how does the tw200 fare as a commuter
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Thread: how does the tw200 fare as a commuter

  1. #1
    Junior Member 44532's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    I'm considering buying the TW200 very soon but unfortunately I'm going to be mostly using it for driving to school 18 miles away. How does it handle with long commutes? From reading about the tw200's highway capabilities I've decided i would take side roads rather than going on the highway is this a smart decision or can the tw200 handle 14 miles on the highway a day?

    Also, is it significantly better to buy a new TW200 over a used one? Used ones seem to go for 2500$ while the new ones are twice that amount.

  2. #2
    Senior Member assquatch20's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    For whether or not it's okay to run it fast, I advise you to use the search function. In short, it should be fine at 55 for awhile.

    For new or used, depends on the bike. Pre 2001 has a different carb, drum front brake, and a kickstart/electric start. 2001 and newer get a disc brake, different carb, and lose the kickstart (however you can put one on).

    For $2500 you should be able to find a TW less than 10 years old in good shape, in most places. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bullspit's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
    Southern Michigan
    I would run my TW 18 miles on a highway at 55 without a second thought. I don't do the Interstate though. I can't go fast enough on my TW to feel like I'm not going to be run down by a Yugo!

    Do check your oil frequently as it is likely that oil consumption will increase with longer high RPM runs, although this isn't universal.

    I would buy used if I could find one. Right now seems to be a good time for finding used TW's for decent prices. When the weather gets better they seem to become more rare!

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  5. #4
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I guess the answer to your question really depends on the kind of commute you have.

    I personally don't really like riding my TW where there's a lot of traffic. I commuted on mine for about three months or so, but ever since I bought a KLR I pretty much always use that to commute with (and I don't even like my KLR). My commute is entirely on 35-45 mph surface streets, so top speed certainly isn't an issue, it's just that the TW doesn't accelerate OR stop particularly quickly for a motorcycle. Sometimes keeping from getting hit by an oblivious motorist requires stopping on a dime, or more often just getting up and out of the way in a hurry.

    The TW is fine as a commuter really, it's just that you have to ride very conservatively and extremely defensively. Although, I suppose this approach is probably best on any motorcycle.

    Another issue I've had is that people see you riding your TW and they just think "MOTORCYCLE", meaning that they expect you to be tearing up the streets like a sportbike. That misconception wouldn't really matter, but when someone in a big hurry gets behind you at a stoplight thinking that you're gonna be taking off like lightning they tend to express their disappointment in your acceleration with lots of honking and tailgating. A woman in a Prius gave me the finger as she blew past me after making the above mistake while I was still breaking in the engine.

    If you live in a dense urban area, I think the TW makes a lot of sense as a commuter (think hollow/japanese style mods). Nobody's going anywhere fast on city streets, so 196cc is more than enough to get around.

    If you want a street legal trail bike that can tackle anything off-road and the odd run to the hardware or grocery store... TW all the way!

    If you're looking for a daily commuter bike that's pavement-only, there are a lot of other great options out there. Used SV650 and EX500 bikes have come down to a very appealing price point, if you're looking for used commuter bikes you'll likely be happier with something more street oriented than the Trailway 200.
    Smitty Blackstone likes this.
    2011 TW200 - Sold - after 9700 miles and 1,000,000 smiles. So long Tee Dub!
    2012 KLR650
    - Sold
    2013 Tiger Explorer XC
    2014 CB500X - RRP L3

  6. #5
    Senior Member peter's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
    I would recommend a TW as a commuter but would stay away from Interstates....not that we have them here. I bought a new 2010 about 19 months ago and last week a used 2009 with 2,500 miles for $2,800. I would say get a used but try to stay away from 2006 & 2007 models. They are known for base gasket leaks. I think even a 2004 with less than 5,000 miles will serve you well. Just check the the oil more often if you run a lot of full throttle.

    good luck hunting for your TW.
    Smitty Blackstone likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member niqhowie's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    New Mexico
    I commute back and forth to my fiances parents 16 miles about everyday going 55/60. Your weight plays a big role too! Personally I love the scenic view while riding rather than hauling butt staring straight ahead! Also remember! The MPG'S are very sexy on these lil monsters!!! I get 70 on average and I weigh 170 and stand at 5'6! Haha. These bikes are built for dependability! If its just to cruise around you will ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!
    Smitty Blackstone likes this.
    "Peace be the journey"

    MY BIKE BUILD- Hidden Content

    -2012 tw200

  8. #7
    Senior Member immgunn's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    I commute regularly 26 miles roundtrip, 16 of which is on Business 80, a very busy 65 mph freeway through the Metro Sacramento, CA area, and the TW performs great! I have highway gears which tops me out at about 70 (as long as there's no headwind or hills). Traffic's light in the morning so I cruise around 60. Traffic is a mess in the evening so I cruise around 10 mph splitting lanes (legal in CA). Check oil frequently.

    As far as new VS used. I recommend buying used.

    See ya'

    Smitty Blackstone likes this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Arroyo Grande, Ca
    The TW is a great commuter. I have much more roadworthy bikes (like my BMW R1200RT) but have much more fun on short runs with my TW.

    You do need to stay on roads with that 55mph posted limit though. Top speed of 60-65 means it's not safe where the speed limit exceeds 55.

    The TW excelles at lane splitting, far better than my BMWs and gets great economy. The TW also has excellant stability and manuverability.

    I ride mine to work at least once a week, a trip of about 40 miles, about half of which is at 55-60 (Read WFO for extended periods) And then I'll ride my TW offroad for work (I'm a farm mechanic)

    No troubles. I do take care of my units though.

    I'd advise a MSF course and invest in some good ATGATT gear. And dang it, health insurence as shit does happen..

    I would further advise to get time offroad if at all possable, invaluable skills to be gained there directly applicable to the street.

    if your not real experienced with maintaining your own bike, a new unit will serve you better. The TW has great resale so don't sweat the big price

    and you'll gain safety and peace of mind. Issues like poor maintainance on a used unit can hurt you riding with cars at 55 mph, eg bad steering head bearings can cause a wobble and

    loss of control, worn brakes, seized engines, breaking chains etc. In all likelyhood, you get "turned on" and will wish a larger bike down the road anyway, but keep the TW for play.

    Low horsepower will require you to be a better rider and have sharp skills. Lowered options while riding (No "powering out") does cause a bit of "fear" but that fear

    will make you a better rider and IMHO makes it more fun.

    When I commute on a motorcycle, I find it makes my whole day better. I arrive at work sharp and ready for action and heading home is that much better. With the TW detours are the norm on the way home.

    Heck any day I ride becomes a great day!
    Smitty Blackstone likes this.
    Tonto on the "Left Coast"
    1987 TW200 (2) 2015 BMW F700GS
    More Wagging and less Barking
    "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think"
    Make Love not War

  10. #9
    Senior Member mtkd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I commute on my TW when I can. I run it down route 9 in upstate New York which is three lanes and has a 45-55 posted limit and most people doing 60+. There is no issue with the TW, you can run it at 55 all day long and it will just keep going. The only problem I have in my commute is trying to stay visible and get away from the cars. I can manage 60 not going up a hill but on occasion I feel like I am a road hazard.

    What it comes down to is whether or not you will feel safe enough not being able to keep up with everyone around you making you an obstacle. If you can feel safe enough to do it, you will love your TW, if you don't feel safe enough you will hate it.

    If you want a 250 to commute on you can check out the TU250 which is a more standard bike, is fuel injected and should be able to keep up with most traffic. There is also the WR250R. It is more expensive and is more of a dirt bike then dual sport, but will be able to sustain higher speeds then the TW. A friend of mine has one and if I remember correctly he got his up to 90 mph. There are also the little sport bikes like the ninja and cbr 250s that would also make really great commuters and would be better (still not great) for use on the highway.
    Smitty Blackstone likes this.

    2001 TW

  11. #10
    Member lowtechboy's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Orange VA
    I use my T-Dub to commute back and forth to work, also I take it out on main roads that the speed limit is around 55 mph but people cruse at 60-65 mph. I am able to keep up with everyone at around 60 mph but I am sure I push it a little hard when I try to keep up at 65 mph. I have maxed it out between 75-80 but that was downhill with the wind behind pushing me. All in all its a great bike and with 70 mpg I can't beat it. I hope you enjoy what ever you get.

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