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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,

First time poster – just purchased a 2009 TW w/310 miles that is completely stock.

Me I’m 56 and started riding (Honda Z50) in 1970. I had several dual sport bikes through my younger years. Did the Harley scene through my 40’s. Most recently I had a Triumph Tiger but currently have a 2013 CB500X. I call myself and experienced rider.

I’ve rencley retired to the western Mountians of Maine – 40 miles from the Canadian border. When there isn’t snow there are plenty of old trails, logging roads and hidden gems to explore. Elevation ranges from ~1,000 to 4,500 ft.

I don’t have proper tools nor am I necessarily mechanically inclined. So, I’m going to drop the bike off at the local shop for a few initial upgrades and a service. Upgrades will be new front tire and suspension work. Still researching front tires but I will be getting suspension parts from Procycles and I have a couple of questions:

I’m 200 lbs before gear and ride on the aggressive side

Thinking the 15 kgmm spring for rear

Front fork springs I’m unsure of — which size and do I need to purchase and do I need the Cartridge Emulators? I’m unclear as to what they do and if they’re necessary.

Once I do these upgrades I’ll ride and determine what else I need from the great list of forum suggestions.

Thanks much,

Steve
 

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This is a brief explanation of the function of cartridge emulators, although there are other videos out there that give much more detail.

EMULATORGV

Because they are relatively expensive ($180 from RaceTech or $130 on Amazon) I rode my first TW for a full riding season to get the feel of the bike before determining if they might help for my riding style and the conditions in which I ride. Most of my riding is on city streets with lots of potholes and otherwise bad road conditions.

They turned out to be worth it for me. A substantial improvement for potholes. But what really sold me is that they are adjustable for when I do get off-road. And I can swap them over to any other TW200 because Yamaha hasn’t changed the damping rods over the years. I’m 175 lbs, so I did not upgrade the front springs yet.

The part number I ordered is FEGV 3301. Their website didn’t list TW200. I think I had to input a 1988 YZ80 to get the part number and confirmed it with a forum member who already had them.

The conversion requires expanding (drilling) the existing damping rod holes and drilling two additional new holes, so make sure the shop that installs them for you knows the process. I did them myself and it requires caution and precision, but it wasn’t too hard.

I haven’t changed the rear spring, but there are threads on here to help with that.
 

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Hey Steve, welcome to the forum!

"Yes!" to the Emulators.

My recommendation is to follow ProCycle's ordering guidelines re weight. They come from RaceTech and are good.
If you can swing it, get the recommended fork & shock springs as well.
A poorly sprung front will not realize full benefits of the Emulators.
And a poorly suspended rear will limit the benefits a well suspended front. It's a "system", it all works together and a good one is better than the sum of it's parts.

I shopped all around and couldn't beat ProCycle's TW200 Fork Solution Kit, all things included.
Their free ship threshold is $300 so add something more to get to that ...those springs are heavy!
I got the shock spring as well...highly recommended.

Find an experienced bike suspension shop, if you can. http://www.evoind.com/home.html There are others.
They have a shop near me and did a great job at a reasonable price. My guy is a fireman and does motorcycle suspensions on the side, mainly MX. He races and has for a long time. Most of his customers race MX & scrambles. He knows his stuff.

If you must use a regular bike shop, find one familiar with Racetech Emulators. Talk to the tech who will be doing yours and ask good questions.
RaceTech has great customer tech support ...my "expert" called them twice just to "make sure" on a couple of things and they helped him on the spot. Not surprisingly, even he had not worked on TWs before! They didn't know or care where the kit was purchased. I was sure glad I used him...why spend that much money, then settle for a hack installation? They will know about fork oil weight, oil level in forks, pre-load, sag, etc.

Some will tell you the TW is good just the way it is, or that OE suspension is "good enough", or that you have no business "trying to make in into something it is not".
It's not a racer, save your money. Bullshit sez I! Then these same guys will talk about ditching the "death wing" front tire for something...better. And their logic falls apart.
TWs are a bottom shelf motorcycle and have bottom shelf suspension..."good enough"? Much of the fun & satisfaction for me is riding something that is as good as it can be, or that I can make it. And knowing how far I can push it when I want to. Or need to. I love that and take pride in it.

You've been riding nearly 50 years on all kinds of bikes...including dualsports. "Experienced rider"? Yeah, I'd say so!
You obviously know what motorcycles are and how a good one should act.
You're retired and have paid your dues.
I'd say go for it, Brother...you've earned it!

Tons of experience & knowledge here on this great forum...and it's free! And always worth every penny.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the info! I’ll spring (no pun intended) for the pro cycle kit and rear spring! We’re just into the ski season here so I have some time to do some research on a proper suspension shop. Come May, I should be configured and in good shape. Can’t wait to see how the bike takes shape as the season progresses. Again, much thanks. Steve
 

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Hi Steve, congrats on retirement and the bikes. Welcome to the forum. Since you have the time to research suspension, I would highly recommend "Race Tech's Motorcycle Suspension Bible". They sell it on the Pro Cycle site. Here is an Amazon link... https://amzn.to/2RrHX8H If you are a screen guy, the Kindle version is about 1/2 price of the print version. Excellent stuff in there.

Springs. The primary job of the springs is to support the weight. You can check this before you purchase by doing a rider's or racer's sag check. Basically, you want 1/4 to 1/3 of the total suspension travel used up when you and your gear are on the bike. (in addition to the book, YouTube is a great resource for how to do this check, and it doesn't need to be TW specific). At 200 lbs. you may or may not need/want different springs.

Emulators. Adding emulators is fundamentally changing the front suspension and how it works. It is a definite change for the better, and one I recommend. Suspension is my #3 upgrade to the TW. It's #3 because it is more expensive and more involved to get dialed in for each rider.

Front tire. I was one of the first to start steering the forum towards the Shinko 241 (here is my initial review in 2013... https://www.tw200forum.com/forum/performance-customization/3635-front-tire-choices-9.html#post71748) and I still stand by that it is the best all-round mixed use front tire for the TW. Same with the Pirelli MT 43. My #1 recommended upgrade.

My #2 recommended upgrade is the Seat Concepts seat kit. It makes a world of difference on long rides.

Handguards and larger footpegs would be next on the upgrade list.

Good luck with everything, and happy riding!

p.s. Have you done any suspension work on your CBX? Many of us here also have CB.
 

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Hi stevegpt and welcome to the forum and congrats on the new to you T-dub! I'm an ex-Montrealer now living an hour west of there and although I have not spent much time in Maine I have been to Vermont several times and would love to go riding there next season. I'll be watching for any gems you might find on any side of any border be it north/south or east/west. Cheers!
 

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Steve, welcome to the forum.

Second some larger footpegs if planing to ride off road. On suspension, I run a ProCycle 15 rear with Hyperpro progressive springs up front and am happy with the setup; the suspension isn't the same as a dirt bike, but it's closer than it was and easier to ride in whoops, etc. Others speak highly of the emulators too.

Phil
 

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With just 300 miles it is not too late to change over to a good quality DID O or X ring chain and save yourself a ton of adjusting and watching the sprockets wear out far too quickly.
Western Maine is one of my favorite places for vacations. Rangely, Moosehead lake and all the Golden roads.

Welcome to the forum from southern NY near the borders of PA and NJ.

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again for all the great suggestions.

Larry, I’ll look into the book you reference. I’ve defiantly been convinced to get the emulators and am interested in their inner workings. I’m still undecided about my front tire. There’s lots of mud in this neck of the woods and I’m not sure of the 241 will be best in my circumstance. I’m also tempted to throw an ATV on the back but figured I’d ride for a bit to get the feel for the bike. I have done no CBX upgrades. I’ve been using that for light adventure and will use the TW for my off road adventures.

Miaugi, you must be near Sherbrooke. My mother (77 yr old) travels there occasionally to see a friend. Not far away so we’ll keep in touch with the rides in the area!

Phil, I’ll take a look at the Hyperpro suspension. I see the nearest “dealer” is in NJ. I do travel through that area ocassionally as my daughter lives outside Baltimore. Could be an option.

Gary, I’ve had the chain on my list. Just might be a good idea to tackle in the near term. I’ve also been toying around with a larger rear sprocket and ATV tire — I think it would be great for my ridding area. I’ll likely replace the chain as you suggest but hold off on the tire. I live right on Sugarloaf Mt. It provides great skiing in the winter and plenty of riding in the summer. There is a Moose Loop that connects my area with Rangeley and many other surrounding areas. If you’re up this way, give me a shout.
 

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TW Brian, Admiral and Fred all know the bigger rear sprocket benefits and pretty sure they each have gone with the ATV tire option. If off road is what the bike will be used for or even riding around on the typical gravel roads all over up by you then I would get right to that first. If the bike still has the stock front Death Wing tire on it then do that change yesterday! Changing the chain before you get much more sprocket ware is the big deal at this point.
Yup, we have spent a lot of time and hundreds of miles up around your area just cruising the roads for Moose sightings. Love the ride up to Pittston's Farm and Seabamook the best but Rangely is also a great area. Great brook trout fishing up there too.

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here’s a pic of the bike. I’ll be picking it up this coming weekend. It’s a Craigs list purchase. This guy bought it and put 60 miles on it and decided it wasn’t for him. Prior owner barely rode it. 2009 but pretty clean with 310 miles – clean slate for me!

Tw200a.jpg
 

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I did tires first and high fender mod, bars, risers and handguards. Tires were a great idea, helped the ride a lot. I have gearing, fork mods and seat concepts seat in the works as well as some oil cooler and carb tuning. I’m very happy so far. Never thought a bike with less than 15hp could be so much fun. And it climbs like a goat with my big butt on it.
 

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Nice find! Beautiful bike! You'll have a blast riding it. One of the funnest bikes I've EVER ridden, and I've ridden plenty.
 

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No-one seems to have mentioned that the first and most important mod to the TW front suspension is to get the OIL LEVEL RIGHT! They all come under-filled from the factory and are great if you weigh 125 lbs. :mad:
I'm 200 and 130 mm is just right instead of the 150 mm you usually see. I put emulators in my new TW and like them for washboard, potholes, and baby heads. However, I rode my 2010 happily for 16,000 miles with no change but the correct oil level.

At 200 lbs., I still have not thought the rear spring/shock needs changing after 9 years of back country riding. However, I don't ride all that fast or aggressively because I'm old and ride solo 99% of the time. I'd do all the front fork stuff first and ride it for several months before deciding to spend $ on the rear.


Or maybe I just scanned the lengthy replies too fast....;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I went ahead and ordered the following. I have a shop about 45 min away that is very experienced in motorcycle suspension so they'll do the work. I got the longer chain (130 link) incase I change gearing and put an ATV on the back at some point. The rest of the upgrades I do I think I'll be comfortable installing myself. This thing will be read when the snow melts! Thanks all, Steve

Shinko SR241 Trials 4.00-18 (1)
O-Ring Chain EK 428SROZ X 130 (1)
Master Link Oring EK428SROZ (1)
Shock Spring 19kg/mm TW200 red (1)
FORK SOLUTION KIT .70 TW200 (1)
 

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I believe you went with too heavy of a spring rate. I have the .70s, and at 275lbs. they set up great for my appropriate sag, but when I got down to 250 lbs. they were too stiff. You might also find the 19 too stiff in the rear. To each their own. Work with your shop to get it set up good for you. I wish you the best with your new steed.
 

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I put the 19 KG spring on one of my TWs and loved it. I did however have a rear cycle rack with a nice box for my 50 pound Brittany to ride in. That extra weight hanging off the far back did require a stiffer spring. When ever I rode the bike without the dog I never really noticed a "Too Stiff" condition. YMMV.

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I’ll call procycles today and discuss spring sizes. I’m 200 in my bday suit. I figure I’m right o. The border of spring weights.

***Just spoke with procycles. The tech agreed I'm right on the line for the light vs heavy springs. My order hasn't shipped yet so I could have changed it but the tech through it would be best to go a little on the heavy side than a little on the light side. So I'm sticking with the .70 up front an 19 in the back.
 
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