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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1987 - Update: Not too far gone!

I picked up this this '87 for $200. I'm wrestling with the idea of fixing it up, but there's a lot missing, and it's going to need a lot of work. I can really use your help to make up my mind. Do you think it's worth the $ and effort?

The good:
-The engine isn't seized, and it appears to have good compression.
-The transmission shifts, and I can find neutral.
-The seat is in OK condition, though I'd probably replace the cover.
-It only has 2256 miles.

The bad:
-It's seen a significant amount of weather, as you can see in the pictures. There's surface rust on the frame, swingarm and unfortunately, the electrical contacts. No idea if the CDI works, but let's assume it doesn't.
-The tank is missing
-The rear fender and side panels are missing.
-The front fender is cracked and needs replacing.
-Kickstand is missing.
-The clutch cable is roached, and it's anyone's guess if the clutch is workable.
-The front brake cable is roached.
-The controls are weathered and it's unkown if they function. For sure, the throttle assembly will need to be replaced.
-Leaky fork seals.
-Minor oil residue on the bottom of the engine, but the engine currently has the proper oil level.
-It looks like the chain flew off at one time and cracked the side cover at the front sprocket. I'm not seeing anything but cosmetic damage at this point.

The bike was last licensed in 1990, and it's probably been stored under a tarp since then.

So, it's obviously a major project - Just not sure if it's worth the effort to fix it. What do you think?




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Discussion Starter #2
I tallied up the cost for a new CDI, Clarke tank, petcock, rear fender, front fender, side panels, kickstand, brake and clutch cables, and even if I buy some of this used, it's still going to be up in the $850 range, and by the time I add new tires, filters, etc, it's probably going to be around $1000, IF THERE ARE NO MAJOR ISSUES.
 

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That's about what mine looked like.

I approached it as a long-term project just to keep me occupied. No deadlines and a monthly budget to keep me from getting too excited.

I'm on about month six... and it now runs and drives, still ugly as sin, bit hey...

I guess the question really is do you need a project???

Personally I love getting bikes back on the road to live another day.
 

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Secondly...

Do not throw out your CDI until your whole wiring harness has been pulled part and cleaned. Check each wire for good continuity and then reassemble. It takes a few days, but is well worth the trouble.

I did a writeup on electrical specs for the 87 a few days ago. It may help you trouble shoot any gremlims.
 

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Here are my thoughts. I have one similar to yours that was running when I got it for $100. Since it didn't come with a title and is also a 1987, I never seriously considered putting any time or money into and have just been cannibalizing it for parts as somebody needs something. You could put $1,000 into yours and it would still only be worth 5 to 6 hundred dollars if you wanted to sell it.

You could easily sell the wheels and some odd bits and pieces like the turn signals, gauges, etc., to recover your $200 investment. Add that to the $1,000 you are considering putting into and you can probably get yourself a pretty nice TW that doesn't need a lot of work.

So I guess no, I don't think it is worth the $ and effort.


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Discussion Starter #7
EmergentTruth, Though I'm not half-bad at wiring, I don't think I'll ever be as ambitious as you are regarding replacing all of the wiring in a harness. I think I'd probably get about half way through the project and hang myself with said harness. :) I'll be sure to check out your write-up.

Brian, I'm not sure where you get your deals, but I've been looking diligently here in Oregon and Washington for the last few years, and you just can't find a running TW200 for $5-600. For that matter, you can't even find one for more than twice that amount, unless it has really high miles. I really appreciate your input, though. That's the kind of feedback I'm looking for - honest.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Itd't take 2k at least to get that thing to scratch - probably more

Depends om how much you want an '87 .......
Not bad enough to spend $2k! I already have one 2004 and two 2013's. I'm just looking for one that is in less-than-perfect condition so my wife can learn to ride. She really wants to have her own bike and I'm going to need to lower it a bit, because she's vertically challenged.
 

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Brian, I'm not sure where you get your deals, but I've been looking diligently here in Oregon and Washington for the last few years, and you just can't find a running TW200 for $5-600. For that matter, you can't even find one for more than twice that amount, unless it has really high miles. I really appreciate your input, though. That's the kind of feedback I'm looking for - honest.
Another '87, $550 but no title.



https://modesto.craigslist.org/mcy/d/yamaha-tw200/6619543989.html
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Crazy. I just don't see deals like that here. I'd be happy to buy that bike and put together one good one, if it was closer.
 

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I see a Parts Bike to support another restoration of a less used TW yet to be bought. Sales of parts of the Parts Bike as TW-Brian pointed out could recoup the $200 investment, or save money when the hypothetical second TW has problems, or earn satisfaction and karmic good will by helping others out with donated, or discounted parts.
A Parts Bike seems like an boat anchor or albatross around your neck until you or a friend need something.

For example:
-Evan had a parts bike and he sold the engine to Admiral for coins and we installed it in Admirals TW on my driveway halfway between their two cities many hundreds of miles apart. It made absolutely no sense, so we did it anyways and went for a ride afterwards. As a result I met and formed valuable friendships with two of the nicest guys imaginable. We have shared many a good times together as a result of that used engine that likely would not have occurred otherwise. Just last summer we did a Group Ride together with other excellent folks in the Sweetwater Mtns thanks to that unloved Parts Bike introducing us years ago.

- A free Parts Bike frame went unclaimed at one of the Russ Memorial rides. Later Forum Members with broken or tweaked frames would have loved to have had a replacement if only it was available.

- Several Nor-Cal riders have helped me out with an embarrassingly generous list of donated parts and tools over the years that leave me with a debt of honor I may never be able to repay. Made good friends in the process too.

So whether the '87 bike is restored or not it's purchase was not likely a mistake.
 

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Thank god for the like button!
 
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On a similar note the Mr.Gizmo bike I bought from Gerry the Genius came with all sorts of spare parts. I have helped a few others out with minor stuff and sold Adam-in-Nevda a 100% complete stock front end assembly. I still have many donor parts ready to put to good use.
 
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IMO you bought your 2nd TW FIRST! Any one of us "owners" would buy that bike for $200. The reasons are listed in the preceding comments.

So! Do not do anything. Now that "lost" TWs know you are a haven, they will start to show up. Find a nice one and use this one to fix the other one. Or, if the next one is not an '87, use it's parts to trade for the parts the "new" one needs.

I have a '95 TW and I do not want a NEW one. Riding it, working on it, and participating on this forum is what T Dubbing is all about. No other motorcycle comes close. (I have a DR350, too. Good bike. Ho hum community.)
 

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I'm a mechanic and used to love projects until I started doing the math. Thats a nice parts bike in my opinion.
I stopped doing the math...

My wife, an accountant, still does...:)

I tell her it's cheaper than hanging out at bars, or 4X4s which I used to build...
 

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EmergentTruth, Though I'm not half-bad at wiring, I don't think I'll ever be as ambitious as you are regarding replacing all of the wiring in a harness. I think I'd probably get about half way through the project and hang myself with said harness. :) I'll be sure to check out your write-up.
Just to clarify, I didn't completely remake the harness. I just unzipped it from its black sheath, checked all the wires and connectors and then re-covered it with new electrical tape.
Maybe took two days and a few six packs.

Keep the kids and dog out of the garage though, or it will make you loopy.
 

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Having brought more than a few seriously neglected TWs back to life I can tell you from the other side of this country you are embarking on an expensive project. The key here as I see it is in what you want this bike to be in the end, a bike for the wife to learn on. Based on that the bike need not be pretty but by all means it MUST be SAFE! That to me means the brakes, lights and all systems must be in full working order before I allow my wife or children on it. Riding around in the yard or field is one thing but ever going near a road or even on a trail is a completely different form of riding.

My approach would go something along these lines. Engine first, get the engine up and running so you know you have a power plant worth working with. Then tackle the electrical systems to lights, blinkers and all the safety switches. Once all this is figured out then and only then do you start breaking out the hundreds on things like tires, chain, sprockets, cables and a full set of plastic dressings plus a tank and seat. This BTW is a prime suspect for a full and complete frame up restoration that will never be worth what it costs to do. If you can't list it as a labor of love then list it as a parts donor and sell off what ever you can to recoup your initial outlay and save that money for a better fixer upper. The frame if it has a title is worth some money as is the engine if it runs and the wheels and some other parts will sell.

As an example, I have a complete set of all black plastics in the classified now. It includes everything from the front fender with mounting bracket, headlight cowl all the way to the rear cowl plus the tail light bracket with a new tail light, both side covers and a near new black seat cover and foam. All of it is in very nice condition for $250 plus shipping. Just because it is a 1987 does not mean it can't turn black. TWs don't care what they look like but they sure do have to run right and be safe. My personal opinion about your project is to scrap it but even that takes some effort to realize the most you possibly can from you initial investment. If I was still rebuilding TWs I would certainly pay $200 like you did but I bet I would turn that $200 into $600 + after getting the engine running and selling all the usable parts. I would not even consider the ground up restoration of this bike. That is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth from one who has done this before.

GaryL
 

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I've got a different take on this. The black bike in the photo below is an '87 that I got from Little Tommy. It was a running blue/white TW, like my other one, and he stripped it down to the frame, powder coated black, and re-assembled with almost all new parts. It's beautiful, and people are amazed it's a 30+ year old bike!

TWpair - 1.jpg

I've spent a lot of time and money upgrading my other one to be more like the black one, which means I've removed, replaced, and discarded (given away) a lot of parts. I've often thought I could have just started with a good frame/fork/swingarm, and built the bike I wanted from there.

In my view, you've got a great opportunity to build up a really nice TW! If I were in your shoes, I'd strip it the rest of the way down, paint the frame, and work it back up from there. Sure, it will cost you some money, but if you build it the way you want it, it will still be cheaper than retrofitting a complete bike.

If you decide to go this route, PM me... I've got some parts (including a white Clarke tank) I can donate to the cause! :eek:ccasion14:
 

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I've got a different take on this. The black bike in the photo below is an '87 that I got from Little Tommy. It was a running blue/white TW, like my other one, and he stripped it down to the frame, powder coated black, and re-assembled with almost all new parts. It's beautiful, and people are amazed it's a 30+ year old bike!

View attachment 180362

I've spent a lot of time and money upgrading my other one to be more like the black one, which means I've removed, replaced, and discarded (given away) a lot of parts. I've often thought I could have just started with a good frame/fork/swingarm, and built the bike I wanted from there.

In my view, you've got a great opportunity to build up a really nice TW! If I were in your shoes, I'd strip it the rest of the way down, paint the frame, and work it back up from there. Sure, it will cost you some money, but if you build it the way you want it, it will still be cheaper than retrofitting a complete bike.

If you decide to go this route, PM me... I've got some parts (including a white Clarke tank) I can donate to the cause! :eek:ccasion14:
I have no argument with anything you said CJ. Dollars and sense wise if he does all that you recommend I will guaranty his rebuilt 1987 will cost him way more than a rebuilt 1987 will ever again be worth. As a labor of love and for a bike you plan to keep and ride to it's eventual end then your advice is spot on. To rebuild it to road worthiness and then resell it you can forget that plan. Been there, done it and gave all of my time and efforts away plus some cash in the process. That bike, a 1988 Black Widow that I sold to friends and members here from Australia who drove it and my 1991 from NY to California and then on to TX on their epic tour a few years back. I sold it for a higher price than a 1988 even should have brought and even then I still lost a few hundred in the process but it sure did have a very clean bill of health and made a very long cross country trip with relatively few issues.

I need to say this. It is relatively easy and somewhat inexpensive to get a TW like that up and running so you can poke around in your yard or field. It is a completely different animal to get a bike like that back to looking nice and being safe and road worthy for long endurance.

GaryL
 
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