Commuting with a TW - Engine mods, etc...
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  1. #1
    Junior Member jim.snowden@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Hello All,



    TW200's are completely new to me. In my ten years of riding, I have never come across one. Basically, I was doing a search on bikes with the best fuel economy and I see this really cool-looking bike. And then it turns out that they've been around for years!! Why have I never seen one?!?!



    Anyway, I start doing some research and see all kinds of mods that have been done to these things. Then the wheels really start turning......



    Here are my basic questions:



    1. Can this bike run 60-70 mph without it feeling like she's going to explode? I'm thinking not, but I'm hoping. 20 miles of my commute is interstate and I don't want to get run over by a semi...



    2. If the answer is no, can anything be done about it? Engine mods/replacement, etc etc??? Has anyone heard of putting a slightly bigger engine on a TW?



    All thoughts appreciated. I'm getting pretty excited. It's been awhile since I've been bitten by a bug and this has all the tell-tale signs.



    Here's one of the pics that started the juices flowing...




  2. #2
    Member bluedevilfootballman's Avatar
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    on my 2000 tw, a modification i made to make it more commuter friendly was swapping out my countersprocket to one with one higher tooth count (13 to a 14 i think), and install an o ring chain. with jus these mods it cruises 55-60 outstanding, however i'm not gonna recomend it for regular interstate use. i've taken mine down I40 for about 7 or 8 miles through knoxville running 65ish (about 3/4 throttle), and it probably isn't the ideal interstate machine. i try to take the backroads in short. there is a member or 2 on the forum that have swapped to a higher performance cam and regeared the bike and they seem like they would cruise comforatably at 65 after watching the videos they've posted on the sight. good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wheelie Nelson's Avatar
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    my tw is used primarily for commuting. i bought it for gas mileage. i live 5 miles from my job and take side streets under 40 mph there and back. sometimes i do take the highway and hit around 65.



    i regeared to a 45 tooth rear sprocket. is 65 to 70 reachable? yes it is. would i want to ride that speed everyday? absolutely not!



    i have never ridden on the street tires, so i don't know how they would feel, but after a mile at 65, i'm ready to get back to side streets. that's just my take on it, but if i had to commute over 60mph, i would want at least a 350cc bike. i love burning up and down side streets on my TW, but getting out on the open road is not what i bought it for. other people may have different opinions though.

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  5. #4
    Junior Member rockiedog2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbob View Post
    Hello All,



    TW200's are completely new to me. In my ten years of riding, I have never come across one. Basically, I was doing a search on bikes with the best fuel economy and I see this really cool-looking bike. And then it turns out that they've been around for years!! Why have I never seen one?!?!



    Anyway, I start doing some research and see all kinds of mods that have been done to these things. Then the wheels really start turning......



    Here are my basic questions:



    1. Can this bike run 60-70 mph without it feeling like she's going to explode? I'm thinking not, but I'm hoping. 20 miles of my commute is interstate and I don't want to get run over by a semi...



    2. If the answer is no, can anything be done about it? Engine mods/replacement, etc etc??? Has anyone heard of putting a slightly bigger engine on a TW?



    All thoughts appreciated. I'm getting pretty excited. It's been awhile since I've been bitten by a bug and this has all the tell-tale signs.



    Here's one of the pics that started the juices flowing...







    IMO even with mods it'll never be a practical interstate commuter

  6. #5
    Junior Member jim.snowden@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Thanks for the honest answers even though it's not what I want to hear. I pretty much knew the answer but I was in denile. Do the tires cause a lot the issue? I've never riden a dirt bike on the street. I do know those big fat tires look damn nice. Maybe it's worth getting one just ride around the neighborhood.



    Anyone have a different take? I'm not completely out of denile mode yet....

  7. #6
    Senior Member Turtle Chaser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbob View Post
    Here are my basic questions:



    1. Can this bike run 60-70 mph without it feeling like she's going to explode? I'm thinking not, but I'm hoping. 20 miles of my commute is interstate and I don't want to get run over by a semi...



    2. If the answer is no, can anything be done about it?


    First off realize your riding lawnmower probably has more power than a Tdub. Second thing, if you run 20 miles @ 70mph it will feel like she's going to explode. So will it explode ? That depends on how many miles are on it and how well it has been maintained. Can a Tdub be hopped up? Yes, but if not done properly may just cause a larger explosion. I run my slightly modified '06 on the freeway a lot. I can cruise @ 55mph comfortably all day. If I need to keep up with the flow I can cruise 60mph for five to ten miles. 65 -70mph only for a short while, some here have reported spooky handling above that. Some may claim to cruise @ 65mph, I think they will eventually explode. With only 16hp on tap a lot depends on gearing, headwinds, hills ect. If you need a freeway commuter there are way better choices. If you want a light weight go anywhere trail bike that can double as a trans-urban commuter, look no further!



    P.S. this is all JMHO and yes it would be worth getting one to ride around the hood!
    GOD BLESS & RIDE SAFE, TC____________ BC rides: Honda SL100, Honda TL125, Penton125 ISDT, KTM400 ISDT

    now riding '06 TW w/ Jimbo Window, Acerbis bushbusters, ProTaper bars w/risers, Pro Grip 737's, Osram Rally headlamp w/modulator, turn signal beeper, Kenda k270 4.00 x 18,
    triple horns w/relay, big pegs, folding shifter, tuned carb w/drilled slide, 15/50 w/D.I.D. O-ring, RedLine 20w/50, Sterns w/extra padding, extra LED brake light, xt225 brake arm, rear Cycle Racks w/hacked milk crate. Hidden Content

  8. #7
    Member sakogu's Avatar
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    honestly, it depends on your gearing and weight, i have a 90 tw200 with stock gearing 14-50 and i have had mine up too 116 km/h or 72.079 mph on flat no wind, i weigh around 185-190 ish with gear on and i was all tucked in, and likely over revving the engine, i don't do it often or for extended periods, it took a while at speeds faster than 64 mph, but could hold 62.5 mph ish for me easily even up hills and has done so for a few hour long trips no problems and thats around the speed i ride it on the highway, so with a gearing mod you'll likely get several more top end mph out of it, that being said, me + my sister probably about 340 lb, was only able to pull about 56 mph so it depends

  9. #8
    Member shadow's Avatar
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    I have about as tall geared as you can, 15/45, with a stock engine. I commute 8 or so miles to work with one short ramp-to-ramp (about 1 mile) stretch down what we call our "connector" but it is posted to 55 and the TW does this fine.



    My thoughts, The speeds your are talking will kill a TW within a year, the engine was never designed to turn that many RPMs for that long. The bike is way too light, wind from trucks will have you all over the place, even blow you into a car or right off the road, one good cross gust of wind and you are done. The brakes weren't meant for emergency stopping at those speeds.



    My take, I do commute on mine, but I also have a 600cc road bike sitting in the garage for open road/freeway riding. Buy the TW for in town/light errand running/trail loping/fun factor riding then hit craigslist and find a nice old <$1000 CB, XJ, LX of 400cc or more for your commute.

  10. #9
    Senior Member wrench-puller's Avatar
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    Hi Jimbob, by now your probably totaly confussed about the TW abd what it will do. These are purpose built machines and are top of their class for what were designed to do, just what the original name was.....Trailway. As a weekend trail machine they are second to none, but as a freeway flyer....never going to happen. We have a saying at the dirt track where we raced dirt stocks that goes like this "No replacement for displacement". This simply means if you want more speed you need more power, more power means more displacement. You can only take so much horsepower from 200 CC engine with out killing it and the taller the gearing the harder it is on the engine. By fine tuning and a few carb mods you can do freeway speeds, but you will start to lose that fuel economy that first attracted you to the TW. I have had mine upto 120 km/hour and it was as stable and smooth as any bike, but first incline and she fell right off, why? well lack of Hp to over come the rise in grade. I double my wife with me all over the back roads and trails here and highway ride as well, never had a problem, but I never push the bike and let it tell me what speed it can handle. As we take the hills, I just down shift till the RPM is steady and sometimes that takes us to speeds that are not safe on freeways or highways. But get us out on the trails and its a goat, goes anywhere and climbs like theres no tomorrow. This is due to the low gearing and torque of the engine, not its Hp.



    The best thing to do Jimbob would be to go to your local Yamaha dealer and test drive one for yourself, or better yet, come on over and you can take mine for a spin. I know you will fall in love with this bike and have to have one even if it wont do 70mph, you just have to allow more time to get to where your going. My commute to work was like 4 minutes in my truck, now with the TW it can be as long as 45 minutes because I ride all over before going to work and as for coming home, sometimes it can be 2 hours ! Best investment I have made was to buy my 09 Tdub as it has given me back the joy of riding i had at 16 yrs old and even the wife enjoys our weekend outtings. I wish you all the best in your decision but if you are only wanting a freeway commute bike, this is not the safest or the best choice of vehicle, but if you want to grin like a school boy and take a slower road in life, you just have to GET ONE !
    2009 TW200, Jimbo shield, 47&55T rear with DID chain, Maxxis Ceros Rear, Kendra 270 front, extended swing arm, 1"Risers, Rear rack, Raised front fender, XOG GPS.

  11. #10
    Senior Member immgunn's Avatar
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    Hello Jimbob,



    I primarily use my TW for commuting to work. I commute 26 miles round trip every day. 20 miles on the Capitol City Freeway here in Sacramento. I went up a tooth on my crank sprocket and down a tooth on my wheel sprocket. The bike cruises at 70 to 72 with a reasonably low engine speed, assuming there's no head wind or hill. But that's it! There's nothing left to pass or get out of harms way. I just ride really conservatively staying in the slow lane.



    BTW - the fuel economy rocks!



    Regarding stock tires. Setting aside the longer stopping distance and the noise, they're fine. I can't wait for mine to wear out so I can get something more "street" compatible.



    See ya'





    Marty

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