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  1. #1
    Junior Member illesg's Avatar
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    I thought I'd post some pix and text about my own TW200.



    We bought this bike specifically as a ground-transportation companion, to have both local ground-transportation option as we RV-travel, and also as bail-out option if the RV engine/drivetrain failed somewhere out in the wanderland. Riding on the back of our RV, it just seemed natural to call the bike "Papoose" after the Indian back-pack baby carriage.



    We've put about 1200 miles on Papoose, mostly in remote locales in the US Southwest, exploring places where we wanted to leave the RV in a campsite or RV-park spot, sometimes to go up rasky dirt tracks where our 27' motorhome can't go. We've wandered about in the Mojave, out interstate highways in the Southwest, and up snakey mountain roads to Crater Lake and the like. He's never let us down.



    He carries the two of us, 165# for me and 135# for her, so a 300# load. Papoose handles this well, but he does tend to "top" on the front suspension a bit, although he never bottoms on the rear that I can tell. The weight distribution can't be significantly changed, so I'm going to (one of these days) look into fork mods to better handle the rear-weighted loading.



    Along the way, we discovered that the bike had a pretty decent range (more than 80 miles at 80mpg and a 1.5 gallon tank), but we didn't always want to get out the spare-gas tank, and go through the BS of gassing up before every excursion. So I installed the Clarke 2.8 gallon tank (which is actually a 2.5 gallon tank, really really really I measured it with a 1-quart Pyrex measuring cup please don't tell my wife). Now we can take off with a 3/4 tank and still be confident of a long leg and an easy return.



    The stock seat was horrible. Even for dirt work. For two-up, all it did was slam us together over every ripple in the road, beat our butts up and generally make not-friends. Not that we object to togetherness, but enough is enough. I got Seat Concepts to make me a stepped-structure custom seat, and the world changed forever. My wife sits in serene, stable comfort behind me and I can pick my fore/aft position without getting vise-slammed into the tank or driven into terminal prostatitis. Bliss. And it's not a big enough step to get in my way when I'm riding solo in the rough stuff.



    We'd been riding for quite a while with a small tail-bag, cloth-zipper variety, and we found that it worked for most rides. But the occasional foray for groceries, sundries, a dozen eggs - - these stretched that bag way past its limits. Finally I found this wonderful plastic cargo pod, by Bestem, which was a dream to install and even looks good too. Time will tell how endurable it is, but for now it's a solid add-on.



    Since we frequently ride the bike out to hiking trail-heads for day-hikes, we added my own custom-welded bottle-rack to the front end, to hold some additional water and not take up space in our (previous) tiny tail-bag setup. Now with the Bestem T-box, it's not so important, but it's a handy rack and doesn't take much space or weight.



    Lastly, our travels are often in the winter, with temps below 50F. The wind blast is uncomfortable to say the least. I added hand shields and a windshield to help deflect the wintry blast. Some help - - but not as much as I'd hoped.



    The pix will show the bike, the rack, the front end and the motorhome, and how it all fits together onto the RV hitch. All in all, we're pretty happy with this setup.



    Here's a shot of the bike behind the RV, with the in-position rack in the background. The rack is operated by a cable-winch that pulls the bike up off the ground to a high-clearance position. We had a ramp-mount rack but it was very problematic in tight parking situations, and also was a bit death-defying to ride the bike up into position. The cable-winch is a life-saver, but it took me 3 weeks to design and fabricate it.



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8644684...n/photostream/



    This next pic is a rear shot of the Bestem T-box mounted in position. Obviously, it's big - - but it doesn't exceed the width of the stock turn signal lights, and it's very light and reasonably esthetic with respect to the rest of the bike. I was surprised at how well it integrated into the overall appearance.



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8644684...n/photostream/



    Here's a frontal shot showing the windshield and bottle rack.



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8644684...n/photostream/



    And a final shot showing how the bike nestles snugly up against the back of the RV when we are under way. I don't have a picture of it, but the "tray" that carries the bike pivots down on parallel arms and sits on the ground for mounting/dismounting. I drive the whole thing with an electric drill and a 5/8" socket.



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8644684...in/photostream



    At this point, the bike is an ideal RV-travel companion. It's freeway-legal, carries both of us in okay-comfort, and the RV doesn't even know it's there, unlike the weight and mileage compromises of a towed car. We don't worry about backing up or turning around, and we always have a way of getting out and away even if the RV quits running.



    When we're home and not traveling, sometimes I take Papoose out for a run just because he's so fun to ride.
    2009 (TW200Y) piggyback on our motorhome in a custom carrier

    Clark tank, custom seat, windshield, handguards, water bottle rack, Bestem T-box

  2. #2
    Senior Member Joemama's Avatar
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    G3,

    Nice setup. Your custom bike carrier is interesting. Can you share more pictures of it and it's design?

    Thanks,



    Joe

  3. #3
    Senior Member old mad max's Avatar
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    Way cool trunk... Is the seat after market or are you handle with a staple gun (o; OMM.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member retmotor's Avatar
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    Very nicely done on the rack and the mods. Good looking set-up all the way around.
    The value of the internet is that when you're wrong someone will immediately correct you, and when you're right, someone will immediately correct you". Lizrdbrth

  6. #5
    Senior Member flingwing1969's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joemama View Post
    G3,

    Nice setup. Your custom bike carrier is interesting. Can you share more pictures of it and it's design?

    Thanks,



    Joe


    Agreed. I like the way it folds up high avoiding the gas station entry drag.

  7. #6
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Clever, that water bottle holder!
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  8. #7
    Junior Member illesg's Avatar
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    I thought I had some project pix around, of the carrier, but I can't find them. I think you can get most of the detail out of the existing pix if you zoom in a bit. I'll try to take some close-ups later today, but we are just about to leave on a trip and the bike is all packed up. Please see the caveats below, I am NOT providing plans or instructions, just some basic information for the curious.



    The carrier design is a parallel-arm pivoting affair, winch-driven and hitch-mounted. The winch is a worm-gear type which stays wherever you leave it without brakes (braking winches need a minimum load, which doesn't exist when the bike is at the top of the pivot-arm swing). The bike "tray" is two hoops of 2"x1" square structural tubing, joined by a piece of 2x2. The tray attaches to an L, which in turn is attached to two pivot arms. The arms attach to the hitch-mounted upright.



    When it was first finished, it basically emulated the hitch-mounted fixed bike tray that I had been using, y'know the kind where you roll the bike up a ramp and tie it down. I din't like the stability, it was pretty wobbly especially for rough roads, so I added frame-mounted outrigger triangular stays, which attach by push-pin clevis to the outer portion of each wheel hoop. In addition, I tied the hitch-mounted upright directly to the frame rails through a 2"x6" steel cross-member that I finished to look like a bumper. There's also a safety pin to keep the upright un-deployed in the event of a winch failure. It's now a 6-point mounting/capturing system that will tolerate multiple weld/material faults without total failure. But I still check it every day we travel, I'm a worrier.



    Takes about 4 minutes to load or unload, not too bad, and it only weighs 65 pounds.



    CAVEATS: Please note, this beast took me nearly 3 weeks to figure out, construct, re-design, and finally make workable. I over-designed everything by at least a factor of 3, usually more. I would not advise building anything like it for anyone without some serious engineering background and fabrication experience because the consequences of a miscalculation or construction mistake are catastrophic: dumping 300 pounds of rubber and iron in the middle of the highway at 65mph, woe for you and the folks driving behind you. Screwing up the lifting system would drop the same 300 pounds on your knees and ankles, also a bummer. If I were to work on it again, I'd add a safety shock to lower the bike slowly in the event of a winch/cable/fitting failure. A project NOT for the average hacker, in other words.



    The seat was made from my stock seat by reworking the foam to my specification and reupholstering it, by Seat Concepts. Very nice work at pretty reasonable prices ($250).



    Bottle rack is my design, welded out of spare 1/8" x 3/4" strap. It picks up the fork mounting bolts and uses standard bicycle bottles and racks. Prolly shoulda painted it white....



    The Bestem T-box was a pleasant surprise, decent product for a decent price. It comes with a steel base plate that I drilled and bolted to the TW200 rear-most frame cross-member. This holds the serious weight, and the front section is just fastened to the plastic fender to keep it from rocking. Obviously, that rear frame section won't hold anything really heavy; I think 10 pounds is probably pushing it. But bulk-wise the T-box is a winner.
    2009 (TW200Y) piggyback on our motorhome in a custom carrier

    Clark tank, custom seat, windshield, handguards, water bottle rack, Bestem T-box

  9. #8
    Senior Member Retrofit's Avatar
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    very cool lift. jealous.

  10. #9
    Senior Member peruano's Avatar
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    I own a tw200 because I watched a dude unload one off of the back of his rv and motor off to ride the roads of King's Canyon for a day. Says I to myself, now that looks like fun. I don't usually take the TW on the RV, (2 pedal bikes instead), but sometimes I carry it on the RV or the back of the pickup. Thanks for the thorough info. I'm sure it will be considered and used. Tom
    Tom - TW200 2002, Kawasaki VN 500 2006

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  11. #10
    Junior Member illesg's Avatar
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    Okay, here are some detail shots of the carrier/lift in operation. As before, these are not instructions or advice, just info for the curious:



    On the ground with the rack pulled up just enough to engage the tires and keep the bike from falling over.







    Here's the top-stay, used to keep the bike from tilting side-to-side in the rack. I used a modified brake lever bracket at first but it broke. Didn't know it for 100 miles.... it just wobbled a bit and made a mark on the motorhome wall. Built a machined bracket with a steel clamp, should last forever now. The wheel hoops thoroughly constrain the fore-aft motion. There are no other ties or restraints on the bike, it is gravity-stable as-is.







    Raised halfway up with the parallel arms and winch cable supporting the weight. These arms are the soul of the lift, 1/8" wall square tubing, solid steel bushings, 9/16" fine-thread grade-8 bolts.







    Here, you can see the outrigger stabilizer stays, the cross-frame bumper tie-in, the hitch mount (in the dark), and the drill motor/socket used for driving the worm-gear winch. The AC outlet runs off my inverter, and I use a 110V drill when I'm on the road.







    And here is a look at the moving part of the lift. This is all fabbed from 1/8" wall structural tubing except the wheel hoops are only 1/16". I tried to get the lift point at the C.G., but it's still a little stern-heavy. Engaging the outrigger clevis pins, when it's all the way up, is a little finessy at times.







    Tucked up in parked/secured position against the motorhome. Tight clearances but nothing rubs. At this point, the weight is carried by the winch cable, the pivot arms, the outrigger stays, and the top guide-link and safety clevis.







    A full-size motorcycle cover fits nicely over the "enlarged" trail bike (windshield and cargo box), and as a bonus it covers the vertical portions of the carrier as well.





    The fliokr original photos are higher resolution if you want a closer look.
    2009 (TW200Y) piggyback on our motorhome in a custom carrier

    Clark tank, custom seat, windshield, handguards, water bottle rack, Bestem T-box

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