Speeds from 200 cc engines
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Polarpilot's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Iqaluit Nunavut Canada
    Since I have been reading this forum there has been a steady stream of postings about highway cruising on a TW.

    I find most of those postings pushing the credibility boundaries pretty hard. Claims of cruising at 70 mph on a 200 cc engine are just a bit over the top.

    I wonder if a normal cruising speed of say 45- 50 mph is not more accurate.

    If you want to go fast you need more engine - say at least 350ccs for posted highway speeds and 500+ ccs for speeds regularly exceeding posted speed limits.

    I know small engined motorcycles can run fast - look at the 50 and 125 cc Kriedlers in Grand Prix racing - but those were highly stressed and very fragile engines turning thousand and thousands of rpms.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreidler

    So what say you - more realistic speeds for cruising on a TW?

  2. #2
    Senior Member cdsdave's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Grosse Pointe, MI
    I find the most comfortable cruising speed is right around 45 to 50 mph. Any higher and it gets a bit stressful. Lucky for me the 55 mph roads around me are quiet enough that I don't get passed that often, but if I wanted to do any long distance cruising I would be looking for more cc's.

  3. #3
    Member Gorilla's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    Eula, Texas
    The 70 MPH claims are probably from smaller riders. I am 6'3" 250LB rider. I can cruise at 60 MPH on a flat road with no wind. If there is a head wind of 20 MPH then I am slowed to around 50. On a downhill stretch with a tail wind I can go 75 MPH if I lay down on the tank and hold my breath. I quit doing this when a dog came out after me. When I swerved (this was at night) I saw the deer standing in the road as it's head hit my mirror. I matured alot that night. I prefer trying to get higher Miles Per Gallon than Miles Per Hour lately since the price of gas is going up.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Frosty Hollow
    I can't really challenge anyone else's claim of cruising at high speed, but I can say, I have a hard time just reaching 70mph let alone maintaining it for crusing. When traveling on 55mph posted roads, I generally can maintain 55-60mph comfortably, though this speed is affected by hill/incline and wind. Also, without hills or wind I can go and maintain 65mph, but the fun factor is lost for me on the TW at anything over 60mph. Luckily for me, like csdave I have plenty of lower posted speed backroads.

    As a side note, I've thought about getting a slightly larger dualpurpose like a WR250R, which I really like, but the Finance Minister vetoed this. Not on the grounds of finances, apparently she still loves me and doesn't like me riding on the tar roads (and for some reason, riding alone on sandy dry creekbeds - oops!) I told here Georgie was with me, but she said that don't count .
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  6. #5
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Desert, SoCal
    For me 55 is a reasonable AVERAGE (The acronym "YMMV" was probably coined by a sub-250cc rider. )

    Yes, it'll do a real (GPS) 65 occasionally (maybe even for several miles if the stars align) but not as a average.

    Geography, climate, rider weight and physical size, modifications and state of tune all conspire to make such things predictable only on an individual basis with so little torque and horsepower to work with. Physics iz physics.

    Fuel mileage can also be as high as 80mpg or as low as 40mpg with the simple variable of a crosswind, headwind or major elevation change.

    All else being equal, with stock gearing and tires installed on my own bike my wife is capable of at least a 5 mph greater AVERAGE speed and a 5-10 mpg increase in mileage. The weight difference between us is 60 pounds, my bike probably outweighs hers by as much as 40 pounds with a full tank and she presents much less frontal area.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member small's's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Martinsville Indiana
    Im 5'6" and 150lbs and i am comfortable riding 55-62mph which is enough for me. Will a tw run 65-70 all day on flat ground im sure of it but it wouldnt cruising "more like WFO." A friend of mine has a stock aprilia 2 stroke 50cc scooter that will run a little over 55mph on flat ground.

  8. #7
    Senior Member MrDNA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    This has been pretty well beat to death, but here's my real world data: In my short commute my 05 & 10 (both stock) have no problem getting to 65, but 70 takes wind at my back or some downhill. I'm sure I could get either to 70 if I had longer straights to work with. Daily, I make a right turn onto a street with cars moving UPHILL at 55. I hit 5th at 50, and I can hit 60 by the time I get to the top of that hill... about a 1/2 mile total distance. I regularly travel on that road at 60-65 because that's what everyone else is doing, and I feel as secure as I can... with 50 cars around me.

    With that said, I still would not consider the TW a freeway commuter (here in CA) because there is no more top end left at those speeds without time to ramp it up, and even then its just a few MPH.

    I think most people that feel they can cruise on the freeways at 70 have done some sprocket modifications to get more top end.

    I'm am pretty light, at 165lb with a 5'11" frame, so that probably is a factor.
    Something witty...

    2005 & 2010 TW200

  9. #8
    Junior Member BlacknBlue2002's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
    ...not a TW200 owner yet...so reading this I'm getting some questions in my head...

    Is the problem with max speed a engine/gear ratio problem...where the bike is at it's max power and turning the gears as much as it can?

    or is the problem more related to the stability of the bike at speeds over 60mph?

    ...I only ask because if it was more of a stability issue it seems that some smoother tires (Shinko's maybe) would take some of the shimmy out of the ride...and maybe leaning over and putting the feet on the passenger pegs?

    dunno...just thinking by typing I guess

  10. #9
    Senior Member atleastbehandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Toronto, Canada
    My Stats: 6' tall @ 185lbs.

    With a 14 tooth front sprocket and 45 tooth rear, I can always maintain ~65 mph in 4th gear. Change into 5th and I can usually maintain that speed and hit a top speed of 80 mph on flat ground when conditions are right.

    I like to think of it as the "small displacement speed gamble". If you have any condition that is not perfect, you won't hit your top speed. What factors influence top speed?

    1. Elevation (and possibly in my case humidity)

    2. Wind

    3. Incline

    At 300' above sea level I can maintain 75 mph. At 1000' above sea level I can only maintain 65 mph.

    With a head wind or side wind, I can only maintain 65 mph.

    With the maximum inclines you get in Ontario, I can only maintain 65 mph.

    And I don't believe that weight or height makes much of a difference. I have tried the ninja tuck and standing on pegs at 65 mph: no difference. I have also loaded 60lbs of gear on the bike: no difference (however, 2-up does make a difference!)
    2005 TW200, 2" PowerMadd bar riser, Tusk D-Flex Hand Guards, PowerMadd Hand Muffs, Kick-Start, Valco Cup Holder, Givi E45N Top Case, Inline fuel filter, Storage Tube with MSR bottle, 45 Tooth sprocket, Stebel Low Tone horn, #130 Main Jet / no needle shims / 1.5 turns out on idle, Jimbo Shield, DID O-Ring chain, Clarke XT250 4.1 Gal tank, Custom Cycleracks

  11. #10
    Senior Member FortPayne's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Just got in from riding about 60 miles- toped out at 62mph and had nothing left. It was a bit windy. Its funny, at 55-60 mph you twist the throttle and think "I can do 70 easy" but alas at 62 mph you realize nope.

    I'm 5' 10" 200lbs.

    It isn't a stability issue, at least not on mine (some have reported a little speed wobble). These bikes are geared low. And fun.

    My TDub is happiest at 55mph. It can hold 50 uphill no problem.
    Tenaciously Deviant Unwittingly Brilliant

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