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Discussion Starter #1
With all of our collective wisdom we should put our heads together and light a fire under Yamaha's rear.

I hope we get some input from all the real modification gurus here and can come up with some honest and doable mods for a new model TW that incorporates all the things we feel are lacking.

I am a novice but here are some of my thoughts. Please feel free to toss in some of your ideas from the wishing well.

I like the overall size and seat height and the basic simplicity of these bikes. That said, here is what I would design on the same TW frame.

Better suspension both front and rear.
Better brakes
Bigger fuel tank
About a 350 CC engine with 6 speed tranny and able to hold 70 MPH on open roads.
Put a seat on it made for riding all day long.
Add an instrument cluster with tach, temp and some other valuable usefulness.
Make standard either a dual sprocket set up or a selector in the tranny for hi and low range operation.
Extend the rear swing arm and go a little wider for a knarly rear tire and go a bit wider in the front.
Contract with Lizrdbrth to make his oil cooler standard equipment.
Contract with Cycle racks for front and rear racks with lots of options as you desire.
Pick a couple of the more popular color schemes and allow for some mix and match options.
Keep the price under $6,000 and keep the weight down as much as possible.

My order would be in for the very first production run.

What other changes would you make? I would love to see what we could come with keeping in mind the bike should still be something us old geezers and some gals could handle but also better suited for zipping around town and jumping off the pavement ready to pound the bushes.

lets have some fun kicking this one around.

GaryL
 

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Garyl, It sounds like you are asking us to design a "Woman"!!!!!, You know that would never work. The law of manufacturing and sales is to build the minimum and allow the customer to do the add-ons and customizing. I am not saying it is not a good thought.
Mel
 

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I think If it's something to fire off to yamaha you'll want to keep it in a reasonable range. Look at the other dual sports available (WR250R, XT250) and take features from there and compare the pricing. Realistically I think they could improve many features and keep the same price range. But I wouldn't see them making the TW their highest priced dual sport, There isn't the market for it and they wouldn't want to make it seem like the pride of their dual sport line up is a big wheeler.

What I think would be reasonable is bringing over many features from the other current bikes.

Suspension from either,
rear disk from either,
Dash from either both are electronic and much nicer then the TW
250cc, liquid cooled, fuel injection, and 6 speed engine from WR250R


Major tweaks that would require them redesigning many parts of the bike is something I wouldn't see them doing as I don't see the production costs balancing out.

It would be interesting to find some sales figures in comparison to the other two dual sport bikes they offer, and perhaps why others were removed, like the xt350. I had noticed that in the Canadian recall for the 1987-2000 models affected 1948 units. So in thirteen years they only sold about 2000 TW's in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Allow me to restate the title here "Fantasy Build"!

i don't have any visions of grandure that Yamaha would listen to anything us die hard T Dubbers have to say. That is not the point.

Just have some fun kicking around what those of us feel would make our bikes a little better all around. Most of us who ride on pavement know enough to steer clear of the four lane highways because 65 is at the top of our capabilities. Another gear and a few more horses would make that a non issue.
Larger riders would certainly appreciate a better shock and hard riders would have a host of upgrades they would and in many cases have done.

What do you think would make our TWs a kick ass machine to blow the others similar bikes away?

GaryL
 

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I'll play along GaryL, but not without kicking your initial premise in the teeth just a little! ;)

One of the problems from the outset is the TW's frame that uses the engine as a stressed member. A more modern wishbone frame would make many of the modifications you, I, and others lust after much simpler. Not to mention it would just be a stronger damn frame! So, if we're in fantasy land, let's go ahead and toss the crumby frame first!

I'm on board with:

350cc engine
6 speed tranny
Dual discs up front and a disc in the rear
Tach and temp gauges in the dash
Factory oil cooler (Mr. Yamaha ought to know about the R&D already accomplished by a certain Lizrd!)
Longer swingarm


Instead of contracting with Cycleracks, it'd be pretty cool if Mr. Yamaha just designed a strong and light subframe with brackets for Super Tenere-esque side and top cases.

As far as color schemes go, I'm a basic black or white kind of guy. Hey, this new near-perfect TW350 has to have something left to customize!

One of the strongest draws of the TW for a lot of us is the low weight and seat height. Modern engineering should make it easy to get a 350 that weighs the same or less than our 196, but it's gonna be hard to talk the engineers into putting that kind of technology into a bike with the short suspension travel and low ground clearance necessitated by a sensible seat height. Get ready to talk those boys down from the crazy 37" DRZ territory that bike designers seem to want us all stretching up to!

They're not going to like the carburetor either, and we'll be hard pressed to keep them from making this bike water cooled.

Although it goes without saying, the wide tires have got to stay. Of course, it would be nice if we could get a rear rim that's ready to mount ATV tires onto. Maybe make the Duro stock equipment?

Of course, this bike will never be built unless one of us builds it!

But maybe that's the real appeal of the TW, within certain limits we can pretty much make it into the bike we want it to be.
 

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I think the TW is a great bike for what it its intended purpose is: a fun bike, capable on and off road . Any "Dual Sport" is going to be a compromise between the two. I agree with DonBenito, within certain limits we can pretty much make it into the bike we want it to be - and I'm getting there. :)

That said:
Bigger engine 250-400CC : If it could comfortably hold 65 mph with a little in reserve, it would be great.
Better lights
Better brakes
Bigger fuel tank/capacity
Improved suspension/ longer swingarm
A real bashplate, crashbars and load carrying options.
I hear the Jimbo shield should also be standard equipment - still gotta try one myself.

In short, the Ryoku XTW250.


Without all the fancy doodads. Drop the generator and convertible bashplate/shovel and if they built one, I'd buy it tomorrow.
 

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I have had such a blast making my TW the way I want it. Even if Yamaha built a TW with all the bells and whistles that we want, we'd still find more things we want. When we get a TW the way it is, it allows us to learn about the bikes and learn about what we can do ourselves with a little help from our TDub Forum friends.

The best part of the TDub is it is a basic nearly buttlet proof toy. Aside from the rear disc brake, pretty much every option has been fabricated by a TDub member. If any of us have a problem or question; Russ or anyone else is happy to chime in and help. Plus, the fact that we TDub owners have so many changes/upgrades we want to make it keeps the families (small businesses) in business (Cycle Racks etc.).

We all can want improvements. Better seats, larger tanks, stiffer shocks etc. But in the end, I like the option of making my what it is. At the end of the day, we can all take pride in what WE have built (with a little help from our TDub forum member frieds) ourselves. I am the first to admit that I still stair at my TDub and think about how cool it is. Yes, I admit, I think it is cooler than it is fast or functional. But that is the fun about having a TW.

Have a good week everyone.

Just in case anyone forgot what I stare at everyday. This is my Vanity Prize. IMG_6460.JPG
 

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Dearest Darling Yamaha, Japan (Not the dinks at Yamaha, U.S.A., who are pretty much clueless and hold zero sway over you, anyway):

Firstly, please, oh pretty please don't make the TW a cartoonish version of a 1200 Tenere, which is itself a cartoonish supersizing of a 660 Tenere. I have no sense of Tenere envy or I wouldn't be riding a TW. Got that? And above all don't insult my intelligence by offering me nonsense such as a skidplate which converts into a shovel and after one good smack becomes useless as either. Stoopit, in any language. No one on your side of the pond offers even a marginally acceptable O.E.M. skid as it is. Try working on that before you move on to building equally inferior garden implements.

Just perfect the existing bike and there's no need to move on. Or UP. It (mostly) works. And can be worked ON. Just give it the stuff you've been giving its non-redheaded-stepchild siblings for all these years. You haven't invested a dime in development when it comes to the TW in over 25 years now. The good news is you don't have to. It won't cost you a dime now.

In fact I'd be dazzled if you'd just gimme some of what you've already got and then gimme back some of the stuff you've taken away, yet somehow feel inclined to charge more for. Hell, you'll be able to milk existing tooling for another 25 years. Win/win.

Gimme back a kickstarter and fork drains. Not negotiable. I actually ride mine. Until you do I'll be damned if I'll ever buy another one. You can keep your e-start-only 250's as well. They can't even be retrofitted. Doorstops.

You got away with recycling the 40 year old XT200 motor by saddling the TW with it for 25 of those when you already had the 225. Until the Acronyms force you to go fuel injected waterpumper just recycle the existing 225 motor, charging system and 6 plate clutch for the next 25. I'd be way cool with that. If you're feeling particularly generous throw in the slightly larger cylinder liners from the quads that you couldn't give away back in the day. You gotta have warehouses full of them. I'm not sure how badly I need a larger, heavier motor which has the identical stroke to the 225 and only holds a couple of teaspoonfuls more oil. Give that to the XT kids so they'll feel spayshull. Won't cost you a dime. No new frame required.

If you can't afford to give me an alloy swingarm and rear rim for crying out loud at least give me the same alloy hubs and bigger brakes which were standard on the slower, less powerful TW 125 for years. I'm tired of scraping the rust and respraying the third world paintjobs on your third world steel hubs. Won't cost you a dime.

Leave my seat alone if you're only gunna replace it with an even more miserable "boy racer" version from one of your other models. I'll fix the damned thing myself. And forget that sawn-off, cramped thing you slapped on the Ryoku clown car. Actual people need to fit on it.

If you wanna monkey with something, gimme a full-length subframe (detachable or not) and lose the pointless sub-subframe so we can carry some real weight without 5 pounds of additional reinforcement or a cantilevered rack like a Cyclerack.

Be the first kids on the block to outsource tank design to someone with a brain (Acerbis comes to mind). Make it a minimum of 3 gallons. Get off the dime and pop for a second petcock so we don't have to turn the bike upside-down in order to reach all of the gas. Put both petcocks at the lowest point in the tank halves and please do not give me bogus air scoop shaped forward bulges which serve no purpose but to trap fuel and then call it a 4 gallon tank.

Gimme a real headlight instead of recycling that obese, useless, outdated rectangular 4x6. Do NOT under any circumstances give me Ruckus knockoffs on a bike capable of more than 25 mph. 55 watts is fine. Keep the existing bullbs if you gotta. Just put them inside of something large, but light, with a reflector from this century. If you need help with this I'll round up a few 10 dollar Chinese examples. This ain't no rocket.

Leave the ride height alone and just give me a fully adjustable rear shock. If you can't do that at least give the bigger dudes simple preload. Even cheap Chinese throwaway scooters have better rear suspension in that regard.

I understand that you have a price point to meet, and that a TW with longer legs is no longer a TW. I get that. So if you can't give us anything more sophisticated than damper rods could you at least recycle the old YZ fork tubes and put them on the TW so we won't break our fenders when they bottom on the lower triple anymore? Seriously, all we need is an inch of fork tube and maybe then we'll be able to make full use of the existing six inches of travel .

Digital instruments weigh nothing, cost about 12 cents to produce and you can squeeze us for $600 for them as replacement items. Consider it an expansion of your replacement CDI scam. Arrange a warehouse fire for your leftover stock of 5 pounders. We won't tell.

We accept the TW for what it is. Just finish the job ot at the very least leave the damned thing as-is and we'll continue to finish the job ourselves.

Yours Sincerely,

One of the Dudes Who Had to Finish the Job.
 

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Dearest Darling Yamaha, Japan (Not the dinks at Yamaha, U.S.A., who are pretty much clueless and hold zero sway over you, anyway):
We accept the TW for what it is. Just finish the job ot at the very least leave the damned thing as-is and we'll continue to finish the job ourselves.

Yours Sincerely,

One of the Dudes Who Had to Finish the Job.
he's been to the mountain top!

(my vote for post of the year.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Geez Liz! At first I thought you were about to slap me around a bit but then you went and agreed with almost all the things I would like changed, suspension, brakes, seat, tank and a bit more zip. I just think if a TW could easily maintain 65 and hit an occasional 70 or so then more of us would be comfy out on a real highway once in a while. I sure do agree with all the other rantings you made but to be honest I can live with the headlight and the cyclerack works in the rear for me. Dropping some useless weight would surely go a long way but I still like the idea of a few more horsies and a sixth gear. Fuel injection and water cooling would also be sweet but then I think that would add additional weight right back on. I do have to wonder if an adjustable air shock in the rear might be a good solution.

GaryL
 

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If I was forced to change the TW, it would be a kick start 225cc with a 3 gallon tank. I'd want every thing else to stay as is, rock solid, simple, low and light. Easy to maintain and modify by the rider.
 

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Lol. Those are just MY fantasies and thanks for letting me air them. If yer gunna build a brick at least commit to building the best brick there is. Wouldn't be a bad plan to interview a few bricklayers in the process.

This is gunna be a great thread. Maybe we can print it out as a leaflet when it's done and air drop a few million of them over Yamaha headquarters.
 

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Only my opinion of course. The bike has become a cult classic...leave it alone. Half the reason we're here is because we love futtsing with stuff. If TW came from the factory with all the cool/fun stuff done, I'd lose interest in a hurry and find the next red-headed stepchild of a motorcycle to improve upon. It's because there is so much room for improvement that TW is so great!
 

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My idea of the TW is summed up by the comment I made to my lady a long time ago You should consider it being in lieu of a girlfriend! I can touch it, play with it, change it, make it to my liking, or what ever else I want to do with it. Enough said! (Still have the TW, don't still have the lady)
Mel
 

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I agree, in spirit. My gripes are only valid in view of the fact that solutions to half of them have been in place on other existing models for most of the 25+ year TW's production run and it would have cost nothing to slap them onto the TW. XT's had little things like trip meters and big things like 3 phase alternators for 10 years before the TW got the same items. By "same" I mean virtually the EXACT same parts, in most cases..

The light bulb finally went off in their noggins and they addressed one issue when they built the JDM TW225. They just popped a TW tranny into existing XT cases on the assembly line, done. Zero sum equation. Then promptly dropped the TW225 from the lineup and never offered it to the rest of the world because they might actually buy it because it was a step in the right direction? I often think their marketing guys use a dartboard.


Re: The headlight. I'm a geezer And prefer the light pattern from round headlights. My 7", 70's-technology Goldwing headlight puts out more usable light with a 35W bulb than a late model TW will with 60W. The square ones came out in the '80's, represented no improvement over their predecessors IMO and we've been stuck with them ever since. The stock headlight weighs about 2 lbs. Mine weighs closer to 3 with cheap, steel universal mounts. So mine is a bit heavy. If you've never ridden behind a large round headlight it actually lights up the ground DIRECTLY ahead of your front wheel so there's less need to add "trail lights", etc.

With modern, faceted reflectors and lighter materials mine would weigh no more than a stocker and it would burn your retinas compared to same. It's probably even possible to get the same from an even smaller and lighter 5" light nowadays.
 

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Not sure of the cost of many of the components used on other models in Yamaha's lineup, but it seems that TW has always landed on the bottom echelon of their "streetable" motorcycle offerings. Additional / bonus features (e.g. trip meter), regardless of cost, will typically be added as the models escalate. Now, in my honest opinion, the few changes to TW that occured in 2001 were actually a cost reduction effort by Yamaha engineers. Yes they added a trip meter and a disc brake to the front, but this cost was likely totally offset by removing the kickstart assembly. Maybe the folks at Yamaha never anticipated all of the nutjobs (in a good way) like us that have totally embraced this motorcycle as the ultimate dualsport machine. It would be interesting to see the global sales figures between the comparable bikes (XT225/250) and see where the TW lands. My guess is that it's damn near negligible to Yamaha in the grand scheme of things. This is purely speculation though. I love these things and I don't really know why! I'm 6'6" tall and 260lbs for Pete's sake...the bike is a totally unlikely candidate for me but I can't stop riding it.

That said, if I could buy lizrdbrth's fantasy bike, I'd be first in line! That sounds awesome! Thanks for the great post.
 

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FWIW, I'd be happy with just a sixth gear, bigger tank and fuel injection.
 

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Eventually even your weedeater is gunna have to be watercooled and fuel injected. Sort of an EPA fact of life.

I do wonder if the TW will survive the team cut once they're forced to inject it.
 
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