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Hello esteemed TWers and TWettes :)



I’m a potential buyer and while I’ve read so many pros and cons about this intriguing little bike, I figured it made sense to come to ask those who know it best.



So I’m choosing between a TW200 and a ZX-14…ok, more like a TW200 and a CRF250L/KLX250/WR250R :) This would be a second bike as I have a sporty middleweight bike that’s my primary ride.



Intended use would be for riding along country roads, exploring gravel roads, jeep trails, and a little bit of local riding if/when the mood for that strikes me but mostly the first three. So what’s the catch? Well there are several…



1 — I live in a super urban part of central florida where everything is paved. That means to get to those aforementioned country/gravel roads and jeep trails, I’m going to be looking at 1.5 — 2 hours of riding on surface streets OR perhaps 1-1.5 hours on the freeway where speeds range from 65 to 80.



2 — I’m at sea level of course so I know the TW would have a little more oomph here than at more typical mountain locations but it’s still a 196cc bike..



3 — I’ve no offroad experience beyond a good amount of mountain biking. Also I’m told almost all the trails here inevitably involve sugar sand as the locals call it (I’m a transplant from out west). For those of you who know this area, (richloam, croom, citrus, withlacochee) would the TW be suitable for such trails?



4 — Mostly I have had FI bikes and love the convenience and ease of almost effortless starting plus no fueling issues. I would rather ride than wrench. I had one bike with a carburetor and it didn’t go well thanks to the bike sitting for a bit with some ethanol gas. So I’m not super experienced or handy but willing to learn within reason and depending on available resources (youtube, here, forums, etc). Also I've switched to ethanol free and ride year round.



With all that said would you recommend a TW to someone in my shoes or am I better off with an FI, more modern dual sport like the CRF or KLX? I’m not set on any one particular bike but my street bike won’t be happy offroad and I’d like to see how I like dirt and offpavement riding.



Thanks!
 

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The T-dub plods long at a slow steady pace on narrow trails over sand and rocky ground. It's not fast and like a dirtbike and doesn't have the deepest suspension. It's low, and light, so if you got stuck you can pull it out of sand and mud. You certainly should not take it into 65-85 mph traffic for over and hour, but trailer the bike to the trails. My top speed on a T-Dub is 62 mph with the wind at my back, wide open on throttle. It's hard on the engine, and not recommended, It's best cruising speed is 48 mph. As for reliability, it's pretty bullet proof. Maintenance is easy. It's a bare bones transort, not a speedy thrilled filled dirtbike. It just GOES AND GOES AND GOES. Perfect for backwoods trails for sight seeing, and perfect for a beginner without lots of offroad experience. It's at home on the farm and on dirt and gravel roads, where you're not in a hurry.
 

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Hello esteemed TWers and TWettes :)



I’m a potential buyer and while I’ve read so many pros and cons about this intriguing little bike, I figured it made sense to come to ask those who know it best.



So I’m choosing between a TW200 and a ZX-14…ok, more like a TW200 and a CRF250L/KLX250/WR250R :) This would be a second bike as I have a sporty middleweight bike that’s my primary ride.



Intended use would be for riding along country roads, exploring gravel roads, jeep trails, and a little bit of local riding if/when the mood for that strikes me but mostly the first three. So what’s the catch? Well there are several…



1 — I live in a super urban part of central florida where everything is paved. That means to get to those aforementioned country/gravel roads and jeep trails, I’m going to be looking at 1.5 — 2 hours of riding on surface streets OR perhaps 1-1.5 hours on the freeway where speeds range from 65 to 80.



2 — I’m at sea level of course so I know the TW would have a little more oomph here than at more typical mountain locations but it’s still a 196cc bike..



3 — I’ve no offroad experience beyond a good amount of mountain biking. Also I’m told almost all the trails here inevitably involve sugar sand as the locals call it (I’m a transplant from out west). For those of you who know this area, (richloam, croom, citrus, withlacochee) would the TW be suitable for such trails?



4 — Mostly I have had FI bikes and love the convenience and ease of almost effortless starting plus no fueling issues. I would rather ride than wrench. I had one bike with a carburetor and it didn’t go well thanks to the bike sitting for a bit with some ethanol gas. So I’m not super experienced or handy but willing to learn within reason and depending on available resources (youtube, here, forums, etc). Also I've switched to ethanol free and ride year round.



With all that said would you recommend a TW to someone in my shoes or am I better off with an FI, more modern dual sport like the CRF or KLX? I’m not set on any one particular bike but my street bike won’t be happy offroad and I’d like to see how I like dirt and offpavement riding.



Thanks!
You certainly should not take it into 65-85 mph traffic for over and hour, but trailer the bike to the trails.
^^^This!^^^ With the exception of this, the TW would be fine for you.

Welcome to the forum Elle!! :D
 

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That's a tough one.

I think the TW is perfect for your type of off-roading but horrible for your commute requirements. It just doesn't do fast, unless you change the gearing ratio on the front and/or rear sprocket to get more top-end speed. Even then I wouldn't want to go that fast without smoother street tires.

I just bought a '99 TW that had been converted to a cafe racer with a much higher top-end (went from a 50 to a 45 tooth rear sprocket) and street tires, but it lost some trail capability in the process. It was still OK, but I have lots of small mountain trails in my corner of the desert and I wanted the low-end back. Changing the rear sprocket really isn't that hard, if you want to go that route, but you'd also have to shorten the chain or take out links to make it work. Once again, not that hard to do.

My 15 year old son who is more of a math wiz than an outdoorsy guy is learning to love the TW. It's comfortable and not too athletic. It's low enough to the ground to get on and off easily, and it's easy to plant your feet on the ground when you need extra stability on the trail. Plus, the carb seems pretty bullet proof as long as it has ethanol-free gas in it.

It's a good bike, actually the best bike, for my type of casual exploring.
 

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Hello esteemed TWers and TWettes




I’m a potential buyer and while I’ve read so many pros and cons about this intriguing little bike, I figured it made sense to come to ask those who know it best.



So I’m choosing between a TW200 and a ZX-14…ok, more like a TW200 and a CRF250L/KLX250/WR250R
This would be a second bike as I have a sporty middleweight bike that’s my primary ride.



Intended use would be for riding along country roads, exploring gravel roads, jeep trails, and a little bit of local riding if/when the mood for that strikes me but mostly the first three. So what’s the catch? Well there are several…



1 — I live in a super urban part of central florida where everything is paved. That means to get to those aforementioned country/gravel roads and jeep trails, I’m going to be looking at 1.5 — 2 hours of riding on surface streets OR perhaps 1-1.5 hours on the freeway where speeds range from 65 to 80.



2 — I’m at sea level of course so I know the TW would have a little more oomph here than at more typical mountain locations but it’s still a 196cc bike..



3 — I’ve no offroad experience beyond a good amount of mountain biking. Also I’m told almost all the trails here inevitably involve sugar sand as the locals call it (I’m a transplant from out west). For those of you who know this area, (richloam, croom, citrus, withlacochee) would the TW be suitable for such trails?



4 — Mostly I have had FI bikes and love the convenience and ease of almost effortless starting plus no fueling issues. I would rather ride than wrench. I had one bike with a carburetor and it didn’t go well thanks to the bike sitting for a bit with some ethanol gas. So I’m not super experienced or handy but willing to learn within reason and depending on available resources (youtube, here, forums, etc). Also I've switched to ethanol free and ride year round.



With all that said would you recommend a TW to someone in my shoes or am I better off with an FI, more modern dual sport like the CRF or KLX? I’m not set on any one particular bike but my street bike won’t be happy offroad and I’d like to see how I like dirt and offpavement riding.
Thanks!
Hi Elle, and welcome. The TW200 or Tdub, as we affectionately call them, is an excellent choice for what you've listed as needs. All except one; highway riding with speeds above 60 or so. Other than that, the Tdub is excellent. It is low, and light, with fat to tires that help in the sand. It is super reliable & simple to operate. You can thrash this thing for 30yrs and still hold great resale value. These things go anywhere, including the North Pole! (Somebody actually drove one to the north pole.) They are tanks. There are lots of parts available. It is also a great beginner bike, and anyone can ride it. Rider groups such as this, are available. And you can buy a brand new Tdub in Florida cheap! Too far for me to travel to be practical, but I found my best prices at several dealerships in Florida on cycletrader.com. Good luck with your decision.
Maury 👍
 

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Of the small bikes you listed, the WR250r, is the only one that I would even attempt to take on a freeway and do 80mph with and it would be scary,
I have done it. The TW will do sand with the stock tire, but with low tire pressure, so you will need a pump to air up for the trip home.
The other bikes will need new rear tires. I would suggest the Motoz dessert ht, it has a cupped central knob that when aired down does extremely well in sand and mud.
DB93146C-735D-4879-8D95-53BB65B7C380.jpeg
 

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KLX250 if you are an off-road newbie and absolutely must have a freeway capable bike. You will still struggle in the sand more than a TW, but not be so high off the ground as with a WR250R.
If you can make a friend who can haul your bike on freeway then definitely go TW. Or simply rent a truck for the day for those occasional out-of-town long hauls. Or put a receiver hitch carrier on whatever 4 wheel conveyance available to you and once again haul the TW to your destination.
 

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Depends on whether you want a mule or a horse. Mules can go where horses can’t, but mules can’t keep up with horses

The TW is a mule, but a lot of fun along the way – perhaps simply because it is a mule

If you are a fan of convenience, EFI, and highway speeds, that’s not what these bikes are about. But again, that’s the point of a TW. They are designed to be fixed with a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and the nearest rock. “Old school”. Yet they remain one of the most reliable bikes out there, because of their simplicity

When you’re out on the trails, there is no dealership to plug in a laptop and diagnose your EFI, it’s just you and the bike. In the unlikely event of a breakdown, the simplest toolkit can often fix the TW

The TW needs little maintenance beyond the basics, most of which apply to other bikes anyway – so it rather depends on your interpretation of “convenience”

So – you have a choice – TW’s are immense fun, easy to work on, but they are not road going beasts. The clue is in the name – “Trail Way”. But they can hold 60 mph for prolonged periods, maybe 65mph on the flat, but if you can deal with that – they will take you anywhere …..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The internet is wrong about quite a few things but you know what it is right about? This forum and how friendly and helpful the members are so thank you for all the replies so far!

Just to be clear because i know i wrote a lot in that original post...the trails and roads i'd want to travel are indeed 1 to 1.5 hours from home via freeway (65 - 80 mph) but the alternative is 1.5 - 2 hours on surface streets. So there is a way to get to those trails without ever being on the freeway rather it's just adds time to the ride which I know, isn't a bad thing but my free time is unfortunately finite.

As many of you pointed out the TW is a simple little bike but being away from the city and what not, means you have to be able to rely on your own skills. Admittedly I'd opt to either a) stay away from anything remote, difficult, or really out there while solo and stick to jeep trails, 2 track, and easy trails OR b) if i can find one, then ride with a group. It's not different than mountain biking in that regard in that you're usually way better off with a friend unless it's a very busy area with lots of people who could potentially help in case of an unforseen mishap.

Is 65 mph for say 1 hour too much for the TW in stock trim here at sea level?
 

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If geared properly for road then 65 is no problem, but now it will not be as nice for off road. Some people on here have done a dual sprocket, but there are draw backs to that too. In my opinion small bikes are not fun when you get over 55mph.
 

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You could definitely gear it to do 60-65, but it's not going to be cumfy. My reco would be to take the back roads where possible and putter along. This is NOT a fast bike, but it is an extremely fun, capable and durable bike.

I have owned a Ninja 250, Suzuki sv650, currently own a '73 rd350 (in pieces currently) and recently bought the TW. It is one of the most enjoyable and easy to ride bikes I have had (the sv was excellent though). Its perfect for exploring country roads, gravel roads, etc. It's also pretty easy to hitch to a vehicle or throw into the back of a truck.

With that said, I also road a CR250L and though it was just fine. I prefer the TW, but it's not bad. I hear great things about the KLX250 and excellent things about the WR250. I am a Yamaha guy at heart, but the WR250 is a little tall for my liking. The TW is basically perfect for my short ass. Anywho, good luck making your decision!
 

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As with a lot of other off-road or dual sports - the TW seat COULD make a ride of two hours out and then two hours back mighty uncomfortable on your bottom end (without even adding in the off-roading time).
Yes the bike will do 60+ (no head wind) but will be very buzzy; shortening comfort on the bike time. And more importantly, you will have no power left to get yourself out of a bad situation with 65 mph traffic (let alone 80mph cars whizzing by). The ability to accelerate can get you out of a bad spot. Higher gearing will make the bike smoother at any given speed - but does not really increase top end speed due to the lack of power. It can also lessen the off-road ability; but really only if you do more difficult terrain. A truck bed; or hitch carrier; or trailer really makes things a lot more doable. Especially if you or the bike get hurt. You only have to get back to the trail-head to have transportation - instead of trying to figure how to get you and/or the bike another 60-120 miles back home. Wish you luck with however you decide to do things.
 

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I have/had both TW and XT250.
TW - great bike for exploring at slower speed.
XT - a little more flexible as it can do 60 in stock gearing without over stressing it.
With right tires, TW is better on very soft ground.
XT- better on gravel roads
For me, TW had more soul - rather attached to it.
XT more pragmatic.
 

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Id reccomend a hitch hauler and just bring the dub to the trail. For me riding on a road is stressful for more than a few miles but for a beginner offroader the tw is perfect if you spend a few hundred on some mods like lower gears taller handlebars better pegs and shock. Ive had otger bikes and can say with confidence that you will love the dub in the same way that we all do. Welcome to tge club!

Sent from my LML211BL using Tapatalk
 

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Unless you have a pickup or trailer or hitch carrier it’s not the bike for what you described. You’ll feel uncomfortable all the time on the interstate, in my opinion. It’s a shame, because the big tires have an advantage in all that FL sand.
 

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Id definitely recommend you take the bike to the trail, not ride it. I have almost always done that, no matter what the capabilities of the bike. It is so much safer, because all you need to do is break something on the trail (which i do, all the time!) And your ride home will be misery, or not even possible. Smashed headlight and its dark? Clutch lever snapped off? Chain stuffed? Steering head bearing seized? Wheel bearing collapsed? The list goes on and on. Unless the trail is at your back door, or down the road, or you are with a group, just take the bike there. A nice drive home after a hard (fun) day out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hahaha, pretty funny.

Seems like more than a few who have responded suggest trailering the bike. I admit I'm not especially inclined to get one if trailering is close to a necessity. Whimsical as it is, I like the spontaneity of getting on the bike and going. Not that the reasons shared here fail to make sense because they're all quite sensible.

Ironically there was a TW for sale on Craigslist nearby just before I wrote the original post but it seems to have vanished from the site so I assume it sold. All of which leaves only dealers nearby hence impossible to get a test ride to see how I like the bike.

I once rode a crf230l briefly and it was a fun, lightweight bike on the street though it strained mightily above 60 sounding like it might explode any minute by the time 65 or 70 came around. I'm imagining the tw might be similar but again first hand experience is important to me. Especially with the very different tire setup the tw has compared to just about any other dual sport.
 

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....I once rode a crf230l briefly and it was a fun, lightweight bike on the street though it strained mightily above 60 sounding like it might explode any minute by the time 65 or 70 came around. .....
That's exactly what the TW will feel like. :( It won't blow up, but it also won't be much fun. I have a 13 tooth front, so mine feels exactly like that at 60 and I would never ride it at that speed for more than 10 miles and I would never ride mine on the Interstate no matter what gearing it had....it's just too unpleasant and scary.

For your indicated use, trailering isn't close to a necessity, it IS a necessity!
 

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Depends on whether you want a mule or a horse. Mules can go where horses can’t, but mules can’t keep up with horses

The TW is a mule, but a lot of fun along the way – perhaps simply because it is a mule

If you are a fan of convenience, EFI, and highway speeds, that’s not what these bikes are about. But again, that’s the point of a TW. They are designed to be fixed with a screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and the nearest rock. “Old school”. Yet they remain one of the most reliable bikes out there, because of their simplicity

When you’re out on the trails, there is no dealership to plug in a laptop and diagnose your EFI, it’s just you and the bike. In the unlikely event of a breakdown, the simplest toolkit can often fix the TW

The TW needs little maintenance beyond the basics, most of which apply to other bikes anyway – so it rather depends on your interpretation of “convenience”

So – you have a choice – TW’s are immense fun, easy to work on, but they are not road going beasts. The clue is in the name – “Trail Way”. But they can hold 60 mph for prolonged periods, maybe 65mph on the flat, but if you can deal with that – they will take you anywhere …..

Purple's Mule comparison made me think of this...
 

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