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Discussion Starter #1
I recently found out that I'm going to be a father in the summer of 2011. Needless to say I am extremely excited. I do however have to liquidate some of my toys.



I'm planning on selling my truck, so off-road only bikes aren't going to be a viable option for me anymore (still kicking around the idea of buying a small trailer for my wife's car).



I also need to get rid of my CRF450X, the payments are just too much to handle for a $7000 machine to sit in the garage. Once the baby comes I'm not going to have nearly as much time to ride anyways.



I have always liked the Yamaha TW200, it just looks like so much fun to go anywhere and everywhere, just slower. I am considering the TW200 because it's street legal so I don't need a trailer to get to the trails. I can get one brand new for relatively cheap. Super low maintenance which would be great compared to my 450X that always needs something fixed/cleaned and money thrown at it.



I am a bigger guy 6'4" and ~220lbs, I found that the max weight is 397lbs on the TW, so no problem there. I already look too big even on my 450X so whatever I'll look goofy on the TW's small frame, who cares.



I had a DR650 a couple years ago and the 650's are just too big for hard trail riding.



I plan to ride the TW 70% dirt 30% road, our trails are very tight, and very rocky. I am curious to know how this little bike handles tight hard trails? I test drove one a couple years ago on a mini track, what a blast these machines are.



I know it will need some aftermarket attention. When I test drove the one a couple years ago the levers and bars felt cheap but that's all easily replaced.



If I bought a TW here's what I would want to do to it:



FMF full exhaust

No Toil air cleaner

Jet kit

Protaper bars

Ricochet aluminum skid plate

Acerbis full hand guards



The problem is I'm having a hard time finding aftermarket support for the TW in the States. Do you guys have any suggestions? And what do you think about this being my only machine given my situation.



The suspension is short, something like 6" front and back, but everything I read says it's deceiving because the big tires soak up a lot.



Also one of my main concerns is tire options? I know people have put ATV tires on these bikes, but do they just fit or is there modding involved? What are the tire options that you can just buy without mods?



I looked into a lot of ~250cc bikes from all brands. I like the TW for it's mega tires, and it's unique look, and super low maintenance.



I have a CRF230F and I actually prefer to to ride it over my 450X on our trails. The 450 is just too high strung to enjoy, you spend all your energy holding it back rather than having a fun trail day. If I lived in a more open area the 450 would be fantastic. Also I absolutely hate the maintenance involved with the 450.



I am trying to consolidate vehicles so we don't have so much money that has to go out each month. So the upgrades on the TW would happen over time as I had the money instead of having a high payment that must go out each month.



I have ridden bikes my whole life and I have always enjoyed the small bore bikes better for some reason. I got the 450X because I wanted a good enduro bike with MX features after having my DR650, but in hind site it was a bad idea.



Please let me know what you think, I am trying t o get my finances in order before winter. Your insight would be appreciated.
 

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You've correctly identified every justification for the TW.



Just keep it a secret, ok?
 

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The problem is I'm having a hard time finding aftermarket support for the TW in the States.


This has always boggled my mind somewhat, the bike has been in production for 23 years now, and I think the US is one of the few places you can still buy one new.



I think it has to do with environmental laws, and it's anemic motor...these are meant to be cheap play/camping bikes, and they fit the niche well, the US aftermarket doesn't want to justify high dollar, environmentally illegal, go fast goodies that will never make it go fast.



That being said there are a few tricks to liven these up, but it will cost time and money, don't expect more than 20 in horsepower.

That means they are not much good over 40-50 mph...but the TW specializes slow. slow is fun too...and I've owned open class 2 strokes. One thing you will miss though is hillclimb ability, and deep sand performance, and forget about big jumps. If you buy one think about suspension mods for extra travel, ground clearance, and performance.
 

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Seth:

Firstly welcome to the forum. Yours has to be one of the most detailed first posts I have seen.



You can't really expect to ask a forum full of TW lovers and zealots (myself included) whether a TW is the right choice, the only more biased question I can think of is posting on the Harley forum "Is a kawasaki better than a harley?"



I'll try to be unbiased. I have a big cruiser, a tiny CT70 and a TW200. I ride my son's TTR230 sometimes. Haven't had a mid or big dual sport. I ride mostly offroad.



Yes the TW will fit your bill. Will it perform better than your CRF230F in the dirt? No. Will it perform better than your 450X on the pavement? No. But it will do both well. It's always a compromise. I like the TW because it does do everything reasonably well, and it's not a beast to handle. When you ride offroad, don't go expecting to thrash the trail, this thing putts up and over and through just about anything - it's a two wheeled atv, not a dirt bike.



Aftermarket parts are not a prevailent for the TW, however lots of parts for say the TTR230 motor will cross over. There's always a way to mod the TW it seems, just ask someone here and they have likely done it.



Maintenance it very straight forward, just like a dirt bike.



ATV tires, I have a big one and the only mod required was trimming the chain guard and getting a larger rear sprocket to match the previous power range. Getting the tire on was challenging. Some guys have lengthened the swing arm and put different front sprockets on, but I haven't and my bike goes everywhere offroad - especially loves the mud! (I used to hate mud...). Front tires are difficult to find in size, but there are lots of dirt bike rear tires in that size - I'm happy with the Kenda k779.



I my opinion, go for it. But it's not for everyone, I see a brand new TW in classified section today, someone must not like them. There are also plenty of guys who used to have a TW and moved up to a bigger bike. Each to his own. That's my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If I could get 20hp out of it without cams or big bore kits I would very happy. From what I read online they're about 16hp @ 8000, which seems like you would have it wound up pretty far. I know this bike has a shorter stroke than other 200cc bikes which makes the 8000 seem plausible.



I found that FMF has two pipes for the TW: The standard Power-Core slip on, and a Power-Core Mini full system. The Mini full system also comes in a 'moto' version and a spark arrested version. I would get the Mini with spark arrestor for sure. Plus the Mini looks really cool.



I was also thinking about putting a bigger sprocket on the rear, I don't mind if it kills the road speed, I won't be on the road that often that it will matter.



My CRF230F has 14hp at 6700 so moving to this would be nearly the same amount of power after I put a pipe on it. My 230F has the stock baffles out with a jet kit and air cleaner, so I figure it's about 18-19hp.



I've just always liked the TW's for some reason they just look like so much fun to me.



Here's a link to the FMF pipe: http://www.fmfracing.com/Products/MX/85?itemid=044312
 

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I've heard good things from people who go from 50T rear to 54 or 55 for off road. 52 is supposed to be pretty good too, it depends on how much low end power you want. If you want some insane mountain pulling power you can even go as big as a 60 or 70T, but you won't be able to (comfortably) cruise much faster than 30-35 on the road with the 70.



I think the 60 and 70 fit without any mods, but I could be wrong so you should ask somebody that has actually installed them.





http://www.it-ideas.net/bike/calc.htm



go there to play with the gearing ratios to give you an idea of how fast you can cruise with different gearings. Some people claim they can "cruise" the bike at 9000+ all day long, but I think that's crazy and their bike will last no time without a rebuild or new engine. For me a comfortable cruise is below 6000. Stock is 14/50 by the way.
 

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If I could get 20hp out of it without cams or big bore kits I would very happy. From what I read online they're about 16hp @ 8000, which seems like you would have it wound up pretty far. I know this bike has a shorter stroke than other 200cc bikes which makes the 8000 seem plausible.



I found that FMF has two pipes for the TW: The standard Power-Core slip on, and a Power-Core Mini full system. The Mini full system also comes in a 'moto' version and a spark arrested version. I would get the Mini with spark arrestor for sure. Plus the Mini looks really cool.



I was also thinking about putting a bigger sprocket on the rear, I don't mind if it kills the road speed, I won't be on the road that often that it will matter.



My CRF230F has 14hp at 6700 so moving to this would be nearly the same amount of power after I put a pipe on it. My 230F has the stock baffles out with a jet kit and air cleaner, so I figure it's about 18-19hp.



I've just always liked the TW's for some reason they just look like so much fun to me.



Here's a link to the FMF pipe: http://www.fmfracing...5?itemid=044312


Not many have dyno'ed, but Sebastian has, he had bored his cases (I think he used the bottom end together method and just used a scribe and grinder), put a 225 top end on for a TW215, he then put the very expensive Akropovic full exhaust on and did some carb mods and netted about 19hp....so don't expect 20 without engine mods



There was a guy on the XT225 forum that stroked a 225 and put a 71.5 high comp wiseco piston in and then split the head gasket for extra compression, he also added real roller bearings to the cam, then put on a DRZ pipe, he claimed about 24hp, and that he could run with 400's....but these are all extreme mods and the xt is a different bike than the TW
 

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Buy your TW. Buy a TTR230. Grind down the TW countershaft to fit the TTR transmission. Swap to a Barnett clutch and springs. Convert to 520 chain. Sebastian can stroke your crank and provide a bore kit. Port and polish the head, add a good pipe, a bigger carb, and a free flowing air filter. You'll be able to lay down 23-24hp and still have a wide powerband. You will spend a couple thousand dollars putting it all together, and the bike will be dangerous in the hands of an adrenaline junky because the brakes and suspension will be sorely lacking in their ability to hadle the power.



Get the brakes and suspension up to speed first, then worry about the engine.



Yes, it can be done. All it takes is elbow grease and money.



EDIT: The answers to most of your questions are in the threads pinned to the top of the various forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the input. I'm not all that worried about power. Like I said before I have a CRF230F that has something like 18hp and it does just fine on our trails. The only place I find it wanting is going up long hills.



I won't be dumping tons of money into the TW. I want the pipe just to uncork it and give it more of an exhaust note, I hate having the bike sound like a sewing machine.



I've always been told that the air box mods, new air cleaner, re-jet, and free flowing pipe add 2-5hp depending on the size of engine you're dealing with. Even if I only got 2hp more I would be happy with that.



I'll probably put a 13T on the CS sprocket if I can find one just to make the front end a bit lighter for the trails, and leave the 50T in the rear for now.



It's really too bad the TW doesn't have a 6speed tranny, that would solve the street speed issues.



I think I'm sold on the TW.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just thought of something. If I were to put an ATV tire in the rear, how does that work with DoT? Is there such a thing as DoT ATV tires?
 

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I'm comming from a V-Strom with 90 hp. I want to slow down and for longer distances I can put it on my trailer, next to my 2 kayaks or on a rack on the front or back of my truck, drive there and ride after that. I still have my ST1300 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, 135 mph bike for speed though.
 

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Do whatever you want to the intake and exhaust, and you'll get little more than noise. The aftermarket exhausts trade a bit of peak horsepower for a good chunk of the powerband, resulting in a slower bike at any engine speed except right around peak horsepower. You'll have more noise, though. The best bang for the buck seems to be a mild cam upgrade and properly jetting the carb, which reportedly tends to yield a beefier powerband throughout the middle and upper rpm range. Cheaper than an exhaust and intake, too, but go ahead and drill the stockers out so you can make more noise.



The TTR 6-speed, when sprockets are chosen to provide the same overall reduction in 1st gear, has the same overall reduction in 6th gear as the TW trans in 5th with 2 fewer teeth on the rear sprocket. Mostly, the 6-speed as gear ratios closer together and does not provide a substantial "overdrive".
 

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It is simple. Just go for a stock TW. Stock tires are good for most stuff. Stock gearing is good for most stuff.

Do a little tinkering with the handlebars and levers to make the bike comfortable for you then go ride.

The TW will climb most trails with more ease and comfort than faster more powerful bikes and you will probably have more fun. I have outclimbed 250 class motocross bikes, they have made it to where they got faster but I passed them once they spun out. TW gearing is low, traction is amazing, handling is natural.

Without planning to hit the freeway the TW handles really well on the road and can run fast enough to keep you from bothering people on secondary roads.



Best part of a TW is its simplicity.
 

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I had a DR650 a couple years ago and the 650's are just too big for hard trail riding.
This statement made me question your intentions more than anything else. If you're looking for "hard trail riding" you might be off key. I guess it depends on your definition of "hard trail riding".
 

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I'm a fairly new T-Dub rider but a street bike rider mainly and have owned 13 new bikes over the last 48 months, put about 40,000 miles on these bikes too.



I recommend the T-Dub.



I weight 220 with a 5-10.5" height.



My son is 14 and very solid and weighs 180lbs. He can handle the T-Dub on the dirt woodland trails better then his KLX dirt bike.



I think the bike will look just fine on you and not small at all.



Sell the other toys, down size, enjoy your new T-Dub ride and enjoy that new baby that is coming. One day they'll be riding with you as my son is now.



Best,

Ken



 

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I sometimes wonder if I wouldn't like to have a Triumph T-100 or a Harley 883 Sportster but money is an object right now and I have reservations about handling a much heavier bike in a brown shorts situation.

Truth is, I am very happy with the mods I did a few years ago and was smart enough to quit when I was ahead. The bike has plenty of zip to 'rocket' me up to 50 or 60 and light enough for me to wrestle and tame if I need to.

Mods done were 52 tooth sprocket with an O-ring chain, carb rejetting and adjusting of the slide pin, scooped airbox mod, iridium plug and spark enhancer. I still fish for that invisible 6th gear though because it just seems like it should be there. The only roads I don't run on are the interstates because I can't realistically run over 65, and that will get you run over. Plenty of other roads to ride on and anything with a 50 to 55mph speed limit has got my name on it. Just my 2 cents.



Dave
 
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