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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all -- To preface, I have never owned, or even rode, a motorcycle. I've wanted one for a while to commute, but just haven't pulled the trigger. Well, I finally have some money together and I'm ready to take the plunge. I have settled on the TW200 for several reasons, but mostly because it looks cool, gets 70 mpg, and will cater to me fiddling around on dirt roads. My commute is an easy one; 12 miles through a small town and around some winding hills. The speed limit doesn't get over 45 the whole way.



Now for the purpose of my post. I don't know what to get!



Option one is simply to get a new one. Cost at the local dealership for a 2013 is $3,999. I like the idea of new for obvious reasons, but I hate the idea because I hate to buy a new motorcycle without ever having rode one. Also, I'm not crazy about footing the upfront cost.



Option two is to move on a used one that I have a bead on. It's a 2001 (I think I read that this is the first year with the current front brake and carburetor?) that has 900 or so miles. I like the low mileage of this one but am skeptical for a couple reasons. First, is it possible to mess with the odometer so it undersells the miles? Second, if the mileage is true, this bike hasn't been rode much at all lately. Will components on this bike deteriorate much without use?



Option three is to hold out and see what comes along. I'm not crazy about this option because I want one NOW!



I apologize for the silly questions, but I really don't have a clue what I'm looking for. In a perfect world, I'd find a TW200 from 2005 or so with 1,000-2,000 miles for $2,500. Is this a pipe dream? Asking prices seem to be all over the board.



Any help, insight, or advice would be appreciated. Thanks a ton! Looks like a great forum.
 

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like joe band said, ride one at least once before you buy one!



Better yet, take the MSF ridercourse. It will get you your MC license, teach you the basics of safe riding, and you'll get to ride a motorcycle too! A lot of the MSF classes actually use TWs, so it's a doubly good fit for you!



You will not regret taking the MSF course, and though you don't state your location there's bound to be one nearby.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info, DonBenito. I have heard the 'you need to ride one' comment many times and it is without question good advice. The difficult part is finding someone that will let a complete newbie ride their motorcycle




There is actually an MSF course in my town beginning next Thursday. Maybe it's an omen...
 

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What is the price asked for the 2001? A lot can be told by the owner about what kind of maintanence has been done and how it has been ridden. Garage kept, oil change intervals, does it look like it has been well taken care of? These bikes can take a good beating but there is a line. Buying used is a crapshoot. Sometimes you win other times you don't. If you want a bike that you don't have to worry about, buy new. If you have some time and a little mechanical know-how, buy a decent looking used bike. The tw is a great first bike and can be enjoyed by all ages. If you can ride a bike, you can ride a tw. Whatever choice you make you will be happy so don't overthink it. Just get what you want and farkle the hell out of it like the rest of us!
 

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MSF will not only teach you safety, but how to actually ride a motorcycle. Once you learn, you'll be better prepared to ride your own. Good call on a TW for your first bike. I just taught my wife to ride on an 87 TW, and it's very beginner friendly. I hate when new riders start on sportbikes that are capable of 150mph. So silly to start that way. The TW has enough power, but it won't overwhelm you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I forgot to put that the asking price on the 2001 is $2,800. I have no idea how firm the seller is on the price though. He did note that it has always been garage kept. I asked specifically about its maintenance schedule and he told me he started it a couple of times a year. Not really an answer, but that's what I got. I also asked specifically whether he had a title and didn't ever get a response.



I'm pretty sure I'm going to take the MSF course to learn what in the world I'm doing before I buy anything. For as painfully obvious as that option was, I completely overlooked it. The big kicker on the MSF course is that the first one falls on my daughter's birthday and the next one falls on my wife's birthday. What luck, huh? Hopefully I can get into one this summer sometime.
 

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MSF will not only teach you safety, but how to actually ride a motorcycle. Once you learn, you'll be better prepared to ride your own. Good call on a TW for your first bike. I just taught my wife to ride on an 87 TW, and it's very beginner friendly. I hate when new riders start on sportbikes that are capable of 150mph. So silly to start that way. The TW has enough power, but it won't overwhelm you.
Definitely do the MSF. You will find out whether or not you really want to ride, you will learn how to ride and proper techniques. It is also a lot cheaper then buying a bike before you know you want to ride. Also when you are done, you have an endorsement. win win win.



As far as parts that degrade or don't hold well up to sitting without being ridden. Tires may be cracked or rotted. The carburetor will most likely need to be cleaned and may need a bowl gasket (mine did, also a 2001).
 

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Personally couldn't justify that price unless the bike was absolutely mint. You are playing 25% less for a machine of lesser known condition that is 12 years old. For a 25% price difference you might consider doing new. You could also wait for another to come your way.
 

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Personally, I would not pay that much for a 2001, regardless of the condition. There are many variables to consider before deciding on what price to pay for a used motorcycle of any kind. I purchased a 1995 for very little money ($400 ) , but I also new the seller some. ( my UPS delivery guy ) I did trust him enough to buy it without hearing it run. ( it has been sitting garaged for 3 years ) I know that I have to drain the tank, clean the carb, and probably replace the battery. Where I really crossed the line with a leap of faith is that I have started to buy some used farkles before I have even started it up! I do things backwards sometimes. Dave
 

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I bought a 2007 TW a few months back with 530 miles in Central OR without ever setting foot on a bike before. I'd agree to take the class if its an option, but I knew I'd be able to resell the bike without hesitation for what I paid or more if it didnt work out. I love it!!



These bikes sell FAST. If you're flexible on picking one up, look on craigslist in your area and wait for the right deal. I used Search Tempest to search within a couple hundred miles of me and ended up getting one about 90 miles away since I live in the middle of nowhere. I would usually check 1 or 2 times a day on ST because if you can't jump on it, someone else will.



The 2001 is definitely too expensive. Keep looking or offer him a lot less and see what he says.
 

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like its been said above...take your msf class...its a fun class plus you can practice dropping their bikes




on the bike i would say go used if you have some mechanical know-how and don't mind a little work if needed...or buy a newer used bike so you don't have to do much work to it...buying a new bike would be a last resort in my opinion



that 2001 is over priced...i have a 2000 that i picked up for $1500 with 8k miles and i even think i payed too much...just had to have one asap and there weren't many used ones in my area
 

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Just to be sure we're all on the same page, take the class. Even if you never get to ride a TW there, or even fail the course, you'll learn a lot (I don't know anyone who has failed).



I'll also agree that $2500 is steep unless it needs no work at all. But usually you're looking at fresh gas, a little carb work, a battery, and tires if they're over 3 or so years old, regardless of visual condition. Still, that's all these bikes need most of the time. Anything worse and you'll be able to detect it if you're familiar with motors. Maybe bring a mechanic or bike-friendly friend to look at one. To me, a used one is well worth the money saved if that's all they ever need done. I would advise to stick to 2001 or newer. The differences are minimal, but just enough that you might appreciate the newer models a bit more. The only upside of the older ones is some hardware was apparently sturdier and the kick start, but the kicker can be added to the new ones. There's a million threads telling you what I'm telling you on here, but it's muscle memory for a lot of our fingers at this point to type this, as it will be with yours someday.



Anyhow, you can have what you want for $2000 with just a little wrenching to get it up to speed. Just look for crash damage, motor noises aside from noisy valves, and electrical gremlins. Those are not the typical issues. I'd recommend a voltmeter to test charging when the bike is running, and a leakdown or compression tester. A compression test reading is useless if the valves aren't adjusted right. A compression tester and a spoonful of oil can change that though. If the test results change with oil added in the cylinder, it's rings (work), and if no pressure change, it's probably just valves (routine maintenance). I have no idea what the acceptable compression is for a TW though, but the service manual is here on the site. Those two tests could make buying used bikes so much easier for folks.



To come back to prices, I will say you should tally up the cost for every "consumable" this particular bike has and include that in your budget for buying. It's a worst-case scenario kind of thing, but if I'm wrong, you'll just have extra money in your pocket, provided the bike is sound outside of the usual stuff. Fork seals, cables, fork oil, engine oil, sprockets (plus retainers and new bolts for those), chain, tires, tubes, battery, a few carb parts, the list goes on. It adds up, but luckily not too much with this bike. Expect an absolutely beaten TW200 to need $1000, but don't buy one that looks like it would need that. It's more likely that $500 or less will get you anything you need to be running pretty well and reliably. In absolutely any case, a regular motorcyclist learns how to work on their stuff, or has too much money on their hands, and not enough dirt.



Anyway, sorry to be long-winded. Welcome to the forum, and best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No sense in apologizing for a good answer. That's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. As stated above, I am a blank slate as far as motorcycles go. I'm not a mechanic by any means, but I generally pick up things quickly. I'm actually looking forward to having something to work on so I can learn.



I'm planning on taking an MSF course this summer and will keep an eye out for a good deal on a TW. Thanks again, for all of the help.
 
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