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I took my MSF last week and had never seen or heard of a TW200 before I rode one in class. Although old and beat up, it was fun and much easier to ride than the crappy 250 and 125 cruiser bikes they offered. I did some research and found this site. Been lurking for about a week.

Just yesterday, I picked up a new to me (2nd owner), 2010 Tdub with 1600 miles on it. I had to drive 200 miles round trip to get it but it was the nicest condition and lowest mileage Tdub I could find in or around Houston via Craigslist. Previous owner fitted it with a cycle racks.com rear rack (it's kinda huge), a set of zeta armor handguards, and a windshield which I thought I might remove but I'm actually starting to like it. It's only reported problem was a slow leak in the front tire. Using this site, I found the correct tube on Amazon and got one overnighted even before I bought the bike. On the way home, I stopped by the Yamaha dealer and they installed it for me in less than an hour. Dealer says he wishes I would have bought new of course, but for less than 30 cents on the dollar, what is not to like?

My Chevy has a hydraulic lift gate and the Tdub's shorty wheelbase allows me to pick it up and set it down using the lift which makes it pretty easy to load. I took it out for.a ride around Rice University campus today and it's great for getting around town. I'm enjoying my new old bike. It's perfect for getting around the neighborhoods and back streets. Not going to be taking it on any highways around town, but for short trips and getting around quick it's great. Now I need to find some trails. Anybody know if there is any dirt in Houston that is not paved over? Love the bike and the site.

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Welcome and congrats. Someone swapped out the disc brake front end for the older style drum. Nice bike. Enjoy it!
 

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Looking the bike over from the pics, that rear tire is pretty roached for only 1600 miles, so I’d consider a new set of tires depending on your wallet – the Bridgestone TW34 rear and the Shinko 241 are the flavour of the day. The front tire you have on there is nicknamed the “Death Wing” due to its tendency to give out when you least expect it – they will be ten years old now, so about time to swap for fresh rubber anyway

Same deal on the chain, that’s a lot of wear (snail adjustment) for only 1600 miles, so I’d be tempted to take the mileage with a pinch of salt. Recommendation is to replace both the sprockets and the chain. Any sprocket will do (14/50), but a fresh O or X ring chain will save you a lot of time in the future, but putting a new chain on old sprockets will do the opposite. Change chain and both sprockets at the same time for optimum results

Next up is the question of why your bike has a drum brake, when Yamaha swapped it for a disc from 2001 onwards – but that’s a question for another day ……
 

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Welcome. I am around Houston also, NW side. Depending if you want to ride streets or dirt there are different tires. The knobbies wear really quick on the street. Near Conroe is Sam Houston National Forest with both forest trails and forest service roads. If you ride the actual trails it now requires a permit and it is lots of tree dodging. I actually like riding some of the service or dirt roads better. I have ridden my bike there but if you're afraid to wind it up you will want to trailer it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Welcome. I am around Houston also, NW side. Depending if you want to ride streets or dirt there are different tires. The knobbies wear really quick on the street. Near Conroe is Sam Houston National Forest with both forest trails and forest service roads. If you ride the actual trails it now requires a permit and it is lots of tree dodging. I actually like riding some of the service or dirt roads better. I have ridden my bike there but if you're afraid to wind it up you will want to trailer it.
So thanks to everyone for your comments and observations. I did notice the older front brake but I did ride the bike and for the price, was ok with what I was getting. The seller mentioned he had two older TDubs...an '89 and a '91 but they were not present when I bought my bike. I did not really think about it, but now that I have, maybe he swapped that flat tire drum brake wheel to my bike and kept the other wheel for himself. For what I paid vs. a new TDub, I still have a few bucks available to take care of some of the items noted. The dealer recommended replacing the tires and based on your recommendation, I'll also replace the chain and sprockets.

I have a few old cars and old bikes and spend a lot of time and money keeping them as nice as I can. So far what I've noticed about the TDub is that it reminds me a lot of my VDub(s)...quite a bit of bang for the buck. Parts readily available, reasonably priced, easy to wrench, riot to ride/drive, huge loyal fan base. There are plenty of cars and bikes that cost a lot more to own and maintain, but pound for pound and dollar for dollar, the TDub is a relative bargain which hits home runs on the fun, easy, and economy points. I'm really enjoying it.

So how much benefit is there vs. cost to swap back to the front disc setup? I'm already planning to swap the lights to LEDs, tires, chain/sprockets, battery. and a few other knickknacks. Even with the cost of replacing the above items, I should still come in well less than the price of a new bike. If not, maybe I should just move this one along and start with a new model.

Thanks again for your advice.
 

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All you’ll need is the disc, calliper, pads, left hand fork, hose, reservoir, and switchgear – it’s not a “casual” job. Basically, the PO has taken the entire front end from another bike and switched it over, mudguard and all

There are the usual advantages and disadvantages between the disc brake and drum, but the consensus on here is that there is little difference on the TW, so see how you get on, and try someone’s TW with a disc first

Might be worth checking the frame for damage while you’re at it, check for a twisted headstock, and make sure the steering head bearings are OK …..
 

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Congrats on your new TW. Ride safe down there in the City. Should you replace your chain/sprockets, we have concluded that either 15/50 or 14/47 is the all-round gearing for our Ark-La-Tex riding area.

Also, here's an opportunity to ride with fellow small bike enthusiasts up in Northeast Texas in May:

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Welcome. I am around Houston also, NW side. Depending if you want to ride streets or dirt there are different tires. The knobbies wear really quick on the street. Near Conroe is Sam Houston National Forest with both forest trails and forest service roads. If you ride the actual trails it now requires a permit and it is lots of tree dodging. I actually like riding some of the service or dirt roads better. I have ridden my bike there but if you're afraid to wind it up you will want to trailer it.

Great to see a couple other Houston area TW owners. I bought a new one in October and love it so far, but I’m itching to get it off road, or even more gravel roads versus the paved rural roads I’ve been riding. SHNF is one place I had in mind when I bought the bike, but every single time I’ve called to see about closures, the message states all trails are temporarily closed. I don’t know if that is legitimate or if they never seem to update the message.

I’d love to learn more about the service roads you mention. I just want to ride and explore without a lot of traffic.

Thanks!
 

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Great to see a couple other Houston area TW owners. I bought a new one in October and love it so far, but I’m itching to get it off road, or even more gravel roads versus the paved rural roads I’ve been riding. SHNF is one place I had in mind when I bought the bike, but every single time I’ve called to see about closures, the message states all trails are temporarily closed. I don’t know if that is legitimate or if they never seem to update the message.

I’d love to learn more about the service roads you mention. I just want to ride and explore without a lot of traffic.

Thanks!
We'll have to hit the forest one day. I'm familiar with where everything is located, forest ranger station, trail heads, some of the service roads. I have only been on the actual trails about twice. I'll have to check and see if someone is familiar with a good riding area and possibly get a pass. PM me and we can set something up. I don't have much off road safety gear at this time which is another reason for service roads more. I need bark busters, real riding boots other than cowboy boots, New steering head bearings installed and put my new tube in. My bike has 43,000 miles and I rode it to work today.
 

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We'll have to hit the forest one day. I'm familiar with where everything is located, forest ranger station, trail heads, some of the service roads. I have only been on the actual trails about twice. I'll have to check and see if someone is familiar with a good riding area and possibly get a pass. PM me and we can set something up. I don't have much off road safety gear at this time which is another reason for service roads more. I need bark busters, real riding boots other than cowboy boots, New steering head bearings installed and put my new tube in. My bike has 43,000 miles and I rode it to work today.
I’d definitely be interested. I do a good amount of camping at Huntsville State Park so I’ve been up in that area a lot, but have not done any riding up there. I even bought the OHV decal at the Webster Yamaha dealership but have not put it to use yet. I don’t have any off-road gear either. I do want to get hand guards soon. Other upgrade plans include medium size rear rack, LED headlight, and larger foot pegs. Love the bike so far.
 

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Radar5667 and Ken,

Let’s stay in touch on the topic of off-road (or dirt road) riding around the Houston area. I took the TW out today because it was such a gorgeous day, and ended up doing my first bit of off-road riding. Basically it was a muddy field of where they are starting to clear it out for a neighborhood so it won’t be there for long. Basically just increased the itch to take this think off road more.
 

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Nice bike, great snag.

My brother and I live in Huntsville, and my dad lives in New Waverly. We all have TWs and ride often on the FS roads and gravel county roads around this area. We’d be happy to point out some nice roads and routes sometime. We don’t venture into the actual SHNF trails as that’s too much work for dad, but if we can help with the gravel roads let me know.
 

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Nice bike, great snag.

My brother and I live in Huntsville, and my dad lives in New Waverly. We all have TWs and ride often on the FS roads and gravel county roads around this area. We’d be happy to point out some nice roads and routes sometime. We don’t venture into the actual SHNF trails as that’s too much work for dad, but if we can help with the gravel roads let me know.
Xaman,

Would definitely appreciate that! I’m interested in learning as much as possible when it comes to good places to ride. One of the things I love most about riding the TW, is that you’re pretty much forced to stick to backroads. I’ve enjoyed just exploring on it and want to keep exploring new areas, especially those lesser traveled roads.

Last Fall we rented a cabin in Kountz, TX. I had a blast just exploring the miles and miles of dirt roads in that area.
 

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Bringing this thread back from the dead...

I think I finally have a "free" day to take the TW up to the SHNF area. I'm shooting for this Sunday. If any of you guys on this thread (or any others in the area) are interested, we could meet up (Ken, Xaman, Texasstubs, Radar)

Also if any of you familiar with the area (from a riding perspective), please share any useful information...good place to park as I'll be hauling the TW, best areas to explore dirt roads, fire roads, etc. I did learn that the OHV trails are all closed for the next few months for construction and tree removal. So it's just road exploring at this point.
 
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