Looking for a low speed trail bike, Sold on the TW
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  1. #1
    Junior Member t556's Avatar
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    OK, I've been wanting to get into a bike for riding trails, mainly low speed stuff. Growing up I drove a honda 110 around the farm and all over the hills of my small farming town and really loved the easy ride and ability to go over crazy terrain without fear. I used to ride it right through areas with 4 foot tall sage brush and I could rarely stop the thing (And if I did it was easy to free up). I'm looking for that same capability in a more modern platform that is also road legal. The TW-200 seems like the PERFECT fit.



    So I'm wondering, is there another platform that would possibly be a better option for this (stock or with simple modification)? What are the pro's and con's to the TW200 vs a more traditional dual purpose like the XT250, CRF230L, or CRF250L. How would the TW200 compare to one of the other motorcycles with a larger rear sprocket for more low speed power?





    I realize none of the other options will have the large rear tire. Is it possible to add a larger rear tire to these bikes (aside from custom frame or swing arm modification).



    Thanks! I look forward to hearing what you have to say!



    Clay



    BTW, Not interested in a rokon, to limited in use.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    The TW has a longer output shaft, an outter support bearing and a dogleg in the left side of the frame for chain clearance. Swapping the rear tire into something else is in the major project category..



    If you truly want a low speed trail bike the TW delivers in spades. More conventional dualsports need to be ridden faster over the same terrain, but have the edge in terms of suspension travel and high speed handling.



    You pays yer munny and makes yer choices.



    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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  3. #3
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    Lizrdbrth is correct. If you want to go fast over rough terrain, the TW is not your bike. On the other hand, the bikes you mentioned are all taller and need to go faster to be stable.



    Until recently I owned a CRF230. It's not nearly as good as the TW if the terrain is really rough. I gave it to my grandson.



    Surprisingly, Motorcycle Consumer News ran a test of the TW in 2009 and compared it to the XT250 and the street legal version of the CRF. In the 1/4 mile the TW was almost as fast as the XT250 and slightly faster than the CRF230. They are not without power. It is just the gearing which makes highway speeds difficult.



    The previous owner of my bike hated the high rpm of the stock TW on the highway. Stock gearing is 14X50. He changed it to 15X47. I took it through some gnarly stuff at 2000 feet and it pulled everything fine. I have not had it to 8000 feet yet. We will see. With this gearing, 60+mph is tolerable.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Phantom99's Avatar
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    This little gully was my test area. The TW crawled up it, no problem.




  6. #5
    Member TundraManDan's Avatar
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    Hi,



    The TW is heavier than your old 110 Honda but the low seat height is a confidence builder. Before I retired they bought two WR250 Yamaha's for work. They were great "go fast" bikes but terrible when the going got real rough and slow even when geared down some - no power on the low end and when they died they would almost throw you off - really a silly choice for trail work. But, the suspension was very smooth on the easier trails. I really think my monster XR650L would have done better than the WRs in the rough spots even though heavier due to the huge amount of torque. The TW is very smooth and powerful on the low end and with the smaller carb. allowing you to pick your way slowly and is much better in the really tight spots than the 650. And the big bonus is that it is a dual purpose bike so you can run down the highway sections between the trails. 200cc is plenty for the trails. There are some older bikes that are better off road such as a Reflex, but the problem with those older trials bikes will be parts on down the road and they are not comfortable for long rides. The great thing about the TW is that it has been made since 1987 and is still made in 2012. I have not owned one long but like what I have learned about it so far.



    T-Dan

  7. #6
    Senior Member evan's Avatar
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    yep, the tw sounds like what your looking for. I have the 14/47 gearing and I've climbed some pretty steep trails and gone over some gnarly rocky trails. stock engine shield is worthless so I have a better one on order so can protect the engine better. That big fat tire rear tire works very well in pretty much anything. I just rode "moonrocks" in nevada and was impressed on how well it worked on the sandy trails. Also had it up to 8,000 feet at another place near Reno and it ran like a champ.
    Mike Carter. Woodland, California (NorCal). '89 Tw200 (Black Widow Edition). Blood red Jimbo shield, Cycleracks, Nuvi 500 GPS, Kolpin fuel pack jr., D shield bark busters, 55t rear sprocket, Golden boy front tire, Ricochet shield.

  8. #7
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Tdub has carried me all over Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. Ideal desert cruiser bike. There is no better combination of offroad low speed ease and highway legality anywhere close to the price. Not by a long shot. When I retire to Terlingua I'll still be riding Tdub, or a replacement TW. This, from someone with tens of thousands of desert miles from Zacatecas MX to Bend OR and back south to San Jose de Cabo MX, on bikes from 100 to 750cc.



    The TW engine has a 10250rpm redline. The stock 14/50 sprockets are good for a bit over 80mph at redline. The TW engine makes 12+hp between 7000 and 9000rpm. When you wind one up to 55mph in 4th, you are turning 9000rpm. Shift to 5th, and the engine is turning 7000rpm, exactly at peak torque.



    Due to its mild state of tune, it will quit pulling long before the engine is damaged. There really is no reason to run a taller sprocket ratio, and if you do, you'll be lugging the engine in the slow stuff. Other members of the same engine family have been built to power levels well over that of a stock TW, and they still were not easily grenaded. There are good reasons to run a taller sprocket ratio, but gaining top speed isn't one of them--it just isn't going to make much difference.



    As for reducing vibration, try a good set of gel grips amd aluminum bars with a brace and brush guards. If you'll be offroad a lot, you'll want brush guards to protect the levers, and switching to taller bars makes a dramatic difference in comfort and control when standing on the pegs.



    If the stock 1st gear is too tall for you, switch to a 15/54 sprocket set for road (close to stock ratio) and a 13/57 for dirt. Both will take the same length chain and be within one notch on the adjustment. Even with a 13/57 sprocket set, redline in 5th is 65mph, and cruising at 50mph would be comfy for the engine, just about dead on peak horsepower for good throttle response. Geared this low, a TW will climb anything upon which it can find traction and not go over backwards.



    The front tire is an antiquated design. The Kenda K760 in 120/90-18 is AWESOME offroad, and DOT legal. We know how those LEOs in the desert are. The handling takes some getting used to, but the tire is undieingly faithful when it comes to ultimate traction in the dirt. Tdub has never washed the front while wearing a K760. Ever. Use RideOn.




  9. #8
    Senior Member operose's Avatar
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    Nope can't convince you to buy another bike because it sounds like TW200 would be perfect.



    If you can walk there, you can ride a TW there. I have been exploring tons of abandoned logging trails, truck trails, atv trails, etc etc with trees down all over the place, nasty mudholes, and all manners of other obstacles. With the TW I can just pick and choose my way around them all should the need/want arise.



    Along with the ability to jump on the road and make it home or to the next trail, it cannot be beaten. You mentioned a rokon; think of a TW as a compromise between a rokon and a motorcycle, I guess Give up some offroad capability for onroad capability and vice versa.



    Maybe see if a dealer near you has one you can test ride to see if you like it though?
    ITCB

  10. #9
    Senior Member mhomadness's Avatar
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    If you like low & slow, (I used to have a 110 too) then you can't beat TW200. I could go on all day about price point, needless! It's the most bang for the buck, & you can do a whole array of mod's on a shoe string! The engine design is about bullet prof, and if you should ever run into a problem, you can't find a better support forum for any motorcycle than this one, period! Take qwertys advice on the front tire, I just switched to a Kenda K270, and now that I'm getting used to it I like it a lot more! (Just put it on a week ago.)



    If you want to recapture those days of leisurely cruising 'round the back 40, plus have the ability to go elsewhere & an occasional adventure ride, this bike is for you. It will take you on big adventures too, as you have read on this forum. Nuf said. m.

  11. #10
    Senior Member tw200sgp's Avatar
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    I like the TW200 and I used to have a 110. Tonight I'm flying out of Singapore for a job - I'll park my TW200 at the airport for $1.30 a day 5 minutes from the front door and the cages will be paying about $25 a day. There's always a reason to like the TW!

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