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Hi, everyone. I'm completely new to motorcycles in general, not just TW200s. I'm planning on signing up for the next MSF course available near me.

Lately, I've been trying to think of ways to connect more with the outdoors. A coworker of mine recently took a 4000-mile trip around the US on his adventure-style motorcycle (not a TW) and it looked like an experience I couldn't replicate by just driving a car. It really inspired me to do something similar. I've been on a few dirt bikes in my life and, while I know it isn't quite the same, it was a lot of fun when I did it.

I've been doing some research for a while on a good first motorcycle to purchase and the TW200 has really drawn me in with its unique style and small, cult-like following. I like that the bike seems to have a lot of personality. Also, I'm kind of a small guy at 5'7", 150lbs, so this bike seems like it would fit me well.

I've read elsewhere that a new sprocket would allow a TW200 to comfortably travel at highway speeds. Is this true? I need some experience first, but my eventual goal would be to take a 1000+ mile sightseeing trip around the country. Essentially, I'm trying to see if this bike would do well on such a trip.

Anyway, it looks to be a nice little community you all have here!
 

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welcome lemon,

you've come to the right place here. the Tdub will do highway speeds, but that's not it's real sweet spot. there are numerous threads regarding different sprockets and the pluses/minuses from them, you may want to read them and help you decide.

that said, there are also numerous threads of long distance trips, and plenty of smiles per mile. the Tdub isn't a speedy cruiser, but it's a damn good bike that will get you more places than almost anything else will.

ride on.
 

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reliability? check
Comfort? check
fun? check
cool? check
easy to work on? check
parts available? check
good off road? check
good on road? check
good mpg? check
cheep parts? check
good build quality? check

Welcome mate, I also recently joined the forum and the feedback and help you can get on here is good given there are not masses of people.
Enjoy
 

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Greetings! TW's are great bikes - many MSF courses use them as trainers. (Mine didn't :( )

Can you travel on a TW? Yep. Lots have done huge trips on them. You just have to know if you can live with the limitations.

If you want to get somewhere in a hurry, the TW isn't the bike to do it. If you want to stick to back roads and low speed highways and take a leisurely scenic route it might be the bike for you.

Mine will do highway speeds (55-65 mph) but it's giving every ounce of power to do so, and has nothing left in reserve. Here in CO hills and headwinds can significantly affect that, dropping top speed in accordance with the grade of the hill or the direction and intensity of the wind. I have not changed sprockets on mine as it would likey be detrimental to the type of riding I do, at some point I might try a larger sprocket though. Seeing as you're in FL hills/mountain passes might not be an issue, but wind is still a possibility. Personally I feel uncomfortable when riding at WFO (wide full open throttle) at 60mph into a light headwind with traffic whizzing past me doing 70-75 or more (in a 65 mph zone). Some are comfortable with that - I'm not. So I keep to highways that have a posted limit of 55 whenever possible. Even in 55mph zones traffic sometimes (read most of the time) exceeds the posted limits and my TW is giving everything it has to keep up. Of course, I experience some power loss due to altitude. 45-55mph is where my TW is happiest. I can do 70 on a windless day on an open stretch and have seen 75 (indicated) downhill with a good backwind. I can live with that :)

I love my TW because it can take me anywhere - it just doesn't do it at high speed. If I need to get somewhere fast (relatively ;) ) I'll take my KLR.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice, HappyHiker. That is definitely something to think about and really the only reason I'm not 100% sure about the bike yet. If only it were a 250 with a 6th gear!
 

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Hi, everyone. I'm completely new to motorcycles in general, not just TW200s. I'm planning on signing up for the next MSF course available near me.

Lately, I've been trying to think of ways to connect more with the outdoors. A coworker of mine recently took a 4000-mile trip around the US on his adventure-style motorcycle (not a TW) and it looked like an experience I couldn't replicate by just driving a car. It really inspired me to do something similar.

I'm kind of a small guy at 5'7", 150lbs, so this bike seems like it would fit me well.

I've read elsewhere that a new sprocket would allow a TW200 to comfortably travel at highway speeds. Is this true? I need some experience first, but my eventual goal would be to take a 1000+ mile sightseeing trip around the country. Essentially, I'm trying to see if this bike would do well on such a trip.

Anyway, it looks to be a nice little community you all have here!
1. Great idea on taking the MSF course, you will learn alot and understand how to handle typical type emergency handling. Will you take your own bike or do they provide one for you? It'd be best to take your own personal bike because even the same make/year was assembled differently with regards to power and fork setup.

If you're wanting an experience, bragging rights or whatever; a TW is going to be a good choice. Why? Because of its speed limitations. You could go the route of 55mph max highways OR you can one-up his adventure by making the trip on almost complete dirt. It'll do highway but isn't very fun. Also, mine drinks about 4oz oil for every 2hrs of continuous 55+mph. You can usually figure out which roads are dirt by visiting the State or County highway dept. You're going to see things you normally wouldn't in a car or on any other type of bike.

Because you can. Sure, guys have ridden HUGE bmw's all over the place. They're best on graded roads at worst. They're also massively heavy, complex and time consuming to work on... With only being 5'7" and 150, they're probably too much in an unplanned dismount. The part of "you can" involves tight trails and getting places that would take forever by foot or be near impossible/impossible/unpleasant on a larger "Adventure" bike. Part of "Adventure" to me is going AND seeing places others usually don't. Adventure to you may be covering as much ground as possible in which case there are other bikes better suited.

Safety should be factored in here too. Can you bump start a fuel injected bike when the battery has failed? You can add a kicker to a TW. Imagine being miles from anyone and being forced to walk or given a simple engine, the ability to field repair it. I don't like forced walking. Bring tools/parts with you. Which bike could you lift off of a pinned leg alone? 300lbs? 350+lbs? 450+? TW's light weight is good here.

IF you plan on more highway (65+mph) with some offroad, you could go the route of a dual sprocket. One for hwy, one for dirt. Dualsport/Adventure motorcycles are compromises by nature, whichever suits your fancy (dirt/road bias) will guide you which end of the spectrum bike you should get.
 

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MSF course is a great idea.

Respect the beast. Even a 200cc bike can kill ya. The TW is the ideal bike to start out on. Ive noticed improvements in my sport riding on the Hayabusa and I can definitely attribute those improvements to off road practice on the TW.

The used TW that I am riding is costing me .09 cents per mile too. You just cant beat that.

-THE MENACE
 

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I dropped my rear sprocket to 45 instead of dropping my front sprocket a couple of teeth. Ordering that front sprocket will drop your top end cruise. I weigh in close to 270 with gear on. Low gear still has the power to take me anywhere I have wanted to go and it will still hit 60 with out the engine vibration. In a wind I drop into 4th as with grades, that is about the same gearing as a stock unit in fifth. As I am on pavement a lot with it I find this the best for me. I left my wife's stock. I forgot how low first is and it seems missing high gear.

A great bike to hit the trails, buzz around town, and taking in the scenery cruising down country roads.
 

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1. Great idea on taking the MSF course, you will learn alot and understand how to handle typical type emergency handling. Will you take your own bike or do they provide one for you? It'd be best to take your own personal bike because even the same make/year was assembled differently with regards to power and fork setup.
i always say use the MSF bikes (not yours)...they are typically 125cc or 250cc motorcycles like if you drop their bike it's no big deal...if you drop yours you will be mad...plus it's always fun to ride and beat on other bikes ;) ...as far as the long road trip goes i think it really depends on the route you plan to take...i think it would be fun on lower speed roads or offroad but on higher speed highways i think that would suck on a TW...speed limit here is 65 and everyone does 80...i don't go on the highway with the TW cause it's not fast enough to get you out of trouble if needed
 

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1. Great idea on taking the MSF course, you will learn alot and understand how to handle typical type emergency handling. Will you take your own bike or do they provide one for you? It'd be best to take your own personal bike because even the same make/year was assembled differently with regards to power and fork setup.
i always say use the MSF bikes (not yours)...they are typically 125cc or 250cc motorcycles like if you drop their bike it's no big deal...if you drop yours you will be mad...plus it's always fun to ride and beat on other bikes ;) ...as far as the long road trip goes i think it really depends on the route you plan to take...i think it would be fun on lower speed roads or offroad but on higher speed highways i think that would suck on a TW...speed limit here is 65 and everyone does 80...i don't go on the highway with the TW cause it's not fast enough to get you out of trouble if needed

these are the bikes i rode when i took the MSF beginner course...pretty fun to rip around on and just as easy to ride as the TW
Beginner motorcyle training courses Massachusetts
 

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i always say use the MSF bikes (not yours)...they are typically 125cc or 250cc motorcycles like if you drop their bike it's no big deal...if you drop yours you will be mad...plus it's always fun to ride and beat on other bikes ;)
Speaking as a former MSF instructor, I agree with this comment 110%.

While students were free to use their own bikes, it always complicated the instruction, the drills and the evaluations when personal bikes were in the mix - scooters were the worst.

We expected our bikes to be dropped and were familiar with their characteristics and capabilities. I would strongly encourage students to use the training facilities bikes.

My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I definitely plan on using their bikes...and their gear! I don't own anything yet. No bike, no helmet, etc. I'm really starting from scratch here. :p
 

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Lemon Meringue Pie is best when it's made from scratch.
Couldn't help it, sorry, he he :evil6:

But meaning, that you will be a fine rider someday.

And a fellow TWer. God bless ya, ride safe, pay attention.
 
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Woohoo, you got in quickly!

Just a headsup in case you need to go shopping. You will need some sturdy, over the ankle boots. These don't need to be motorcycle-specific boots, regular hiking boots should work fine for this class. You will also need a long sleeve shirt or jacket, and gloves. No exposed skin below the neck. Eye protection will be needed whenever you are on the bike. You may want to bring some sunglasses. We always allowed students to ride with their faceshields up if they were wearing sunglasses. If it is a hot day, you will appreciate the ventilation.

Have fun, keep your eyes up and look all the way through the turns.
 

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I remember when I first took my motorcycle test 45 years ago and one line in the booklet stuck out to me which I never forgot. It basically said: Watch out for changing road conditions. I never forgot that, and have applied it to my riding the whole time. I watch where I am going since anything can make you dump it on a bike, from some tiny gravel, to a wet leaf, water, anything. I adjust my speed accordingly looking well ahead and never go faster than I can stop within the distance I can see. Don't be in a hurry, it will get you killed these days. There are more distracted idiots on the road than ever before. Run your high beams in the day, It won't blind anyone and it makes you many many times more visible.

*Every time I ride one of my bikes, one thing always comes to mind, and that is; that I want to be able to ride tomorrow because I love it so much. That motivates me to drive safely, and I'm still plugging along after 49 years.

Also, I'm not as young and stupid as I once was.
 

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Woohoo, you got in quickly!

Just a headsup in case you need to go shopping. You will need some sturdy, over the ankle boots. These don't need to be motorcycle-specific boots, regular hiking boots should work fine for this class. You will also need a long sleeve shirt or jacket, and gloves. No exposed skin below the neck. Eye protection will be needed whenever you are on the bike. You may want to bring some sunglasses. We always allowed students to ride with their faceshields up if they were wearing sunglasses. If it is a hot day, you will appreciate the ventilation.

Have fun, keep your eyes up and look all the way through the turns.
^^^this and most of them are rain or shine so a cheap set of foul weather gear wouldn't hurt...plus you can just store it on your new bike afterwards once you get it all set up so when you need it you'll have it
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today was chilly! I opted to use a full-faced helmet just for the extra warmth instead of the open-faced one I used yesterday (yesterday was in the 70s around here). I think full-faced is what I'll buy just for safety reasons when I get my own gear, but I can see how it would get hot in the summer. It must be tough to keep your hands warm while riding in cold weather. I doubt we even reached 20 mph and my hands went numb pretty quickly.

I'm finished with the MSF Basic Rider Course! That was lots of fun, but it also made me realize how much I still have left to learn. Most of it wasn't too difficult, but the figure 8 was tough for me. I managed to do it well a couple times during practice, but when the test came, I went slightly out of bounds after the second turn. The instructors said to keep the clutch around the friction point for that exercise, but the 250cc Suzuki cruiser I was on seemed very jerky while doing that. Maybe it was just me. I ended up keeping the clutch fully engaged and tried to very gently modulate the throttle. Giving just a little too much throttle would make the engine buck and throw me off balance during those slow, delicate turns. For the 15 mph 270 degree turn, I let off the throttle a little bit in the middle, so I lost a few more points there. I didn't have any problems with that part while practicing, but I think fear of failure made me a little too timid during the test. Oh well, I still passed.

Now I just have to send my paperwork off to the DMV to get a motorcycle endorsement on my license! Bike shopping will soon follow...
 
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