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Discussion Starter #1
It's done. OK, it's not really DONE and never will be, but it's done in terms of what I set out to build it for.



I didn't realize it was done til I dug up one of my old posts on the old forum from '09, the day I sent a bare frame out for powdercoating:



http://tw200forum.com/forums/84983/ShowPost.aspx



I had no idea it had been that long ago. Lotta detours, destroyed parts sacrificed to the ModGods, midnight engine and wiring swaps and flawed ideas that didn't quite work out as planned. In short, it's been a blast and as a bonus I've met more good folks associated with this bike than any other I've owned. Name the genre, I've either owned or built one at some point, but I can't think of one that's held my attention to the extent that this oddball, low-tech, underpowered, ill-equipped, undersuspended redheaded-stepchild-of-a-bike has.



In reading my old post I realized that at this point I'd finally met my original objective of turning it into a bike that would take the place of my larger dualsports, would reliably carry me and all my crap, tools and gear for up to two weeks, quietly, comfortably at a leisurely "stop and smell the roses" pace, self-contained, without refueling for up to 300 miles in the dirt without seeing another living soul. I finally have my SHTF bike, and it started as a TW.



I noticed something of interest in taking inventory of my mods. I did a lot of custom fabricating here and there and a lot of it is still on the bike, but most of it was accomplished with stock parts from other bikes in the end. I paid full boat for a skidplate, handguards, some headlight brackets and fork boots. If you don't count tires, chains, sprockets and expendables this has been almost totally a "sweat equity and parts search" bike. Basically you just give it all the stuff that Yamaha shoulda given it from Day One, and yer done. Note how many of the parts came used, directly from Yamaha's non-stepchild bikes over the same years that the TW has been produced.



This evening's cursory inventory:





Powdercoated '87 frame



Up front: YZ80 fork tubes, TW lowers and springs, steel spacers, late-model disc conversion, XT350 speedo with trip meter and cable, XT600 brake line, Shinko 5.10-18 front tire, DayStar generic fork boots, Stock KLR650 bars, 1 1/4" risers, headlight cutoff mod to early TW switchgear, shortened signals relocated to bars, Garmin 60CSX in Ram GPS mount, 12V outlet/ battery tender circuit, Cycra Probend handguards



Out back: 2" extended swingarm, custom brake rod (fabricated from a Virago rod), XT500 aluminum brake arm, 26x9R14 ITP Terracross, 55/14 gearing, left snail adjuster welded to axle, reworked and relocated stock chainguard, stock shock (FINALLY tamed via the swingarm stretch).



The rest, so far:



XT350 3.2 gal. steel tank, TW/XT350 seat graft, quick-release seat pins



1978 Goldwing headlight, generic headlight brackets



Narrowed Honda ATV rear rack, Shortened rear sigs relocated to tail light housing



D2Moto doublewide cast steel pegs



Ricochet skid plate



Currently running Gen2 charging system and harness (I've had all 3 systems), backup CDI unit, upgraded headlight wiring, safety switches eliminated, upgraded KLR650 starter solenoid, Kawi EX500 horn



Spring-loaded YZ shifter, longer XT350 kickstand w/oversized foot



Lizrdventz (hi-low carb vents for water crossings)



Anyway, that's most of the hard parts and mods. I plan to go back to the late-model charging system with my new motor, ditch a little excess weight here and there (anyone wanna buy some Happy Trails pannier racks used for one honeymoon?)convert everything to L.E.D.s, lose the stock instruments and simplify the wiring harness.



THEN it'll be done.



Wait. There's the stealth exhaust I've been working on. Oh hell, I forgot about the dual sprocket setup... and rear disc brake.... aluminum ATV rear rim.



I'm skrewt for life, and all my other bikes are royally pizzed...



Before, circa '08. A realy clean stock '87 with about 800 miles on the clock. The bike taught a few people to ride and I kinda banged on it stock for a few months while I planned the build, then blew it apart:











Not much remains of the original bike but its frame and paperwork. Powdercoated the original frame then built from there. Meanwhile we also bought a few more TW's, one of which became the basis for Purple's bike. Back then it was pretty easy to determine exactly what form the bike would eventually take. Guys like Gizmow, Ronnydog, Macbig and others were right in the middle of pioneering things like big tanks, stretched swingarms, ATV tires, dual sprockets, and most of the mods we kinda take for granted now. I just swiped a lot of their hard work, added a ton of my own, fired up the welder and a couple weeks later it looked more or less like this (minus the long swingarm, seat graft and a couple of other things). It's been an ongoing, rideable project ever since:



Obligatory "glamor shots":







 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good looking machine, but no gun rack yet.






Early pre-extended swingarm pic:







Sand foot:







Left snail welded to axle:







Alloy TT500 brake arm. My first ATV tire was this Bighorn2. I now run a Terracross. No preference, both work like a mad dog:







"THE RACK!!". One of my very first mods, and the most useful:







Backup CDI unit now occupies the spot where the O.E.M. toolkit used to sit:







Big headlight, pilfered from an early Goldwing. Longer fork tubes from an early YZ80 shown here slipped up in the triples:







Shortened and relocated sigs:







"lizrdventz". Hi-low carb vents for water crossings:



 

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Verrry nice! I've been looking forward to seeing what it looked like with the 2" stretch and the Terracross. I'm also looking forward to a double sprocket. I did some technical riding lately, and while the TW did OK it sure would be nice to have the extra grunt to allow idling up the ruff stuff. Thanks for sharing all the cool mods. I'm going to shorten up my rear signals too, I'll have to look that one up. I remember seeing that description around here somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bighorn. Lot more flexible, easier to manipulate the spoons and get the tube in. Silent.



Seating pressure was about the same, but took a day longer. 70 PSI, 2 days.



Verdict's not in yet as to which works better. Only been to the parts store for swingarm grease. Seems a bit noisy.



My low fender is fine. I gots longer legs on mine. No smackysmacky or muddy motor for me.



I'm gunna put big, honkin' mudflaps on both ends too, just to pizz you off.




EX500 horn, modified bracket for a few more dB:







Shinko SR244. "Discovered" this tire by accident when the D606's on my KLR died in Moab. Figgered they'd work well on the front of a TW. It appears most everyone now agrees:







A single fuse covers Battery Tender pigtail and 12V outlet, one connection:







Before and afters showing ATV tire pushed all the way forward in stock and extended swingarms:





 

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I've alway liked the paint job. Or vinyl wrap, whatever you used I like it. Didn't want to be a copycat so my is sand colored instead. Lots of hard and/or long hours went into yours, and I'm pretty sure you've inspired many on the forum.



Thanks
 

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Suuuurrreee it's done




Looks good for a "oddball, low-tech, underpowered, ill-equipped, undersuspended redheaded-stepchild-of-a-bike"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Miscelaneous rants and conclusions:



I claim nothing to be mine exclusively. There ain't much new under the sun, no matter what the aftermarket would have you believe. It's two wheels and a motor. Been around a hunnert years now. Every bike on earth is a potential parts source waiting to be mined for cheap. A lever is a lever, for example. If you need a bigger lever, get one off a bigger bike, and if you got a Yamaha the first place to look for one is on another Yamaha.







Ain't no rocket we're building here. If you think one of my ideas will make your bike work better, steal it. I prolly stole it from some other old geezer 40 years ago, anyway.



Nothing special about the paint. Plain old Krylon rattlecan, same as Admiral's. I maybe have a little better prep and rattlecan skills than some, but it's pretty much wash and wear. It needs fairly frequent touchups, but they take about 12 seconds, 60 if you sand the grimaces out first. I got no patent on green. Steal it. It's easy to take care of.



Camo wrap is even easier, totally bulletproof and forever.



I did cheat a bit. On a fluke I scored a "quantity" of TW's of various years early in the game, so I was able examine all their parts and pieces looking for differences, whether they be weaknesses or improvements. I also own a number of other Yamaha products so I had access to them as well, for comparison. After that it was a matter of sluething out junk bikes or verifying the fit, then buying a used part for a few bucks, painting, welding or modifying it to suit. The homework was a pain in the butt, but I've done it for you so ou're safe using anything I've used if you think it will work on your bike. Some of them aren't totally self-explanatory, like the fork swap. There are a few details to attend to, but I have no life and you can contact me anytime if you have questions.



Don't let this scare you. Piece of cake:





The fork swap does nothing for you that you can't do with the stock suspension. It just gives you an extra couple of inches of tube to play with so you can adjust the rake and trail for better handling. It also allows you to compensate for rake and trail changes that occur when you install a taller tire, longer shock or extended swingarm. It's a tool. I can go up or down. With stock-length tubes you can only go down. Internally it's all TW. If you plan to keep the stock rubber and ride height, don't envy it, cuz you don't need it:













Other things are just common sense. If a 5 amp rated solenoid fails, don't replace it with another 5 amp rated solenoid when a 10 amp rated solenoid will last forever and fit in the same spot. Want a louder horn? Nikko makes every horn on every Jap bike on the planet. What flavor you want? If yours is a 2 amp, go get a 4 amp off a Suziyamasaki. They all fit. Half the Jap cars made have the same format horn, too. 2 bucks from any salvage yard. Save your munny for things that are difficult to find substitutes for, like a nice skidplate, or a kickstarter if you're stuck with a late-model bike, er sumpin'. Use the crappy TW solenoid as a horn relay. It's overkill for that.





The above are general principles applicable to improving nearly any bike. The below pertain to "expedition" type bikes in particular, but if the shoe fits your situation.....



Forget disc brakes if you don't already have them, unless you live in a swamp. Drums work better in the dirt, and on the street the stock TW discs aren't any more effective, they just feel like they are. Save yer munny for stuff that works. I got mine essentially for free, but I wouldn't bother with it them if I were building it over again.



Notice I didn't mention jetting or carb mods. That's partly because I'm in a unique and somewhat annoying location. I live at 4,000 feet, but within 30 minutes to an hour I can either be at near sea level or at 9,000 feet, depending upon which fork in the road I take. You can't jet for that, but it simulates life on the road. Stock Cali jetting gets it done for me in all those situations, so don't go randomly popping jets and shims into your carb just because you read it on the internet or you'll get 30 mpg and be riding a slobbering pig at 5,000 feet. If you have a 49-stater go up a size and call it good. Put some thought into every mod. If you wanna go further rather than faster, jet, adjust and ride accordingly. Everthang affects some other thang.



Don't pizz yer munny away on aftermarket exhausts which force you to rejet, either. See above. Lipstick on a pig. Get lazy with the repacking and your motor will be toast in a hour at sea level. Traveling is a bit different than hanging out on the boulevard or commuting to work. You gotta make some concessions for reliability's sake over a broader range of conditions. Trust me, you are NOT gunna stop and rejet everytime your elevation changes drastically.



This is a pic of our GPS from a trip to Albuquerque from Cali. Pretty sobering. In 800 miles we CLIMBED a total of 89,000 feet. I didn't track our downhill totals. Do you really think I stopped and rejetted both bikes every two hours? or even every 24? Not a chance.



Jet for this and I'll bow to you like a God:







If you want to go further AND faster go straight to a 225 with factory parts and do not pass go. Cheaper in the long run, and after one ride on Ronnydog's you'll throw rocks at any modified, stressed-out, thirsty 200. If you want the most bang for your buck out of a 200, put the basic Webcam in it, check your jetting and leave EVERYTHING else alone.



The TW has a short wheelbase and limited travel, and as a result it tends to be a bit hyperactive in the suspension department. OK, it's freakin' violent and totally uncontrolable in the rough stuff. Under the heading of "if I'd known then what I know now" I could have saved myself a bunch of experimentation and late nights monkeying with shock mods, Frankenshocks, fork oils and spring spacers trying to rectify the situation acceptably through suspension changes. The answer is that you can't. You can improve it, but you can't solve it.





The solution has been riding right alongside me (ok, mostly ahead of me) on many occasions. Ronnydog's bike, again.



The solution is a longer swingarm. Not stoopit-long like a hollow mod, but something in the 2-4 inch range. Beyond that you start to shift too much weight to the front wheel and lose general offroad rideability. The same silly crap is still going on beneath you, but the added wheelbase straightens things out immediately and prevents the cumulative, finger-crossing-potential-doomsday-so-far-so-good-but-I-still-may-die feel of the bike, even with otherwise stock suspension. If you've ever ridden a TW up or down a boulder-strewn hill you know the feeling I'm talking about. All a blissful memory with a stretched swingarm. The added leverage tames the annoying, sometimes dangerous "hit" that we lighter folks get from the stock shock spring. No more pogo stick. Heavier riders may get some bottoming on occasion, but it beats the heck out of dead reckoning and prayer.



This would now be near the top of my list of mods. All the more reason not to be taken in by bling and pizz your munny away on crap that does little or nothing for ya in the real world. Let form follow function and see what you come up with.
 

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Its nice to hear someone state that even though alot of the talked about mods on this website are cool they often are un needed. I bought my TW because it looked like a cool bike and everything I read on it said it was pretty much bullet proof, I then find this website and saw that people were rebuilding this bike from the ground up because this sucked or that design stinks or what ever. I really started to think I had screwed up with my choice of bikes. The more I read the more I realize that Just because people do mods it doesnt always make the bike "Better" alot of the time it just makes it different. I bought my bike so I could hop on it and go have some good cheap fun, without craming a chevy 350 into it. Thanks for setting some of this straight for me.
 

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I will also agree. I intended on putting a new exhaust on my bike but decided that a coat of black spray paint is all it needs. However, I did install a blaster shock because being 6'1" and 225 lbs the bike was just too short. I know this mod took away from the approachability of the bike but I don't think my grandma is going to ask me to take it out for a spin anytime soon. I got my TW four years ago as a gift from my uncle who heard me talking about getting a sport bike as my first motorcycle, he didn't want me to go out and get a 600cc death machine before I knew the basics. Needless to say I am forever greatful and will keep my TW for as long as I can ride or until there is another family member who wants to learn how to ride. In the meantime I still want to enjoy the bike that got me into riding and personalizing it to my own preferences and doing all the work myself is a great learning experience. I'm not going to try and make it something it's not, it's just a little grunty 200cc utilitarian dual purpose bike and I want to stay true to that. That's why i got the drz400sm for something a little faster and better on the roads, I do have to credit my uncle and the TW for getting me into this hobby and giving me the appreciation for the dual sport bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Let me back up. I'm not ripping on anyone's wants. If I wanted a blingsickle, hollow mod, chopper, dirt tracker, cafe racer...whatever, I would (and have) build one in a heartbeat. I dig anything with wheels. A man oughta get what he wants.



You just gotta know what it will and will not do for you, and decide whether it's a choice you can live with. You can make a TW just as expensive as anything else and I'll be your biggest fan and admire your handiwork, if it's admirable.



My bike has its own set of compromises, and not everyone cares to live with those, either. I'd be happy to list them so anyone can make more informed decisions.



We're here to educate one another or we may as well hit the "off" button and go play checkers with people who agree with everything we say.
 

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I will also agree. I intended on putting a new exhaust on my bike but decided that a coat of black spray paint is all it needs. However, I did install a blaster shock because being 6'1" and 225 lbs the bike was just too short. I know this mod took away from the approachability of the bike but I don't think my grandma is going to ask me to take it out for a spin anytime soon. I got my TW four years ago as a gift from my uncle who heard me talking about getting a sport bike as my first motorcycle, he didn't want me to go out and get a 600cc death machine before I knew the basics. Needless to say I am forever greatful and will keep my TW for as long as I can ride or until there is another family member who wants to learn how to ride. In the meantime I still want to enjoy the bike that got me into riding and personalizing it to my own preferences and doing all the work myself is a great learning experience. I'm not going to try and make it something it's not, it's just a little grunty 200cc utilitarian dual purpose bike and I want to stay true to that. That's why i got the drz400sm for something a little faster and better on the roads, I do have to credit my uncle and the TW for getting me into this hobby and giving me the appreciation for the dual sport bikes.
Well said.
 

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Let me back up. I'm not ripping on anyone's wants. If I wanted a blingsickle, hollow mod, chopper, dirt tracker, cafe racer...whatever, I would (and have) build one in a heartbeat. I dig anything with wheels. A man oughta get what he wants.



You just gotta know what it will and will not do for you, and decide whether it's a choice you can live with. You can make a TW just as expensive as anything else and I'll be your biggest fan and admire your handiwork, if it's admirable.



My bike has its own set of compromises, and not everyone cares to live with those, either. I'd be happy to list them so anyone can make more informed decisions.



We're here to educate one another or we may as well hit the "off" button and go play checkers with people who agree with everything we say.
 

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Let me back up. I'm not ripping on anyone's wants. If I wanted a blingsickle, hollow mod, chopper, dirt tracker, cafe racer...whatever, I would (and have) build one in a heartbeat. I dig anything with wheels. A man oughta get what he wants.



You just gotta know what it will and will not do for you, and decide whether it's a choice you can live with. You can make a TW just as expensive as anything else and I'll be your biggest fan and admire your handiwork, if it's admirable.



My bike has its own set of compromises, and not everyone cares to live with those, either. I'd be happy to list them so anyone can make more informed decisions.



We're here to educate one another or we may as well hit the "off" button and go play checkers with people who agree with everything we say.
I know your not "ripping on anyones wants" Ive just been caught up in all the mods, thinking that if I wasnt doing the same my bike wouldnt be very functional, and by you saying what you did made me realize that thats not always the case. Sorry if you took my comment in a negative way, i sure did not mean it that way.
 
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