Fantasy TW build.
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Thread: Fantasy TW build.

  1. #1
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    Jun 2013
    Forestburgh, NY

    Fantasy TW build.

    With all of our collective wisdom we should put our heads together and light a fire under Yamaha's rear.

    I hope we get some input from all the real modification gurus here and can come up with some honest and doable mods for a new model TW that incorporates all the things we feel are lacking.

    I am a novice but here are some of my thoughts. Please feel free to toss in some of your ideas from the wishing well.

    I like the overall size and seat height and the basic simplicity of these bikes. That said, here is what I would design on the same TW frame.

    Better suspension both front and rear.
    Better brakes
    Bigger fuel tank
    About a 350 CC engine with 6 speed tranny and able to hold 70 MPH on open roads.
    Put a seat on it made for riding all day long.
    Add an instrument cluster with tach, temp and some other valuable usefulness.
    Make standard either a dual sprocket set up or a selector in the tranny for hi and low range operation.
    Extend the rear swing arm and go a little wider for a knarly rear tire and go a bit wider in the front.
    Contract with Lizrdbrth to make his oil cooler standard equipment.
    Contract with Cycle racks for front and rear racks with lots of options as you desire.
    Pick a couple of the more popular color schemes and allow for some mix and match options.
    Keep the price under $6,000 and keep the weight down as much as possible.

    My order would be in for the very first production run.

    What other changes would you make? I would love to see what we could come with keeping in mind the bike should still be something us old geezers and some gals could handle but also better suited for zipping around town and jumping off the pavement ready to pound the bushes.

    lets have some fun kicking this one around.

    Be Decisive! Right or Wrong just make a decision. ​ The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision.

    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    1987 Yamaha BW350 Big Wheel
    2017 Snowdog Track sled tow motor for ice fishing
    Kubota BX2370 Subcompact tractor with snow blower
    Wilderness System Ride 115 fishing Kayaks

  2. #2
    Mel is offline
    Senior Member Mel's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    Garyl, It sounds like you are asking us to design a "Woman"!!!!!, You know that would never work. The law of manufacturing and sales is to build the minimum and allow the customer to do the add-ons and customizing. I am not saying it is not a good thought.
    r80rt and magyarmoto like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Braden's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Toronto, ON
    I think If it's something to fire off to yamaha you'll want to keep it in a reasonable range. Look at the other dual sports available (WR250R, XT250) and take features from there and compare the pricing. Realistically I think they could improve many features and keep the same price range. But I wouldn't see them making the TW their highest priced dual sport, There isn't the market for it and they wouldn't want to make it seem like the pride of their dual sport line up is a big wheeler.

    What I think would be reasonable is bringing over many features from the other current bikes.

    Suspension from either,
    rear disk from either,
    Dash from either both are electronic and much nicer then the TW
    250cc, liquid cooled, fuel injection, and 6 speed engine from WR250R

    Major tweaks that would require them redesigning many parts of the bike is something I wouldn't see them doing as I don't see the production costs balancing out.

    It would be interesting to find some sales figures in comparison to the other two dual sport bikes they offer, and perhaps why others were removed, like the xt350. I had noticed that in the Canadian recall for the 1987-2000 models affected 1948 units. So in thirteen years they only sold about 2000 TW's in Canada.
    Last edited by Braden; 10-20-2013 at 11:07 AM.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Forestburgh, NY
    Allow me to restate the title here "Fantasy Build"!

    i don't have any visions of grandure that Yamaha would listen to anything us die hard T Dubbers have to say. That is not the point.

    Just have some fun kicking around what those of us feel would make our bikes a little better all around. Most of us who ride on pavement know enough to steer clear of the four lane highways because 65 is at the top of our capabilities. Another gear and a few more horses would make that a non issue.
    Larger riders would certainly appreciate a better shock and hard riders would have a host of upgrades they would and in many cases have done.

    What do you think would make our TWs a kick ass machine to blow the others similar bikes away?

    Be Decisive! Right or Wrong just make a decision. ​ The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision.

    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

    1987 Yamaha BW350 Big Wheel
    2017 Snowdog Track sled tow motor for ice fishing
    Kubota BX2370 Subcompact tractor with snow blower
    Wilderness System Ride 115 fishing Kayaks

  6. #5
    Junior Member RedSquare's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
    I hope that they leave it unchanged and just keep selling them. That way we will always be able to easily find stock parts, and a massive customisation scene.
    I live in Tokyo, and I see these bikes all the time, no two the same.
    I get my parts from:
    For inspiration I look up the for sale bikes on
    r80rt likes this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member DonBenito's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I'll play along GaryL, but not without kicking your initial premise in the teeth just a little!

    One of the problems from the outset is the TW's frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. A more modern wishbone frame would make many of the modifications you, I, and others lust after much simpler. Not to mention it would just be a stronger damn frame! So, if we're in fantasy land, let's go ahead and toss the crumby frame first!

    I'm on board with:

    350cc engine
    6 speed tranny
    Dual discs up front and a disc in the rear
    Tach and temp gauges in the dash
    Factory oil cooler (Mr. Yamaha ought to know about the R&D already accomplished by a certain Lizrd!)
    Longer swingarm

    Instead of contracting with Cycleracks, it'd be pretty cool if Mr. Yamaha just designed a strong and light subframe with brackets for Super Tenere-esque side and top cases.

    As far as color schemes go, I'm a basic black or white kind of guy. Hey, this new near-perfect TW350 has to have something left to customize!

    One of the strongest draws of the TW for a lot of us is the low weight and seat height. Modern engineering should make it easy to get a 350 that weighs the same or less than our 196, but it's gonna be hard to talk the engineers into putting that kind of technology into a bike with the short suspension travel and low ground clearance necessitated by a sensible seat height. Get ready to talk those boys down from the crazy 37" DRZ territory that bike designers seem to want us all stretching up to!

    They're not going to like the carburetor either, and we'll be hard pressed to keep them from making this bike water cooled.

    Although it goes without saying, the wide tires have got to stay. Of course, it would be nice if we could get a rear rim that's ready to mount ATV tires onto. Maybe make the Duro stock equipment?

    Of course, this bike will never be built unless one of us builds it!

    But maybe that's the real appeal of the TW, within certain limits we can pretty much make it into the bike we want it to be.
    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

  8. #7
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Lakewood, CO
    I think the TW is a great bike for what it its intended purpose is: a fun bike, capable on and off road . Any "Dual Sport" is going to be a compromise between the two. I agree with DonBenito, within certain limits we can pretty much make it into the bike we want it to be - and I'm getting there.

    That said:
    Bigger engine 250-400CC : If it could comfortably hold 65 mph with a little in reserve, it would be great.
    Better lights
    Better brakes
    Bigger fuel tank/capacity
    Improved suspension/ longer swingarm
    A real bashplate, crashbars and load carrying options.
    I hear the Jimbo shield should also be standard equipment - still gotta try one myself.

    In short, the Ryoku XTW250.

    Without all the fancy doodads. Drop the generator and convertible bashplate/shovel and if they built one, I'd buy it tomorrow.
    Last edited by HappyHiker; 10-21-2013 at 03:50 AM.
    magyarmoto likes this.

  9. #8
    Senior Member joedirt1970's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    I have had such a blast making my TW the way I want it. Even if Yamaha built a TW with all the bells and whistles that we want, we'd still find more things we want. When we get a TW the way it is, it allows us to learn about the bikes and learn about what we can do ourselves with a little help from our TDub Forum friends.

    The best part of the TDub is it is a basic nearly buttlet proof toy. Aside from the rear disc brake, pretty much every option has been fabricated by a TDub member. If any of us have a problem or question; Russ or anyone else is happy to chime in and help. Plus, the fact that we TDub owners have so many changes/upgrades we want to make it keeps the families (small businesses) in business (Cycle Racks etc.).

    We all can want improvements. Better seats, larger tanks, stiffer shocks etc. But in the end, I like the option of making my what it is. At the end of the day, we can all take pride in what WE have built (with a little help from our TDub forum member frieds) ourselves. I am the first to admit that I still stair at my TDub and think about how cool it is. Yes, I admit, I think it is cooler than it is fast or functional. But that is the fun about having a TW.

    Have a good week everyone.

    Just in case anyone forgot what I stare at everyday. This is my Vanity Prize. IMG_6460.JPG
    joeband and r80rt like this.

  10. #9
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Desert, SoCal
    Dearest Darling Yamaha, Japan (Not the dinks at Yamaha, U.S.A., who are pretty much clueless and hold zero sway over you, anyway):

    Firstly, please, oh pretty please don't make the TW a cartoonish version of a 1200 Tenere, which is itself a cartoonish supersizing of a 660 Tenere. I have no sense of Tenere envy or I wouldn't be riding a TW. Got that? And above all don't insult my intelligence by offering me nonsense such as a skidplate which converts into a shovel and after one good smack becomes useless as either. Stoopit, in any language. No one on your side of the pond offers even a marginally acceptable O.E.M. skid as it is. Try working on that before you move on to building equally inferior garden implements.

    Just perfect the existing bike and there's no need to move on. Or UP. It (mostly) works. And can be worked ON. Just give it the stuff you've been giving its non-redheaded-stepchild siblings for all these years. You haven't invested a dime in development when it comes to the TW in over 25 years now. The good news is you don't have to. It won't cost you a dime now.

    In fact I'd be dazzled if you'd just gimme some of what you've already got and then gimme back some of the stuff you've taken away, yet somehow feel inclined to charge more for. Hell, you'll be able to milk existing tooling for another 25 years. Win/win.

    Gimme back a kickstarter and fork drains. Not negotiable. I actually ride mine. Until you do I'll be damned if I'll ever buy another one. You can keep your e-start-only 250's as well. They can't even be retrofitted. Doorstops.

    You got away with recycling the 40 year old XT200 motor by saddling the TW with it for 25 of those when you already had the 225. Until the Acronyms force you to go fuel injected waterpumper just recycle the existing 225 motor, charging system and 6 plate clutch for the next 25. I'd be way cool with that. If you're feeling particularly generous throw in the slightly larger cylinder liners from the quads that you couldn't give away back in the day. You gotta have warehouses full of them. I'm not sure how badly I need a larger, heavier motor which has the identical stroke to the 225 and only holds a couple of teaspoonfuls more oil. Give that to the XT kids so they'll feel spayshull. Won't cost you a dime. No new frame required.

    If you can't afford to give me an alloy swingarm and rear rim for crying out loud at least give me the same alloy hubs and bigger brakes which were standard on the slower, less powerful TW 125 for years. I'm tired of scraping the rust and respraying the third world paintjobs on your third world steel hubs. Won't cost you a dime.

    Leave my seat alone if you're only gunna replace it with an even more miserable "boy racer" version from one of your other models. I'll fix the damned thing myself. And forget that sawn-off, cramped thing you slapped on the Ryoku clown car. Actual people need to fit on it.

    If you wanna monkey with something, gimme a full-length subframe (detachable or not) and lose the pointless sub-subframe so we can carry some real weight without 5 pounds of additional reinforcement or a cantilevered rack like a Cyclerack.

    Be the first kids on the block to outsource tank design to someone with a brain (Acerbis comes to mind). Make it a minimum of 3 gallons. Get off the dime and pop for a second petcock so we don't have to turn the bike upside-down in order to reach all of the gas. Put both petcocks at the lowest point in the tank halves and please do not give me bogus air scoop shaped forward bulges which serve no purpose but to trap fuel and then call it a 4 gallon tank.

    Gimme a real headlight instead of recycling that obese, useless, outdated rectangular 4x6. Do NOT under any circumstances give me Ruckus knockoffs on a bike capable of more than 25 mph. 55 watts is fine. Keep the existing bullbs if you gotta. Just put them inside of something large, but light, with a reflector from this century. If you need help with this I'll round up a few 10 dollar Chinese examples. This ain't no rocket.

    Leave the ride height alone and just give me a fully adjustable rear shock. If you can't do that at least give the bigger dudes simple preload. Even cheap Chinese throwaway scooters have better rear suspension in that regard.

    I understand that you have a price point to meet, and that a TW with longer legs is no longer a TW. I get that. So if you can't give us anything more sophisticated than damper rods could you at least recycle the old YZ fork tubes and put them on the TW so we won't break our fenders when they bottom on the lower triple anymore? Seriously, all we need is an inch of fork tube and maybe then we'll be able to make full use of the existing six inches of travel .

    Digital instruments weigh nothing, cost about 12 cents to produce and you can squeeze us for $600 for them as replacement items. Consider it an expansion of your replacement CDI scam. Arrange a warehouse fire for your leftover stock of 5 pounders. We won't tell.

    We accept the TW for what it is. Just finish the job ot at the very least leave the damned thing as-is and we'll continue to finish the job ourselves.

    Yours Sincerely,

    One of the Dudes Who Had to Finish the Job.

    Last edited by lizrdbrth; 10-21-2013 at 03:45 AM.
    r80rt, joeband, n2o2diver and 5 others like this.
    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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  11. #10
    Senior Member r80rt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Tell it brother, tell it all, Amen.
    Only a fool would attempt it, and God help me, I am that fool!

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