I've been considering an attempt at a ride/event know as the Tour of Idaho
This is a 1400 mile ride that bisects Idaho from Utah to BC, Canada. It is, expressly, described as a undertaking for street legal dirt bikes and not dual sports.
I'm the new owner of leftover 2010 TW200 and I'm curious as to your opinions of its off road capabilities (hill climbing, sand, rocks) compared to a conventional dirt bike (i.e. CRF450x). The obvious things like weight, suspension and power I am aware of, but I keep reading accounts of the TW's off road prowess and I wonder if it my be a dark horse choice for a ride like the Tour of Idaho with some routine modifications.
I've owned several "light" dirt bikes and none of them feel as light or easy to manhandle as the TW despite its stated weight. On this type of ride durability,reliability and mpg are paramount and while I've never been left stranded by my dirt bikes I'm a little weary of the tightly wound 4 strokes and EFI. The one limitation I'm concerned about is the 10.5" ground clearance whereas conventional dirt bikes are usually ~13.5" I'm wondering if this limitation might be negated somewhat by the the fat tires, short wheel base and low seat height that could be used to "coax" the TW over the occasional obstacle.
At any rate, I appreciate all the info here and would welcome your input.
Well, hats off to you for considering the T1 on a TW. I've thought about this ride for a few years, but have dismissed the T1 mainly because of my abilities or lack thereof, with the technical single track described for the route. Somewhere on Advrider, I've read accounts of riders who've had some difficulties on the technical parts of the single track route. Plus, the FAQ's seem to discourage DS bikes, so I'll take this as a hint. Someday I'll like to do T2 and T3, which I think are well within my capabilities.
My single track experience is limited, but have done some. So, from a novice point of view I'll share some of my thoughts of questions your asking.
I'm curious as to your opinions of its off road capabilities (hill climbing, sand, rocks) compared to a conventional dirt bike (i.e. CRF450x). Hills
: In my opinion from my own experience, the TW lacks the power for the steepest hills, worse if you add loose dirt, sand, and rocks, though this can be improved by changing gearing. This winter I added a 55T sprocket to the stock 50T (stayed with 14T front), and this has improved general trail riding as well as hills. Maybe would be even better with a larger rear sprocket. Stock tire, while adequate, doesn't have quite the bite of a dirt bike tire, but you will usually run out of power before running out of tire, though I have spun out going uphill, so it's not always a lack of power! Sand:
Generally does ok, but not necessarily better than a dirt bike. I do much better with my son's KX250F in the sand than the TW, but that may be because the KX has so much more power than the TW. My opinion is the TW feels heavier in the sand, but manageable. Rocks:
Does fairly well, but sometimes ground clearance can be an issue unless you put a better skid plate on. And watch your feet!
The one limitation I'm concerned about is the 10.5" ground clearance whereas conventional dirt bikes are usually ~13.5" I'm wondering if this limitation might be negated somewhat by the the fat tires. Ground Clearance
. Only times the ground clearance has been a problem for me has been on deep groved single track and some rough rocky area's. My pegs and feet easily rub/touch the sides of the single track and well, negociating rocks is tough no matter what, but sometimes I wish I had a little extra ground clearance. On the plus side, and for me this is a big plus, with lower ground clearance I can easily put my feet down if I need to balance myself. Fat Tire:
Not really sure this has helped one way or the other, but it looks cool.
Good luck. Love to see a ride report when completed, especially if you do it on a TW.