Push-Starting the TW 200
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Thread: Push-Starting the TW 200

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

    Push-Starting the TW 200

    I'm sure this topic has been discussed several times on this forum.

    In fact, I was having trouble pop-starting my TW today (even though its been on the Battery Tender all winter long).

    Only after referring to this forum did I learn that its best to push start the TW in 3rd gear (not 1st, as I was trying). It made sense to me that popping in 1st gear should turn the engine over more times than it would in 2nd or 3rd gear; but 1st gear only lead to a lot of skidding.

    It took 2, maybe 3 attempts to get her started using 3rd gear. Awesome advice--thanks! I don't understand the logic or mechanics of why 3rd gear is better to use than 1st, but I am a believer now. Is there a quick explanation for this? Having a kick-starter installed is beginning to make a lot of sense. I'll check out those topics next.

    Anyone else have problems with their Battery Tenders? I know they don't really charge a depleted battery, but I was told if you have a fully-charged battery, it will keep it happy--long time. Any suggestions to get the best results from these?

    Thanks--we all appreciate helpful tips!
    You don't need a therapist if you own a motorcycle--any kind of motorcycle!

    --- Dan Aykroyd

  2. #2
    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    norcal nutjob
    fwiw i've always used 2nd
    RkyMtnTW and Darth like this.
    1994 TW226- 6spd. 10w-40 synthetic, XTHidden Content , XT225 stainless header, +2" Joemama swingarm, lizrd cooler, +20% fork springs, +25% rear spring, 2001 speedo w/ trip odo, pro taper atv bars, bark busters, shinko 241 front tire, front fender w/ mr bracket bracket, Hidden Content , o-ring chain, ricochet skid plate, Hidden Content , XT225 rear brake cam lever, folding-tip shifter, cycle rack, kolpin 1.5 aux tank & 1450 pelican case. Hidden Content or Hidden Content

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Wet-ern Washington

    -As you said, 1st gear made for skidding. A higher gear provides less resistance so the tire can get grip and actually turn over the motor. The electric start doesn't turn over the motor very quickly.

    -What battery tender are you using? For such a small battery, I've found that using the Jr. model is most appropriate at a charge output of 750mA. Other chargers that put out over an amp can actually be detrimental in my experience.

    -I also find that when storing a bike for several months, like the winter season, that using the BT jr. to charge the battery fully and then removing it and simply keeping it somewhere inside where the temperatures are stable works better than just leaving it plugged in.

    -Finally, if your battery got that run down flat, it might be a goner. If it doesn't seem to hold a charge well after you charge it back up fully, you may want to look at replacing it. I'm on year 4 with a sub-$30 sealed agm from ebay, and I've never had it on a tender.

    That's my 2 cents. Good luck.
    Allanb and Darth like this.
    - Leisure Time Larry -
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  5. #4
    Senior Member stagewex's Avatar
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    Jun 2016
    New Rochelle, New York
    No problems with Battery Tenders. I have five (5) of them running right now for all 5 bikes. Actually 6 if you include my generator.
    "If" I was to jump-start the TW (I never have had to) it would be in 2nd gear. You mention your bike has been on a Tender all Winter... you have some other problem. Maybe fuel/carb/bad contacts/etc... lots of stuff after a Winter rest and probably nothing major.

    Start with checking your battery for voltage. BT maintains, doesn't fix other issues.
    When you do get it started Seafoam is your friend so go for a good ride and get it circulating throughout your system.

    Another good reason to have a kick-starter BTW.
    Last edited by stagewex; 03-23-2019 at 09:27 AM.
    Darth likes this.
    2008 Vespa 150"S" (Elec & Kick Start)
    2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
    2006 Yamaha TW200 (Elec & Kick Start)
    1995 BMW K75 (Elec Start)
    1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only)
    1986 Yamaha BW200ES (Elec & Kick Start)
    1969 BMW r60/2, US Model (Kick Start Only)

  6. #5
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Hailey, ID
    I've been using a Battery Tender Jr. for years, never had a problem. It's true that if you deplete these little batteries (or any battery, for that matter) down to near zero you have killed it. It might take a charge and rise from the dead like a zombie, but it's still a zombie and will turn on you at the slightest provocation, usually when you are at the bottom of a hill and leave the headlight on for two minutes.

    Like Larry, I put on the BT jr. once a month or so for a few hours in the winter, not continuously.
    Darth likes this.
    2018 TW200
    2014 BMW R1200GS LC

  7. #6
    Senior Member EatElk's Avatar
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    Sep 2018
    Boise, Idaho
    Kick starter...good idea Stagewex...I bought the last kit Fred had and I hear they are hard to locate so grab one if/when you can Jim!
    Donzo likes this.

  8. #7
    Senior Member plumbstraight's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    Montesano, Washington
    At times I have had to push start mine too. I push down that lever about the length of my forearm on the right side. Works everytime. Too bad Yamaha doesn't put them back on as stock.
    Willys714 and admiral like this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Allanb's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    3rd or 4th works best. Had to push start mine a lot last year on the Oregon ride. Electric start quit on second day. Turned out to be loose wire to my stock battery connection. Kick starter is on my list too. Have stopped down in some holes where pushing won't have been much of an option
    RallyX likes this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Turtle Wrangling the Sierras
    A word of caution about leaving equipment hooked up to any of the extensive Battery Tender line of products for extended periods of time:
    Local Fire Marshall's investigative team said "Battery Tender" trickle chargers left on a pair of ATVs triggered a fire that consumed my neighbor's garage, both ATVs and a nice Harley. Fortunately it was a detached garage or whole house may have been involved with significantly greater loss.
    Darth likes this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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  11. #10
    Senior Member SHAG's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    Bradford, Pa
    I think that if you use a AGM tender on a Lead Acid battery long term ( months), it will boil it dry!

    Try kick starting a TW without a kicker like this. Lay the bike on shifter side in 2nd or 3rd gear depending on how long your legs are and with the handlebars turned to the right. Velcro or rubber band the clutch lever to the grip. Lay on the ground with your right hand holding the front wheel and your left hand on the throttle and you facing the underneath of your baby. Make sure the key is on, handlebar switch is on run and the kickstand is up !! Then with a good riding boot on your left foot, kick the rear wheel hard towards the license plate and it will start. Get up and run around quickly and pick up the bike. Sit on the bike then take the clutch strap off the lever. Do a wheelie !!
    joeband and howardgene63 like this.
    Go like hell, You'll get there quicker!

    2005 BMWR12GS Rock Red 106k miles
    2013 TW200 - 8k- miles
    2018 X-MAX - 6k- miles

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