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Discussion Starter #1
First, I'd like to say I'll be back on the forum now that I have a bike again.

I just picked up a 1999 XT350 locally for $1,400. It came with a clarke tank and rear cyclerack, so I figure the "bike" itself was what... 1100 or so? Not bad I guess. Would have done those upgrades anyway, so I consider that money saved.

A few things:

1) I'll take it over to the local bike shop and have them give it a once-over/tune-up, etc. I can fix most problems which arise with the help of this fine forum and YouTube, but I don't know what I don't know to look for exactly.
2) I broke the dang shifter partly right in front of the garage after driving it home. Felt like it wasn't wanting to go into gear (didn't realize I was in first and not second) and sure enough, the toe portion straight broke off which my enthusiastic stomping on it -- fairly easy to replace I assume?
3) Seems to have a slight oil leak below the engine/on top of the I dunno what ya call it.. the crank case? I don't recall that when I looked it over before buying, so I'll need to get that checked out. Could also just be stuff which was dust covered and when heated up became more liquid. Will wipe off and test once I repair the shifter.
4) Holds around 5.5k RPM in 5th gear at around 50-60... that alright or is that indicative of something going on? Red line starts at what... 7-8k? I'd have to look.

I was going to go with the tw200, but I could not find one locally which was under 2k, even really old ones, and I did not want to get into a payment situation.

Hoping I didn't get a lemon. Seems to run fine, just worried about the potential oil leak.
 

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Watch for carb boot leaks. I assume it is the "dual carb YDIS" set up. Oil leak- It is likely leaking from the cylinder base gasket. That requires the jug (top end) to be removed to replace. My 1994 leaked after a few years as well. Other than that, its normal stuff. Chain, sprockets, steering head and rear suspension bearings/ bushings. Not much suspension, motor a bit weak compared to the competition of the time, but I loved mine.
 

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Sorry man it's junk, you better send it to me for proper recycling.;)
j/k:)

You done good.
They'e getting popular again for the same reasons they were popular when they were new. Yamaha made bazillions of them from 1985 to 200. Parts and service items are readily available.
There was only a few minor changes from beginning to end. The big changes were " Bold NEW Graphics " :D

Put up some pics when you're ready to ?


Here's one of mine.
0604121221a - Copy.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies so far.

Here are some pics. You can see where it's wet. I don't recall that when I looked at it before buying, but like I said, it could have been there and just the heat of driving it made it more noticeable.
IMG_1637.JPG IMG_1641.JPG IMG_1642.JPG IMG_1643.JPG IMG_1644.JPG
 

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That seat don't look stock. If its by Seat Concepts your bike alone price is now $900-$1,000.

The shifter is fixable, got a buddy who can weld ? Oil leak is too. Before tearing it down don't forget to check the crank case vent tube for blockages first.

There's a bunch of mods you can do. Be careful they will suck you in. Nothing wrong with them bone stock either.

Nice bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think it's an SC seat, unless it is and was recovered. Definitely not stock, but unsure what it is. Any way to tell if the original SC cover was redone -- such as seat frame/skeleton indicators?

I used JB weld on the shifter last night after taking off the whole lever. Once that's set for 24 hours, I'll attempt further reinforcement until I can get a replacement in or can pass it off to a buddy who has a welder. I don't want to drive it much until I have the local shop (Apex motorsports) give it a once-over. Would rather wait a few days and be sure than drive now and get a bad surprise -- especially if anything was fixable and becomes unfixable.

When I take off the oil fill cap, should I see oil present? I did not, so I added a little I had on hand, but didn't know how full it should be -- didn't have indications of problems on drive home, so unsure.

Looking back on the drive home, I might have had trouble shifting into 6th gear -- if it even made it there. Once shifter is believably fixed/shop gives it all clear, I'll test drive it and be more careful about counting. So used to 1D/4U patterns that I might not have realized it was giving problems into 6th.

Once it's good to go/passes a check up, I'll begin getting in hand guards and a manrack for front, generally kitting it out to be a pack mule. I had a cyclerack front on the tw200, but I never liked that it covered the headlight.
 

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Nice bike CS-and a nice buy too. I owned a 1991 XT350 and had a blast with it for many years. Unfortunately for me-the cam chain tensioner wore out at around 11,000 miles and KaPlunk! So, grab yourself a Clymer manual (I even have one if you're interested) and get to know your bike from top to bottom. They are a blast to ride both fast and slow- and 55-60 mph seems a little short of the bike's limit. But, we don't know your weight weight/gear/etc.:D Check your sprockets to see if they are the original configuration, as this can reduce your top end quite a bit. There are many aftermarket shift levers that will fit the XT for less than $20.00, some with a flexible tip. I would invest in one of these early on if possible. Oh, and check your brake pads too---the rear can wear very quickly. Have fun and report back!:eagerness:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UncleRandy,

Thanks for the info. If you are interested in selling the manual, I'm interested in buying. Feel free to PM me. It would do more than 60, but not with enthusiasm (I also didn't want to go too fast since it was my first time on it and I haven't ridden in around 3 years).

Brakes definitely need to be replaced, as stopping is not a quick thing. Will also likely need at least a new rear tire (shows signs of age).

Also, noticed the number on the engine doesn't match frame VIN.

Example (not actual numbers)
Frame:
jya3nve05xa046452
Engine:
3nv - 046287

So I'm assuming the engine was swapped out at some point?
 

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Nice bike!
 
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UncleRandy,

Thanks for the info. If you are interested in selling the manual, I'm interested in buying. Feel free to PM me. It would do more than 60, but not with enthusiasm (I also didn't want to go too fast since it was my first time on it and I haven't ridden in around 3 years).

Brakes definitely need to be replaced, as stopping is not a quick thing. Will also likely need at least a new rear tire (shows signs of age).

Also, noticed the number on the engine doesn't match frame VIN.

Example (not actual numbers)
Frame:
jya3nve05xa046452
Engine:
3nv - 046287


So I'm assuming the engine was swapped out at some point?
Your engine and frame numbers 046287 and 046452 are so close I wouldn't wouldn't think so. UncleRandy brings up a good point. Cam chain tensioner. The have a clock spring inside. Springs have a finite life span. All XT350's are between 16 and 31 years old now. A new tensioner and new air filter foam element are cheap piece of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Finally figured out where to view oil level... I can't see any! Does it *have* to be warmed up and totally level to see any, or should I be able to see some when it's on kickstand? I pulled it level also, but didn't warm up before viewing when level. Don't want to even start it right now until I can determine if oil is in it.

Going to be very unhappy if I drove this thing home 30 miles dry -- especially since the guy said oil in it was fresh -- is such a thing even possible or would it have died on me? Anything I should look for?
 

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Finally figured out where to view oil level... I can't see any! Does it *have* to be warmed up and totally level to see any, or should I be able to see some when it's on kickstand? I pulled it level also, but didn't warm up before viewing when level. Don't want to even start it right now until I can determine if oil is in it.

Going to be very unhappy if I drove this thing home 30 miles dry -- especially since the guy said oil in it was fresh -- is such a thing even possible or would it have died on me? Anything I should look for?
Get a service manual for it ASAP. A few bikes have weird little procedures that you need to do to correctly check the oil level. For most bikes, wait until the engine is completely cold, then park it on a level surface and hold the bike upright/vertical/perpendicular to the ground, then wait a few seconds and check the bubble. As long as you can see at least some oil in the bubble at that point, then you should be good, for now. But keep an eye on it as these singles tend to be oil guzzlers. And confirm with a manual that that is the correct oil-check procedure.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I've read the manual (found the pdf online) and it says to warm up first, but I'm hesitant to even do that unless I know there is some oil in it. This is why I'm asking if it's possible to read level without warming up; if it could be seen (though not giving a true reading) if on kick stand, etc. Even not warmed up, I should see oil right?

My concern, if I don't see oil, is what condition the engine is now in if I rode the thing home dry, and how much riding the previous owner did dry... i.e., how far should it go if it is dry?
 

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I've read the manual (found the pdf online) and it says to warm up first, but I'm hesitant to even do that unless I know there is some oil in it. This is why I'm asking if it's possible to read level without warming up; if it could be seen (though not giving a true reading) if on kick stand, etc. Even not warmed up, I should see oil right?

My concern, if I don't see oil, is what condition the engine is now in if I rode the thing home dry, and how much riding the previous owner did dry... i.e., how far should it go if it is dry?

Well, you wouldn't have made it home if there were NO oil in it. It could be low. It's probably a good idea to change the oil and filter anyway (even if it isn't low). I'd probably just go buy some oil and a filter, then drain the oil out of the engine (leaning the bike left and right to get as much as possible out), then see how much comes out and compare it to the oil/filter change oil capacity in the manual, to see about how much was in it - compared to what should have been in it. Then just continue with the oil change as normal (following the manual) and check it as-per the instructions in the manual after you finish.

As long as there was at least about 70% or so of the recommended oil in the engine, you shouldn't really need to worry about any permanent damage (just don't ride it long-term with low oil, obviously).





Oh yea and, most manuals will actually say to warm up the engine and then wait several minutes to check it. That's probably what your XT manual says. You should be able to get a good reading with the COLD method (I've always used the cold method on all my bikes because I find it better/more accurate/more consistent). Maybe check it in the morning (without warming it up). If no oil shows up in the bubble when you follow the procedure I mentioned earlier, try leaning the bike further over - to the right/AWAY from the kick stand side. You should be able to get an idea of how much oil is in there that way, depending on how far over you need to lean it before oil shows up on the bottom of the bubble. So anyway, sorry for my scatter-brained-ness... I'd do the COLD engine check thing before draining the oil and changing it.
 

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Follow through with KJ's advice. Curious though, how much oil does it say it should have in it? Does it have a little window like the TW's to view it? And, what does it say regarding on kickstand or not on kickstand?
 
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Discussion Starter #17
I actually just threw a little under a liter in it and it now shows in the level window. Will do check per procedure in manual tomorrow when I can have my wife hold it level for me while I look. If it's above max, I'll drain some and check again. I have two more bottles and will be taking it in to the local shop on Saturday anyway for a check up, and will get a new filter, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Follow through with KJ's advice. Curious though, how much oil does it say it should have in it? Does it have a little window like the TW's to view it? And, what does it say regarding on kickstand or not on kickstand?
It does have a window, but it's just in a kinda weird location and I had to look for it from a different angle than I was. Total, according to the manual, should be 1.6L. Says view when bike is level -- just wasn't sure if that's to see oil at all, or just for a true reading.
 

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That would be for a true reading.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
Ah. That's what I feared. Hoping no damage was done, as who knows how long that thing went on whatever drops were in there. :(
 
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