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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Been enjoying riding the TW200 both on and off road for a bit over 500 miles over the past few weeks. I'm fortunate to have a 10,000 acre OHV area 15 minutes up a winding canyon road in the southern California mountains. I work nights, so I can ride most days too. It's been 30 years since I owned a motorcycle, and it's just a thrill every day, and the TW200 is just fantastic stomping through the mountain trails and buzzing around town.

So far I've added the OEM Rear Fender Rack, some fat foot pegs and a longer gear shift for a YZ250 so my boots fit properly. Also ordered the RoxSpeedFX 2" Handlebar Risers with the vibration suppression which I'll be putting on next week when they arrive. Hoping that helps for a little more comfortable street ride. I've considered going with a 47T rear sprocket, but I don't find the 50-55mph speeds I hit around town overly hard on the engine, and I really enjoy the torque going up some steep rocky hillsides. I'm 6'1" 220lbs, and the TW200 moves me around just fine, and I think less teeth on the sprocket might not move me when I want to move through something tough off road. Any experienced opinions there are welcome.

I'm also thinking about the Seat Concepts seat modification, although the stock seat has not really bothered me yet, I am one who enjoys comfort. Last thing I'm thinking right now is more cosmetic, but I am not sure if I like the white plastic, and might prefer replacing with black plastic parts, blacking them out or painting. But then other times I look at the bike and love it like it is.

Here's a few pictures which I'll add to as I add the handlebar risers etc. Any suggestions on mods or advise about the TW200 is welcome.

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Been enjoying riding the TW200 both on and off road for a bit over 500 miles over the past few weeks. I'm fortunate to have a 10,000 acre OHV area 15 minutes up a winding canyon road in the southern California mountains. I work nights, so I can ride most days too. It's been 30 years since I owned a motorcycle, and it's just a thrill every day, and the TW200 is just fantastic stomping through the mountain trails and buzzing around town.

So far I've added the OEM Rear Fender Rack, some fat foot pegs and a longer gear shift for a YZ250 so my boots fit properly. Also ordered the RoxSpeedFX 2" Handlebar Risers with the vibration suppression which I'll be putting on next week when they arrive. Hoping that helps for a little more comfortable street ride. I've considered going with a 47T rear sprocket, but I don't find the 50-55mph speeds I hit around town overly hard on the engine, and I really enjoy the torque going up some steep rocky hillsides. I'm 220lbs, and the TW200 moves me around just fine, and I think less teeth on the sprocket might not move me when I want to move through something tough off road. Any experienced opinions there are welcome.

I'm also thinking about the Seat Concepts seat modification, although the stock seat has not really bothered me yet, I am one who enjoys comfort. Last thing I'm thinking right now is more cosmetic, but I am not sure if I like the white plastic, and might prefer replacing with black plastic parts, blacking them out or painting. But then other times I look at the bike and love it like it is.

Here's a few pictures which I'll add to as I add the handlebar risers etc. Any suggestions on mods or advise about the TW200 is welcome.

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Nice T-dub! Welcome from across the pond
 

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Welcome. Lose the front tire ASAP. If you do a lot of off roading I can’t recommend going higher on the gearing. The guys I bought my bikes from tried 47 tooth rear sprockets and they came on our bikes. I quickly changed them to 50 and now much prefer 55 T for off road driving. Yes the street speed is lower but for me the compromise is worth it vs the off roadability.
 

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I have done easy off-road stuff with 14-45. But on the last Fred ride (with tougher sections); I had run 15-50 (which is equal to 14-47) and would NOT recommend going higher than stock for anything but fairly easy off-roading. The "14-47" was definitely POOR on steeper loose rocky stuff (especially if you need to start out from a stop).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the great feedback. You settled my mind on sticking with the stock gearing for now. As I said it gets me around town and up the side of a mountain, so what more could I want.

Interesting feedback on the front tire. I had not heard this before, but did read through the excellent tire thread. What are the issues folks have with the stock front tire? Bad off-road traction? Vibration on road? These would be my guesses. And recommendation for a replacement?

Thanks for the hand guard tip. I have not researched those yet. Definitely something I'll be needing.

I had mentioned the seat kit above. Are there any other seat options that work with the stock tank etc?
 

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Nice bike and mods.
The stock seat is adequate. But compared to the Seat Concepts kit it's pathetic.
I did add 1 inch risers (I'm 6'2") at the same time I introduced the SC seat. Not much more to say about riding in comfort.
 

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What are the issues folks have with the stock front tire? Bad off-road traction? Vibration on road? These would be my guesses. And recommendation for a replacement?


Welcome to the forum. The stock Bridgestone front tire does not have good traction off-pavement. The knobs are not very tall and don't grip the soil very well plus they wear out rather quickly. If you are a good off-road rider you can make it work but you will notice from time-to-time it will washout going around turns/corners. Not really any good in sand either.

It's fine on pavement.

Some of the popular replacements are: For off-road: Pirelli MT43 Trials tire; Shinko SR241 Trail tire (also a trials looking tire); SR244 (5.10x18 or 4.60x18). There are many others which are and have been used but not in the numbers of the tires I mentioned above.

For more of a street oriented tire, some will switch to the Bridgestone TW203 (front); TW204 (rear) tires.
 

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14x50 sprockets might be OK for a managed ORV park but in my opinion a larger rear sprocket will usually make you safer off road. It all depends on the severity of your terrain.
There is a reasonable minimum speed for any gearing combination and the higher that speed is the less time you will have to react to any situations you encounter.
A few extra teeth can make the difference between tires locked up sliding down a hill or using compression braking fully in control. Or going uphill encountering a ledge do you want to be able to crawl over it or slam into it hoping you won’t stall and make it over the top? Slipping the clutch on these TWs is not always effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
OK. Thanks all. Understanding a few things better. My first day out to the OHV area a few weeks back I got a little lost and wound up going down the mountain via black single track. I think I would have liked a BIGGER sprocket for some of that where I was too fast in first, locking up the brakes, but gravity was taking me down the rocky loose dirt hill no matter what. I was swearing and out of control for much of that, but never went down. :) I'm avaiding that particular trail for now, so I'll keep the stock and see how it goes. If I start looking for more challenging terrain maybe then look at more teeth.

I have placed an order for the grippy Seat Concepts kit and a Crystal Clear Jimbo Windscreen. Very excited to outfit it all. Still shopping around for handguards.

And I'll look into the tires further. I have felt the front slip out a few times when I thought it shouldn't have.

Here's another pic of a lowland area I've been playing in.

lowlands-tw200.jpg
 

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For someone like me who just dabbles in the dirt and sand ...."where I was too fast in first" sounds funny to me.
Have fun with your mods and post some pictures.
 

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OK. Thanks all. Understanding a few things better. My first day out to the OHV area a few weeks back I got a little lost and wound up going down the mountain via black single track. I think I would have liked a BIGGER sprocket for some of that where I was too fast in first, locking up the brakes, but gravity was taking me down the rocky loose dirt hill no matter what. I was swearing and out of control for much of that, but never went down. :) I'm avaiding that particular trail for now, so I'll keep the stock and see how it goes. If I start looking for more challenging terrain maybe then look at more teeth.

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Practice, practice, practice and you'll become better. You'll have to overcome some fear, I know.

As you get better at riding off-road you will learn the fine art of balance between using your front brake, rear brake, and what gear to be in. The front brake needs to be applied slowly if you will and to apply the load gently yet firm, i.e. if you pull on the front brake hard and fast your gonna lock it up. You can practice this on a flat tar or gravel area and you may feel what I'm talking about.

You would be surprised how much you need to rely on your front brake (as it relates to going downhill in your black diamond situations). You generally want to avoid skidding the rear tire by 1. applying to much rear brake input and 2. being into low of a gear. I found out on my own before finding the TW forum that it is sometimes better to be in 2nd gear using the brakes more than it is being in first. Of course, there are situations where the front tire ain't gonna hold you back that well such as your front tire rolling over fist-sized rocks. Locking up the front tire here will not end well. You'll figure it out and don't worry about falling down if you're going slow. Just be by yourself and don't tell anyone. :D

A different sprocket, larger for example for trail riding, is more for the uphill than the steep downhill. You're only going to be held back so much (brakes and gearing) before gravity will take over and you'll just be along for the ride...for a while.:D

Search youtube for videos for off-road riding techniques. Also, there is some great reading about off-road riding techniques.
 

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Nick, I would seriously consider changing that front tire. You may read here that some think there is nothing wrong with the stock Trail Wing ( A.K.A. Death Wing).
However if you pay attention you will never read anyone claiming that after trying one of the recogmended replacements front tire options they went back to the Death Wing.
I believe the endorsements for the stock tire come from those who have not experienced the difference a better tire like IRC GP-1 Trials, or Shinko 241 or 244 models can give.
After I changed to trials type tires I suddenly discovered that the front brake can actually be used effectively off-road, actually very effectively. The front brake lever went from “ Don’t touch that or you will crash” to my best friend and can be used aggressively while cornering, off-camber and down some serious slopes.
Like the increased sprocket tooth count recogmendation I believe a better front tire will make you safer and less fatigued with far less scar tissue in the long run.
 

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Only one thing to add to the steep downhill technique......butt off the seat and back over rear tire so as to transfer weight as far back as possible. Same as weight forward for climbing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Got it. Ordered a SR241 front tire today. Thanks all.

Had a nice ride up Bouquet Crossing to Rowher Flat today, and found there's an entrance to Drinkwater Flat right by my normal route up the mountain. My adventure world just doubled in size. There's some good YouTube videos on those areas if anyones interested, and some filmed on TWs!

I've been watching on-road riding technique videos. Glad to hear there are off road technique videos too. I'll start checking those out tonight.

Today's TW picture, with me looking happy.

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Welcome! Blacking the white plastics would probably look great, but if you ride to and from your job at night you might consider how much more visible the white makes you. That’s a really nice OHV area from your pictures. Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That is a good point about night time visibility. The white has grown on me though. At first I thought it was a bit flashy, but I've learned I like being seen on and off road, so flashy is good. And I get complements everywhere I go. ;-)

Should be getting the handlebar risers in the mail tomorrow.

Todays ride on the fire road to Drinkwater Flat. I'm very pleased with the OHV area. It's quite amazing out there.

drinkwater-tw200_20171105.jpg
 
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