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My 45 year old son and I rode TW 200's for years until we moved to an area not good for off road riding. Now that we are back in Oregon we want to start riding again. He thinks he wants something like an XT250 with skinny tires. I am in my 70's and want stability.

COuld anyone who has ridden both types of bikes share what the ride difference is.

Thanks for responding
 

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My 45 year old son and I rode TW 200's for years until we moved to an area not good for off road riding. Now that we are back in Oregon we want to start riding again. He thinks he wants something like an XT250 with skinny tires. I am in my 70's and want stability.

COuld anyone who has ridden both types of bikes share what the ride difference is.

Thanks for responding
I have and ride a TW and XT200 (Skinny tires). In my case I can't really tell enough of a difference with either in comparison to tires to even make mention. I think the XT wiggles just a tad more on all off-road surfaces but when you apply power but it has good traction and you don't even notice. I do feel more confident going over rocks with the TW but I go the same places with the XT so don't know if it's just in my head. Both do about the same in sand. On gravel roads I wander around the same on both. If the TW's wider tires are suppose to be an advantage I can't figure it out!

What I do notice between the two is the XT200 is about 50 lbs. lighter and a bit easier to handle on tight trails. I think the XT250 weighs closer to the TW than my XT200 does. My XT is only slightly taller than the TW but it's not a XT250. I do like the TW's lower seat height most of the time.

The XT250 will have more power if that's what your 45 y.o. son is looking for.
 

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Skinny tires dig into soft terrain deeper then fat tires. This is an advantage and disadvantage depending on speed and terrain. TW will slide more on loose terrain (like gravel) then a narrow tire, as a narrow tire cuts a line, the wider tire disperses it's weight over a larger area reducing traction. When a skinnier tire digs itself into a hole the TW is more likely to keep rolling.

A skinnier tire can fit into smaller lines offroad and a TW will need to slip you side to side at times when the tire is too wide for the line you chose to ride. The round stock tire is more forgiving for this then a tire with more bite on the corner treads.

TWs large tires give the illusion of greater traction but I suspect it is the low gearing that is less likely to break traction by roosting dirt behind it like other faster bikes. The gearing is easier to control and better suited to lower speeds then most bikes.

TW tires are less likely to get pinch flats and offer a smooth ride that leaves less of a "foot print" then skinnier tires.

If you're already familiar with a TW then it's going to be more comfortable and predictable then any other option.

These bikes appeal mostly to an older demographic for good reasons....easy to ride, fun, and not too fast.
 

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Wide tires sure seem to help me in sand, silt, mud and snow. A few of my riding buddies have XT 225, WR250 & KLX 250 bikes. While their 6 speeds can leave me behind on pavement and faster fire roads I can occasionally traverse sections that cause them grief. But then again their vastly superior suspensions allow them to go much faster and/or safer on medium rough terrain.
While it has been awhile since I rode a skinny tire bike in silt and blow sand I say based on back-to-back experiences that a Duro ATV tire equipped TW is much more stable than a stock TW's rear TrailWing tire.
 

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For me the place where I find the TW shines compared to almost anything with a 21" front wheel is on twisty paved roads. In the bush my buddies Super Sherpa does everything as well as my TW.
 

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The BIGGEST difference is in ownership. Nobody follows a skinny tire dirt bike into a gas station just to ask what it is and how much it costs! I NEVER get as much attention on my 500X as I do my round bottom girl.



Tom
 

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Good synopsis by Trail Woman.
I have owned both.
Both were new.
Had both for about the same length of time and miles.
Dropped the XT 250 3 times.
Dropped the TW200 zero times although I pushed my limit on one extended solo ride.
XT250 has a longer range, better suspension, ~10 MPH faster and can clear an intersection in first gear, but I would recommend the TW200 for trail riding.
I am almost 72, owned 17 M/C and rode for 55 years.
My most recent bike did 0-60 in 3.3 seconds.
 

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We are all old as the hills and ride 95% of the time on primitive roads and easy trails.....encounter, mud, ruts, loose rock, sand, creeks, switch backs , occasional snow.... we all rode street bikes when much younger....two of my friends were concerned about a 200 having enough performance both on and off road.....they bought 225's.....they are sorry they did.

The big advantages of the TW are seat height (old people put their feet down when the going is rough and slow) and stability in ruts ….for us..... and where we ride...our limits are very low and we never approach them...just happy to be out and enjoying the backcountry.

I am surprised and pleased to read that there are many others that are 70 or over who ride....confirms my judgement or lack there of... :)
 

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The TW just has a way of making trail obstacles seem easy compareded to the bigger duel sports I have ridden. But in honestly I think that’s mostly due to the lower weight and easier reach to the ground. Add in the lower power and low gearing and you have a a little two wheeled bush tractor that seems to just go where it’s pointed without fuss.

So in short it’s not the tires that get the bike further. It’s the combination of all of the above.

For what it’s worth. I’m sure I can get my DRZ most places I take the TW but I’m 100% certain I couldn’t do it all day long and I’m sure I wouldn’t want to challenge some things I have done on the mighty TW.
 

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"The TW just has a way of making trail obstacles seem easy compareded to the bigger duel sports I have ridden. But in honestly I think that’s mostly due to the lower weight and easier reach to the ground. Add in the lower power and low gearing and you have a a little two wheeled bush tractor that seems to just go where it’s pointed without fuss.

So in short it’s not the tires that get the bike further. It’s the combination of all of the above.

For what it’s worth. I’m sure I can get my DRZ most places I take the TW but I’m 100% certain I couldn’t do it all day long and I’m sure I wouldn’t want to challenge some things I have done on the mighty TW."





I don't know Mike I've seen you take that DRZ through a spot where TWs fear to tread. Still makes me laugh.
 

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iFor me t depends on your way of riding. If you like to roll every bump or never enjoy ripping a set of whoops, you'll want a fat tire TW. Also if you are riding with other TW guys I can see a TW as a bike of choice. I'd still choose a skinny tire dual sport for serious dual sporting. You can with a TW. But you have to want to. Maybe I'm not used to my TW off road but I find obsticals harder on the TW than a regular skinny tire bike. But I have as much or more fun on the TW
 

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I have ridden a lot this last year with "skinny tire" friends. An XT250 and a couple identical XT225's.
When I am ahead of them on the trail and it's a particularly difficult one I'm always glad I have my fat tire TW. Yet they keep up and pass me often. Riding behind them I'm always amazed how little the size of the rear tire matters sometimes. Gets to be the terrain and the skill-level of the rider.

I took my xr250 out last October the day after I had a new rear tire put on it. I really didn't have a lot of time to *practice off-road prior so have to say that I'm still more comfortable on the lower TW and the fat tires, especially in sand/sugar sand.

For just plain dirt/trail and mud the skinny tire xr can't be beat. Very aggressive and fast.


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*Practice= fall down.
 

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I agree with most written above. My TWs are the smallest and slowest motorcycles we own but they are maybe the most fun to ride.

Offroad or dirt riding is almost all about the rider and their ability.

I usually say it is the best motorcycle with no power and no suspension and questionable brakes.
But it always starts and just rolls along most trails with easy and is a great confidence inspiring ride.

The small tires on the TW let keep it close to the ground but they aren't great for stability. Smaller diameter tires will turn better but the trade off is straight line stability. The added width of the TW tires helps balance the lost stability of the 18"/14" diameters.

If you are comfortable with the TW's traits and it's ride height then you should just stay with what you know.
Terrain can play a big part in what you want or need. If you are going to be going way up or down in elevation then the carb could be a liability compared to a newer FI system.
Also how much on road riding are you going to be doing?

You will read all kinds of posts about people going 70mph and riding on a freeway.
I don't consider topping out at 70 to be fast. Plus you aren't going to be cruising at 70 for all that long on a TW.

Occasional street riding and maybe cruising on relatively flat ground at 45-55mph is a reasonable expectation.

The stability of the TW is not because of the fat tires. Tall tires roll over obstacles easier and usually taller tires are more stable. Fat tires give more floatation which isn't always what you want.
The combination of a lower cg, lower power and slower operational speeds along with the low seat height combine to make the TW feel safer.

I'd let you son buy the xt250, try it, and see if it seems more suited to your type of riding.
 
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