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Is there such a thing as a best or worst year for the TW? It does not seem like they change much over the years, but was wondering if any paticular year had any issues(engine,wiring,etc.).
 

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Is there such a thing as a best or worst year for the TW? It does not seem like they change much over the years, but was wondering if any paticular year had any issues(engine,wiring,etc.).


All TW's are great bikes. Some (slightly} greater than others, depending on your point of view.



'87's had one-year-only charging systems and ignition modules. Aside from that, they are essentaially no different from an '88-2000 model. They're becoming a parts problem with regard ONLY to the electrical systems.



In 2001, Yamaha giveth us a front disc brake, (but taketh away our kickstarter) slightly more alternator output, a new CV carburetor, and a resetable trip meter.



So basically the bike has had 3 versions of charging system, picked up a disc brake and lost its kickstarter in 24-odd years.



All plastics are interchangeable from year one to present. Lots of lovely Barbie colors over the years if yer into that. lol



The basic motor is the same and all parts will interchange except for the left side covers, which have slightly different castings to accomodate the different charging and CDI systems over the years. Later models had a self-adjusting cam chain adjuster. Intake manifolds, carb boots and cables are a bit different between the early and late carbs but late also fits old, and vice-vera.



Quality control has worsened considerably on the later model motors, so watch for base gasket leaks. Yamaha has issued a Bandaid in the form of an "improved" base gasket, but the real problem stems from random batches of crappy cases. Some suck, some don't.



All front end parts will swap between years. The disc front end differs from the drum only in the left lower legs and that the lower triple tree has a tapped hole for the brake hose mount.



The late model carb drives from the right, early model's cables are on the left.



Swingarms and rear wheels are all the same.



Disc front wheels have thicker spokes and the spoke lengths and lacing pattern is different from a drum. Same spoke count. As far as I'm concerned both are equal in terms of actual braking distances. It's more a matter of "feel" than effectiveness. Pick yer poison here. Drums don't bother me at all. I own both.



The rear brakes are all the same. They blow.



Gas tanks are all the same except later models got a smaller gas cap and Cali models have a fitting for a vapor hose.



Early models have better starter solenoids, relays, and electrical components overall, IMO.

Later models have more output and slightly more sheltered and better protected wiring harnesses.



Lower fork legs lost their drain screws at some point. Early models had them. Huge maintenence issue.



Kickstands, frame gussets and welds are better on the older units. Whether this was neccessary or not is arguable, but they are different.



While this is not a rant against Yamaha, be aware that numerous cost cutting measures like this have been initiated over the years. Most were also accompanied by some fairly significant improvement. Most are insignificant in the real world, but can complicate parts ordering and modifications. Recently some have discovered that the rear muffler mount location has been changed slightly, for example. So even though a 20 year old muffler is identical in every other respect it won't fit the latest and greatest. The good news is that the bike is rock simple to begin with.



The only real interchangeability problems I've encountered have been between the electrical systems, wiring harnesses and switchgear. Lots of variations here, with minor, sniggling changes to the various connectors and components.







The forum has become a bit "sticky intensive" lately. All useful info, mind you, but if there is enough interest I will compile all the differences I've noticed between the years.



Virtually ANY TW is better than NO TW, and no particular year is hands-down superior enough to another year to cause you to hold out. If it's a matter of cost vs. shine, a mid-90's unit in good condition would be my choice.
 

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TY for this write up! I have been thinking of modding my 90. Besides loosing the "barbie color" of teal (puke) I want to swap the front for disk instead of the mushy-non-working-when-wet drum. Any thoughts on buying forks, wheel,disk, caliper, master, lever, and braided line? Anything I am missing?



All TW's are great bikes. Some (slightly} greater than others, depending on your point of view.



'87's had one-year-only charging systems and ignition modules. Aside from that, they are essentaially no different from an '88-2000 model. They're becoming a parts problem with regard ONLY to the electrical systems.



In 2001, Yamaha giveth us a front disc brake, (but taketh away our kickstarter) slightly more alternator output, a new CV carburetor, and a resetable trip meter.



So basically the bike has had 3 versions of charging system, picked up a disc brake and lost its kickstarter in 24-odd years.



All plastics are interchangeable from year one to present. Lots of lovely Barbie colors over the years if yer into that. lol



The basic motor is the same and all parts will interchange except for the left side covers, which have slightly different castings to accomodate the different charging systems over the years. Later models had a self-adjusting cam chain adjuster.



Quality control has worsened considerably on the later model motors, so watch for base gasket leaks. Yamaha has issued a Bandaid in the form of an "improved" base gasket, but the real problem stems from crappy cases. Some suck, some don't.



All front end parts will swap between years. The disc front end differs from the drum only in the lower legs and that the lower triple tree has a tapped hole for the brake hose mount.



The late model carb drives from the right, early model's cables are on the left.



Swingarms and rear wheels are all the same.



Gas tanks are all the same except later models got a smaller gas cap and Cali models have a fitting for a vapor hose.



Early models have better starter solenoids, relays, and electrical components overall, IMO.

Later models have more output and slightly more protected wiring harnesses.



Lower fork legs lost their drain screws at some point. Early models had them.



Kickstands, frame gussets and welds are better on the older units. Whether this was neccessary or not is arguable, but they are different.



While this is not a rant against Yamaha, be aware that numerous cost cutting measures like this have been initiated over the years. Most were also accompanied by some fairly significant improvement. Most are insignificant in the real world, but can complicate parts ordering and modifications. The good news is that the bike is rock simple to begin with.



The only real interchangeability problems I've encountered have been between the electrical systems, wiring harnesses and switchgear. Lots of variations here, with minor, sniggling changes to the various connectors and components.







The forum has become a bit "sticky intensive" lately. All useful info, mind you, but if there is enough interest I will compile all the differences I've noticed between the years.



Virtually ANY TW is better than NO TW, and no particular year is hands down superior enough to another year to cause you to hold out. If it's a matter of cost vs. shine, a mid-90's unit in good condition would be my choice.
 

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TY for this write up! I have been thinking of modding my 90. Besides loosing the "barbie color" of teal (puke) I want to swap the front for disk instead of the mushy-non-working-when-wet drum. Any thoughts on buying forks, wheel,disk, caliper, master, lever, and braided line? Anything I am missing?


Nope, 'bout it. If you're running taller bars or risers you may need a longer hose.



You've evaluated you needs and it sounds like the disc may be the way to go for you.



A little clarity regarding the disc front end conversion: Don't swap it out of "front end envy".



I have both. I only have the disc on my main bike because I scored it cheap and like others thought it would be "better".



The disc setup is heavier. The conversion parts neccessary can cost $400-$800 used, unless you get lucky.



In stopping power they're about equal. The disc feels "stoppier" but I'll be damned if I can see an inch of improvement in ACTUAL stopping distance over a properly adjusted drum. I've tested this side-by-side on the old forum.



For a beginner or someone with limited hand strength the disc would be helpful on the street. Offroad the drum is more forgiving of beginners.



If water crossings are a constant feature of your riding obviously the disc may be a worthwhile advantage. I live in a desert. Sometimes I forget about wet drums. lol.



I personally haven't ridden the the drum to the point of total brake fade, but if you tend to ride like your hair was on fire all the time I suppose the disc may shine here as well.



For the rest of you, keep the drum if you have it. I'm all about cheap, and unless you have the above issues, spend the Munny elsewhere.
 

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as i am about to embark on an '88 motor swap into an '04 chassis ('04 motor is broken in the bottom end), i'm hoping you can elaborate on the electrical changes over the years. specifically, what am i going to have to swap from the '04 motor to the '88? i do not have access to an '88 chassis and trying to keep the price down as much as possible, i'd rather not retrofit any of the older parts even if they are better, only if i have to. any suggestions / thoughts?



ahm
 

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as i am about to embark on an '88 motor swap into an '04 chassis ('04 motor is broken in the bottom end), i'm hoping you can elaborate on the electrical changes over the years. specifically, what am i going to have to swap from the '04 motor to the '88? i do not have access to an '88 chassis and trying to keep the price down as much as possible, i'd rather not retrofit any of the older parts even if they are better, only if i have to. any suggestions / thoughts?



ahm


Step One: Remove left side engine cover, rotor (you'll need a puller bolt, check your service manual) and carb From both motors.



Step Two: Transfer left side cover, rotor and carb from '04 motor to '88 motor. Reconnect exhaust, fuel and electrical.



Step Three: Ride.



Yes, it's that simple. Examine everything carefully, use a new sidecover gasket, replace any hinky rubber parts you might see, like cracked carb boots. Make sure you have fresh oil and a clean filter when you start it and you'll have a new bike WITH a kickstsarter! Only downside is that you'll lose your automatic cam chain tensioner, but it can be swapped over as well with a bit more time invested.



Just as insurance against rings sticking, I like to put a couple of teapoons of oil down the spark plug hole of an unknown motor and let it sit overnight. Rock it back and forth slowly in high gear, eventually allowing it to turn a few revolutions in either drection with the spark plug out. Then kick it hard (with your new kickstarter. Ain't dat cool?) a few times to drive any excess oil out the spark plug hole. Put the plug back in and fire it up for real.
 

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Thanks LzardBrth for the great compilation. I guess thats why we let you have so many bikes "so you can tell us how they compare". There are folks with opinions and then there are folks with knowledge whose opinions we value. Thanks again. Tom
 

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The forum has become a bit "sticky intensive" lately. All useful info, mind you, but if there is enough interest I will compile all the differences I've noticed between the years.



Virtually ANY TW is better than NO TW, and no particular year is hands down superior enough to another year to cause you to hold out. If it's a matter of cost vs. shine, a mid-90's unit in good condition would be my choice.




I don't know about other members but I found your post very informative and would love if you put together a compilation of the differences!

Thanks for the info lizrdbrth!
 

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lizrdbrth



You say there are base gasket issues on later models. I have a 2009, should I keep and eye on it or has yamaha fix the issue on the newest model bikes?



Thanks
 

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While looking for various parts, I found that the mid-late 90's TW's use a 122 link chain, early and late dubs use a 126. What diference causes this? They use the same swingarm and sprockets.
 

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While looking for various parts, I found that the mid-late 90's TW's use a 122 link chain, early and late dubs use a 126. What diference causes this? They use the same swingarm and sprockets.


??
?? My '07 uses 122 links. Where did the 126 info come from?
 

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Geezer alert



Back at the dawn of off road MC we learned that the drum of drum brakes could easily collect a quantinty of slimy mud to lubricate the shoes.



I don't know if this is stock for the shoes but we would use a grinding wheel and cut grooves in the shoes like 3/4 inch apart . The grooves are angled across the shoe aproximately 45 degrees in the direction that would "pump"the goo to the outside. Some even to drilla 3/8 hole in the backing plate to facilitate in/out flow.



This would improve wet/ mud braking a little
 
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