TW200 Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, first I'd like to start -- I hope the general section is a good place for the questions that I have, any infringement is not intended. I'm a 19 year old boy who never really has had a chance to ride bikes ever. I never grew up around them and was never taught how to ride a bike (Bicycles of course but not motorcycles). I only ever drove a car and my technical knowledge with even that is very limited. I just hope I can find some answers to my almost painfully simple questions that I believe a lot of beginners try to ask as well. And some welcoming people on this board who are willing to point me in the right direction. As someone who gets very anxious quickly about tackling new things, I feel like asking the very knowledgeable base here will put my mind at ease about finally doing what I have been wanting to do for a few months now.

I know I really want to start riding, and I know I want a TW200. The reasons for that is because, after reading extensively on the topic of Tw200's; They are pretty cheap, have good hardware (For a bike that has been in production with little difference since 1987 that must say a lot), hold well, are easy to maintain, have cheap spare-parts, and can be customized in a lot of different ways. They are a dual-sport, and a nice looking bike that I could see myself on. So without further or do I would like to ask these questions that are at the utmost of my curiosity.

1. Learning Curb: Is this a good bike to get to learn to ride on? Should I start on back roads and dirt trails and work my way into that? Can I do it alone? Is the maintenance easy to learn for someone such as myself?

2. License/Legal: How do I obtain a Motorcycle license in the state of PA (Perhaps other states are similar) as someone with no experience prior with Motorcycles? Do I just walk into the DMV and take the permit test and that is enough? There is no driving test for one? And if I am required for a driving test, how do I get one if I have no Motorcycle yet, and I can't buy a motorcycle without presenting a license to the dealer..? Maybe I am overthinking? Should I obtain license first before even walking into a dealership for a bike? Is insuring one similar to that of a car? :D

3. Purchasing the TW200: There is a dealer not far from me that sells 2019 TW200's. What's the first thing I say to them once I go in? How does the buying process of a motorcycle really work? Should I just save up the money and pay in cash and not have to worry about a loan, since they are pretty affordable anyway?

Thank you for reading through and potentially answering my questions. All input is extremely helpful and I appreciate you for going out of the trouble in teaching myself, as someone aspiring to enter the TW200 world. It seems extremely daunting at first looking into doing something like this, but I feel like breaking into it will be extremely rewarding and I want to broaden my horizons and enjoy my life more by doing cool stuff like this. Again thank you. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,831 Posts
Hi Simon, and welcome to the forum!

Here are quick answers to some of your questions:

-The TW is a great bike for a beginner to learn on. I would strongly suggest seeing what motorcycle safety classes are available in your area. You could start here: https://www.msf-usa.org/

-Check with your local department of motor vehicles for your local permit and license requirements. I believe that most states grant a permit with just a written test. This will typically allow you to ride a motorcycle during daylight hours, but not on freeways or with a passenger. Usually a riding test is required for your motorcycle license endorsement, but sometimes this is waived if you pass a motorcycle safety course.

-I would strongly suggest that you consider buying a used bike as your first motorcycle. Also, invest in some good riding gear - a full face helmet, sturdy over the ankle boots, an armored jacket and armored gloves.

I hope this helps,

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
I bought a used TW at 46 years old, pushed it into the trailer, brought it home, unloaded it, then put a leg over a motorcycle for the 1st time in my life. Check Youtube and you'll find a LOT of videos showing you how to get started. Avoid the ones where they put their buddy or girlfriend on a liter bike and they don;t even know what a clutch is. Sit on a little slope, get used to easing the clutch out just far enough to move the bike forward a foot or so, release the clutch, roll back a foot, then do it again. Do that until it's second nature to be able to get into the friction zone and pull ahead smoothly.
If you're new, and have nobody to coach you, and have never ridden before, watch your first corner after you've reached the speed where you have to counter steer. It's not hard, but even having driven cars, trucks, quads, snowmobiles, farm equipment, combines.....the first corner I had to take on a motorcycle, I nearly went into the ditch. The first couple times you have to countersteer, you need to think about it, after that, it just feels natural. Not to scare you, and don't get too hung up on trying to understand it right off...just know that the first time you try to turn at above 15km/h or so, it will likely surprise you. You'll try what you think you should do, and it won;t work...a second later you'll figure it out. So take it easy when you first start carrying any speed.

If you learn on back roads, dirt, and loose surfaces, you'll be way further ahead. You have less things to worry about (traffic, pedestrians, rules of the road, etc), and you'll appreciate that the first time you get on the bike. Again, no shortage of experience with lots of vehicles, but it was like learning all over again when each hand and foot suddenly has a new job. For the first while I was still forgetting to shift down, shifting down instead of up, almost forgot to put my foot down a couple times... I had just come from years of riding an ATV so the hardest thing for my muscle memory to re-learn in a situation where i didn't have time to think about it was....my rear brake is no longer at my left hand. How many times I just coasted right through ruts or washouts that I wanted to stop for....clutch pulled in a death-grip, bouncing through a washout thinking "WHY ISN'T IT STOPPINGGGGGG AGGGHHHH"
Grabbing the wrong lever, falling over if you stall in a slow speed turn, stalling in general....best get that over and done with where you're not going to get run over...

Buy a used bike. Old TWs are selling for more today than they did when they were brand new, so if you buy a used one, then move to something else, you'll lose nothing when you re-sell. With a new one, you'll be losing money as soon as you drive it off the lot.

The TW is a great bike to learn on, and if you don;t need to do much highway/freeway, it's a great forever-bike...provided you can enjoy the ride and not be too hung up on how fast you can go.
I kept mine for a year while I got a better grasp on what kind of riding I liked. I traded it on a DR650 because i wanted to do more weekend trips, loaded with camping gear, and wanted to have the ability to get on the highway if I had to. I recently added a Vulcan 900 to the fleet.....but I know my last bike will also be a TW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Hey SimonNagy99,

1. The TW200 is an excellent bike to learn on. I honestly wish I had known about it when I purchased my first bike ... and very NOT good first-time rider motorcycle, a Yamaha RD350 (fun, but crazy!). The TW is also great for experienced riders. It can do a lot of things with a little bit of power. Like the tortuous. I definitely recommend starting off on neighborhood streets and back roads. Dirt roads aren't a bad idea, but dirt/sand is a little trickier... granted, it also doesn't hurt quite as much if you fall. Either way, stay off main roads until you've got your breaking and clutch down wihtout having to think about it.

2. Google is your friend :) Most states require some sort of motorcycle course/test (written and actual physical riding assessment test). Usually, if you also take a motorcycle safety course, you'll get a discount on your insurance ... and it's also a good/safe/no-pressure way to start learning the basics.

3. Hah, I went into my local dealership and just told them I wanted a TW200, did all the paperwork, paid, and walked out. So it just depends. If you're going to be financing, it'll take a bit longer. Research the bike A LOT (just read the hell out of this forum) and go in asking lots of good questions. Also, the first price they give you is usually going to be higher, and you should be able to get them to knock off some of the fees. Due to this being your first bike, I actually recommend you buy a used TW and NOT a new one. You're going to be learning on this bike, so it'll probably be dropped and scuffed a few times. You'll also save a little bit of money, and since the bike hasn't really changed through it's history, it's going to be easy to fix/maintain.

Good luck and welcome.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
17,630 Posts
Number 1 rule:

Buy and wear your safety gear. Always.

Helmet, jacket, gloves and boots.

Why?

Because sooner or later you are going to dump it and you can get badly hurt even riding slowly.

Don't try to look cool and not wear your gear. This is a newbie mistake and it will cost you eventually.

Find a class (many of them use TW's) so inquire around. Take the DMV test, get your permit.

If you haven't already found a bike by then, ask here. We might be able to help you find one in your area that would be a good one.

Please post up your location.

Good luck and welcome to the forum!! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,431 Posts
.. I'm a 19 year old boy who never really has had a chance to ride bikes ever. :)
I was a 19 year old boy when I got my first motorcycle, because I had to get to college and away from my father who absolutely forbid it! Back in 1968 there was no such thing as an MSF course or the Internet. I had to learn by myself and by talking to a friend who knew how to ride...(sort of). First bike was a Honda 90. I crashed a lot, on dirt mostly. At least I had enough sense to buy (and wear) a helmet. It is SO much easier to get good information and training these days.

After you get done with the MSF course and get your license, the learning really begins. Learn as much as you can from older people, not your peers! We all know they are crazy, don't be one of them! :eek: One of the best books on safe motorcycling I have ever read is this one. I re-read it every spring:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1620081199/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&sprefix=david+hough,electronics,207&crid=3S6QF4C2Q6BEY&keywords=david+hough's+book+proficient+motorcycling&qid=1571933180&sr=8-1

We are all happy to give advice to a beginner: Here are two things to keep in mind:
The safety of a motorcycle in traffic lies in its ability to accelerate, maneuver, and stop much faster than most cars.....IF you learn your machine really well.
Everything else that can make riding safe rather than dangerous resides between your ears. (Besides good gear, naturally).

Be safe and have lots of fun learning. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,333 Posts
Welcome to the forum! Lots of good advice above I agree with.

Safety gear

Rider Safety Course (they provide the bikes and you get your license upon completion)

Used bike (make handguards your first mod)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
One piece of advice I can offer is this: Don't try to stop the bike by dragging your feet!

I see SO many Youtube videos where someone loses control, so they think they can bring it to a stop by using their feet a la Fred Flintstone...and I've seen a few real-life examples. DON'T DO IT...it won't work and you can snap an ankle in the process.
Use your brakes...there's two sets, so one of them is bound to bring you to a stop better than your feet can - regardless of what fancy boots you're wearing!
While we're on the topic of brakes...learn to use the front brake properly...it can be your best friend.

...and while on the topic of Youtube...remember to shift your weight forward as you accelerate, otherwise you will quickly learn about Whiskey throttle....

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Second the MSF course... I'm not sure about PA, but in many states like here in MD, passing the course gets you the motorcycle endorsement on your license instead of taking the test at the Motor Vehicle Admin. You may just have to take your certificate to them once you pass the course. Also I highly recommend it simply for learning a lot of basic skills that may save your life. The TW is probably the best first bike for a lot of reasons... Ease of use, learning motorcycle maintenance, and having one that can go from pavement to trail is a huge bonus. I've been riding for years on bigger bikes and love having a TW because they can get into places many others can't and they do it with a lot more control as you can flat foot your way through very slowly.

BTW... the MSF will usually have Suzuki GS250's (or something similar) for you to ride and complete the course. Very comfortable, low power bikes that are perfect for learning on. So you could do that before deciding to shell out the money on a motorcycle.

https://msf-usa.org/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
I think for 10 out of 9 of them, that was their first and last MSF course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
The TW200 seems like the absolute perfect bike to start on to me. Nice and light, low center of gravity, smooth shifting, not overpowered, and basic analog speedometer. It's nothing fancy, which is what you want starting out.
I like the idea of the used Tdub as the other members have suggested. That way you won't worry about beating up your brand new baby lol. Dirt roads and trails also sound like a solid plan, and that's the way I learned on the farm several decades ago.
Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
The TW200 seems like the absolute perfect bike to start on to me. Nice and light, low center of gravity, smooth shifting, not overpowered, and basic analog speedometer. It's nothing fancy, which is what you want starting out.
I like the idea of the used Tdub as the other members have suggested. That way you won't worry about beating up your brand new baby lol. Dirt roads and trails also sound like a solid plan, and that's the way I learned on the farm several decades ago.
Cheers!
I'd like to jump on this bandwagon. Used for the first is a great idea. But I'd like to add one thing to this suggestion. Take a little of the money you've saved on buying used and get the bike professionally tuned up. Carb, brakes, whatever it needs to be right. Find a dealer or repair shop you trust and spend the money, for the first tune up. Then you'll have a bike that you know will be right while you're learning.

Now, don't do that again. Learn how to do the maintenance on your own. This is also the perfect bike for that. Chain maintenance, valve clearances, adding accessories, whatever it might be. You'll have a great time with the TW.

And remember, keep the shiny side up!

Sent from my GM1917 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I agree with starting with the MSF course. That is what I did. I had never ridden or even started a motorcycle prior to taking the course. By the time I completed it I was comfortable riding on the road and spent a few days riding around low traffic areas before progressing from there.

A lot of states accept the MSF completion certificate in place of the riding portion of the motorcycle license test.

Make sure you get proper safety gear.

You might want to consider getting a used motorcycle as your first because you will take less of a loss if you later decide that you want something different.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top