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Discussion Starter #1
This come from my post in the good mechanic thread.



Let me tell you about Andy who was with Yamaha for 15 years then the dealership that deals with kust about every other brand for another 15 years. After a battle with cancer he now works at home semi-retired. He got my first T-Dub running when I discovered that its Cdi had been stolen at the auction and the old Indian Raven put me onto him when I balked at the price of a new one. He had a few amongst his things in his garage.



I took my new prospect the old Babe around to him for an opinion before settling on the deal as agreed by the owner who had bought it from a dealer and had pottered around the farm for a couple of years but knew nothing about bikes. Andy climbed into it for an afternoon and an evening pulled out the carb and disembowlelled the ignition, got her running nicely advised me that the poor old girl had been worked near to death and had been given a facelift by another guy in town who could not get her running right and used to come to Andy to milk him for info while dressing mutton as lamb. He advised me not to buy her and charged =$40 for his time. When I fetched her he showed me what to look out for when a TW has been abused.



I’ll take some pics and put this experience up on another thread for public information. (This is it as promised) The same day there was another TDub for sale and I went to look at it. It turned out it was the dirty dealer now working from home since his garage went bankrupt. I looked at the bike and pointed out the nicely painted over welds that are the scars of past abuse. He looked distinctly uncomfortable. I smiled to myself thinking how lucky to have Andy to add to the wealth of experience on this forum. Andy said he’ll go with me to look at any future prospects since he has plenty of time on his hands and can’t work a 9 hour day for anyone anymore.


Here is the one I just looked at that the Duco artist is selling and politely rejected







Here is the welded and painted scar on the poor old babe.







Andy says this is common and that the TW was brought out as a leisure family bike, not a working bike. This happens when careless workers tear her around the farm and teenagers try and make her into a motorcross or enduro bike. He reckons that she is not made for standing on th pegs and jumping, but for sitting on the seats, cruising anlong the trail at a leisurely pace and letting the shocks, well, take the shock.



I gathered as much when I tried an enduro ride a while back.



Also look out for odd bolts indicating lots of repairs badly done probably plus worn sidestands and a bike that leans too far over as a result. A paint job is the first alarm bell though.



Andy reckons the TW is soft and not really up to what Africa and the Africans can throw at a bike. He also says that the TW is not a simple to fix as it could be, wastes horse power on rubber and sprocket bearings and teases owners that if you had a lisp, TW stands for Tewibble Wubbish. I was a bit hurt, but took it on the chin.



I hope this is helpful info. I could have used it a while back.



Malcolm























Hre
 

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What area of the bike is that pic showing?

Any other areas on the frame or elsewhere that are tell tale for abuse?
 

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Go back and tell your opinionated "expert" that other bikes forego traction and safety to gain performance. Different strokes for different folks/



TWs really are built for liesurely cruising offroad. Duh. I'll wager a TW will survive on a motocross track significantly longer than your butt will survive leisurely cruising unpaved roads on a MX bike. My experience is that MX bike riders spend so much time stopped for crashes and to wake up their butts that a TW will often beat them on a cross-country ride. At the end of the day a T-dubber will be ready for a shower and a steak, and the MXers will be ready for a shower and a tube of Bengay.
 

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Andy reckons the TW is soft and not really up to what Africa and the Africans can throw at a bike. He also says that the TW is not a simple to fix as it could be, wastes horse power on rubber and sprocket bearings and teases owners that if you had a lisp, TW stands for Tewibble Wubbish. I was a bit hurt, but took it on the chin.
No doubt that Andy is a fine mechanic, as you've said. No doubt he's seen his share of abused motorcycles, working as a professional motorcycle mechanic for that many years. But, I'll bet he's never ridden a TW where the extra rubber made a difference. The fact the TW has been produced and sold relatively unchanged for almost 25 years means it has something going for it. The success of this forum also indicates there are plenty of people that are happy with their "Tewible Wubbish". I know I am. My experience has been that the TW is pretty easy to work on, and a lot of fun to ride. I'm not likely to give mine up any time soon.
 

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They have there limitations just like any other bike. I love riding mine that is all that matters to me. I know someone who has about 50 years of expereince riding motorcycles and he is looking to buy a t-dub. After crashing his KLR 650 in the dirt he wants to get a tw 200. He doesn't think he would have crashed on a t-dub due to the lower center of gravity and wider tires.
 

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I've been deeper into my TW than most and though I don't consider it Wubbish it's not that great either. It's basic, it's functional' it's old technology, it has bearings in all the right places and the rear tire is overkill for most riders but it looks cool. I bought mine because I wanted a simple bike that's easy to wrench on that got good mileage and was lighter then my CX650 or BMW. It's basically a beefy mountain bike with a good lawnmower engine in it and I like it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's just above the footpeg on the RHS.



Don't get me wrong. I like, no, love my T-Dub and am after another one but am getting Andy to vet them for me which has been an education in itself. I like it because its the perfect family bike which is why I have to get another because the rest of the family find her so user friendly.



Andy's point is that when they came on the market they were advertised as a leisure and pleasure trail bike. They became popular with farmers since they were like a quad with two wheels before the four wheelers hit the market in a big way. They first came out in gay colours which are more appropriate for the seaside holiday resort than the farm. The Hondas and Suzukis had simpler easier to service motors and came stock with more armour to protect them from the rigours of working life. They aere not sexy beasts like the early T-Dubs although later models became more austere looking.



Last night a farm manager with no helmet, just a cap, turned up at the local pub to watch rugby and parked next to my T-Dub which my son had ridden over to join us for the game. It was a pink and green model with a custom stainless exhaust like mine. It had a similar mileage as mine (20 000 km). I had a look and it was in pretty good shape. On the farm the bike runs at low revs and if its ridden sensibly can do long service like mine that came retired and amortised after 16 years of this work and is still going strong.



The other day I had a look at a Suzuki DR200 which delivers motor spares all over, including farms. The Zulu guy rides it hard and it had 55 000 on the clock, original engine using no oil. Andy service a fleet of chest delivery bikes 100cc two strokes, some of which have done 100 000km with no repairs to the engine. Andy reckons that of the 200 Yamaha 4 strokes the recently discontinued SR has the most robust engine, but also suffer from some servicability complications. So Andy's view comes from experience and he says that the labour repair bills of the TW are higher than the competition since even a simple sprocket change is an involved operation. That is his professional opinion, but it does not change my fondness for the T-Dub, so qwerty don't get your underpants in a wad
and take it all personal
These are just brands of machine we are talking about, not religious idols.



Malcolm
 

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Then he has no credibility in my opinion.
+1 Maybe a bit more involved to change a countershaft sprocket, but everything else is just about identical to every other 200cc Yamaha as far as normal maintenance goes. We don't get the Suzuki and Honda ag bikes over here. We don't even get the Yamaha AG200. I suspect the AG200 would compare more favorably to other makes on a farm than a TW. We don't use motorbikes for farming. , 4-wheelers, Super Duty pickup trucks, and John Deere tractors are the norm around here. Anyway, if everyone in your area thinks the TWs are such garbage, you ought to be able to pick them up cheap. Nothing wrong with that at all. Puts a big smile on my face thinking about how much fun you'll be having for next to nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Andy charges for his time and undercharges by a long way compared to going to Yamaha or any of the other dealerships. So I guess that he finds machines that need relatively little time to service and repair are more cost effective workhorses.



The old guy in spares at Yamaha whispered in my ear about him when I was stuck for the bucks for a new cdi. Andy got my dead TW running and then some. That's credibility to me. Also, when the new generation of part swappers at Yamaha get stuck they call him in - that must be credibility of some sort. Like I said, Andy has seen all variety of machines worked to their limits over decades in the trade and forms his opinion on the basis of that experience. Now I've only had a couple of bikes in my time and now have a T-Dub and like it better than anything else I’ve had. I don’t have much time to tinker and prefer to just ride and do a little servicing and outsource time consuming complicate stuff to an experienced expert.

The AG 200 has the same engine as the TW I believe but both have lost out to the Suzukis and Hondas which are still stocked while the Yamahas are no longer on the floor despite competitive pricing. They are simpler to work on thus favoured.



I think because the TW is so comfortable and user friendly, they get used until they die. So the used ones I’ve seen around here have been used up and suffered some abuse. The TW suffers from rust in our coastal cities, so have stopped looking there. There are some low mileage urban bargains to be found in Johannesburg (our biggest city), but that’s 6 hours north. But if I am up there on business I’ll get another. Like you said qwerty, the family like the bike since they feel safe on it. So its like the iron version of the perfect family pony. I am willing to take Andy’s dim view of it as a workhorse and balance that against the many +++s.
 

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Well, your lucky to have a mechanic that your comfortable with, and as for his opinion of the TW, he's entitled. I have a few bikes sitting around that the experts on here call junk too, and I don't loose sleep over it, I just chock it up to differant ideas and desires.




I know how much I appreciate them and in the end, that's all that matters to me!




Bag
 

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Glad you found yourself a good mechanic, stick with him if you trust him. As for my TW and the other ones I know about, I'll have to disagree with Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah well I got lucky first TW time on the auction then read mrtrytofixit's story ending: "Well buyer beware next time im taking it to a mechanic before i buy it . anyone else have any horror stories about buying a used TW ?" and that resolved me to not try to get too lucky again. So was not trying to blaspheme in church and take the T-Dub's name in vain here, but simply pass on some experience.



Malcolm
 

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For what they cost who cares? I beat mine like it owes me money, jumps, hill climbs, and 67 mph to get where I'm going. I only have about five thousand on the clock which I dont think is much for an 06 but if it blows up on me over at the Cliffs in Marseilles Illinois which has been dubbed Insane Terrain I'll find another motor by the end of the week. I almost had one on ebay to keep as a spare but I was outbid by someone on here doing a fresh build. Good times on this thing and the cracked fenders are just battle scars to me. It does get kind of annoying watching them shake as I go down the road but such is life. I'm not buying anymore fenders until I'm ready to part with this thing for a new one. I would like to find the one that holds the license plate on as I cracked mine when I flipped it over doing the "impossible wheelie" out at a friend of mines farm.
 

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Reminds me of one of my cross country trips on my Harley Electra Glide Standard. Nine days into a trip I headed out for breakfast at a local coffee shop before finishing the last 500 miles to get home. It apeared to be a biker friendly spot in town with all the motorcycles lined up out front. The food was good but the conversation made me laugh!



Big twin vs Sportster. Harley vs Honda. Honda vs Triumph. Triumph vs Ducati. and on and on and on ............ Even heard discussion on which modifications are good and bad and what looks cool vs not cool.




When my road grime and bug encrusted HOG left all those sparkling toys in the parking lot it all became apparent to me. Those bikes were pulled off the battery tender for the Saturday ride three miles away to the coffee shop. Riders in their own mind who probably never made it outside the city limits.



Point to be taken is no matter what you ride, be happy to be riding! God blessed us with the engineers at Yamaha who gave us the TW. Then He blessed us by all by putting one our hands.



I bought my 1987 TW and I didn't need someone like "Andy" to tell me to look the other way and run. The time spent tinkering and getting advice on how to keep her running strong from the forum has produced fond memories. Kind of like taking a 76' Harley Shovelhead from basket to the boulevard. How did a $600 bike make it to the top of my list over the three other bikes in my garage? All of you already know the answer to that one!



Looking for something perfect? BMW spends millions to tell you they have it! They don't! Why? It simply doesn't exist!



Logging off to ride now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OK so lets go to how to prevent the scars that need nipping and tucking. The breakpoint of the TW is likely to be a result of corrosion combined with stress on the weakest point on the frame. If you live in corrosive environments such as coastal areas or ride on snowy roads that are salted, then pay attention. Even if you don't pay attention anyhow since my family are corrosion and coatings consultants (not me but it rubbed off a bit)and my latest project on a rusty Honda has made me give some thought to this. Look at the picture of my sound but weathered '95 and spot the hole. It's to let moisture go, but some will sit and pond at the bottom and eventually the paint will fail. So, buy some corrosolve or the like with the spouted can and fill that hole in particular, but any point on the frame where moisture might accumulate.



I am going to do mine urgently now I have learnt this and have another piece of stronger 80s technolgy from the Honda stable to compare this with. When this goes, so does your ride since foot support, rear brake all hang off this point with no back up.

BTW that's water not oil since I washed the mud off the bike for purposes of illustration.



Malcolm



 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here is my new rust bucket project, a 1984 Honda 250 XLR. I got it cheap because of the rust from standing outside for decades in a the coastal city of Durban. The rust found a weak point where the brake lever is held, the footpegs are supported by the cradle while the TW has none. The Honda's engine is also bolted to the frame from the top. Will tell more of the rust bucket later, but its been instructive since I have worked on rusty cars and things before but never a motorbike



Malcolm



 
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