Well, I outrode the TW suspension, now what?
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Thread: Well, I outrode the TW suspension, now what?

  1. #1
    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    Well, I outrode the TW suspension, now what?

    I don't believe I can spend enough money on the TW suspension to bring it up to hard trail snuff. I feel like I am trying to wrestle a large wild boar while avoiding ledge, steps, large rocks, and broken toes.

    The trails I am now riding I am following guys with obviously better bikes meant for hard trail work. What's keeping me from crashing a lot is my mountain bike experience and body position. I know how to balance at low speeds and avoid contact with low parts of the TW, but not every time. Sometimes, I inevitably whack something, and it's exhausting trying to wrangle the TW on rough terrain for long stretches of trail. I need more core exercise!!!

    Started serious looking at some new trail bikes. i was sorting through them by seat height and suspension travel. I really don't care if they have more power or not, the 200cc seems fine. It's not that I can't go fast, it's that I CAN'T or I'll get hurt. I always catch up at the intersections, but sometimes it takes a minute. And then, zoom, we are rolling again, I can't catch a break and my quads are killing me from all the standing and absorbing of terrain.

    So with my "woe is me" rant done with, what would a suitable trail bike be? Suggestions? Keep reading.... Also forget about price, I am willing to pay for success. And BTW, I am KEEPING the TW200 also. Just fun. Great dual sport for taking with me in the trailer.

    I have looked closely at the KTM 250 EXC-F, Husky version 250 TE almost the same bike, and the Beta Xtrainer 300. It appears that the Beta CAN be plated which is a requirement for me. The trails around here are broken with town roads, especially Pachaug SF you must be plated.

    So far, I think the Beta with the 26 inch seat height might be best. It's light(er), 2 gallon tank, and over 10 inches suspension, which seems great. It looks like it can get plated here in Connecticut. I am also checking the Adv Rider forum threads for others who have had success getting plate for their "almost" street legal bikes. Apparently the Beta Xtrainer has everything except turn signals. And it is wired for signals, it just doesn't have them.
    2017 Beta Xtrainer 300 - Suspension modified for height
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Sold but not forgotten, possibly in the future when space permits)
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

  2. #2
    Senior Member Peterb's Avatar
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    I have looked closely at the KTM 250 EXC-F, Husky version 250 TE almost the same bike, and the Beta Xtrainer 300. It appears that the Beta CAN be plated which is a requirement for me. The trails around here are broken with town roads, especially Pachaug SF you must be plated.


    I know what you mean. I would love to have one of the bikes you listed above just for the suspension and light weight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jtomelliott49's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need a street legal trials bike.
    littletommy and admiral like this.
    Tom in Wichita

    78 Moto Guzzi SP1000
    87 Yamaha TW200
    99 Yamaha TW200
    03 Honda Shadow Spirit (girlfriend's ride)
    74 Moto Guzzi Eldorado Police model (in many pieces)

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  5. #4
    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtomelliott49 View Post
    Sounds like you need a street legal trials bike.
    Right? Trials looks like crazy fun, but of course they have no seat to speak of and would never stand a chance of getting a plate. If I was 30 years younger and had the income I would do it right now, I would have adopted that sport.

    When I was young, I only dreamed of power-sport. I never had a motorized anything when I was a kid. My first transportation after getting my drivers licence was a 1985 CB450SC Nighthawk. Then I received my motorcycle endorsement. I bought a car later that year for 5 month s of NE winter. Then I was back on the MC. Did that for 3 years during college.

    I'm getting into this sport later in life, but better later than never, as the saying goes. I didn't even start mountain biking until I was about 41 yrs old!! Had to have a way to exercise and not go mind numb, I hate stationary exercise machines.

    Now I am in love with riding in the woods. I really hope to make it out to MOAB this coming 2018 either in the Spring or Fall.
    2017 Beta Xtrainer 300 - Suspension modified for height
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Sold but not forgotten, possibly in the future when space permits)
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

  6. #5
    Senior Member Tinybear's Avatar
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    It all depends were and who you ride with. My one riding buddy rides a modded Yamaha YZ250F (big bored to 290). Out on the trails locally I can't remotely keep up with him but there all sand high speed whoops and such. I still have fun there but can't elevate the pace due to lack of skill and the TWs limitations.

    BUT when we both head north into the Really technical rock crawling trails we frequent a few times a year his YZ is MISERABLE. It overheats because of the slower pace. The trans stops shifting properly because of the heat. And the gearing is too tall causing many furious kick starting events lol. And on top of that he can't complete the trails due to running out of fuel mid trail.

    My thinking is I may be slower on the fast stuff but I still have fun and get threw the trails fine. On the flip side when things get slow and technical the TW is the ONLY bike I'd want to be on. As a added benefit falling off a slow bike tends to hurt less too.

    Just food for thought. Every bike has its limitations even the best MX bike can be left trail side on a trail best suited for crawling and such.
    2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT

    2010 Yamaha TW200

    2016 Polaris Sportsman 450 HO

    2005 Yamaha Bruin 350 4x4

  7. #6
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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    Wr250f is a fantastic choice to consider. Great suspension, reliable, 20% less then KTM and parts are more reasonable.
    littletommy and jtomelliott49 like this.
    2002 TW200 "The Punisher"
    1998 DR350r
    1996 KDX 200
    Riding in and around the great state of Michigan (usually)

  8. #7
    Senior Member ToolmanJohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattwings View Post
    Wr250f is a fantastic choice to consider. Great suspension, reliable, 20% less then KTM and parts are more reasonable.
    Made me look!! It's another giraffe as far as I'm concerned. Like a KTM , Husky, etc (all of them 38 inches). My 28 inch real world inseam (29-ish with boots), is a real safety factor. Consider too I am a NOVICE rider with barely a year of riding. And not a lot of hours either. It's a tough spot to get a bike with street legality, good clearance, good suspension, lower seat height, low weight. I realized I am asking for many things and had to forget about low price too.

    I think my personal equation has become thus:

    " Low Weight, Low Seat Height, High Clearance, Good suspension, Low Cost - pick 3 or 4.."

    Great specs on the Yamaha, even the weight is relatively low, but with a static seat height of 38 inches, it would have to get down near 34-35 for me to have a safe shot of getting one foot safely down in the woods. And I would rather have the left foot on the ground and the right on a brake for a stop on a steep hill.This means that all that awesome clearance and suspension is now somewhat eaten up by lowering the motorcycle. Only little heavier too but not bad at 258 lbs. And the 2018 Yamaha WR250F costs MORE ($8099) than the 2017 Beta Xtrainer ($7300).

    Actually I think I have already made up my mind what I really want, and was wondering if there are some other bikes I may have missed in my research, remember I have to get that street plating legality out of the way as well. It can't be a bike that has NO chance of getting through a DMV inspection lane.

    I'd bet the Yamaha is better on fuel efficiency though. I have thought a bit about how long I could actually ride "off-road" without being extraordinarily exhausted, and would I outlast the tank of fuel. And I answered that one last weekend at Pachaug. I am beat tired and at some point I have to simply stop riding and not get hurt due to exhaustion. I only put 60 miles on the TW at Pachaug and went through a little over a 1.3 gallons of fuel that ride. Pretty good for some low speed off road. But I admit I wasn't wringing the crap out of the engine most of the time. But sometimes I was .

    I was at that point about an hour before we finish riding last week. I was getting worried because of upper body tiredness and leg fatigue. In fact almost every single rider crash on mountain bikes I have ever had have been somewhat later in a ride when I am tired and drooling and unable to react fast enough. i just give up and let gravity take it's course.
    Last edited by ToolmanJohn; 09-10-2017 at 10:49 AM. Reason: Got my left right foot scrambled LOL.
    2017 Beta Xtrainer 300 - Suspension modified for height
    2013 Yamaha TW200 (Sold but not forgotten, possibly in the future when space permits)
    2007 Kawasaki Ninja 650R (sold) Fun for a year, then mega garage DUST collector
    1985 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk (sold) FUN - but became a dust collector
    1984 Honda CB450SC Nighthawk (sold) Primary transportation for almost 5 years
    Various other 2 wheel rolling junk not worthy of mention....

  9. #8
    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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    If you are looking at the KTM or Husky go for the 350. They are about the same weight, but have way more low end torque.

    You could do what I did and find a used good condition Yamaha DT200. I still need to lower the gearing for the tough steeper trails.
    2001 TW200 sporting a MT43 up front. Duro has gone to a good home. 2015 VStrom XT, 1996 DT 200, Broken 2010 Xingue 400 XY. 2009 WR250r now shared with my son.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    The Beta is a fine torquey 2-smoker that with their “Build-a-Bike” program might be configurable for a license plate in some states. However for about $7,000 less you can improve the TW’s suspension and come home from a ride not smelling like 2-stroke injector oil.
    I purchased a TW from Forum member Gerry that addresses some of the serious suspension shortcomings via parts swapping from historical Yamahas. Tri-Z forks adapted for disc brakes adds ~10 inches of travel up front complemented with a rebound adjustable Blaster shock out back. Gerry balanced things out so there is no “stink-bug” attitude, bike sits a few inches higher than stock but settles a bit once in the saddle so my 32” inseam can still flat-foot dab.
    This modification helps tremendously in the rough stuff while still preserving the Adventure Touring capability of cargo capable TW. None of the Betas, WRs, KTMs, Huskys, DTs, etc will accept as happily a full load out of camp gear, fishing gear, chain saws,farm tools, etc as the lowly TW.
    The TW really is in a class by itself so to ride another bike is to ride a different class of machine. It is an apple that doesn’t compare to any of the oranges out there.
    Last edited by Fred; 09-10-2017 at 08:52 AM.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

  11. #10
    Senior Member Mattwings's Avatar
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    I have a 30" inseam and fit fine on the WR stock, it is doable to get down an inch or so pretty easy from what I have read. I love 2 strokes (have a KDX200) but the smell and hassle of mixing gas is a detriment. I will tell you, riding hard single track is 100% less work on the KDX then the TW. The 50lb weight difference alone is night and day.i bought my KDX for $1500, easy to work on and reliable. I plan on replacing the piston this winter and making it my single track/guest bike. The TW is my hunting rig and my DR350 is my longer range dual sport. All three together. Less than $6k with basic mods or fixes to make them how I wanted them.
    Peterb, littletommy, Mel and 4 others like this.
    2002 TW200 "The Punisher"
    1998 DR350r
    1996 KDX 200
    Riding in and around the great state of Michigan (usually)

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