I have never really needed more power. I have mine geared down low enough that it pushes me along just fine. I feel that the xt250's suspension is too soft. Haven't tried the Kawasaki. The TW is perfect because its stable, low, and forgiving. Its more of a point and shoot kind of bike. Oh, and having a TW is a great conversation starter too. Now if I wanted more CCs I'd get a Yamaha WR250R.
Never a second thought about getting a TW. However, if you're talking about riding mostly street, or on busier highways, etc., those other two are certainly worth investigating. Do as much research as you can. Ask questions here and see if you can find some XT/Kawi owners and see what they say.
From my experience with 250s in general, I'd say they are probably good for maintaining 70-75 mph, whereas the TW is good for 65 mph (in the real world).
A few more cc's and a six speed transmission would be nice but not necessary. I am content with it the way it is. I just take my time and I get there eventually be it asphalt or dirt.
Also it is so easy to ride I have let people that have never ridden a motorcycle ride mine. It has been dropped several time and the only broken part was the front brake lever. Best is letting my nieces ride it -- they all love it and I hope will become motorcycle riders someday.
Depends on what you are buying it for. If you want a dual sport that screams down the slab, then the TW is not your bike. There have been past TW owners that have moved to bigger bikes as they wanted more options for slab travel. Some TW owners moved on as they outgrew their TW - having used it to learn. And others are simply satisfied with the bike as it meets their needs in the past and now. You need to decide where you fit it with the TW, maybe it's not the choice for you. I see the TW as a putt-putt, slow and steady, get me there, mule. Not a screamer. Sure some members ride it hard, but it's not really designed for trashing at the moto cross track. Owning a range of bikes that includes several CT hondas and getting to know CT owners and TW owners - I see a lot in common. No one is in a hurry to get somewhere - it's about enjoying the journey, not the destination. Good luck. We won't sneer at you on the trail if you buy a Kawie or and XT, it's about riding, not what you ride.
I don't second guess buying my TW, but I second guess selling my 500cc cruiser. There are times where I just need a little more engine, especially after this past weekend riding uphill in a headwind and I could barely keep my little TW at 50mph. Still though, the TW is a great bike, and even after I replace my long gone cruiser, I'm keeping the TW.
I did my research on bikes and I went in to buy a T Dub knowing why I bought it.
The salesman told me I wasn't approved for the T DUB ($3500), but that I was approved for a $6500 WR 250. I walked out and bought my T DUB down the street and have been happy with it ever since. I have a car/truck for the longer commutes.
Plus, it is much more an eye-candy in the motorcycle world. They are rare enough that you leave most wondering "What the hell is that" and it is a fun conversation starter.
Yamaha made this bike to be fun, fun, fun and oh yeah...simple.
I own 5 dirt bikes and I ride the TW more than any of the others. The TW is a trail bike. A two wheel version of the Jeep CJ-5. It will take you anywhere at a measured pace. My Honda water cooled CRF250X is like a Baja 1000 race buggy that is awkward unless its hauling ass with it's suspension that is designed to soak up big hits at high speed. The TW and CJ-5 will never cover distance at the velocity of competition oriented mounts, but they will get you into places and areas where the desert race bikes and buggys won't go. A different type of riding. At my age, slower is getting a lot more appealing and the TW evokes the type of trail riding I did in my youth.
Just thought I'd reply to this thread because of its relevance in my life.
Guys don't kill me but...
I've been trying to sell my TW for the last month and a half. I felt that I needed a bike with more power etc. It's been at a local MC shop here in Raleigh, NC which is owned by a close friend. I have no idea how many people have walked by it in the past few weeks but I've had several offers but lower than what I was asking. BTW It still hasn't sold.
Anyway, once or twice a week at lunch or after work I've been going into the shop to take it out for a spin around town just to keep the battery fresh and everything moving. Well, after riding it these past few weeks I started to remember exactly why I bought the TW in the first place. So today I decided that it's no longer for sale. (Consequently, I just bought a 15/50 steel sprocket and DID o-ring chain combo from Lytle Racing Group today as well.)
So why was I selling it? Stupidity.
So why did I buy it in the first place? It will go just about anywhere. It's extremely reliable. It's the most forgiving bike I've ever ridden. If something does go wrong it's usually simple to correct. If there is something you don't know how to fix on your TW, you can always come to this web site. In general it's fun as Hell to ride. In short...it's what everybody else posted on this site.
It would have been a mistake for me to sell my TW.
I had a second thought to buy a second one, which i did, now I having secound thoughts about buying a third one. Then I had second thoughts about selling one, which I did, but THEN I had second thoughts about buying a tw-part bike, which I did. Seems like everytime I have a second thought it involves a TW200- man these things are a hoot- billygoat of the trailbikes
Nope I have never had seconds thoughts. Last spring I did Baja with a friend that had a KLR 650. I can't tell you how many times that bike was on it's side. Deep sand or gravel stopped him. I just cruised on thru. Sure he had more power but he couldn't use it.
When he got home he sold the KLR and bought a TW. Now I don't have to worry where he's at and if he's hurt himself.