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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished my MSF safety training and haven't been on a bike in 20 years. My plans were to buy a Suzuki S40 or maybe a VStar 650 Custom, but after taking my training on a 2011 TW200, I'm starting to change my mind. I'm not planning on any long cross-country trips and 95% of my riding will be city commute of 40-50 miles/day. I really like dual sport versatility of the TW, and I'm not really convinced that I need a 650 when most of my riding will be 40 or 50mph - There is a 3 mile stretch of highway where the speed limit is 60, but I doubt that would be a real problem. Some of my concerns are if it would make a good choice for 200+ miles/week of commuting. How many miles can I expect out of the engine with proper maintenance? Are there any known problems with the TW200 that I should be concerned about? I read where the Suzuki S40 has minor noise/rattle problems, lean mixture backfiring and also cam chain wear issues, but most "problems" have easy fixes so that's not really too much of a concern - Just curious if there were any problems that are considered normal for the TW, or did Yamaha do a better job (than Suzuki) at fixing things on a model that has been around since the 80's? Any advice you can give me that would help make my decision easier would be appreciated. Should also mention that I'm 5'6" and 140lbs. And even after taking MSF training, I still wouldn't want to spend very much time in rush hour traffic in a city with 500,000 people...no matter what size bike I buy, so I'm not sure the "you'll outgrow it" option will really apply to me. Thanks.
 

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I just finished my MSF safety training and haven't been on a bike in 20 years. My plans were to buy a Suzuki S40 or maybe a VStar 650 Custom, but after taking my training on a 2011 TW200, I'm starting to change my mind. I'm not planning on any long cross-country trips and 95% of my riding will be city commute of 40-50 miles/day. I really like dual sport versatility of the TW, and I'm not really convinced that I need a 650 when most of my riding will be 40 or 50mph - There is a 3 mile stretch of highway where the speed limit is 60, but I doubt that would be a real problem. Some of my concerns are if it would make a good choice for 200+ miles/week of commuting. How many miles can I expect out of the engine with proper maintenance? Are there any known problems with the TW200 that I should be concerned about? I read where the Suzuki S40 has minor noise/rattle problems, lean mixture backfiring and also cam chain wear issues, but most "problems" have easy fixes so that's not really too much of a concern - Just curious if there were any problems that are considered normal for the TW, or did Yamaha do a better job (than Suzuki) at fixing things on a model that has been around since the 80's? Any advice you can give me that would help make my decision easier would be appreciated. Should also mention that I'm 5'6" and 140lbs. And even after taking MSF training, I still wouldn't want to spend very much time in rush hour traffic in a city with 500,000 people...no matter what size bike I buy, so I'm not sure the "you'll outgrow it" option will really apply to me. Thanks.


Can't respond to the issues comments because I just got my TW but I can say that after almost 25 years of riding I have downsized from bigger bikes and couldn't be happier. I'm having a blast on this 196CC powerhouse
 

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I guess my question (and if you mentioned it, I passed it over perhaps?), is do you plan on only using the bike for on-road commuting or do you also plan to take it off-road? As much as I love my TW, were all my riding on-road I don't think it's the bike I'd pick. A daily 40-50 mile commute at the speeds you mention is also a bit much for the TW. The bike will do it and you'd not break anything, but I think you'd be more comfortable for street riding with something else.



Now... if you -do- plan of taking the bike off the pavement, that's a whole 'nother story. The TW -is- a true dual-sport, happy both on and off road which is something a street bike will not be and of course a pure "dirt bike" isn't what you'd want for on road use. If versatility is what you want, the TW is a great fit. If all your riding will be on the pavement, I'd think about something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess my question (and if you mentioned it, I passed it over perhaps?), is do you plan on only using the bike for on-road commuting or do you also plan to take it off-road? As much as I love my TW, were all my riding on-road I don't think it's the bike I'd pick. A daily 40-50 mile commute at the speeds you mention is also a bit much for the TW. The bike will do it and you'd not break anything, but I think you'd be more comfortable for street riding with something else.



Now... if you -do- plan of taking the bike off the pavement, that's a whole 'nother story. The TW -is- a true dual-sport, happy both on and off road which is something a street bike will not be and of course a pure "dirt bike" isn't what you'd want for on road use. If versatility is what you want, the TW is a great fit. If all your riding will be on the pavement, I'd think about something else.


You have me a bit worried about the daily commute now - As for going offroad, it would be a weekend thing. I didn't plan going offroad when I decided to get back into riding, but that was mainly because of bike choices. I never hauled much of anything, until I bought a truck a few years ago - figure what you ride/drive can tend to change your normal habits due to their possibilities, or limitations. But I do live in a rural area where finding a trail would not be a problem. When I rode bikes 20 years ago, I had my share of 400-650cc street bikes and it seems like I spent more time polishing the chrome then I did actually riding. My first bike, and favorite, was a 1974 Red/White Yamaha DT125 dual purpose and didn't worry about getting it dirty, like I did with later bikes. Probably had more seat time on that bike than I did on my 5 street bikes combined. Could be why I stopped riding bikes 20 years ago - just stopped being fun.
 

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Bikes like many things are tools and as such have sizes and shapes for specific duties.



If I was to have 2 wheels for commuting my best bike for that was a Burgman 650 scooter

and in your case a Burgman 400. Safer, storage for special clothing. (surprise rain) helmets and purchases.



TW is fun and of course I have one but think of it as an explorer bike. I am not such a fan as to recommend it for all situations.



A more do it all I had was a DRZ 400 50 mpg and full speed capable.
 

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I have a TW and a Honda Rebel 250, the TW is much better on gravel roads and has a top speed of 68 mph and cruses nicly at speeds up to 55 mph. The rebel is a much better hiway bike. It tops out at 78 mph and will cruse good at 70 mph and handles better under windy conditions. both bikes are effected by headwinds due to their small engines.I also have a Honda silverwing 600 scooter which has 60,000 miles and is my best hiway bike to date, but stay away from gravel roads.
 

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40-50 miles/day...so you ride 20-25 city miles to work with traffic lights/stop signs and speed limits from 40-50 with a 3 mile stretch of 60?...doesn't sound too bad of a commute for a TW...but depending where you live and how people drive where you are, you may want a little more "get out of trouble power" especially if you're going to be riding 100% road...but if you just want the option of being able to go off-road then just go buy one




imo as far as issues they seem to be pretty bulletproof as well as being easy to work on
 

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Look at the Suzuki GZ250 - good for commuting and much more comfortable on the road, 60-65+mph, 60-65+mpg. simple, easy to work on, very reliable, (I used to own one 'till I moved up to a bigger bike), great website (like this). You have to decide what you want the bike for, not any one will fulfill all your needs. The TW is a great bike for it's intended use, not so great for daily commuting unless you change to more street friendly tires, and even then it's a compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
40-50 miles/day...so you ride 20-25 city miles to work with traffic lights/stop signs and speed limits from 40-50 with a 3 mile stretch of 60?...doesn't sound too bad of a commute for a TW...but depending where you live and how people drive where you are, you may want a little more "get out of trouble power" especially if you're going to be riding 100% road...but if you just want the option of being able to go off-road then just go buy one




imo as far as issues they seem to be pretty bulletproof as well as being easy to work on


Highway travel is just an option - I never have to see the highway at all, if I don't want to. I guess if the TW was a 350 instead of a 200 I wouldn't even have posted this topic. The TW200 just appeals to me because it's not limited to paved roads, even if my offroad riding only accounts for 5% of my riding. And because I'm afraid I'll resort back to my never-ending chrome polisher habits if I pick the Suzuki S40.
 

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Highway travel is just an option - I never have to see the highway at all, if I don't want to. I guess if the TW was a 350 instead of a 200 I wouldn't even have posted this topic. The TW200 just appeals to me because it's not limited to paved roads, even if my offroad riding only accounts for 5% of my riding. And because I'm afraid I'll resort back to my never-ending chrome polisher habits if I pick the Suzuki S40.


in that case get the TW, cause an S40 can't do the 5%
 

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I suspect if you get the TW, you'll find the 5% offroad time will become more like 20%. As for commuting, the 60mph stretch won't be very pleasant, but at 40-50 the bike is quite happy. When I'm taking short trips around town, the TW is great. But if I were buying a bike purely for commuting 50 miles per day, I'm not sure the TW would be it.
 

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I have a 2006 tw and a 2002 ls650 savage. The savage has a lot brighter headlight and I feel a lot safer at night on savage than I do on the tw. The savage has a more comfotable seat and is more comfortable to ride, but the tw gets a little better mpg and is more fun to ride. Another bike that would be a good choice is the suzuki tu250x, it's an air cooled single with fuel injection, 79mpg and msrp $4099.00. If I had to choose only one bike though it would be the tw, you put a 15 tooth sprocket on the front and cruise 60 all day no problem and you can add a kick start for backup.
 

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I have no problem going 65+ on the highway. The TW is a great all around bike. I have crept up to 78 on the highway with stock gearing. You get used to the bike "screaming" between your legs
I don't do much highway riding but if the speed limit is under 70 it is not a problem.
 

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missus dubstep commutes 100% city riding on her 2000 TW200 and is extremely happy..



most of the roads she rides have a max 50 mph limit - ( actually 45 but people get away with 50mph on them here ) when I ride the TW I've had no problems hitting the highest speed limits here which are 65mph..... seems to get there a little easier than an average car - altho no where near as rapid as say my CRM 250 2 smoker or my Honda hornet 600 ( honda 599? )



she always sniggers at me cos her fuel bill is half mine tho!



she rides about 15 miles each way monday thru fridays - ( for at least a year now ) wont ride to work if its raining but doesnt mind riding home in the rain - I guess she doesnt like showing up to work wet!



I rigged up some LED running lights which I mounted as high as I could - ie the mirrow stalks... adds a bit more visibility since they are off white..



She's a content commuter for sure! she hates getting the bus now!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the advice. Didn't go overboard on the research, but the one problem I did run across was the suggestion to upgrade to a better chain early. Plan on looking at a new 2011 Suzuki S40 and a 2012 TW200 tomorrow - hopefully a new bike will be parked in the garage tomorrow night. Thanks again for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gods luck with whatever choice you make. Come back and let us know either way.




Went by the Suzuki dealer first and saw a new "Orange"/Black 2011 that looked nice and was priced at $4,499.00, but I wanted to see a TW200 before I decided. The Yamaha dealer website showed 1 new 2011 TW and 1 new 2012 - I got to the dealer and there wasn't a single TW available. Said that their new inventory hasn't updated for quite some time and no new TW's would be available for at least 3 months. Long story short, they did have a 2012 XT250 and loved everything about it...except the skinny back tire.
I sign the papers tomorrow, and I probably won't get any sleep tonight. Just wish I could have seen a TW to avoid a possible "what if" later on, but I'm sure the XT250 will be a good choice for me without any regrets.
 

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I also think the XT250 or the XT225 would be a great bike for Virgil. They will easily do the speeds, and you can can haul some stuff..
 

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I average 80 miles per day on two wheels year around. I love my TW and all of my off road is on it. However when it comes to paved roads, I always take my GL1800 Goldwing. If I were to choose a bike for your daily commute, it would be the Burgman 650 or even the 400. If I were to pick a dual sport it would at least be a XT250 but preferably a DRZ400, which are much more suited to the commute than the TW. I don't know what your age is, but my old butt would definitely require an aftermarket seat for the commute.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I also think the XT250 or the XT225 would be a great bike for Virgil. They will easily do the speeds, and you can can haul some stuff..




After owning for about 10 days now, I have 300 miles on the XT250...and love it. I have since ridden a 2011 Suzuki S40 650 and a 2009 Yamaha Vstar 650 and while I admit they feel much more capable at higher speeds (65-75mph) I still enjoy riding the XT250 much more. BTW, don't think I've yet seen 55mph on the XT...but to me the 650's felt like they were doing 65-70mph with less effort than the 250cc does 50mph - doesn't bother me. Plan on spending most of the day tomorrow riding some country back-roads and a couple of cattle trails, something I would never do on a cruiser bike. My buddy, the one with the '09 Vstar 650, has put his name on a waiting list for a 2012 TW200 - he plans on selling his Vstar just as soon as a TW is available. Maybe next time we go riding in the country he won't have to leave his Vstar at home, and borrow a loaner bike for the ride. Just thought I'd give an update.
 
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