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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Friends,

I got a 2007 TW200 last year for my wife and she loves it. It already has a few mods (larger tank, a rear rack, jumbo shield, ATV rear tire), but I would like to use it on some slick rock trails out there (Fins N Things, Slickrock, Hell's Revenge). So I started getting it ready.

The shifter was a little bent so I put in a new from IMS. It works great. It already has a Protaper handle bars. On smooth roads it runs great.

But here in Michigan we have a ton of pot holes. Even the most little bumps make my teeth chatter. The suspension is the only weakness I have seen on the bike. My wife has no complaints, but I am a big guy at @235#. I also ride a little fast on unpaved roads at about 45-50 MPH so I feel every little bump.
1. Is changing the front fork oil easy and advisable or will I mess something else up?
2. What is the heaviest weight fork oil you would put on?
3. I will tackle the rear with a heavier duty rear spring when I come back.

TIA,
Simba
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think adding a spacer may be the easiest and quickest way to go. I have done this to my KLR650 so I think I can do it.
Are these the steps?
1. Raise front end.
2. Remove fork cap on one side. Add appropriate size spacer--PVC pipe or metal washers. Tighten cap. Repeat on the other side.
Thanks. I have done some search and I think this will be easiest and quickest. I might even add 10CC fork oil to each side when adding the spacer. Any suggestion on a starting spacer length? would 1" be too much preload?
Thanks
Simba
 

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The most common size I remember folks using as spacers is 3/4", not that 1" wouldn't work, just what most use I believe. To get the cap off, you may have to loosen the upper clamp bolts.

I've read some owners have just added oil and got a little more stiffness without adding a spacer.

Here is a good thread on oil levels and such: http://tw200forum.com/forum/technical-help/5202-fork-oil-level.html
 

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The fork oil is an easy change , there are some great how to's on how to to it. If you are going to pop it apart change the dust and oil seals too, not hard to do. I'll post a pic of my damping rod tool I made later if you want. As far as oil I'd say 10# would be right. I out amsoil #10 in mine and it's much better.

Lizbrth put together a great writeup on oil levels and preload. Following his advice I adjusted mine to 125mm and made some spacers for preload and it transformed the front end. It's so much better now that it was stock, I'm similar weight to you and I tend to ride pretty aggressively so I think I really still need heavier springs but the combo of fresh oil at a better height and adjusting the rear to the highest preload clip has made it tolerable for now. I did the same on my girlfriends and set it up for her.


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Drill and tap the caps for Schraders and put a little air pressure in the tubes. Works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The most common size I remember folks using as spacers is 3/4", not that 1" wouldn't work, just what most use I believe. To get the cap off, you may have to loosen the upper clamp bolts.

I've read some owners have just added oil and got a little more stiffness without adding a spacer.

Here is a good thread on oil levels and such: http://tw200forum.com/forum/technical-help/5202-fork-oil-level.html
The fork oil is an easy change , there are some great how to's on how to to it. If you are going to pop it apart change the dust and oil seals too, not hard to do. I'll post a pic of my damping rod tool I made later if you want. As far as oil I'd say 10# would be right. I out amsoil #10 in mine and it's much better.

Lizbrth put together a great writeup on oil levels and preload. Following his advice I adjusted mine to 125mm and made some spacers for preload and it transformed the front end. It's so much better now that it was stock, I'm similar weight to you and I tend to ride pretty aggressively so I think I really still need heavier springs but the combo of fresh oil at a better height and adjusting the rear to the highest preload clip has made it tolerable for now. I did the same on my girlfriends and set it up for her.


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thanks Friends. Is the rear shock's preload adjustable? Maybe, for the rear that might be all I need for now and a stiffer spring in the future.
I will add a little preload spacer (075"-1.0") and add a little fork oil (maybe 10-15cc) and see if that is enough to smooth out the little bumps on the road. I am not looking to do major whoops with this bike.

I added a rear Duratool Box and on top of that I will add a Kolpin 1.5G fuel pack. Between that and the large main tank I should have a range of over 200Miles.

Thanks,
Simba

 

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On the rear, I moved the circlip to the highest one. It is usually in the middle grove. Also added a 1/4 inch spacer, the bike sit's a bit higher, but sure is nice. I probably didn't even have to add the 1/4 inch spacer. On the front, I removed the stock 7 1/2 inch spacers and added 8 1/4 piece's of 3/4 pvc pipe. These two adjustments made it a whole different bike. It actually feels like a real bike, ha ha. I am very happy with these two adjustments and I am probably one of the biggest riders here on the forum.
 

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The 5.10 front tire floats alot in the sand and makes it feel awkward. The skinning front is better in the sand but either way it will make It fine.
 

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Slick rock is good traction. It was slick to wagons with steel bands for tires, but rubber tires stick lick glue. Stock front tire sucks in deep, soft sand. TW does not have enough power to keep up enough speed to keep a skinny tire atop the sand, so a skinny tire may be better than the stock tire, but the best solution is a better front tire in the stock size. It is much easier to keep enough speed to stay atop the sand with a wider tire, but it helps to have a more open center tread with closely spaced knobs on the outside. The Trak Master K760 works well, as does a Dunlop D606. Expect either tire to wander in a straight line, but don't fight, just let it wander. Bank over in a corner and either will feel like it's on rails. You will also have the only bike with front brakes that work on sand since such tires are primarily designed for straight line traction so don't grab a handful of brakes when someone is following closely. You have been warned.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Friends.
Its good to know that the rear shock does have some adjustment. Thanks for all the hints.
I will let you all know as I make progress and how the bike does in Moab.
What kind of MPGs are you guys getting--worse to best? I am having a hard time getting accurate results as I spend a lot of time warming up the bike.
Thanks,
Simba
 

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Tdub's best has been 101mpg, E0, ridden very gently with no load, 125 main, one washer under the needle, and the pilot opened a bit. Tdub's worst was 38.8mpg, E10, wide open in 4th with a full trip load, 40-50mph headwind, ~5000 feet altitude, 132 main, 2 washers under the needle, and the pilot open about 3.


Tdub 2 's best so far was 97mpg, her first tank. That was an easy ride mostly forest service roads in the Ozarks and a bit of 45mph highway and a brief 91mph run on the interstate. She went 744 miles before hitting reserve (both tanks together hold 8.6 gallons). Her worst so far was her 2nd tank, 72 mpg, and she was well flogged riding with bigger, "serious" dualsports, including KTMs, Huskies, DRZs, and others in the 400-650cc class on significantly more challenging single track and dual track at sometimes questionable speeds on very wet and muddy trails. She would actually pass the bigger bikes coming out of the corners as they were spinning and that big Bridgestone was steadily pushing. Just goes to show that no matter how much power you have, you can only go as fast as what you can put down. I rode sweep the second day, and one hill was so steep and slick I was afraid to chicken out for fear of sliding down and crashing into one of the bikes I'd already passed. Only two of us made it to the top, a tricked out KLR 685 on Trak Masters and Tdub2. Hmmmmm? 218 miles in two days, most of the time spent pulling expensive, skinny-tired dualsports out of mudholes that the KLR and Tdub2 powered through. The KLR and Tdub2 were the only two that never got dropped, never failed to make the top, and never got stuck. 218 miles, and she needed reserve just as we got to the barn, did not fill the extra tank to save weight due to the expected high speeds. She's about 3 gallons through an 8-gallon fill (her third) and has covered an additional 270 miles of single track and dual track at an easy pace, so I figure about 85mpg will be the norm for her for most of the riding I do. That's 12-15mpg better than Tdub at the same speeds on the same type trails.
 

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......
What kind of MPGs are you guys getting--worse to best? I am having a hard time getting accurate results as I spend a lot of time warming up the bike.
Thanks,
Simba
When I was in Moab last September, I usually figured on 70 mpg, which was a little conservative if I was on mostly hard dirt or pavement. Mine has a stock rear, Kenda 270 in 120/80 front, 126 jet, one 0.015 washer, pilot screw 2.5 turns out, 13 front and 50 rear teeth.
I usually left the front at 12 and the rear at 14 psi. I've since discovered that this really cuts the mileage on the hard stuff, so unless I'm expecting a lot of sand I keep them at 18 now. My top speed went from 55 to 68!!:D

I carried two one liter MSR fuel bottles, so I should have had an absolute range of 160 miles.....I never tested that, and I never went on any really deep sand trails. I'd plan on 55mpg if I did a lot of sand. That Kenda has made a HUGE difference in deep sand handling!


You will have a great time! There are also some very scenic easy dirt roads down in the Abajos west of Blanding and FAR fewer people if you are camping.

If you have a Garmin gps, I have about 30 tracks I can send you.:cool:
 

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So, I'm not the only one who has figured out that skinny front tires are NOT the hot thing for sand? The stock tire sucks in loose stuff. It really does. In fact, the stock tire sucks in general. The K270 and similar tires from Shinko and IRC are much better all around tires. I also agree with 18psi. That is enough to maintain their round profiles so that only a relatively narrow strip of almost solid rubber meets the ground on hard surfaces, providing good wear and traction, but when the surface softens the tires sink in and expose their more aggressively voided knobs near the sides for straight line traction, and the buttressed row of knobs on the edges digs in like a shoal keel on a boat in corner. Low pressures mess up the shifting properties of the various parts of the tread as they come into play on a variety of surfaces and at various lean angles. These shifting properties very closely match the stock Bridgestone rear knob pattern--lots of rubber down the middle, more aggressive tread on the sides that never touches pavement but comes into play in mud and sand. Even at 18psi there is not enough engine or brake to overcome the coefficient of friction on 99.99999% of surfaces, anyway, so trying to gain more by airing down is an exercise in frustration. Also, you never have to worry about pinch flats at 18psi, nor do you have to give up precious riding time to adjust air pressures when going from dirt to pavement or vice-versa.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
When I was in Moab last September, I usually figured on 70 mpg, which was a little conservative if I was on mostly hard dirt or pavement. Mine has a stock rear, Kenda 270 in 120/80 front, 126 jet, one 0.015 washer, pilot screw 2.5 turns out, 13 front and 50 rear teeth.
I usually left the front at 12 and the rear at 14 psi. I've since discovered that this really cuts the mileage on the hard stuff, so unless I'm expecting a lot of sand I keep them at 18 now. My top speed went from 55 to 68!!:D

I carried two one liter MSR fuel bottles, so I should have had an absolute range of 160 miles.....I never tested that, and I never went on any really deep sand trails. I'd plan on 55mpg if I did a lot of sand. That Kenda has made a HUGE difference in deep sand handling!


You will have a great time! There are also some very scenic easy dirt roads down in the Abajos west of Blanding and FAR fewer people if you are camping.

If you have a Garmin gps, I have about 30 tracks I can send you.:cool:
Thanks. I do have a Garmin GPS but I am not sure how to add tracks. Please send these and I will do a Search on how to do this.
Thanks,
Simba
 

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Thanks. I do have a Garmin GPS but I am not sure how to add tracks. Please send these and I will do a Search on how to do this.
Thanks,
Simba
I have a lot of respect for people willing to take on new challenges. Good luck with the tracks, and when you learn. come teach me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks All

Thanks All,
I really appreciate you taking the time to reply and appreciate the suggestions. My front tire is a Kenda and the rear is an ATV Maxxis Ceros?
I will work on getting some washers or PVC preload spacer in the front forks and maybe add a little fork oil to each.
I will also be taking a DR350SE with me to Moab. After a few warm rides, I will know which bike I will take on the WRT.
Thanks
Imu



 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have a lot of respect for people willing to take on new challenges. Good luck with the tracks, and when you learn. come teach me.
I have downloaded 'Basecamp' from the Garmin Website.
I think the next step is to get some tracks onto my Macbook and go from there.
Once I get it done (If I can) I will put a little tutorial.
Thanks,
Simba
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have downloaded 'Basecamp' from the Garmin Website.
I think the next step is to get some tracks onto my Macbook and go from there.
Once I get it done (If I can) I will put a little tutorial.
Thanks,
Simba
It seems like I can download a destination e.g Hurrah Pass, transfer it to my GPS where it goes under 'My Favorites' then I can navigate to that destination. It was actually quite easy even on my very old Garmin Nuvi 255W. I found a whole bunch of Utah GPS Tracks here: Utah GPS Tracks | IntrepidXJ's Adventure Blog
Thanks
Simba
 
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