommend is the SolarJoos though. It's quite literally bulletproof and substantially cheaper than a lot of touring solar setups last I checked.

    Anything you haven't thought of has been covered by Mr. Gizmow. Read his posts and unique fixes for common problems. Obviously he's not the only one. These folks are resourceful. Enjoy.
    JohnJohn likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stromper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Eastern Connecticut
    When you worry your troubles double, don't worry be happy.

    Once she has a comprehensive tune up examination you can expect much trouble

    free miles. Have done by responsible party from tank to tail pipe and valves.

    If the tires are stock as in 25 years old you need new ones

    If unknown then a good quality like Yuasa battery for peace of mine.

    just ride, smile, repeat

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