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Discussion Starter #1
Good afternoon. I am a soon to be TW owner and I'm looking at two models within my reach... A 2003 with near 19k miles, in good condition, and a 1994 with 10k, also in good condition.



I plan to use it for dirt road exploration as well as a 7 mil commute to campus on 45-55mph city streets. The costs on both are close - each right around $1100 or so, which fits my grad student budget quite well.



That disc brake is tempting, but is it worth the additional 9000 miles on that engine? That has me slightly worried. I realize that the bikes are generally bulletproof, but even so... That seems like a lot of miles for a small bore thumper.



Please advise! Which would you gents rather purchase?



Thanks for the opinions - I am looking forward to picking one of these up!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That seems to be the same judgment call I am making. Safety vs more miles. To an extent, I'd likely end up adding that disc brake to the TW at some point in the future. From my understanding, that tends to cost around $250-300 dollars when all is said and done. I'm curious what a typical rebuild of the engine of the TW would cost, given the higher mileage.



And then there's of course the kickstart to contend with, which would cost another $200 to add to the newer model.



May I ask to those who have both.. Comparing a well sorted drum brake system versus a well sorted disc brake - there is an enormous difference between the two? Can this be quantified somehow? 25% better? 50% better?



Thanks again for the help!
 

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In my humble opinion I'd probaly take the 2003 model.

A LOT of improvements where made with the upgrade in 2001 contary to what is generally written on the net.



Also mileage does not kill motors as much as one would think - lack of good maintenance, the way it's been ridden or just standing idle for years also plays a major part in killing motors. (perished carb rubbers, seals, oil sludge, etc)



At the end of the day the choice is ultimately yours, so my advice - check all aspects but don't over analyse, then choose with your gut and 9/10 it will be the right choice.




End of the day, so long as you got a TW, any TW, you be a happy!
 

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I've had a 2003 for some time and recently bought a mint condition 1999 model as well.

First thing I did was a brake comparision test (on a road, in dry conditions)

Surprisingly, I found the drum brake works really well vs the disc brake.

The disc brake is maybe only 15% better. (again this is just my feeling, not scientifically tested and documented.)

Hope this helps.
 

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Safety is between the ears. Don't pass the responsibility on to the front brake. Safety is your responsibility, not the brake's. The only real advantages the disc has are 1) when ridden faster than safe down a tight mountain road (less fade) and 2) when ridden through deep water (dries quicker). For all practical purposes, both brakes perform equally well, or equally poorly, because neither are awesome.



Either bike sounds like a good deal. If the high-mile bike was maintained, it still has a long way to go. Tdub has over 46,ooo miles and still runs fine with the original top end.
 

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I am a big fan of disc brakes on motorcycles. Having ridden both the drum and disc braked TWs, I think the disc is quite a bit better. Better feel, easier to modulate, lighter lever pressure required, much more stopping power, less fade. The rear brake on the TW is TERRIBLE. Weak and ineffective almost to the point of being irrelevant. Engine braking is much more effective on a steep downhill to control my back wheel than that drum brake. I am spoiled as my other dirt bikes have discs both front and rear.



That said, the TW is by far my favorite off road motorcycle.



Chip
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, to be a little more specific, my typical riding looks a little something like this...







Granted not entirely so aggressive on the street of course, but even so.. stopping power is somewhat of a concern to me
My old SV was running a very nice set of Vesrah RJL pads with Stainless lines, and it stopped pretty darn well for what I had to work with, which was a pretty subpar caliper. I'm not expecting miracles with the TW's brakes, but I figured a good bleed and stainless lines would go a long way to improving the stopping power.



Anyway, I really do appreciate the feedback. I have unfortunately had to sell the SV to pay for summer courses, and have been looking at 200-350cc dual sports to commute with. The TW should be much more fuel efficient, and I'm actually looking forward to bombing around town on it. I began on a Ninja 250 many years ago, and I'm a fan of lightweight / underpowered motorcycles. Tons of fun to ride, and it sounds like the TW is no exception. Thanks again.
 

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My TW is a '93 and I can't imagine not having a kick start. When I first got it, I had battery issues, so I simply removed the battery and rode without one for a while. I've not had a disc brake, so perhaps I don't know what I'm missing there, but the drum brake gets the job done for me. I'm still baffled why Yamaha did away with the kick start on later models.
 

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My first TW was a ninety three.the rear brake never failed to lock up the tire if I wanted to, and the front drum was the same. If you can stop the wheel from rotating, just how much more brake do you need? I will note that over the 21 thousand miles I put on that bike, I changed the front brake shoes twice and the rear shoes once.

On my current TW, an 09 model, the rear brake does not seem as effective as on the older one. This may be due to a different material in the shoes, I don't know.

I really miss the kick starter. My own opinion is that an off road expedition bike should have one.

If it has been decently cared for, I would go with the kick start model.



Phelonius
 

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I'd go with the older one. I hav a naked sv also and The front brakes on either are a laugh compared to a stock sv. But both brakes work fine for the tw. If your doing track days I'd go with the disc. I have a 98 with drum brakes and they are fine for tooling around. Definitely no stoppies! These are great little dirt scooters.. Good luck.
 

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FWIW, my '05 will roll start pretty easy. Fine for anything other than stalling on an uphill. With the new AGM battery, electric starting is easily done too. Myself I like the disc. Pretty maint free and we do quite a bit of stream fording, etc.



There's a lot more to brakes than stopping the wheel (panic stop). I know cars a lot better than bikes, but good brakes are a pleasure vs. a simple tool.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks all - I appreciate the feedback. It looks like the newer one may have lived a somewhat more... difficult life, lots of hard trail riding, jumping etc. I found a few videos of the previous owner riding it pretty hard, hard enough that I'm not too sure I want to purchase that bike at this point. Granted I'm probably going to flog the bike too, I'd rather purchase the TW with lower miles at this point, which wasn't also was not ridden to the same extent. Older TW it is. Anyway, I suppose I need to start looking for a way to transplant some disc brakes up toward the front.
 

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I would not bother transplanting a disc system. If the brakes feel weak, fix them. New shoes etc. As old as it is, you might want a new brake cable if the old one has rust.



Phelonius
 
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