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Greetings all! If you guys have the patience for another newb, I have a few questions. Any help would be much appreciated.

Background: I live in the Rockies of Idaho and I'm 5'11" and 190lbs, strong, decent cardio shape. I haven't ridden a motorcycle in 17 years. I've ridden Yamaha 4wheelers with clutches but that's about as close as it gets since riding a 250 a few times when I was in high school and dumb as a rock. The good news is that I'm a very experienced mountain biker, so at least I have some idea how to balance, brake, use my eyes on the trail, etc. My main impetus for getting a TW is for hunting and accessing back country. I'm a very avid bow and rifle hunter, work for a hunting company that allows me to hunt a lot and have read over and over that these things are a great bike for newb riders to use to access the back country, so long as it's not too technical and not too steep. Plan is to use it to get deep into the BC, then use my legs to get higher. So far, so good?

I will also get my motorcycle endorsement but probably not until next spring, after the snow melts. In the remaining month of no snow, I plan on getting comfortable on this thing on basic FS roads and maybe a 4 wheeler trail or two if I feel comfortable.

Now, the bike: The cool part is the guy sold it to me and said I could bring it back on Monday, should I get second thoughts for any reason. Really a nice guy. So I'm asking you guys if you think I got a fair deal and if there's any reason why I should bring the bike back.

1989 TW200 with 2100 actual miles. Paid $900.
Electric and kick start.
Original tires still in good shape.
Original everything.
No racks or aftermarket accessories.
Looks like it's been laid down once or twice--some minor scrapes on right side. Very good cosmetic condition.
My coworker who is a big dirt biker came with me to look at it. Since I could ride a donkey and mistake it for a Harley, he took it for a long spin. It started right up and it was 40 degrees out. He said it rode great, no issues, got up to 55mph. He was pretty stoked on it and felt very strongly that the mileage was accurate.
Right front seal leaks a little.
Coworker thought front brake cable was a bit spongy but no big deal to fix.
Dude said he typically needs to ride a few minutes with choke open before closing it, no matter what the temperature...thoughts?
Had it serviced at a local shop--oil changes, etc. but never had any real issues with it since he bought it at 1100 miles. Oil looked good.
Only immediate mod plans would be a rear rack from cycleracks (I'm in Idaho and hear great things) and extra fuel cell. Coworker has a helmet and some protective gear for me to use until I get my own. I will NEVER ride a motorcycle without a helmet at a minimum--just how I roll.

So that's about it. I guess my major questions are
1) seems like the bike is a great deal, want to verify
2) right bike for a beginner rider
3) immediate fixes (seal) and/or mods you highly recommend and
4) Any reason not to buy it?
5) Advice for learning to ride it properly?
 

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welcome!
1st of all i think you got a fair price, not the cheapest i've seen, nor the highest, but a good, fair price. you will love it.

there are an endless number of mods you can do. i'd recommend getting new tires. if they are original they are over 25 yrs old.... they are dry and liable to crack and give out. the front stock tire isn't very good off road, and you can find a much better one. check the new post by spud rider: http://tw200forum.com/forum/general-discussion/8507-small-sample-front-tire-selections.html

is the front seal you mention the fork seal? minor issue but need to get it fixed.

55 mph seems a bit low for the top speed, though there are so many factors that could effect that. is it stock gearing? (14/50)

first get it in mechanical shape and then ride it and see what you like about it and what you might want to mod.
http://tw200forum.com/forum/performance-customization/6998-guide-building-adventure-ready-tw200.html

oh and cycle racks rock, nothing bad about that choice.

enjoy that bike!
 

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1) seems like the bike is a great deal, want to verify
2) right bike for a beginner rider
3) immediate fixes (seal) and/or mods you highly recommend and
4) Any reason not to buy it?
5) Advice for learning to ride it properly?
1) I'd say it's a good deal (edging up on a great deal). I see similar bikes with asking prices much higher in my area.

2) Fantastic bike for a beginning rider - my TW was my 1st bike after 20+years of not riding. Lots of Motorcycle Saftey courses use them as instructional bikes due to their light weight, manuverability and general user friendliness.

3) Look into removing the factory plug from the pilot screw on the carb, and tune the fuel mixture. Most TW's are set lean from the factory and that can contribute to the choke issue you described, but sounds about right for an untouched carb. Before I adjusted my carb my TW was identical.

Check your clutch return spring as many were not installed properly from the factory.

Depending on the altitudes you ride at, you may want to consider an airbox mod.

Cycleracks are awesome! Lots of other popular mods include handguards, Jimbo windscreens, stearns/coleman seatpads, larger fuel tanks (or gas cans) and especially if you will be riding in rocky areas, a real skidplate - the factory one is often compared to tinfoil. O-ring chains are a great addition as well. Beyond that, your imagination is the only limit.

4) Sounds like a terrible bike that will only give you grief and frustration. Take it back and give me the guys contact info so I can take that sorry piece of machinery out of circulation ;)

5) Take an MSF class. You will learn valuable skills and excercises to practice that will make you a better rider. Other than that, take it slow and easy, a lot of it will come back pretty quickly.

Grats and welcome to the forums!
 

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Its a deal, but you have too much too lose to ride tires that are 24 years old. I don't care how much tread they have. Your bike experience will pay you in spades, but just realize it goes faster and weighs more. Tom
 

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bigger footpegs. Talk with JoeBand
 

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...
1) seems like the bike is a great deal, want to verify
2) right bike for a beginner rider
3) immediate fixes (seal) and/or mods you highly recommend and
4) Any reason not to buy it?
5) Advice for learning to ride it properly?
Well I wasn't expecting a thread from an Idaho Hunter when I saw, Konnichiwa. Welcome to the forum.

1. Price seems fair, good even, for around here.
2. Yup, on road and off.
3. What others have said, and you may want to raise your bars somehow.
4. Not that I can think of
5. If you're going to ride on the street, I'd say take the MSF riding course but I see you don't have one near you. I see they have an e-course now. That might be helpful. You cannot go wrong reading a book titled "Proficient Motorcycling" by David Hough. The guy who turned me onto this book was the best rider I've ever met.
 

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New tires! My 1995 had the original tires after 3,200 miles. Rear was shot but the front looked okay. I replaced both. Stock Bridgestone knobby on the rear Shinko 244 5.10 front. The difference was un-believable!

Fork leak? Fix, now. Front of engine? Probably exhaust valve cover o-ring. Replace.

Bigger foot pegs.

Sounds like a nice bike. Is it the one I saw in the Hailey, Idaho, newspaper last Wednesday?
 

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+1 what everyone else said.

Additionally, once you get comfortable on it and start riding it in the backcountry, at a minimum you will want to change the rear sprocket to a 55 tooth if not already on. Stock gearing is 14T front and 50T rear. This will help greatly on the steep stuff. Some guys here on the forum even go with a smaller front sprocket (13T), and some have even gone to a 70T rear for that extra Billy Goat trail speed needed.
 

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Congrats ! You will love it. I'm glad you plan on wearing a helmet, very goooooooood idea.. Practice evasive moves and starts and stops... Always keep your eye on the other guy while riding the roads.. Never assume they see you......................Yes change the tires for safety sake, and it really will help off road.. The gearing will depend on what you are planning on doing with it.. If you ride hills a lot then go for lower gearing for sure. You've got all winter to pimp it out, have fun.. OMM.
 

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There is probably nothing wrong with the front brake other than it being a TW front brake! They suck right out of the box so get used to it. Even the newer discs leave a lot to be desired.

Avid mountain bikers are a great suspect to be great dirt bikers! Knowing how to pick a path and stay on it is half the fun and battle. It is also helpful knowing how to land when you screw up!

Idaho! my dream vacation and back woods on a TW would make it a wet dream! Here are my thoughts for add ons and up grades.

Wide pegs, Cycle rack, Hand guards, good skid plate, extended pilot screw for on the fly adjustments as you climb higher. Learn to do some wrenching on it and for sure, clean the carb and inside the tank to be sure there is no rust or crud. Also make sure the carb is correctly seated in the forward and aft boots, the rear one tends to shrink over time so a new one is a good investment. Add a fuel filter in the line right below the petcock.

We love pictures! Welcome to our addiction and we have meetings daily!

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Here she is... Took her out for a few laps around the ranch to figure out how to ride it, came back and made sure she had fuel, then took her off into the mountains for an hour. I AM HOOKED. Haven't had that much fun since learning to ski at age 3!

Pretty evident I have some stuff to learn but being a mountain biker definitely helps. Primary difference seems to be that you lean that bike all of the time. There is virtually no steering, per se. Need to work on quick stops, moves and downshifting but it's unreal how fast you can learn on these.

Ordered:
Shinko front tire
Cyclerack rear rack
Multi tool
Chain lube
Inline fuel filter
Storage tubes (2)

Thanks for the warm welcome and advice. Really having fun so far!
 

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Words of caution here. Just in case there is a woman on your ranch don't even let her near that dangerous two legged stallion. If you make the fatal mistake of letting her take it for a ride you might better have another stall for the Hers version.

I am a very fortunate fellow. The first thing my wife said when I brought the T dub home was " I thought you wanted a motorcycle to go fishing on and instead you got a trail bike that looks like a tank". She is fine that I am happy but has made it real clear she will never get on it, in the back or driving.:icon_biggrin:

Hope you have a blast and I do feel a little sorry for your mountain bike.

GaryL
 

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Sounds like a match. Enjoy that very blue TW and enjoy the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Got my rack today. Great service from Cycleracks and a really solid product that bolted on in under 10 minutes.

I'm going to do the 55 in the rear but a coworker mentioned swapping jets since we live at 6k feet and I don't know if the PO ever bothered. Any recs here on specific products?
 

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It would be nice if we could somehow make a chart of what elevation you're at and what carb settings work well for you. Might be a fun project to put together.

Sent from my One using Tapatalk 4
 

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The problem with such charts and the carbs on our bikes is what works for one does not necessarily work for another. These carbs are so finiky we have to experiment with each individual carb to get it where we need it. Your pilot screw is likely the most important adjustment you can make and Yamaha in their infinite wisdom made the thing difficult to fine tune on the fly. Do you live and ride at 6,000 feet or do you go there once in a while? A tiny tweak of the pilot could be the answer. My bike runs different on very humid days than it does on hot dry days. Member Gregor did some fine tuning on my extended pilot screw idea so they are simple and quick to adjust on the fly with no tools and no burnt fingers. Do it yourself or get one from Gregor and be done with most of these simple air to fuel adjustment issues. There is zero rocket science involved in our carbs but a simple turn of an eighth or quarter turn in or out can honestly make all the difference we need.

GaryL
 
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