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Hey guys, as you can see I am new to this forum and also new to motorcycles. I have come across a 1987 TW 200 for 350$ I was told that the bike ran two years ago and has sat since. He wants to get the bike out of storage quickly. I was also told that the kick starter will not return to it's starting position because it needs a spring. He said that it will probably need a carb clean and for the gas tank to be drained and cleaned as well. He said the bike has great compression but again has been sitting for 2 years. My questions are: Is this a good bike for me to try and fix up? Just based on what the seller is saying, what do you think the cost would be to get the bike running again? Are there some good questions to ask this guy? Is there anything that you guys would look at first that would detour you from buying the bike? Any help would be great!! I have read tons of stuff from this forum and I am getting excited about possibly fixing this bike up and riding all over hell and back!! Any suggestions??? Thank you for your time! Smitty
 

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Assuming it has a title I would jump on a $350 TW in a heartbeat. Sounds like it is more or less complete just needs some work. Worst case would be that it is a parts bike and you would likely get at least $350 out of it for the cost of a little elbow grease and some time on E-bay/Craiglist and the Classifieds here.



If you wanted to get it up and running to full street legal and safe the cost would depend a ton on how handy and creative you are and what parts it would need. A few of our class A scavenger and tinkerers on the forum have put TWs into functional service for virtually nothing but time. These are old style engines and carbs on a simple motorcycle, easy to fix and very tolerant of the shade tree mechanic.
 

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Sounds like what is often called a "mechanics special." So... ask yourself 'what kind of mechanic am I'? If you know your stuff and like working on stuff like this...hey, go for it. Or, as someone else has suggested, you could always part it out and likely make more than the $350 being asked. If instead you intend to fire it up and ride it right away with no issues, this might not be the bike for you.



BTW - Nice to see a fellow Idahoan here. Whereabouts do you live?
 

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'87's have a one-year electrical system. Other than that, they're mechanically identical to an '88-'00 TW. But that electrical issue can be a real dealbreaker, depending upon your skill level.



Many '87's are sold due to CDI issues. Difficult to diagnose as the bike will usually run, but lack power, or run properly, then suddenly go gutless or quit running entirely, only to restart normally a few minutes later and run fine. The PO may truly believe that the bike has a simple carb issue that he can't figure out, or may have correctly diagnosed a CDI issue, discovered the expense of replacement and is trying to pass his problem on to you without informing you of its history. A non-running '87 can be a pig in a poke, so be careful.



Other than the potential for that, the price is a bargain. New tires, chain, battery, etc., and and give it a full maintenence and Bob's yer uncle for a few hundred additional dollars. Still well below the typical asking price.



I'd question the PO as craftily as possible regarding what led to the bike being put into storage. Add a $300 dollar CDI unit to the cost of ownership and you're fast approching the asking price of an '88-up.



I'd be all over it for that price, but i'd take a bit different approach. I'd buy it, ride it if it proved trouble free, then watch for a smokin' deal on a later model and sell the '87 at a profit to fund it.



OR I'd watch for a wrecked or non-running 88-up bike for a similar price, convert the electrical system, ride the thing forever and have enough spare parts to keep it alive for the rest of your natural life.
 

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If you are going to pass on an 87 due to possible CDI issues, you might as well pass on 89-00 due to possible CDI issues as well. Yamaha can not get me a CDI. Dealers are referring me to junkyards... the cat is out of the bag, so to speak
 

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This is/was a known failure point of the '87's.



Operose's experience with a failed late model CDI is thus far a relatively isolated incident. At this point I've never had a failure of the later model CDI's, nor are any reported with any regularity in this forum. Conversely, virtually EVERY '87 that I have purchased either had or eventually presented with CDI failure ( so often that I can now do a conversion blindfolded, and he done with it), and hardly a week goes by without someone coming in here looking for advice on how to diagnose an '87. I build that cost into what I'm willing to spend on one.



'87 modules have been unobtanium for eons. When I view Operose's efforts at repairing his I think of the implications it has for resurrecting '87's, specifically. I got a drawer full of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For $350, buy it. If it doesn't run, I'll buy it from you for $250.




LOL




Truelight, I live in SE Boise. I mainly wanted a TW200 so I could hunt some remote parts of unit 39 and to save on gas. Do you ever ride up the middle fork of the Boise river? (assuming your from boise, meridian, eagle, nampa)



I believe I will be buying this bike from the guy on Tuesday. I really like the idea of getting deal on a bike.............and for now I can only see the positives.
To be honest, I really don't know a whole lot about motors and mechanics but I am a motivated to learn and have never been the guy to take my trucks to the mechanic. I would rather screw up a few times and learn how to do something than to pay a guy to fix my truck for me. So tackling this bike will be a great learning experience and hopefully successful. It looks like there is tons of info on here that I will be able to benefit from. I really liked reading about the accessories and modifications you guys have made to your bikes................I wish tomorrow was Tuesday
 

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Smokin' deal. Love your attitude.



For the record, I wasn't trying to harsh your mellow. I figger I'd be remiss if I didn't at least give you a heads up on what I regard as the ONLY meaningful downside of the deal.



My own bike is based on an '87 which I practically stole due to a CDI issue. I'd ride it around the world tomorrow, without reservation.



Enjoy.



EDIT: I'd take off around the world on it, but with one small caveat. You can spot it in this old pic. It now resides piggybacked on the first one. Neither of which are '87's.




In God We Trust. Yamaha, not so much.



 

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Discussion Starter #12
Smokin' deal. Love your attitude.



For the record, I wasn't trying to harsh your mellow. I figger I'd be remiss if I didn't at least give you a heads up on what I regard as the ONLY meaningful downside of the deal.



My own bike is based on an '87 which I practically stole due to a CDI issue. I'd ride it around the world tomorrow, without reservation.



Enjoy.




In no way shape or form did you harsh my mellow.
I really appreciate the heads up. I appreciate all of the "heads up" advice so far! I realize that there are going to be ups and downs while trying to fix this bike but that will just make more enjoyable to ride when I do get it mechanically sound. For now I will be reading all I can on this website. Hopefully on Tuesday/Wednesday I can post a pic of the bike and then you can see what I have to work with. Thanks again for the advice, Smitty
 

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Parts costs:



$250 Tires, tubes, rim strips. Tires are old--a failure from dry rot can be life-threatening.

$125 O-ring chain, sprockets, and everything needed to change. Stock chain requires adjustment every 300 miles, plus cleaning, lubing, cleaning, lubing, cleaning, lubing. Cheap sprockets and junk chain are still $50, and another $15 in parts and oil to change them out. Save yourself the hassles, get an o-ring chain.

$25 Oil, filter, grease and sparkplug to do full service and general tighten and check. These are just common wear and maintenance items.

$10 Replace every fuel, vent, and drain hose. Dry rot can cause a ton of difficult to find problems.

$35 Chinese AGM battery from eBay. You'll be very lucky if a 2-year neglected battery isn't toast. AGMs are sealed and save lots of battery maintenance time sinch the seat has to be removed just to check the electrolyte level. With an AGM, just clean the terminals whenever you do a valve adjustment (seat off, anyway) and be done with it.

$0 Carefully disassemble and clean carb and petcock, with a little luck they will come apart without damage. Soap and water on rubber and plastic parts. Carb cleaner on metal parts.

$0 Ziptie the kicker out of the way for now. Fix it when you need a clutch or the bike is put away for winter.



With luck and care, you can be Tdubbing in style for $800. Any road-worthy TW that is complete and looks halfway decent is worth $1000. With new tires, sprockets, and an o-ring chain, the price would go up to $1350 or better. You have room to play and still come out ahead.



Even if you have to buy a wrecked later model to retrofit the electrical system, you'll still have a good financial value.
 

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Again, buy it!



If the tires hold air use them.



Smell inside the gas tank -- if it doesn't smell to much like shellac pour in some fresh gas with some Sea Foam and run it. Repair gas leaks as/if they occur.



Before taking the carb apart (if it is necessary) try squirting some Berryman's B-12 (in the spray can) into the float bowl to dissolve any varnish or accumulated crap. This sometimes works really well and sometimes not at all.



Change the oil and filter, or at least the oil.



Clean the chain with kerosene and soak overnight in 90wt. oil -- wipe off the excess and use it if all the links are loose, or can be loosened up. If it already has an o-ring chain, just clean it and the sprockets, no soaking.



$350 is the bargain I dream of finding. Go for it!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Tony---the owner did say that there is no speedometer or that it was broken. So I'm not sure how many miles it has on it. (From the history he game me, it sounds like he would not have a clue either) The guy says that he is a bike mechanic and that this weekend he might fiddle around w/ it and see if he can get it started. I guess that what I am thinking about is the fact that if this thing turns out to be a bust then I am only out 350 dollars. And now that I have been talking to him a little, he would rather trade me for a gun I have. It is an old 1922 browning .32 pistol that was rumored to be cut off a dead nazi. The gun has no meaning to me at all and I would rather have something that I can use. So if it doesnt work out I'm only out 350-400 dollars and probably could turn around and sell it for the same price. It doesnt have a title either.
Is getting a bike without a title a big problem?
I COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT I FOUND A COMPLETE OWNERS MANUEL ON HERE!!
I'll have to have the wife print those 250pages out at work
 

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For me, no title no deal. For me, it's not worth the hassle. In some states you can still get a title. In some states you can be arrested for not having one. I guess whether or not depends on where you are.



A new speedo is $200. A cable is $13. If you're wanting a street bike, a dealbreaker.



I'm wondering what else is missing/broken.
 

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No title is not problem in California. Just make sure you have a Bill of Sale. Call the DMV on Monday or maybe you can find something online.



Twenty years ago trading a handgun for it would have been no problem in Calif. but today it is a crime worse than murder. Warning to the rest of you -- this is what happens when the liberal get in power.



Later: I did a google search and found some unhappy news about Idaho DMV and titles.



http://www.dmv.com/id/idaho/replace-lost-title



For a parts bike it still seems a good deal but I don't think you need one of those yet.

 

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No title is not problem in California. Just make sure you have a Bill of Sale. Call the DMV on Monday or maybe you can find something online.



Twenty years ago trading a handgun for it would have been no problem in Calif. but today it is a crime worse than murder. Warning to the rest of you -- this is what happens when the liberal get in power.



Later: I did a google search and found some unhappy news about Idaho DMV and titles.



http://www.dmv.com/id/idaho/replace-lost-title



For a parts bike it still seems a good deal but I don't think you need one of those yet.






Not gonna lie, my bubble is a little more deflated now. But I still could learn to ride in the hills. Maybe I could even try to get it title under a "salvaged title." Oh well for what it is worth I think I'll have fun w/ it and learn.
 

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