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Discussion Starter #21
So just to summarize, what's on order is larger steel foot pegs, YZ 250 folding shift lever, 2" risers, new grips and a 12T front sprocket. I'm going to stick with the Kendra "knobbie" on the front for now since it's in really good shape but will try lower air pressures in both tires. And of course practice; hopefully lots of practice. More upright riding as well. I will get out on some local trails this weekend that are mainly hardpack I believe but am hoping to go back out to elk camp over the labor day weekend for some practice out there.

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i have some suggestions.
stiff fork springs first and fore most.
renthal plus 2inch handlebars.
add 1 inch seat pad.
finally use a flat axe file to lower the height of the footpegs an 1/8"~1/4". only do this if you fit the bike better with no shoes on.
cheers
 

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Biederboat, don't know where you have sourced the 12 tooth front sprocket but here is an older advisory r.e one vendor of 12 tooth sprockets that can fit the TW:
"It has been reported that the Parts Unlimited sprockets require larger bolts, and larger holes must be drilled in the sprocket retaining clip"

IMHO the plan to practice more and revisit the elk camp sounds more valuable than any bolt-on accessory.
 

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i hope this sounds like a discussion and not overly pushy. i dont even have a tw200 yet but i need one.
anyway my point is with great respect for fred....
i think you should make it fit you. i do bike fit and mechanics and sales at high end bicycle shops since 1998. anyway cockpit length should be only a half an inch longer so that is not the problem. if the handle bar height and seat height and footpeg height is not right the rider will feel like he has bad balance. often vary small changes in handle bar height will cure the seat height and footpeg height problems by itself. that and squishy forks is best place to start. i never heard of a bike that is one size fits all. i have never heard that before ever.

good luck with getting more rides in. fred is correct - stock is the best place to start riding it. my bmx feels insanely small every spring untill i spend an hour on it.

handlebar height effects the handling so try moving the forks up and down but no more than a half inch up or down.
 

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if you run the handlebars low then ride the fork in low position.
if you run the handlebars high then ride the fork in tall position.
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this will help to maintain the handling at high and low speed.
 

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raising the seat makes less twitchy at high speed.
lowering the footpegs makes it less twitchy at high speed.
raising handlebars makes it more twitchy at high speed.
raising fork makes it less twitchey at speed.

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doing a little of everything is a good idea if you follow the 4 points above.

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that is if im correct on all points. it seems like all of those things will make it fit better and maintain a nice balance for the fork rake and trail and steertube angle. the only thing is- i never driven a tw200 and cannot guess at a good handlebar height. i only heard 2 inch higher bars was ok and i have a similiar idea that 1-2 inches higher handlebars is a step forward.... i dont know for sure without trying it myself. at least there is a little information included that is usefull. hopefully--fingers crossed. i hate giving bad advice but a little is ok if we get somewhere as a team.

so my first succesfull hijack here allready? forgive me i have been trying to join for 3 months without succes.
 

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Good suggestion r.e. a comparison ride on another bike, or a second opinion of the trail from someone who would honor the confidentiality of the hunting location.
If close I would volunteer. While I don't hunt I sure wouldn't pass up an opportunity for a bit of bacon wrapped grilled elk backstrap as a reward for reviewing the trail.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Got the new grips, 12T front, YZ250 shift lever and larger steel pegs installed. Also put in Rotella T6. Took it for a spin and in finally feels like it's getting geared down low enough. I just really need that low end control at slow speed. Larger pegs feel much more stable and work well with the larger shifter. The Rotella definitely made for a smoother shift. 90% certain I'll be headed out this weekend for another run. It's about a 4 hour trip each way just to get out there but the added pre-season practice will be quite helpful.

I was a bit surprised to find that there was a heating element under the throttle grip. Is this stock? I assume it's more meant to keep the throttle from freezing up than it is for a hand warmer.

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Sounds like you have one side with a grip heater. Where did the other one go? :D

Got the new grips, 12T front, YZ250 shift lever and larger steel pegs installed. Also put in Rotella T6. Took it for a spin and in finally feels like it's getting geared down low enough. I just really need that low end control at slow speed. Larger pegs feel much more stable and work well with the larger shifter. The Rotella definitely made for a smoother shift. 90% certain I'll be headed out this weekend for another run. It's about a 4 hour trip each way just to get out there but the added pre-season practice will be quite helpful.

I was a bit surprised to find that there was a heating element under the throttle grip. Is this stock? I assume it's more meant to keep the throttle from freezing up than it is for a hand warmer.

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Biederboat; You've said that you wouldn't want to take any experienced TW riders in your area to ride the trail to give you an opinion if it is too much for the TW (because it is a secret hunting area).

What about how they did it in the old west... Have the TW rider saddled, blindfolded and lead by a rope tied to your bike. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Sounds like you have one side with a grip heater. Where did the other one go? :D
Good question! I assume they came in pairs then and are meant for actual hand warming? The PO must have only installed one.

Biederboat; You've said that you wouldn't want to take any experienced TW riders in your area to ride the trail to give you an opinion if it is too much for the TW (because it is a secret hunting area).

What about how they did it in the old west... Have the TW rider saddled, blindfolded and lead by a rope tied to your bike. LOL
Yeah, that is LOL. In all seriousness, the mods I've made and the extra experience should tell me whether or not this can be mastered (or not). If I don't feel 50% more comfortable after another trip up there, I'll likely be looking at other options. If I had a preferred option, it would be single wheeled cart with a small gas engine that could be employed for the climb portion. We do okay with two wheel carts but they are pretty side "tippy". I think one option could be a "Neet Kart". There's a photo on their website of two guys hauling in a camp of 400 lb. for two weeks. That would cover it for us. What led me to a TW is age (I'm 55) and the want/need for certain camp comforts (i.e. a mid-day run for more beer back to the truck) ;) Okay, maybe lazy but we do still have to haul elk out on our backs (at least to the trail) and this won't eliminate the carts we presently use by any stretch of the imagination. It just gives us more options/convenience/creature comforts.

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Discussion Starter #36
Don't know how well any of these do on side hills and steep slopes but there are options out there:
I can tell you right now either too wide or not enough "juice" (i.e. a battery wouldn't last long enough). But I can see why they would be handy in certain situations. There was another one I saw on the internet that had one large tire and a rack balanced around it. It has the weight capacity but not the "volume" (I have a large Vapex wall tent that doesn't weigh much but also doens't roll up real tight). My version would be the single wheel in the middle type, guy on both ends (extended handle bars) and a small honda mini-tiller motor with good gear reduction to just offer an assist when climbing. Something like this with a small motor underneath:

gametote-crop.jpg



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So I bought a used TW with all the right racks for pretty much the sole purpose of using it for elk hunting and some camp maintenance. I did a shake-down run this weekend and there's some pluses and minuses with enough on the negative that I want to make sure I made the right choice for the bike. I have some bike riding experience but very little on a trail, 55 YO, about 6' 5", 220 lb. The goal of the shakedown was to make sure the bike would work okay and also to cut some firewood so we don't have to do that while hunting. The ride consisted of about 7 miles of hardpack road (took the bike of the HF rear carriers so it wouldn't drag) and then about 1.5 miles of trail and back out. The road has a fair amount of rocks anywhere from golf to soft ball size (that can be loose on the road) and the trail has some areas that are not only steep but literally like a dry stream-bed but the rocks are rough and kind fairly loose. A fair amount is hard dirt and there's also some just hard rock (not loose). At times, there's a drop off on one side and about a 1-2 foot high wall on the other side). There's one steep and twisty climb that is fairly hard dirt but also kind of deep ruts. In short, it's got about everything!

So here's the pluses:
I didn't kill or injure myself.
Mission accomplished, got the wood cut and camp site taken care of.
The bike did fine (other than maybe not being the best for this type of trail).
My 13/65 gearing performed well but could maybe still be a bit lower.
Gear racks and cargo carrying capability are fine.

And the minuses:
I am sore! Well not really bad but I used muscles I never knew I had. The worst part is the lower legs above the ankles, almost like shin splints. This would suck if I had to endure this on the first day of hunting.
I did have some trouble controlling the bike. The TW seemed heavier and "clunkier" then expected. I know it has a steel frame and heavy wheels (tires) which I'm sure doesn't help. The end effect seems to be that the trail controls the bike more than expected. I talked to some other guys riding the trail (it's a general use trail) and their bikes (more true dirt bikes) are of course taller, probably lighter and, perhaps most importantly, have a shallower steering rake (i.e. more like a chopper) so that the rider would seem to have an easier time controlling the bike (rocks could not put as much control onto the bars).

So here's my basic questions:
1. How much of this will get better with time & experience?
2. How much a different bike would help that would be able to carry gear (let's say about 100 lb total, 10-20 on my back, 60 on the rear and 20 on the front)
3. Are there any other bike mods I could make to make it easier to drive on this conditions?

On the last point, one thing I'm curious about, since I rarely hit 20 mph or more, is if I geared it down even more, does a higher RPM at a give speed generate enough of a gyroscopic effect to help stabilize the bike at low speed? I get that the bike is more stable at a higher speed but I really need to be able to stop on a dime and there is the "opportunity" to dang near head off a clip here and the nearest medical facility could be hours away. Safety is paramount but I understand there are always risks (I'm taking risks just hunting out there, it's steep and remote).

Thanks and don't worry about the fact that I bought a bike I might end up selling. I got it knowing that it might not work out but I'm by no means ready to give up yet. Just trying to get some input. I'm thinking about going out for one more trip just to get more experience (as well as some local riding but it would likely be simpler). Sorry I don't have any meaningful photos.

BB
Hey how's going BB? I know this post is a few years old but figured I'd reach out and see how you elk hunting endeavors went using your TW and if the gearing worked out well? I'm setting up my newly acquired '87 model now for Archery season, I've already done the suspension and ordered a 65 tooth rear sprocket because I need it to haul me up these mountain trails here in Colorado. Any further input would be much appreciated. Thank's and hope you were able to fill the freezer!
 

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Do yourself a favor and get a rear ATV tire...

If your plan is mostly off road its the only way to go...

I'm running a 55T sprocket and the OE front and I find it pretty good for tight trails..

The bike was useless off road with the OEM tires..
 

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it seem to me that loading the front rack with more than just a few pounds would slow your steering inputs and make broken ground pretty hard to get over. i am by no means a pro but i have seen many pros on you tube stress letting the front find its way on rough ground and holding on to the bars loosely. they say pretend you are holding an egg in your hand. it seems like unloading the front and keeping weight in panniers and rack would be worth trying.
 
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