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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings everyone!



With the price of gas through the roof, and a limited budget for a motorcycle 'toy', I've been spending a lot of time on Craigslist for the past couple of months looking for a cheap dual sport. Have been looking in the 250cc range, and at mostly older Honda XLs and a few XTs. But then I came across a few TWs... and before I clicked the link, I remembered what the TW looked like. Hmm, interesting bike and maybe I should consider it...



Well, unfortunately, looking at a few TWs caused me to do some Googling, and I then found this site. You folks are a BAD influence. The modified bikes on here are impressive. I've certainly been bitten by the bug.



But the nagging question is... is this bike right for me? A slow bike? Not really a problem. I've never really had the 'need for speed'. Really what it comes down to is physical size and ergonomics. I understand the seat height is low, and that is part of my concern. I'm 6'. Am I going to be comfortable on this bike? I've seen a lot of folks raise the bars via aftermarket bars or risers and I'm not opposed to doing this, but this seems to be needed more for standing. What about sitting while getting to the trails?



I'd like to hear from some folks who can either ease my fears... or tell me to look elsewhere. Better to find out now before I am dragged any deeper into this obsession...



(I've done quite a bit of reading on this site the past couple of weeks and didn't see this issue addressed. If I missed it, my apologies, and feel free to point me towards that thread.)



By the way, I'm Matt, and live in the Yakima Valley area of Washington State. When I get a chance, I like to play in the hills on snowmobiles in the winter and on ATVs in the summer. A shout out to the other WA members on here as I see there are several, some real local.
 

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Q: Is this bike right for me?

A: Only an aged, bearded mystic could begin to answer that question without knowing more, but I'll try: no. Read on.



Q: Am I going to be comfortable on this bike?

A: Again, this depends on you. One way to find out is to sit on one. A better way is to ride one. But I'll try: no. These are not cruisers. Nor are they passenger cars. Sitting on the back of a small motorbike in a rainstorm, trying to keep an eye out for distracted, texting teenagers in oversized SUVs with one eye while watching for snarling dogs and car doors with the other is by no means "comfortable." It's actually the furthest thing from comfort. Sitting in the back of a Crown Vic with your wrists bound in sturdy bracelets, contemplating the upcoming 12 hour booking process while blood oozes from your lower lip is more comfortable than riding a TW200 in traffic, in the rain, after dusk.



Q: What about sitting while getting to the trails?

A: Wrong bike. This is why I think this might not be the bike for you. If you picturing yourself standing in the pegs, spending over half your time airborne, you are in the wrong part of the showroom and will be sorely disappointed when you get to "the hills."



Also, to get to your concerns about your height vs. seat height, let me assure you that yes you will look ridiculous. I am 6'2" and am glad I am already married, because I wouldn't be out bird-dogging chicks on a TW. The kind of woman who would jump on the back is the type you should avoid anyway, as her acne medication would doubtlessly ruin your jacket, and her substantial girth would bottom out your suspension. Your milage, as they say, may vary.



There is a reason why a KTM 650 is more expensive than a TW200, and it's not because everyone who buys one is an idiot. It's more bike. Here's a quick litmus test: If you picture yourself (or want pictures of yourself) on your bike with air under both tires, look elsewhere. You might enjoy the TW for a while, but will soon yearn for something bigger and faster.
 

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Hmmm....Silly.



Hi Matt, I am also Matt from Washington State (other side of the mountains). I have a completely different point of view on this as a new TW owner.



AKDOC didn't really answer your question so let me take a stab. Discalimer: I am short (only 5'5) but know plenty of 6 footers with TWs. The seat is marginal for me (could even be an inch lower for my diminutive size), but will be low for you. However, as you appropriately asked above, your legs are unlikely to be uncomfortable. My neighbor is taller than you and has a BMW...and now he wants a TW - saying it's the most approachable/comfortable machine he's ridden since he was a kid. He is 6'2 and won't get off mine.



It doesn't sound like you need a lot of speed, nor to catch a lot of air. And you would do neither on this bike. But if you like torque and are a 50/50 rider who avoids interstates, you will do fine with this bike. As you will learn on this forum, they are also pretty much bullet proof with the right care.



I have some money. I could have bought some really expensive bikes. But this one reminds me of the easy riding I had on an old YZ-80 I had when I was a kid growing up in the desert...with the added kick of on-road capability and a healthy amount of torque. You won't find much better gas mileage, either with 87 mpg.



I am happy to walk you through this, and know a great seller of these bikes who is kind of well known in the pacific NW. Send me a note and we can exchange contact info if you like.



All I can say as an experienced rider who is finally coming back to the hobby after many years off - this bike is comfortable, approachable, fun, and you won't cry too many tears if you lay it down a few times. It's durable, economical, and a design that has withstood the test of time. Yamaha barely changes anything on this bike from year to year since it made it to the north pole decades ago. Key word here is DESIGN.



Hope this helps. MP
 

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I think the fact that you are here, and that you've been "reading quite a bit" for "a couple of weeks" should go a long way in telling yourself if you want in on this "obcession". I think maybe you've already come to far to turn back now. "Beyond here; there be dragons".
 

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And why would you want to turn back from curiosity with this whole community of people ready to suck you in and support you? ;-)



Enjoy the slippery slope.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm hoping AKDOC isn't the normal welcoming committee... (My friend, you are making a lot of assumptions about me and my riding style.)



Thanks mpilla, I think you have set my mind at ease regarding the ergonomics. Honestly, my only concern is having my knees in my chin while riding seated.



I'm not interested in a freeway cruiser and am more interested in a motorized pack mule to explore all the Forest Service roads and trails around here and our cabin in NE Oregon. (What I've realized is that even though I've lived in this area for more than 10 years, I've hardly explored any of it!)



I'm still probably several months from making a purchase... haven't mentioned it to my wife yet... and need to save up my allowance. With luck, some poor guy will be forced to sell his TW this winter, with snow on the ground and sub-zero temps, and offer a deal I can't refuse....
 

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I suggest you just buy a TW and ask questions later. Haha. Just kidding. If you do get one this is the most comprehensive repair/upgrade forum you will find for any bike. Good luck on your decision. Im only 5'9" but have the stock seat and stock bars for now and i put over 400 miles in 3 days awhile back and i was happy with the comfort.
 

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I'm hoping AKDOC isn't the normal welcoming committee... (My friend, you are making a lot of assumptions about me and my riding style.)



Thanks mpilla, I think you have set my mind at ease regarding the ergonomics. Honestly, my only concern is having my knees in my chin while riding seated.



I'm not interested in a freeway cruiser and am more interested in a motorized pack mule to explore all the Forest Service roads and trails around here and our cabin in NE Oregon. (What I've realized is that even though I've lived in this area for more than 10 years, I've hardly explored any of it!)



I'm still probably several months from making a purchase... haven't mentioned it to my wife yet... and need to save up my allowance. With luck, some poor guy will be forced to sell his TW this winter, with snow on the ground and sub-zero temps, and offer a deal I can't refuse....


The TW is a great machine for Forest Service road exploration. It will take you on the pavement to get there adequately, and it is very well mannered on the typical logging road and unpaved road you will find. It is much more stable at a slower speed than the typical "dirt" bike and don't let the limited suspension fool you, the tires are good for at least two inches more of travel than you get on a regular dirt bike.
 

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I almost posted earlier, but I'm glad that I waited to see your second post.



When I'm out on FS roads riding the TW, I love the bike. Unfortunately, the 55mph highway stretches between FS roads make me feel like a chump on the TW. The TW200 is an indestructible mountain goat off-pavement, but on-pavement it feels very much like a barely street legal dirt bike (which it basically is.)



If all the streetworthiness you expect from the TW is the ability to legally get you from your driveway to the trailhead, you'll be happy. If, however, you find yourself commuting in rush hour traffic on a daily basis (like I started doing after 4 days on the TW) then pretty soon you'll be wishing you had a little more oomph for acceleration and passing. Most motorists don't recognize the difference between a TW200 and an R1, all they know is that they're pissed off at the slowpoke motorcyclist in front of their Buick that they think should be moving a lot faster.



I've taken the TW on 65mph average country highway trips, but I was well aware the whole time that the bike was out of its comfort zone. There's nothing like a lifted F150 riding 18" off your back wheel to make you question whether or not you're on the right bike.



To the TW's credit, I don't think that there's a better bike out there to learn on. The riding position and controls are easy, and the low power that frustrates some makes taming the 2-wheeled beast all that much easier for the newbie. And like I said before, off-road 12hp is plenty to get the job done and keep a few horses in reserve just in case.



Personally, I've been a 90/10 on/off road dualsport rider from the start, so it's not surprising that I wasn't completely satisfied with a 10/90 on/off bike like the TW. The TW is awesome for what it is, the ultimate slogging trail bike that can do, but on road? If you're looking for a road bike that can do dirt I think there's better options for you. A dirt bike that can do road? TW all the way!



I bought a KLR 650 4 1/2 months after I bought my TW, and I couldn't be happier on-road. Off road is a different story, the TW is easy to stop-and-go in the dirt while the KLR is a top-heavy beast. The combination of weight difference and lower center of gravity with the TW inspires said confidence, while the KLR seems to want to tip over at every stop. As long as you're moving at least 15mph though, the KLR wins in every category, but for poking around TW all the way.



As far as comfort is concerned, at 5"8" the TW is way too small for me on-road. After a week on the KLR, riding the TW felt like hopping from a Trek 29er to a Huffy kid's bike. To be fair, I was pretty happy with the TW before I started riding the KLR, but afterwards the suspension feels like mattress springs and the geometry is just all wrong.



I'm not sure what sort of financial situation you're in, but if you're looking for a solid trail bike in the stable then the TW is a great choice.



However, if you're looking for an inexpensive all-rounder, there are other options out there.



The TW can indeed do it all, but like any Jack of all Trades, the TW isn't the best at anything.
 

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I don't know about your needs and wants, but here is why I bought the TW:



I want to go short distances on the pavement to get to rides without trailering. (< 50 miles) No Interstates.



I want a quiet, ultra-reliable four stroke bike with low seat height and low gearing to tackle rougher terrain without throwing up a rooster tail of dirt and chewing up the trails. I don't stand up much unless I'm crossing a stream or hit a pothole I didn't see soon enough.



I want the same sort of bike I had so much fun on 40 years ago, and the same old technology!



I'm 6' 0". I did put 2" Rox risers on, and the cyclerack, (I like to carry a lot sometimes), and dropped the front sprocket to 13. It'll pretty much go up anything that doesn't require hitting the slope at 50 to make it up to the top. After a gel pad seat mod I can go about 3 hours, even though I'm a little scrunched up. I'm not into long dual sport road trips, just nice 50-100 mile loops at 10 to 40mph. If I want speed I get on my F650GS!



Did I say QUIET? I put some fiberglass in the muffler and I can sneak up on deer or whatever....sometimes a little TOO close.




IT'S CHEAP!
 

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I don't know about your needs and wants, but here is why I bought the TW:



I want to go short distances on the pavement to get to rides without trailering. (< 50 miles) No Interstates.



I want a quiet, ultra-reliable four stroke bike with low seat height and low gearing to tackle rougher terrain without throwing up a rooster tail of dirt and chewing up the trails. I don't stand up much unless I'm crossing a stream or hit a pothole I didn't see soon enough.



I want the same sort of bike I had so much fun on 40 years ago, and the same old technology!



I'm 6' 0". I did put 2" Rox risers on, and the cyclerack, (I like to carry a lot sometimes), and dropped the front sprocket to 13. It'll pretty much go up anything that doesn't require hitting the slope at 50 to make it up to the top. After a gel pad seat mod I can go about 3 hours, even though I'm a little scrunched up. I'm not into long dual sport road trips, just nice 50-100 mile loops at 10 to 40mph. If I want speed I get on my F650GS!



Did I say QUIET? I put some fiberglass in the muffler and I can sneak up on deer or whatever....sometimes a little TOO close.




IT'S CHEAP!


Now that right there is the reason to buy a T-dub! Love it for what it is, don't hate it for what it's not!
 

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I've been an obsessive compulsive bike buyer all my adult life (they are like potato chips to me I can't have just one!) and I bought my first TW(s)about 12 years ago from Washington State Surplus (They were beat to tarnation but ran and rode like new) honestly I remember referring to them as "Girls Bikes" but when I advertised them for sale I started meeting TW people and it was amazing what a following they had from all walks of life, all ages, all interests from farmers to carnies and half the buyers were women! I've delivered pairs of TW's to people at the Microsoft campus, Google and twice to the Stanford campus. Today I only own TW's and ROKON's and I owe the ROKON addiction to the TW Peeps as well! BTW I'm 5'11" 225lbs fat and TW's can haul me anywhere I need to go in perfect style! The resale market is the best I've seen on the cycle world and they sell to people with the money (ie not kids) so they are easy to find a new home for if you decide they are not for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I appreciate everyone's comments. It seems many riders are 6' or better, so I guess I have no reason to be concerned. As that was really my only stumbling block... let the search begin! (OK, it isn't so much the search, but to save a few bucks to make the purchase.)




The information exchange on this forum is impressive. You can bet I'll continue to lurk until I can post up pics of my own TW!
 

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I appreciate everyone's comments. It seems many riders are 6' or better, so I guess I have no reason to be concerned. As that was really my only stumbling block... let the search begin! (OK, it isn't so much the search, but to save a few bucks to make the purchase.)




The information exchange on this forum is impressive. You can bet I'll continue to lurk until I can post up pics of my own TW!
I'm 6'1" and my wife is 5'5".. We are both very happy on our dubs. Everything about them are the same except the angle of the gear swifter... I angled hers down 1 notch. We've had them now since 06... Great little bikes. OMM.
 

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Welcome Matt!



You're making a correct decision
I'm an inch below you and this bike is just perfect. It's short seat height and wheelbase inspire a person to go anywhere they point that front tire in. Literally - a two wheeled ATV!



I've had my 2006 since it was new and 15,500 miles later I still consider it much more comfortable than most motos, espcially my 05' r6. It has taken my 5 hours away, into the middle of the desert when cell reception was two hours away...through the Rubicon trial and countless hours zooming down the freeway at over 8,000 rpms.



This bike may be slow and geeky, but it's trail killing ability and gas mileage makes up for it!



Have fun!

-Adam
 

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Put a seat concepts seat on it and you can dang near sit on it all day. A friend and i did a 1567 miles trip in 5days and i felt fine. Its way more comfortable than my sv650. Ive had two buddy's over 6' feet with them and they have no problems at all.
 

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Likely, this forum has sold more TW-200's than Yamaha (advertising). I'm of the opinion that you have gotten lots of good information. I would also be inclined to say (restate), the bike is simple, inexpensive and seems to remind us (mature) folks of things that we really enjoyed years ago. I am (was) 6' 1" and ride mostly logging roads. Off road, standing is often needed, and yes, handlebar raisers are needed to make this comfortable for us taller folk. As an inexpensive bike, a number of things are less than ideal... Then again, that is why many of us luv the bike. We can putter about and mod to our specific need... Enjoy, if it seems right for you. Gerry
 
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