6th Gear & The Joy of Shifting.....
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Thread: 6th Gear & The Joy of Shifting.....

  1. #1
    Junior Member Zooming Jim's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
    Metropolitan Indianapolis

    6th Gear & The Joy of Shifting.....

    I ride my TW mostly on the road, I'll take it off road when the situation permits. I treat it a lot like a Jeep or 4x4 Truck.

    Occasionally I wish the TW had a 6th gear. Going over 55 mph in 5th gear can feel a little rattly--I think this is due to the high RPMs, more than the high speed, but I could be wrong. I think of those few times I could have used a 6th gear to get the bike to 65--70 mphs and stay at that speed; everything running smoothly--the engine at a moderate RPM.

    Do you think the high vibrations are due to the RPMs alone: The High Speed alone: or a combination?

    ** Something Else to Consider:

    I recently talked to another biker who rides a Ninja 650, and he told me that riding a bike of that size, with the gear ratios set for racing speeds, wasn't much fun in city traffic.

    I asked him why, as his bike can accelerate quickly, etc..., and he told me that it had to do with shifting.

    The way bikes like that are geared, he rarely gets above 2nd gear in city driving, and half the fun of riding is shifting, down-shifting, etc.... He said 1st gear gets him to ~35, 2nd gear, up to 50 mph. Unless he's on a state hwy or the interstate, 4th, 5th and 6th gear are rarely used.

    Riding a bike like the TW, one is going through ALL THE GEARS, even going just 35--45 mph (common city driving speeds).

    Maybe its something I've always taken for granted, but it really IS FUN clunking through all 5 gears AND choosing the right gear to be in after decelerating for a turn, or whatever. If I had bought a larger bike (like I thought about doing), I might be missing out on all the clutching & shifting action I get with the TW.

    Imagine spending most of your time in 2nd gear and using ONLY the throttle to control your speed. Doesn't seem like it would be as much fun.

    For those of you who own(ed) several types & sizes of bikes, do you agree with this, or is there something else I'm not considering (like pulling 8-Gs when the light turns GREEN!)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Ynys Môn
    I have two bikes – a TW200, and a TW225 – both have 5 gears

    One of the main differences with the TW225 is that you don’t have be in “exactly” the right gear for uphill bends etc, the torque will take you through

    Whereas with the TW200 - you snooze, you loose ……

    I’ve spent most of my life on two wheels, and being in the correct gear is second nature to me - but then, so is adapting to the bike I’m on.

    Sure – in the rough, I like the idea of close gears – but when I’m cruisin’, torque is king ……..
    (Warning - Forum may contain nuts) ...... Hidden Content

    TW200 - 1998 - Japanese import - 7000 miles on the clock - TW225 Special Edition 2007
    - Hidden Content

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Turtle Wrangling the Sierras
    Occasionally I wish the TW had a 6th gear” -You and me too, Bro! You’re not the first, nor will be the last, to have pointed that out.
    Ride more, post more and go have fun with some of those killer Gs.
    Last edited by Fred; 07-29-2017 at 01:58 PM.
    Tweaker likes this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

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  5. #4
    Senior Member ronnydog's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Poway CA.
    The conversion to a 6 speed trans could be done without the top end mods- you could certainly have a 200cc 6 speed. Study the threads hard- Qwerty posts some great gearing info in RD's thread.

    How-some-ever, it's not a matter of removing the side covers to get at the transmission. You must dismantle the entire motor, pull top end, split cases. For clarification's sake, the modification is to the TW output shaft, not a TTR shaft. (I'm using the term "output shaft" instead of "countershaft") You'll then need the entire transmission including the shift barrel & related parts out of either an XT225 or a TTR225. The TTR230 didn't have the wide range 6.

    A question, for clarification's sake: Does your TW200 slow down on hills at highway speeds? Mine most certainly did. A long highway grade would slow the bike down below safe traffic speeds- 40 mph or so on a really bad one. Eventually you downshifted, but the engine was so wound out you didn't speed up much. That means it won't have enough power for 6th gear to make much difference. You could tinker with final (chain drive) gearing and improve that a little bit.

    The 230 6 in Orbit is very happy at 60 mph and has the power to pull it, even with the Duro tire, up quite a grade. So great to be doing 50 mph in 5th gear- and have another gear to go. The bike will go 65...70, not really. That's with 14/50 gearing. I'm considering 14/49, a kind of half step, but this is pretty ideal. A lighter weight rider (I'm 200 lbs) or less gear (usually 20- 50 lbs) will increase performance.

    There are a few ways to get the engine mods:
    1) get a TW output shaft (perhaps from your present engine) and have someone machine it. Then get an entire 6 speed trani from one of the above bikes and assemble it into your good TW case. Result is a TW200 6 speed, may or may not be worth the effort.

    2) get a TW output shaft and machine it. Get an entire XT or TTR225 engine, dismantle it completely and install the shaft. Now you have a TW225. This comes with a couple other nice things such as a much better 6 disc clutch. This is the best option we have. If the XT/TTR engine is in good running condition, it's the least amount of work.

    3) go to Japan and somehow wangle a factory TW225 engine.

    No easy way out.

    Fred likes this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member methamphetasaur's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    6th gear would definitely be pointless without modifications to increase power.

    I had 2 bikes [Buell Lightning and CBR 600] that would do the 80 mph speed limit in second gear. The 1000+ cc sportbikes will do that in first. Personally I would get up to whatever speed I would be travelling at and then shift up to fourth, or fifth if the speed wasn't too low. It makes for better fuel mileage that way but you have to downshift immediately if you need to accelerate in any way. Keeping the revs down on that Buell was ideal anyway because it was extremely loud.
    ejfranz likes this.

  7. #6
    Junior Member nerdrock's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Western NY
    A quote i've heard : "It's more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than to ride a fast bike slow". This holds true for me at least in city riding. Once the road calls for 45+ MPH, I find myself accidentally searching for nonexistant 6th ALL the time.

    Feeling like you're thrashing the TW just to keep up with traffic is satisfying in town.
    My 1125r gives you two options at 30-35 mph in the city... 1) make too much noise in first gear, or 2) have it buck and surge at low RPM in 2nd gear.
    My softail is perfect in town. less fun than the TW, but 3rd gear at 30-35 is smooth as butter.
    2004 Yamaha TW200 / 2007 HD Softail FXST / 2009 Buell 1125r

  8. #7
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    Jan 2017
    Southern Nevada
    My 2012 Triumph Bonneville 865cc came with a 5 speed.
    I was constantly trying to shift to a non-existent 6th gear.
    However, when about a year old and 7,000 miles, I installed a new rear tire, which was taller.
    So tall, that the tire would not spin in the center stand.
    I did not like its affect on acceleration.

    6th speed on a TW would be beneficial, but not pulling a grade.

    My 2016 Moto Guzzi 744cc, has 6 speeds.
    It will do 110 MPH (indicated) at 6800 RPM in 6th gear, but acceleration is much better in 5th, even at 80 MPH.

    Just my 2 cents.

    My TW exploring was on rough rocky roads, not trails and I found factory gearing to be fine...for me.
    Yes, a 6th gear at speeds above ~ 55 MPH on the level would be beneficial, but not if pulling a grade.
    Factory gearing would allow 55 MPH up a 6+% grade at 7,000 to 8,000 feet altitude with a stock carb (other than pilot jet adjustment).
    Last edited by SportsterDoc; 08-16-2017 at 05:36 PM.
    2014 Honda CB1100
    2018 Yamaha XT250
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    2017 Yamaha TW200
    2012 Triumph Bonneville
    2002 H-D Sportster 1200 Sport
    2003 H-D Sportster 883
    1976 Honda CB750F
    1975 Honda CB360
    1970 Yamaha CT1
    1972 Yamaha CT2
    1972 Yamaha AT2/CT2
    1970 Honda SL350
    1970 Honda CL350
    1967 Honda CL160
    1967 Honda CB160
    1962 Honda CA110

  9. #8
    Junior Member Freon12's Avatar
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    Jul 2017
    I've got a 2006 Yamaha XT225 , it's got 6 gears. I do miss that 6th when I'm on the TW200 but it's still a great bike none the less.

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