TDub first impressions
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Thread: TDub first impressions

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    May 2017
    Mineral Bluff, GA

    TDub first impressions

    I've had my little TDub for a week and a half and just turned 90 miles. Had a chance to ride on fire trails yesterday for the first time.

    Some impressions:

    1) Riding the bike home from the dealer, I was reminded of a line from, I think, Slaughterhouse 5. His father says, "I knew growing old was going to be bad. I didn't know it was going to be this bad". My thought was I knew the bike was going to be slow - I just didn't know it was going to be this slow! I live in hilly terrain, and it needed nearly full power to just make 45 mph up some of the hills.

    Good news is it felt much better the next day. I'm not 100% sure my ride home was not at 1/2 "choke". I think I pushed it in after engine start, not aware there were two detents and hitting the first one. Not sure if that could account for the sluggish performance, or if the bike just broke in a bit, but it feel enormously peppier now.

    As an aside, my first bike, about 50 years ago was a Yamaha 80:

    Clearly not the most powerful bike in the world. This bike reminds me of that, in that you can use ALL the power - such as it is - and have a ball doing so!

    2) Offroad, the suspension felt very harsh. My KTM 950 Adventure with tuned-in WP shocks could really float over small irregularities. I know its not fair to compare a TDub with a bike costing 3x as much, but I found the ride quite jarring.

    Certainly related, this morning I checked the tire pressures and found 30 psi front and 32 psi rear (!). I just took it down to 18/18 and I'm looking forward to trying the same trail again and seeing how much it helps.

    As an aside, if I did not know how horrible the stock front tire was, I would never have guessed - it felt fine to me.

    3) I think the handlebars need some work. At 6'1", the bars feel too low when standing. 2" risers would probably help there. I also think I need "flatter" bars. I've been plagued with cubital tunnel syndrome for most of my adult life. That's where the nerve passing through the elbow get impinged, leading to hand numbness. Think of the feeling when you hit your "funny bone" and you'll be close to the feeling.

    In any case, best for me is riding with my elbows nearly, but not quite, straight. Elbows bent too much and my hands start to go numb very quickly. Has anyone found flatter bars for the Tdub that work well? For now, I think I can just rotate the stock bars forward a bit to get some relief.

    4) My bike just went on reserve at 90 miles. Not sure how full it was when I picked it up. In any case, some aux fuel seems like a good idea for longer trail rides. As cool as I find the "Rotorpax" cans, I'm thinking just a few 30oz spun aluminum fuel bottles in a tailbag - totalling about a gallon - would give a lot of flexibility. Anyone else go that way?

    5) The seat feels adequate. Not horrible, anyway. I have a variety of seat pads lying around I can try out if it becomes objectionable.

    6) A hinged seat would have been nice. Simple is good, but having to remove 2 bolts to even get at the battery is awfully primitive.

    7) My "Mags Bag" tail bag is working for me for now. Leaning towards a Sedici Como tank bag as well.

    And that's about it for now. As mentioned in another thread, my gallon of Yamalube 10w40 arrived this morning. I'll probably do an oil change at 150 mi to see how things are going, then dino oil again at 300. By 600 I'll probably be ready for the switch to synthetic.

    Looking for riding buddies, if anyone wants to join me on the trails along the Ocoee in N GA/W TN. Let me know!
    Last edited by Fast Eddie B; 05-19-2017 at 11:37 AM.
    admiral, jbfla, Ken and 8 others like this.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Ynys Môn
    A lot of the TW’s suspension failings can be compensated by reducing tire pressure – they didn’t put those tire sizes on there for nothing, so learn how to use them. There are improvements you can make to the suspension (fork oil level/weight, the “V-Star shock swap” etc), but it will never be perfect (gives my shoulders a work out every time)

    The stock front tire is absolutely fine – until it throws you without warning – this is why “we” don’t like it – it’ll dump you face down without warning

    An extra fuel supply is a good thing to have, but a gallon on the stock rear loading space is a bit ambitious. Get a decent rear rack, a couple of “tool tubes”, and some canisters to fit the tubes – job done – otherwise you’ll get a chance to test your frame welding skills

    A hinged seat would have been nice, and a comfortable one even better – takes an hour or so, then “bites you in the butt” – experiment – there are regular offers on the classified board for “coleman seat covers” which some swear by.

    “Flat bars” – again, no single answer to that one, so if you find an ideal post it up with pictures. Be aware that that’ll shift your body weight over the front wheel, and may strain your shoulders unless you sort the fork suspension out

    As with any bike, it’s best to get used to it first, and then change what you can – the TW is a very “individual” bike, so don’t try to compare it to anything you’re ridden before – give it a chance and you’ll be impressed at what it “can” do

    But change that front tire ……..
    admiral, Ken, Dryden-Tdub and 4 others like this.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Hailey, ID
    1: You probably did have it on half choke!
    2: You need to get the oil level correct....try 130 mm from the top of the fork. The rear you can't do much about unless you swap it out. 18/18 is still high for dirt, try 12/14.
    3: Definitely get some 2 " risers. I got Rox Pivoting Risers because I found that I wanted the bars 1" forward as well as up. Stock cables can go to 2".
    4: I agree, I have two 30 oz. aluminum bottles....carry one all the time and two if I think I need them both....this will give me 150 to 160 miles between gas stations, more than enough for my old butt. 90 miles to reserve sounds about right...I've seen a low of 55 mpg WOT on the 4 lane and a high of 105 puttering around at 25-35 mph. It will improve a bit by 1,000 miles.

    6: There are alternative seat fasteners discussed here many times.

    If you do enough dirt riding, you will end up changing out the front tire.
    ejfranz, Ken and cowboyjeff like this.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member cowboyjeff's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    West Jordan, Utah
    I too share most those same thoughts on my Tw's, but I would not part with them for any amount, not even if a feller offered me his least buckingest Mule.
    Mel, Jon62602, Ken and 1 others like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Northville, MI
    I am perfectly happy with most of the TWs shortcomings and you hit on most of them. (Boy would I love a 6th gear and 2 hp though, I would pay $500 more for both). Bar risers help, or ATV bars are flatter and taller. I like the ROX adjustable, jest seemed like the most expenve farkle I have should not be the bar risers. Front tire- you will get face planted or washed out and it will suprise you, it has no "feel" between working and not. I don't worry about fuel, here in the lower half of MI it is rare you are more than 15-20 miles from a fill up and I always look to stop when I know a station is near by. I think Fred called is a crash switch, which is a perfect description. Enjoy your new toy!
    cowboyjeff and Ken like this.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    San Diego
    Nice report. Protaper has ATV bars with different bends and rises. Check it out. There is a chart with the different configs of the bars they offer. One of my bikes has the ATV SE high bar which is what a lot of people get. I like it but the bend is like stock. The other bike has a pro taper SE ATV KX high which has less rise and flater bend with risers for simular height but flatter bend. It's on my wifes bike she wants me to change it to the ATV high like mine has. After looking at them if you think it might work for you let me know. This might be a good time for me to change hers. Maybe we can work something out.

    Here is that chart.


    Last edited by Tweaker; 05-19-2017 at 11:38 PM.
    Mattwings, cowboyjeff, Ken and 1 others like this.
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    Twin 2014 TW200's made side by side on the assembly line, Moose rear racks, Protaper ATV high bars, DG oval pipes, kick starters, rejetted carbs, 130 main jets, 2 -3 -.020 shims on the needles and @ 2 1/2 turns on the pilot screw, #34 pilot jets, Acerbis hand guards, Shinko 241 front tires, modified Krator foot pegs, 14-55t sprockets, Ricochet skid plates and 90 degree fuel filters.

  8. #7
    Member Roseburg's Avatar
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    May 2017
    Well my experience was that the bike really loosened up around the 75 mile mark. And by that I mean it revved easier and reached 60 mph quicker and more smoothly.
    Check your oil level. As delivered from the dealer mine was overfull....made it hard to start and not want to rev out and die between gears when upshifting. Once I drained the oil a bit it started way easier and revved better.
    Ken, Tweaker, Padilen and 1 others like this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member LuvNot's Avatar
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    May 2015
    Hampton, VA
    Before buying "fat bars" try using something like "Grip Puppies".
    Another super cheap alternative is to wrap the handle in pipe insulation and then use grip wrap for sports gear to get a perfect fit. I've used the foam and wrap on my scooter grips with great success.

    Note, if you use the pipe wrap, there are 2 kinds: the pool noodle kind and the squishy rubber mat kind. I prefer the squishy kind, but your hands may appreciate the pool noodle. Both are cheap, so easy to play with. One advantage of the pool noodle kind, though, is the ability to sand them down to customize the shape and fit your hand better. Just remember when you wrap with tape you will be compressing the shape a little so shape it a little bit larger than you think you need, wrap, and repeat until satisfied.
    Ken likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Fast Eddie B's Avatar
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    May 2017
    Mineral Bluff, GA
    Thanks to all for the feedback, and sorry for the delay responding. In order...

    Purple...Thanks for the feedback, and swapping the front tire is on my to-do list. I'll watch the load on the rear rack and will consider a rack.

    RockyTFS...Thanks for the tire pressure suggestions. I think the Rox Pivoting Risers are on my June upgrade list. The ability to get a little height and reach at the same time is appealing. For now, I rotated to bars forward as far as I could before grip angle became objectionable.

    cowboyjeff...I share your enthusiasm!

    Mattwings...Thanks for the advice.

    Tweaker...Can you send me a photo of the bars you may be willing to part with, and maybe how they compare with the stock bars?

    Roseburg...My oil level appears to be spot on. Like I said, my bike seemed to loosen up after my first ride home.

    LuvNot...I wanted flatter bars, not fatter bars! Incidentally, I used bicycle handlebar wrap once to fatten up the grips on my K1200RS:

    In summary, my June farkle list will probably include the aforementioned bar risers, a tank bag and some fuel bottles. I may get a larger hydration backpack to replace my CamelBack "M.U.L.E.", both for running errands and maybe carrying a couple fuel bottles for longer trail rides.

    Later, consider wider footpegs, a rear rack, a better skidplate, handguards and that new front tire.

    Just want to pace myself!
    admiral, cowboyjeff and Ken like this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Hailey, ID
    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B View Post
    ....Just want to pace myself!
    Take ten deep breaths, then exhale slowly: Ooooooooooommmmmmmm.
    Ken and Xracer like this.
    2018 TW200
    2014 BMW R1200GS LC

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