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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks! I'm interested in purchasing my first dual sport. Just looking for some feedback. I suppose I should explain a few things first though. I'm 39yrs old 5'11 (on a good day) and 260lbs. Although I'm on my way to 240lbs. I had access to a couple dirt bikes growing up but it was never my thing. Always had a four wheeler and I've spent my 30's riding three wheelers. I had a Harley for about 6 months in 2018 until my first ride with a friend and I watched a car pull out in front of him and almost killed him. In the hospital for a couple weeks and all kinds of complications. I sold the Harley that week. I would say that I'm slightly above a beginner stage on 2 wheels.

Fast forward to today. I heard about the Trans America Trail a few weeks ago. It immediately caught my interest. I wouldn't be able to do the trip until probably 2022. However, I would like to get a bike and get used to it until then. Just get some miles under my belt. I live in rural Virginia and there is no shortage of trails and back/fire/logging roads to ride. I took my motorcycle license course on a tw200 that a buddy let me borrow. I've rode a total of about 15mins on it but I loved it. I felt very comfortable on it. I knew I could stick one or two legs down with ease and didn't have to worry about tipping. It only weighs about 275lbs and I like the idea that I can literally pick that bike up and maneuver it if I have to. I also like the idea of a fat grippy back tire to get through mud and sand.
What I'm wondering is if this little bike could carry me, my camping gear, and other necessities across the country? Also, I worry about the lack of top end. I will try to stay away from any roads with a 55mph limit. But if I absolutely have to take a road like that, it worries me that I'll be redlining the tw at 50mph with a loaded tractor trailer on my rear tire. Watching my buddy wreck like that in traffic messed me up.

I really like the research I've found with the tw200. A lot. And I know my wife and stepson could handle it. I'm just hesitant buying one because I don't know if it'll have the motor and size to get a long trip done. I talked to my motorcycle/atv mechanic (same one for the last 25yrs) and he has 2x tw200 and a Honda 450 dual sport. He said riding around our area is fine for a tw200. However, he recommended a bigger bike like his Honda or a KLR650 for the TAT. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.
 

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Welcome, TB.
If you're going to use it on rural roads and offroad, then it's great. If you will need to be on the highway, you'll be disappointed in the top end. Keep in mind that part of defensive highway riding is being able to accelerate quickly out of dangerous situations. You won't get this response from a TW.

Conversely, a larger bike is just that - larger. It won't be as maneuverable in tight situations, the saddle height will be higher, it will be heavier, and it will burn more fuel. However, being larger, you'll likely have better suspension to handle the weight of you and your gear, and it may (or may not) be more comfortable to ride longer distances on pavement.

I have 4 TW's. That said, if I was going cross country, I'd pick a larger bike, but I also wouldn't travel mostly on rural roads and off road to do it - That's just my personal preference.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome, TB.
If you're going to use it on rural roads and offroad, then it's great. If you will need to be on the highway, you'll be disappointed in the top end. Keep in mind that part of defensive highway riding is being able to accelerate quickly out of dangerous situations. You won't get this response from a TW.

Conversely, a larger bike is just that - larger. It won't be as maneuverable in tight situations, the saddle height will be higher, it will be heavier, and it will burn more fuel. However, being larger, you'll likely have better suspension to handle the weight of you and your gear, and it may (or may not) be more comfortable to ride longer distances on pavement.

I have 4 TW's. That said, if I was going cross country, I'd pick a larger bike, but I also wouldn't travel mostly on rural roads and off road to do it - That's just my personal preference.
Thanks for the input!
 

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There are plenty of people who have done that Trans America thing on Honda 90's.

I am new to these small bikes myself. Got my first TW in February and now, riding that one and my VanVan I have some 4,000 miles behind me.

I think it would be a great bike for the trip and, now that you mention it, I will start planning it for myself. My Son, who is 29 and just now learning to ride, summed it up when he said "It's sure easy to go 35 on this thing."

As for using horsepower and acceleration to get out of a dangerous situation, I call BS. I know I'll get the arguments and the anecdotal evidence tossed at me but I have too see it to believe it. Til 13 years ago I always had one or more big street bikes and typically ran 25,000 miles a year. I sure can't remember a case of acceleration stopping a wreck. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention and somehow missed it.

Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
 

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You won't get an argument from me. You may just have a different riding style than I do. I think that being able to accelerate in a pinch is just another tool in the theoretical bag of defensive riding, and I'd rather have it available to me on the highway, than not.
 

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The red-line on the speedo is a carryover from the 55 mph speed limit days. Nothing to do with engine rpms. You can run the bike at 55 all day long and there will be no problem for the bike. Just buzzy on your butt. 60+ not likely with your combined weight with gear just do to the lack of horsepower.
 

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The TAT looks like a ton of fun. I just finished 1100 miles of a BDR ride on a TW an it did fine. Mine is geared down a bit so we only ran 45-50 when we had to run pavement.
I'd never try to talk anyone out of owning a TW but it may not be the ideal tool for a big ride like that. On our ride two of us were on TWs, my brother was on a KLX (DR-Z400) and another guy was on a KLR650. The KLX/DRZ would be my choice. The KLR struggled in the technical stuff, but mostly because it was pretty heavily loaded.
TWs will do just about anything you ask of them...eventually.
 

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As for using horsepower and acceleration to get out of a dangerous situation, I call BS.
I've been riding a few thousand miles a year since 1992. I'm trying to think of a time where I had to accelerate to get out of a dangerous situation - and I can't think of one.

Now, accelerating to get out of an annoying situation, such as stuck behind a pokey old RV or dump truck going up a grade... too many to count!
 

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Tracer,
Everyone's got an opinion. Been riding since I was 15 or so and, I'm 67 now so, do the math. I've probably owned around 30-35 motorcycles, all brands, sizes and versions. And that includes (3) TW 200's. But, I've also owned ridden sizes from 50 cc to my last Goldwing which was an 1800 cc. Done a few zillion miles both on dirt and on any kind of street/freeway/county/mountain and any other kind of pavement.

The TW is a Tractor bike. It will get you to where you want to go, but, it just won't get you there very fast. It's not made to go fast. There's probably oh, maybe a good couple of dozen bikes I'd pick for your intended task and journey, waaaaaaaaaay before I'd pick the TW. Can the TW do what you want it to, of course it can, just realize it's limited in total capability. Again, there's many, many bikes out there that are far more capable of hauling you and your luggage on many adventure type rides.

Yes, the larger the bike the more it's gonna take to handle it. You can't have mini bike do an Adventure bike's task, ain't gonna happen. You have to realize that, POWER is an enhancement not only for safety in terms of fast moving high traffic roads but, it's also an enhancement that can get you over the next hill, grade, through the muck you found yourself stuck in, the deep sand, the rut infested roads that you have no way around on and more.

The TW is a great, fun little bike, no doubt about it. I have had mine in many, many off road situations where, a larger bike would have not been nearly as fun or, as easy to handle. But, because of its size, I run trails, roads, backwoods areas that I know the TW will be of value and, my riding style is curtailed due to the limitations of that TW. I also have a CRF1000L DCT Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports. That bike would easily do 100 mph if I wanted to but, I don't have any desire. But, the point is, it's far more capable of adventurous tasks and, carrying the added weight of luggage and my large body. But, I wouldn't put it in some of those predicaments I've had the TW in if someone paid me to.

This is a choice thing and, it's a common sense thing. I'll get flamed a bit for my ideas here but, that's ok, been flamed many, many times, still alive. I run my T-dub at max of about 45-50 'cause it's a little motor. If I want speed, I climb on the A/T. If I were you, I'd surely aim for a minimum of a Suzuki DRZ 400 or maybe a Honda CRF450L. They both are not all that much heavier than the T-dub but, are faaaaaaar more capable of carrying the load and sustaining the higher speeds of traffic. And, they're nimble enough to man handle them around in tighter off road situations. There's plenty more makes/models/types out there but, those are just a couple of examples. Good luck and enjoy.
Scott
 

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The new bike to look at is the Yamaha Tenere 700. A very capable off road bike that is comfortable on the freeway. People have done cross country trips on CT90s. The TW will be fine, but slow.
 

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Something missing in these posts and if you ride a TW very long you will find out yourself. The TW seat is a bummer after an hour. Like others mentioned it is also not much comfort riding a TW over 60 mph. At 63 years old I also have owned 3 TW's and other dual sport bikes over the years. I like the recommendation of the DRZ-400 dual sport, and I have owned 2 of those as well, for the type of ride you are considering. I would even think a Suzuki DR 650 would be a good choice. The Honda 650L has a comfortable seat but is a tall bike (owned a couple of those also). I think the Honda 450L is priced too high. The adventure bikes are very popular these days and I would consider the Honda CB500X a good choice with different tires and maybe the new Yamaha Tenere 700 again with different tires. Like others have said, the TW could do the trip but you would be the one suffering, not the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Something missing in these posts and if you ride a TW very long you will find out yourself. The TW seat is a bummer after an hour. Like others mentioned it is also not much comfort riding a TW over 60 mph. At 63 years old I also have owned 3 TW's and other dual sport bikes over the years. I like the recommendation of the DRZ-400 dual sport, and I have owned 2 of those as well, for the type of ride you are considering. I would even think a Suzuki DR 650 would be a good choice. The Honda 650L has a comfortable seat but is a tall bike (owned a couple of those also). I think the Honda 450L is priced too high. The adventure bikes are very popular these days and I would consider the Honda CB500X a good choice with different tires and maybe the new Yamaha Tenere 700 again with different tires. Like others have said, the TW could do the trip but you would be the one suffering, not the bike.
Yea, my mechanic said the same thing about the seat. Said it was too narrow for the long rides.
 

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the obvious or maybe I'm just thinking outside of the box here...but looks like a comfy seat (solves one problem with any motorcycle) and makes it more practical for any water crossings, bridge out etc. Maybe adapt a TW engine or DRZ400/DR650 motor and you're golden.
206965


Seriously though, I consider something larger than a TW not just for the TAT but what looks like your local riding area. As mentioned though, a TW could do it if you will it to be so.
 

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If interested, this guy on the forum has a Honda CRF 250L that is pretty sweetly set up. He's got a good reputation on the forum and is trustworthy I think...

CRF 250 Sale or Trade
 

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I've looked at the TAT myself and would have minimal reservations using one of the TWs.The route was designed with minimal use of paved roads. If you decide to go the route you will see touring bicycles there too so you should be able to keep up on a TW. My thoughts are to break it up in sections and not do the whole 5,000 miles at once. It isn't a race, stop and smell the roses along the way. But you can post your times if that's your thing.
 

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Hey folks! I'm interested in purchasing my first dual sport. Just looking for some feedback. I suppose I should explain a few things first though. I'm 39yrs old 5'11 (on a good day) and 260lbs. Although I'm on my way to 240lbs. I had access to a couple dirt bikes growing up but it was never my thing. Always had a four wheeler and I've spent my 30's riding three wheelers. I had a Harley for about 6 months in 2018 until my first ride with a friend and I watched a car pull out in front of him and almost killed him. In the hospital for a couple weeks and all kinds of complications. I sold the Harley that week. I would say that I'm slightly above a beginner stage on 2 wheels.

Fast forward to today. I heard about the Trans America Trail a few weeks ago. It immediately caught my interest. I wouldn't be able to do the trip until probably 2022. However, I would like to get a bike and get used to it until then. Just get some miles under my belt. I live in rural Virginia and there is no shortage of trails and back/fire/logging roads to ride. I took my motorcycle license course on a tw200 that a buddy let me borrow. I've rode a total of about 15mins on it but I loved it. I felt very comfortable on it. I knew I could stick one or two legs down with ease and didn't have to worry about tipping. It only weighs about 275lbs and I like the idea that I can literally pick that bike up and maneuver it if I have to. I also like the idea of a fat grippy back tire to get through mud and sand.
What I'm wondering is if this little bike could carry me, my camping gear, and other necessities across the country? Also, I worry about the lack of top end. I will try to stay away from any roads with a 55mph limit. But if I absolutely have to take a road like that, it worries me that I'll be redlining the tw at 50mph with a loaded tractor trailer on my rear tire. Watching my buddy wreck like that in traffic messed me up.

I really like the research I've found with the tw200. A lot. And I know my wife and stepson could handle it. I'm just hesitant buying one because I don't know if it'll have the motor and size to get a long trip done. I talked to my motorcycle/atv mechanic (same one for the last 25yrs) and he has 2x tw200 and a Honda 450 dual sport. He said riding around our area is fine for a tw200. However, he recommended a bigger bike like his Honda or a KLR650 for the TAT. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.
Buy a used TW or New and have a great two years locally. Save your Cross Country money and ride in the Smokies for about five years. If you still need to ride cross country, you will be ready and can choose the correct bike. I have ridden to both oceans and there is a lot of flat nothing West of the Smokey Mountains. For a trip out west I suggest an air conditioned car or truck with the bike on the back and the family in the front.The TW will have altitude issues getting over the Rockies and you will need to be in excellent shape to make that trip.
 
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