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I rode large displacement Japanese bikes for years until a bad accident in Arizona scared me from the sport. Three years ago, I bought a Yamaha C3 scooter to use for my daily commute. 80% of the time, the scooter was fine. But too many times, I wished I had more power, either for safely or for wider ranging rides. After considerable research, I bought a 2010 TW this past December. Now with my first 1000 miles on the clock, I would like to share my impressions.



CONS: 1) Absolutely worst stock carbueration I've ever seen! 2) For street use, 1st gear is useless. 3) Clunky transmission. When I downshift, the TW often feels like the whole drive train is going to fall onto the pavement. 4) Generally crude: 1980s technology.



PROS: 1) Very easy to operate, an important factor for new riders. 2) Easy to service (I hope!) 3) Reliable (I hope!) 4) Economical; I get an honest 85 MPG on my daily rides around town. 5) The TW catches attention probably because of those uniquely huge tires.



Now, if the TW had 250 cc, fuel injection, a six speed transmission and liquid cooling, I would call it perfect. (Of course, that's a Kawasaki KLR 250!) In any event, my TW does what I wanted and expected. Not perfect, sure, but how much perfection actually occurs in the world?
 

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The carb can be fixed for under $10.



For street use, a sprocket change is under $20.



Switch to an ester-based synthetic oil and the trans will shift easily.



You call it crude, I would expect a poet to recognize elegant simplicity.



If the TW had 250 cc, fuel injection, a six speed transmission and liquid cooling, it still wouldn't be a KLR 250. It would be a much better motorcycle than said KLR.
 

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What issues have you had with the bike being air cooled ?
Sometimes in very steep, very difficult terrain, with no breeze and no way to maintain a flow of air over the top end, Tdub has pinged a bit. Liquid cooling would delay the onset of overheating, but eventually the fan would come on and all would be well. At least, that's the theory according to those critical of air cooled engines. my response is that it wouldn't be difficult to wire a 12 volt fan with a sealed motor to blow air over an air cooled engine.



The real advantage of liquid cooling is more stable engine temperature parameters, which allows closer manufacturing tolerances, allowing for reduced wear, faster break-in, and more powerful states of tune.
 

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The real issue with the 12V fan comes down to a severe lack of electricity available on a TW.. I've considered a few times how one might add a second battery and auxiliary charging system, but haven't made it very far. To be honest, around here the issue is that the bike sure does get hot: but the rider overheats much quicker in the sun/high humidity. I find taking lots of breaks in shady spots to be a plenty acceptable use of my time
How else am I supposed to fill the huge SD card in my phone with pictures?



My 2c is simple on this matter: lack of another fluid means less maintenance, less difficulty on the maintenance that you actually have to do, less parts to fail, less hoses to blow in really awful places, and hey, if the radiator or cooling hoses on my TW blow, I'm still riding home.




Elegant simplicity, indeed. TW200++
 

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best thing you can do is drill the slide, rejet, then tune the carb properly, imo. i also regeared mine to a 45 tooth rear. i commute only on mine, and i love it now.
 
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best thing you can do is drill the slide, rejet, then tune the carb properly, imo. i also regeared mine to a 45 tooth rear. i commute only on mine, and i love it now.




So are you able to cruise at what speeds with 45 tooth gear?
 

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best thing you can do is drill the slide, rejet, then tune the carb properly, imo. i also regeared mine to a 45 tooth rear. i commute only on mine, and i love it now.


I've now had three TWs brought to me after installing "jet kits" that gave instructions for drilling the "slides". All three were "cured" when their "drilled slides" were replaced with stock pieces.



5LB-1434A-00-00 for 2001+, suction piston assembly, $46.48 plus shipping. I don't know if the part was modified properly according to the instructions or not, but fact is, "drilling the slide" only lets the carb open faster and really provides no additional power, and a carb that opens too fast leads to problems with fuel enrichment, resulting in bogs and stalling unless the carb is tuned significantly richer than it needs to be, which wastes fuel, loads the spark plug, increases carbon build-up, and has the potential to fuel-wash the cylinder bore resulting in ruined cylinder liner, piston, and rings.



I'm not going to tell anyone not to do it, there may be some slight benefit in throttle response if done right, but if someone really doesn't know what he or she is doing, it might be a waste of $50 to fix the damage done by a $30-60+ jet kit. For all practical purposes, the same improvement can be had simply by installing the Yamaha jet installed in bikes sold anywhere except North America ($3.48), sticking a $0.05 washer under the needle, and turning the pilot screw, without risking a $50 part.



For 2001 and newer, stock main jet in north America is 125, 126, or 128, depending on year and market, while the rest of the world gets a 132.5. I've found the 132.5 an excellent choice for riding at and near sea level, but a 130 works best above 3000 feet, a 128 above 6000 feet, and for really high in the Rockies, a 125 with the tape pulled off the holes in the airbox cover. YMMV. For the power, smoothness, and throttle response gained, a $5-6 rejet is an awesome return on investment.
 

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Well I like mine!
Yup! I think some people get carried away--if a little is good, a lot is better--and it just ain't always so. Like I said, I don't know how closely the directions were followed when the mods were done, nor do I know which brand(s) of jet kit(s) might have bad instructions. What set of instructions did you use? What parts? Inquiring minds want to know what actually works.
 

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55-60 is the sweet spot cruising on mine.



qwerty, if that "cured" their bikes for you, that is great, but my bike runs much better and now has actual throttle response with the slide drilled.
 

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Look I see why it would be nice too have a 250 cc in the bike but then why not 650? gearing could be 7 instead of 5, and let's have 8 inch more travel. But wait then I would never have bought it. The bike is so different and that's why it works. (I love the first gear, works like a tractor, I can climb it into my trailer on a 2 by 6 walking beside it no panic). I wish I could buy all my autos knowing how they would last rather then every two years having all sorts of new improvements that do nothing for me but break. Give me something that will last and keep it simple. I guess that I don't want to go faster though and with the wind off the other cars, I'll take the back roads I like to see what's around me it's not for the getting there but what the trip was like. That said I don't have to commute with mine and if I did it would only be a backup for something I would rather go to work on or in.

Cars that I wish I could find low milage on?

Toyota T 100

Any old Mercedes diesel

Vw bugs

A couple of 911 models were known to go over 250000 easy

Well I think I lost the thread a bit!!
 

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55-60 is the sweet spot cruising on mine.



qwerty, if that "cured" their bikes for you, that is great, but my bike runs much better and now has actual throttle response with the slide drilled.
Have you ever run a properly jetted carb with a stock slide? All the same benefits, though the degree may differ. The difference from stock is significant. I can't say whether or not drilling the slide helps or not once the jetting is sorted. There doesn't seem to be any valid data developed by any independent resource. All I know is that on 3 TWs, replacing a drilled slide with a new stock piece cured ridability problems that resulted from installation of a "jet kit" with instructions to drill the slide.



One thing I've learned over the years is it is always wise to take any claims of improved performance with a grain of salt until the mods are duplicated and the results tested in a valid manner by someone not connected with the source of modifications. Riding impressions are important, but really are useless as a means of comparison without quantifiable data.



By the way, Tdub cruises at 60-65 most of the time, but only on real gas. E10 slows her down to the 55-60 range. Fuel quality is just one of dozens of variables affecting engine performance, so there really is little validity in anecdotal testimony other than before-and-after impressions, unless one thinks to do timed acceleration or dyno runs or compares fuel efficiency, or in some way documents the effect of changes by comparison of measured performance parameters. Got data?



Sadly, most people's before-and-after impressions tend to suffer to some degree of self-fulfilling prophecy rather than good scientific data. It would be nice if everyone actually provided the sources of the parts, a copy of the instructions, and some timed 20-50 runs up a long hill. "I like mine" or "mine is faster now" isn't data.



For instance, I tried an FMF Powercore IV on Tdub, lost about 0.3 horsepower with stock-for-California main jet, gained about 0.3 peak horsepower when the carb was jetted for the FMF over stock exhaust when the carb was jetted for the stock pipe, but lost significant off-idle and mid-range torque, resulting in a slower 30-60 roll-on in 5th up a long hill. Several seconds slower, actually, measured with a stopwatch. Real data.



The bike did make more peak horsepower, definately sounded faster with the loud exhaust, but was slower in real world when performance was actually measured.



Worse, the powerband was narrowed enough the gap between 4th and 5th gears was problematic, as in 4th had to be wound pretty tight or shifting to 5th would slow the bike down, and forget shifting to 5th going uphill or with a stout headwind. However, if you could get 63-65mph in 5th going downhill, the bike could carry that speed up the next hill better than the stock pipe, but if slope or wind slowed to 63, the engine "fell off the cam" and the bike would slow to 50 even with the throttle wide open, an even 10mph slower than the stock pipe on the samke hill.



I have no doubt the pipe would be a better performer on a TT-R 230 or XT 225 because those transmissions have a smaller gap between 5th and 6th, more displacement (which tends to widen a powerband, all else being equal), less weight, and are generally ridden in a more sporty manor than a TW.



Do you have similar data on your carb mods, say based on elapsed time over the same stretch of road, top speed maintained up the same hill, rate of acceleration in a roll-on, or dyno readings? How about specifics on the brand and part numbers of the components used? Are written instructions available to duplicate your modifications on another bike?



I really would like to duplicate your mods and do some measuring. I can't do that without a list of parts sources and written instructions. I'm always looking for more bang for the bike, but without data, how do I justify spending hard-earned money and avoid diasaters, like the three TWs that performed poorly after a "jet kit" was installed and the slides drilled?
 

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Qwerty. Do you know what size bit was used to drill the slides in question? I used a 3/32" that is just a little larger than the stock hole. It did seem to improve throttle response off idle. I'm thinking they may have used a 5/32" bit and that is to large for a T.W. but works well on a KLR.
 

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I'm at 1015 miles on the new 2010, and close to 1500 on the used 2005 now. I'm basically happy with both of them. Yea, the stock chain is crap, but chains take a few minutes to adjust. I ride in coastal foothills, and I'm OK with the GO power and haven't had a problem with the STOP power. I'm getting just over 75 miles before I switch to reserve on either, so I'm saving a ton of money on gas over my 13mpg (town) minivan. Both have been to the desert and on forest service roads and gave us a better time than expected.



I don't know that I want to change a lot on either bike at this point beyond making them more comfortable or extending their range. A back rack, gel grips and bigger pegs make them more functional. The carbs are far from perfect, but they are doing their job. First gear is fairly useless in town (half an intersection), but changing sprockets is a compromise if you want to ride off road too.



If I wanted faster, bigger, cooler, I would have bought that. These bikes are exactly as advertised.



I love that it's an air cooled thumper with a drum brake and 3 idiot lights. And those tires! You could drag you knee on turns all day with these things. I haven't had this much fun on 2 wheels in a long time.



No regrets.
 

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Qwerty. Do you know what size bit was used to drill the slides in question? I used a 3/32" that is just a little larger than the stock hole. It did seem to improve throttle response off idle. I'm thinking they may have used a 5/32" bit and that is to large for a T.W. but works well on a KLR.
I don't know what size bits were used, but probably wouldn't have mattered considering the level of workmanship present. That's why I won't condemn drilling the slide. Tdub has a nice, smooth power delivery off idle. I don't want to change that. I've had small bikes with oversensitive off-idle characteristics and they were not pleasant and easy like Tdub. I've also had ping off-idle when riding in extreme conditions at low speed, and a quicker opening throttle would worsen that undesirable performance parameter.
 

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More data please....My 09 is all OEM. Thinking of rejetting,but, I'm not having any of the problems I had with my former xr650L: popping on decel,hard cold starts!!!,sometimes hard warm starts!!!,motor surging at constant speed...damn what a nightmare, that was and aggravating!. The bike will have a "sticky" idle at times(hang in the upper rpm's for a moment or so?.)I'm between 400 and 1200ft above sea level...humid during the summer.Granted, the bike only has 100 miles on it,but still thinking of a rejet?. Can one advise on ester based synthetic oil...don't need to be to technical....just site differences in synthetics...I presume ester is the base of the synthetic???.
 

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More data please....My 09 is all OEM. Thinking of rejetting,but, I'm not having any of the problems I had with my former xr650L: popping on decel,hard cold starts!!!,sometimes hard warm starts!!!,motor surging at constant speed...damn what a nightmare, that was and aggravating!. The bike will have a "sticky" idle at times(hang in the upper rpm's for a moment or so?.)I'm between 400 and 1200ft above sea level...humid during the summer.Granted, the bike only has 100 miles on it,but still thinking of a rejet?. Can one advise on ester based synthetic oil...don't need to be to technical....just site differences in synthetics...I presume ester is the base of the synthetic???.
The rest of the world doesn't have EPA. The rest of the world doesn't have the rideability problems you describe, which are all symptoms of a too-lean air/fuel ratio. the need tp rejet is a no-brainer unless one lives over 6000 ft of altitude.



The easiest ester-based synthetic oil formulated specifically for motorcycles with wet clutches for me to find is Mobil 1. I run Racing 4T 10W-40 in the winter and V-twin 20W-50 in the summer. Royal Purple and Amsoil also make oils I would use, but they cost more and are harder to find. The Mobil 1 is about $10-11 a quart. It will easily last twice as long between changes as dino motorcycle oil, which costs ~$5, so the cost is essentially the same. You'll save on oil filters with synthetic by not using but half as many.



with only 100 miles on your bike you might consider staying with dino oil for a while. Valvoline 4-Stroke motorcycle oil comes in 10W-40 and 20W-50 and served me well until I switched to synthetic last year. TWs improve performance and efficiency during break-in, and synthetics can interfere with the break-in process. I'd switch at about 2000 miles.
 

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When one starts going down the path of..."if the TW200 was only liquid cooled, fuel injected, six speed,.." etc, you might end up with the dual sport WR250 (I think that's the model with titanium valves etc), but then you might just end up with a $6000 motorcycle too. That's great for those that can afford them. The TW200 has been around so long that there is obviously a market for them-even here in the US. I've ridden since I was eight and I'm now 57 and I am very seriously researching the TW as my next dual sport. I'm selling my Sportster, moving, and will but a new dual sport soon, and this one may be the one.



Jon
 
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