The TW as Farm Machine and Fire Engine
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    Lion's River, South Africa
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    As I have mentioned elsewhere my TW did 17 years and 22 000 of service on a state farm school and experimental station before I picked it up on a government vehicle auction. It has been in my service for a couple of years. On Saturday it was in full swing riding up and down to the club and taking the daughter shopping. In the afternoon we had a wild fire come through the valley/ It jumped the road and I shot down to bring the horses up and returned on the bike with a backpack sprayer. The TW became a fire engine and joined the many tractors and trucks, as well as a couple of water bomber planes that had come to fight the fire.



    My misses then saw smoke up in the field where I had put the horses. I could not believe that the fire had jumped 500 meters up the hill and shot up and in my haste did not see the ditch in the field until it was too late and the TW and I went ass over tit. We got the fire out with the help of planes and tractors. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of the action but thought you should know that the TDub makes a fine fire engine that can get to the fire quickly if the fireman keeps his eyes on the ground and does not race! The bike is none the worse but I have a bruised shoulder that required quite a bit of beer to ease the pain.



    There are a couple of others in my valley of which I have taken pics, some with a Zulu farm worker. Yamaha advertises them as a two wheel farm jeep here. This is what a TW worker looks like as opposed to a weekend warrior. This guy uses a helmet in the morning when it is cold but none of the others do on the farms. When I fell I realised the folly of not wearing a helmet but luckily fell in grass.



    Also felt the weakness of the stock front tire when doing 60 km/h on a gravel corner on Saturday and it slipped out a bit. I was wearing a helmet but still had a big fright.













  2. #2
    Member ridgeline's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    great story glad you and the tdub are fine great pictures of the vally i now what you mean about the front wheel i have dropped my tdub acouple of times because of the front wheel luckly no damage cheers

  3. #3
    Senior Member TdubOhio's Avatar
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    Great story and photos of the TW at work , thanks much.



    Generally, I recommend repeated doses of beer, several each evening as needed, in order to treat bruising.

    This sounds serious enough, though, that I'm afraid you may require long term medication.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member flingwing1969's Avatar
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    Great story, thanks. We had a big fire a few years ago up here - burned many homes. The fire got to within about 1/4 mile of my house. After the fire, I found partly burned pieces of trees laying around the property that were larger than softballs and a charred paperback copy of War and Peace - not a lightweight book - on my deck. The updraft forces in a large fire certainly can carry burning embers a long way and spread the fire beyond the fire line.



    The T-Dub makes a great ranch/farm bike for sure - carries me everywhere on my mountain property and the only letdown is that it is exclusively electric start out of the box - this will be solved for me when my kick start kit arrives today.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Gerry's Avatar
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    It's amazing what many of us have in common. I too have been afflicted with the 'dropsies' and had been put on Beer Therapy a couple of years ago . Seems once again, fire has become an issue for a few of us. Like anything that seems to quickly move out of our control and has the potential to take all that we have, it is scary stuff.



    I am continually surprised at how 'far-away' places can look like 'just down the street'. Guess, somehow I expected all of South Africa to look very different than any part of northern California. Your pictures looked like they were taken 35 miles West of me.



    Glad you are OK. Take care and watch that front tire, it can 'turn' and bite you in the buttocks . Gerry
    Take care my Friend.........

  7. #6
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    During fires they tend to seal off most of the main arteries in or out of my area. Often the TW and a good knowlege of the various trails and dirt roads is the only way to check on the properties of friends and relatives who may be stuck outside the area, release their penned up livestock or do whatever may be required. Heck, even if we're not directly affected by the fire sometimes a dirtbike and back roads are the only way to function when the main roads are sealed off.



    It's a great SHTF vehicle.



    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.

    Hidden Content

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  8. #7
    Senior Member Malkop's Avatar
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    Luckily the fire originated from wealthy neighbours whose insurance will pick up all the tabs and feel guilt about my damaged fences. It's funny here at the end of winter a couple of weeks back we had deep snow and now this with the warm winds bringing the change of season. I guess also its a reminder to do maintenance on the TW. I have a new claw tread front tire to fit sitting in the shed for months. I also know the battery water needs topping up since the battery is weak and it let me down. Luckily mine has a kicker but with 25kg on your back a push of the thumb would have been more convenient. Still the Dub's low slung centre of gravity makes it great to ride with heavy backpack but falling off with that load is not fun. On the farms it is the preferred mode for moving irrigation pipes since it has the wide tyre for soft going but unlike a quad a single track for going between rows of crops. Although this was not Yamaha's design purpose since they aimed it at the leisure market at first.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Trikstr's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Glad to hear your OK.

    I'm on the local volunteer fire department and have used my TW to ride firelines, direct bulldozers, and it has come in handy for getting up the hills to single tree fires for GPS coordinates for the support crews. Not to mention by riding it all over give me good knowledge of the roads in the area. We just had a large fire a couple of months ago. 108,000+ acres. Now we're waiting for the flash floods to start.
    '99 TW,Ricochet skid plate, Seat Concepts, Jimbo shield, 2" extended swingarm w/Maxxis Bighorn, 5.10 Kenda K270, Stealth exhuast, YZ80 hybrid front forks w/HyperPro proressive springs, ProCycle high mount front fender, ProCycle wide foot pegs, TT-R stainless head pipe, Lizrdbrth cooler, D-Flex hand guards, XT350 gas tank.

    2002 Honda Spirit Shadow VT750

    1987 BW350

    '78 Honda XL100

  10. #9
    Senior Member losttourist's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this story and pics.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Mad Mac's Avatar
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    Here is to a quick recovery.

    I hope all the beer drinkers on this forum will join me tonight

    in knocking back a couple of brews on your behalf.

    You will either feel better in the morning or have one whale of a hangover.



    Do you use your backpack sprayer to spray weeds from your TW?

    I've considered doing that here. It's a target rich environment.
    2001 TW200 adopted January 2012. 2001 Moto Guzzi California EV acquired June 2012. Ex-rides: Hidden Content , Hidden Content that I rode 67,000 miles in six years and had many Hidden Content , 1979 Yamaha RD400F Daytona Special, Yamaha XT 500, 1969 Yamaha DT 175 Enduro purchased new that started it all and a Honda 90 and 110 ATV, an Indian Mini Buffalo (a 50cc Italjet) and a couple of other dirt bikes.

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