Lil' Chunk - My TW200 Project
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Thread: Lil' Chunk - My TW200 Project

  1. #1
    Junior Member CubbyChowder's Avatar
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    Apr 2019
    San Luis Obispo, CA

    Lil' Chunk - My TW200 Project

    Hey everyone! My name is Mikey and I recently became the proud owner of a TW200. His name is Lil' Chunk.

    I tend to write a lot, so prepare for that...

    Quick backstory:
    About 2-3 years ago one of my best friends, Joel, was pushing dual sports on me and got me interested in them. After doing some research of my own I discovered the TW200 and basically fell in love instantly, for numerous reasons. I had been riding on the street for years but had never ridden in the dirt before so I knew I had to start slow and work my way up. The idea of a small, low, lightweight and grippy bike really appealed to me since I am fairly short (5'8") and inexperienced. Also the simplicity/reliability/parts availability factor really had me sold.

    As good friends often do, Joel shut down my excited aspirations immediately as he felt it wouldn't be a good option for me. He grew up riding dirt bikes and is very skilled at off road riding so he wasn't very convinced by my TW200 praises. I acknowledged my inexperience and trusted his input and advice so I decided to keep looking. I eventually found my heart set on finding a Suzuki DR-Z400 and it wasn't long before I bought one and got some good rides under my belt with Joel pushing me beyond my comfort level through the beautiful Sierra Nevada. I gained a lot of experience during those rides and enjoyed that bike thoroughly, but admittedly I always felt slightly uncomfortable on it since it was very tall for me through the more technical terrain. It just didn't feel like the right bike for me, at least not yet.

    Anyways, after some time I eventually sold the DR-Z400 to fund other projects and went about 6 months before the itch to get another bike started creeping up on me. My buried TW200 dreams started resurfacing and before long I was browsing Craigslist. Options were scarce but I had two solid candidates near me and the first bike fell through (seller decided to keep it) so I resorted to Plan B.

    Plan B was this 1990 Yamaha TW200 with 5,000 miles about 30 miles south of me. I was born in 1990, so this bike instantly struck a chord with me. I went and checked it out and everything looked good so I brought it home for $1,700:

    I'll admit I appreciate aesthetics but I'm not really willing to sacrifice too much practicality in order to achieve it, so I'm always trying to find a happy medium. What follows is my attempt to sport the look that I'm after while maintaining the true performance/functionality of the bike. This is still a work in progress as I've only bought the bike a week ago from today, so keep that in mind. Here's how it sits today:

    For the front end, I switched to high bars so that I could comfortably stand up while riding and ditched the stock headlight/fairing/turn signal setup in favor of a large round headlight and smaller turn signals, built the mounts for all of that. Also the bike was sporting a ProCycle High Mount Supermoto Fender kit (see first two pics) but I really didn't like the shape of the supermoto fender so I retrofitted the original fender to work with the high mount kit and then shortened and rounded off the front of the fender for looks:

    For the rear, I removed the plastics/rack and built a little bracket to hold the tail light, turn signals and license plate right behind the seat (this whole setup is temporary):

    Future plans:
    I ordered a new universal 2.5 gallon tank off eBay which looks really cool and will hold more than the original tank, it was supposed to arrive today but didn't. Based off the pictures I should be able to make it work with the TW200 frame and from there I will build a custom seat and rear rack/fender/lighting setup behind that. I've been learning/practicing upholstery so the seat project will be fun. I do metal fabrication and wood work as livelihood/hobby as well so this is all fun for me, the instant gratification is nice compared to all my other long term projects. I'm such a millennial.

    I serviced both front and rear drum brakes, adjusted the valves and cam chain tensioner, replaced spark plug and ordered a carb rebuild kit. Tires are pretty new and previous owner changed oil very recently. Definitely have some stuff on the maintenance to-do list but for now the bike runs great and I'm having a ton of fun with it, just feels nice to be on a bike again. I plan on taking it motocamping all over the Sierra's this summer and hope to go back to Moab one day soon with it (spent a few days in Moab on my DR-Z400 and had the time of my life). I'm just trying to have a bitchin summer, ya know?

    Thanks for checking out my progress thus far and I'll be sure to keep this thread up to speed on new changes to my lovely Lil' Chunk!
    Last edited by CubbyChowder; 05-07-2019 at 12:44 AM.
    Elvesus, joeband, Miaugi and 10 others like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Elvesus's Avatar
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    Jun 2015
    Nanaimo BC
    Wow, you've totally embraced TW fever! Talk about hitting the ground running - you've done more in a week than many of us do in years, if ever! I was about to say you're gonna love the TW, but it's obvious you're already there.

    Welcome from British Columbia, and enjoy the ride
    Darth and tylermoney like this.
    John in Nanaimo

    2013 TW200 - with Shinko 241 front tire, Rox 2" anti-vibe risers, Polisport Touquet handguards, homemade wind deflector, Manracks utility rack

  3. #3
    Junior Member CubbyChowder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Elvesus View Post
    Wow, you've totally embraced TW fever! Talk about hitting the ground running - you've done more in a week than many of us do in years, if ever! I was about to say you're gonna love the TW, but it's obvious you're already there.

    Welcome from British Columbia, and enjoy the ride
    Thank you Elvesus, yes it's just in my nature to "hit the ground running" in my new projects/endeavors, I get infatuated and highly motivated. I'm loving the TW for sure, it does an excellent job of keeping a big dumb smile planted on my face

    British Columbia! I spent 3 months solo road tripping all over the western half of the US and parts of Canada last year and loved Vancouver but looking back now I wish I explored more of BC. From there I ventured over to Alberta to Jasper/Banff and couldn't get enough of the Canadian Rockies. I hope to spend a lot more days exploring Canada in my future. Maybe Lil' Chunk will come along with me!
    Last edited by CubbyChowder; 05-07-2019 at 12:18 AM.
    Miaugi, Sthrnromr, Darth and 2 others like this.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Milwaukee, WI
    Welcome to the forum. Enjoy that nice lookin bike.
    01 SOLD
    96 SOLD
    89 restored SOLD
    89 (restoration in process)
    05 (restoration in process)
    03 SOLD
    04 in great condition

  6. #5
    Senior Member Miaugi's Avatar
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    Oct 2017
    Alfred, On
    Congrats on the new to you T-Dub. Sounds like you're makeover is going well. Also welcome to the forum from another Canuck although I'm in eastern Ontario just 10 miles from the Quebec border.
    Elvesus likes this.
    Hidden Content Sold...Oct 2018......'01 F650GS

  7. #6
    Senior Member Sthrnromr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Rural, South Carolina
    Congrats on the bike and making it yours. Also, thanks for sharing your pictures and story. Welcome to the forum =)
    TW200 - The Goat
    KTM 300 - Orange Dragon


    Way too many past bikes and builds to list. I won't bore you. Questions? Just ask.

  8. #7
    Senior Member sub251's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Southern California
    Welcome! Nice bike there.
    1987 TW200
    2009 Kawasaki KLX250s
    2012 Honda CRF250x
    2019 Beta 200 RR

  9. #8
    Mel is offline
    Senior Member Mel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    San Luis Obispo, Calif.
    Welcome to the experience of the TW200 world!!!
    From Mel
    San Luis Obispo

  10. #9
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Frosty Hollow
    Welcome ChubbyChowder. Yup, you got the fever. TW fever that is.

    Nice look.

    Sthrnromr, Mel, Darth and 1 others like this.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

  11. #10
    Junior Member CubbyChowder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Thank you for the warm welcome everyone! The TW200 community seems like a good one
    tylermoney likes this.

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