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Thread: 1990 tw help

  1. #1
    Junior Member xtomhanx's Avatar
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    1990 tw help

    I'm brand new here but have been searching through the forums trying to find something that might help me out with my new tw200. So I just picked it up a few days ago and I know it needs a few things but first things first, I was told it needed a new clutch. It won't shift into any gear at all, the clutch handle feels like it engages but won't move out of neutral. Any ideas on where I should start with it? Thanks
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    Hi, and welcome. Your first stop should be to check out the "stickies" in the Technical Write-ups section. There you will find some helpful stuff like this: https://tw200forum.com/forum/technica...back-life.html , https://tw200forum.com/forum/technica...tch-works.html, as well as find download-able copies of the service manual.

    A little more info on the history of the bike would be useful for our members, such as has it been sitting unused for a while? How long? What is the mileage?

    Bikes that have been sitting can get their clutch plates stuck together. I would read through that first link and make sure you first don't do more harm by the way you try to get 'er running. An oil change and proper clutch cable and drive chain slack adjustments may get the clutch back in order, along with some rocking back and forth while trying the gearshift. If not, the service manual and some searches will help get you all fixed up.

    FYI- the integrated search feature can be, well not the most helpful sometimes. You can use Bing or Google and limit your searches to this site by typing this in the search bar...

    site:tw200forum.com clutch problem (or whatever search term you are hunting for)

    This route often yields better results for me. Good luck!
    Last edited by Leisure Time Larry; 03-27-2017 at 10:33 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Hi Tom and welcome to the forum!

    We are going to need some more information in order to be able to help you. When you say that it won't shift into any gear and won't move out of neutral, what exactly do you mean?

    Does the shift lever not move up or down? Does the neutral light not go off? Does the bike roll freely whether the clutch lever is pulled in or released? Is this a running bike or does it need work to get the engine running?

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  5. #4
    Senior Member mountain yawp's Avatar
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    Welcome and I bet with the help of this great site you will be happily rolling along on your new TW soon.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member arrowsmith's Avatar
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    My 91 would only go into first and neutral. Something was wrong with the shifter. It was hitting on the shield around the oil pump gear. Wesley had it changed before I got to compare with it the one out of the other motor.
    When trying to shift the lever felt solid and not move.
    Last edited by arrowsmith; 03-28-2017 at 03:18 AM.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Rider21's Avatar
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    Even if the clutch was worn out you should be able shift gears while rocking the bike back and forth.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member socalnative's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site.

    When you say it "won't go into any gear at all" do you mean it can roll around and if you push down or lift up on the shifter it never clicks into a gear and thus then will not roll freely?

    The clutch is technically "engaged" normally.
    And only "disengaged" when you pull the lever.
    The clutch of the TW feels a little odd if you are very familiar with a lot of different motorcycles but it usually works pretty good.

    Just trying to get us all on the same page to help getting to the issue or issues as soon as possible.

    It would help if you gave a little background of your experience with motorcycles or vehicles and as many details about your new TW as possible.
    jtomelliott49, admiral and Ken like this.

  10. #9
    Junior Member xtomhanx's Avatar
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    Hey everyone and thank you for the quick responses, it's been very helpful and awesome of yall.
    so first things first.
    I've been looking around for a TW for a bit and recently found one close to me on Craigslist and ended up snagging it. It's a 1990 tw200 with just under 5000 miles on it (supposedly..........the speedo hasn't worked in at least nine months)
    The story I was told from my craigslister was that he bought the bike from the original owner who had done regular service and had gotten the top end rebuilt somewhat recently. The guy who sold it to me had only owned it for about nine months and used it to commute about twenty minutes to work a few times a week and rode some local trails. He said about three months ago he was riding and the clutch gave out on him. Just wouldn't go into gear. When I checked it out it ran and sounded fine and sure enough when you pulled the clutch and tried to shift into first it'd stall out right away. So with that, I was told and assumed I'd need a new clutch. The kid also claimed hed readjusted and cleaned and re jetted the carb and had opened the gear box and replaced the gaskets (which i found out when i got home he didnt tighten the bolts on the cover when i tried to kick it over and oil started leaking from the seam. In addition to that I gave the bike a good once over and noticed the front drum brake doesnt engage even though I've adjusted it. The speedo supposedly doesn't work and maybe there's something wrong with the front hub or maybe just the cable. I know I need a new battery as well. Since its been in my garage I haven't been able to get it turned over again (though I haven't really gone too far into trying) but I did get it to shift through all gears. That's the basics of what I know about the bike. There's some scratches and dents but doesn't seem as though it's been seriously injured in its life.
    I'll post some initial photos.
    As far as me, I used to ride motocross when I was younger but asides from my new tw I own a 1989 Honda NX250 but asides from routine maintenance I'm no mechanic. I do my best to fix anything I can and have some experience wrenching on my truck and some two strokes.
    I can post some more in depth photos if that helps with any advice or tips
    Thanks
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. #10
    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    Well, as for stalling when you click it down into 1st...don't let that scare you just yet. Putting aside the story from the Craigslist person (because they're never true anyway...)....

    I have practically no seat time on my TW but I can tell you that the clutch works perfectly....when it's not stuck from sitting. If they sit for a while, the clutch plates will stick together so even though you have the lever pulled, there's enough surface area of the discs that is 'stuck together' to make the discs grip together just as though the clutch was not disengaged at all.

    When I start mine in the shed, if it's sat for a while, if will stall immediately upon clicking the shifter down into 1st. Once it warms up the plates stop sticking and the clutch works smoothly. Well, as smoothly as a TW clutch can....

    Put it into say, 3rd, and roll the bike back and forth and see if the hind wheel turns a little bit and then fetches up. If is, sit on it (still in 3rd, clutch lever pulled in, engine off) and throw your weight back and forth a bit. What you're looking to accomplish is to give the bike a forward shove while you drop your weight on the seat. In my case, that's enough to break the plates looks from each other. And when I say 'break', it's not really breaking anything. Like when you go to take a dinner plate out of the cupboard and the smooth surface is 'stuck' to the smooth surface of the next plate. I'd assume that bigger bikes suffer the same problem, but the bigger the engine, the heavier the bits and bobs are that are spinnin' round, so they break the 'stickies' without stalling the engine.

    Sometimes the brand of oil, or viscosity, or anything will cause the 'stickies' to happen.

    I have a 2015 with very little miles, and I know if I go start it now and give it a few minutes to warm up a bit, it will kill the engine when I shift it into 1st...unless I remember to give it that shove back and forth to break the stuck plates loose.

    Maybe the clutch isn't roasted... I'd check by pulling the lever and watching the actuation lever on the case and making sure that all looks correct and moves the way it should. Then slack the cable adjustment off completely and set it up per the manual. (Or watch the video from TDubskid on youtube...he sounds goofy, but he makes really good videos for basic TW maintenance...props to him)

    It's easy to assume the worst by the story from the PO....but if they can't put two case halves together well enough to not leak when you attempt to kick the engine over, I would ignore any diagnosis they have made.
    Also, one little washer/spacer/shim in the wrong order on a shaft could cause a clearance issue that would not allow the case halves to mate well enough to seal. If that item that's causing the clearance issue is in the clutch area, the clutch plates may be jammed together and that's why it stalls as soon as you drop it in 1st.

    People don't pull gearboxes apart 'just because'...and the story you told didn't mention anything that would have been a reason for the gearbox to be apart (case halves, whatever you prefer...) There may be more to the story, but there was nothing in the one you told that would result in splitting the case. It also doesn't make any sense that the top end needed to be rebuilt in under 5000 miles. Again, the story's either false, or there's more to it. I'd almost put money on the PO pulling the clutch cover off, reassembling incorrectly, and now something's jammed, causing the clutch plates to be jammed together, and possibly causing a spacing issue that's causing the gaskets to leak. Unless that was just caused by the bolts being left loose (not sure if that was your guess or if they were actually all not even tightened) AND, if they weren't even tightened, I would put money on something being assembled incorrectly in the clutch. So....all good news for you. There MAY be something terminal going on, and the arse has gone completely out of it...but there's a way higher probability it's something not that bad at all, but made to seem way worse than it is by everything being put together kitty-whompus.

    When I was 14 I did well to know how to change the oil in my 3-wheeler...but something in its guts broke and I ended up with the engine apart, and having to buy a new case half. It was a pile of $$ for a 14-yearold, so it sat in jam jars and tobacco cans for at least a year....but it all went back together eventually. Get a manual (of download one here) and take your time, and go slow. It's just nuts and bolts, and levers and springs....there's no actual magic involved. If you're like me, collect every hammer you own, and throw them down a well....then you'll be forced to stop and think, "Hmm...there must be a reason this isn't fitting together...perhaps I shall think on this a moment....." Then you'll see the issue, and easily fix it....rather than hitting it with a hammer, and causing 11 more problems. :-)

    I put the transmission of a tractor back together once, and it felt tight. The farm manager was a rammy guy so his solution was to rev it up and 'run it in'. About 2 minutes of ramming later it shoved the output seal and bearing out of the back of the case. All that was wrong was me putting a spacer in the wrong place on a shaft. Totally my fault, but had he let me tear it apart again, the parts bill would have been nothing more than a tube of silicone.


    TLDR: It's likely not as bad as you think, and sounds like the person that took it apart might have reassembled things incorrectly, thereby not fixing the original issue correctly AND creating other problems.
    Last edited by GCFishguy; 03-29-2017 at 06:31 AM.

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