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Discussion Starter #1
I have never driven a motorcycle off road before and thought the TW200 looked like a good starter bike. I've drove Harley's all my life so I know how to work everything though. I live in the middle of the Mojave desert by Edwards Air Force Base so I can ride anywhere and everywhere. I love to explore and have a 2011 Ram 2500 Power Wagon I've been using but at 12 mpg it is expensive. When I saw the mpg the TW200 got I knew I wanted one.



I purchased a new 2013 model last Wednesday (3/20) and have put 90 miles on it already. I just filled up and got 90 mpg on the first gallon. The learning curve is a little higher than I thought but I'm slowly getting used to driving it off road. The only thing I'm still having problems with is sand. It gets so squirmy that I feel like I'm going to lay the bike down (I haven't yet). At church today a guy told me that the key is staying on the throttle so the front tire floats. Can't wait to try it later on in the week.



I'm glad I found this forum and have learned a lot already. Already ordered a couple of "tubes" with MSR fuel bottles. I've started designing a front and rear rack and can't wait to get started on them. I'm retired so I hope to spend a couple hours a day riding.



I hope to get lots of information on this forum and hope to contribute once I get going. If anyone lives in the area I would love to ride with someone and learn more about riding and get to know other owners.



Medsker
 

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Welcome to the forum. I used to be stationed at edwards. I had a datsun 720 pickup back then that I explored with. Wish I had gotten into dual sports in those days. Good choice on the bike.
 

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Hi Medsker,



Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new TW.



I don't have much experience riding in sand but there are lots of guys on this forum who can probably offer some advice. I am not sure that the TW has enough power for floating the front tire technique to work. I will suggest that you switch out the front tire to one that handles the loose stuff better than the stocker. The Shinko SR244 is a popular choice.



Have fun.



Brian
 

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Howdy, neighbor.



Welcome aboard.



Try standing on the pegs and keeping most of you weight rearward. It may sound counterintuitive but standing on the pegs actually LOWERS your center of gravity and shifting your weight rearward helps keep the front end on top of the sand.



At first riding on sand feels like little more than a controlled crash, but keep at it. This is one of the few bikes on earth that can be ridden relatively slowly in sandy conditions. The learning curve on a "normal" skinny-tired dirt bike is far worse. You've chosen wisely.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Don't forget to air down the tire pressure's offroad, once you get used to the bike and experiment a bit with the air pressure, these things will take you anywhere, not fast, but you'll get there.

Have fun with your new bike!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the welcomes. I'm going to be riding 99% on dirt roads and weigh 250...what tire pressure would you recommend trying first?
 

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Thanks for the welcomes. I'm going to be riding 99% on dirt roads and weigh 250...what tire pressure would you recommend trying first?


You'll need to find someone nearer your own weight to get specifics, but try sneaking up on it incrementally, say 15/15 at first. That alone will give you a feel for how much airing down will do for you. I weigh 170 or so and can run well under 10 psi.



Street pressures cause your tires to behave more like basketballs offroad. Lowering pressures gives a bigger footprint and less reactivity over obstacles but if you go too low you'll risk bent rims or pinched tubes.



Prolly the best first accessory for around here may be a 12 volt outlet and a small inflation pump so you can air up or down at will.



I take it that you're Cal City-ish?
 

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When riding in sand, it is best to lean back, you will figure out how far. And just let your hands rest on the bars. Dont fight the squirm! Every bike wants to go straight. Give it more throttle when it starts to swerve. Pretty much just do everything your body tells you not to.
Getting a better front tire will help riding in the sand immensely. Shinko 244 or kenda 270 are the most popular choice. Enjoy your new bike!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'll try lowing the pressure next time I ride...which will be Thursday since I have to go to San Diego. And yes I do live in Cal City. I'm on the south side up on the hill. We moved here about a year ago from Utah so my wife could do a big project for the Borax mine.
 

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I'll try lowing the pressure next time I ride...which will be Thursday since I have to go to San Diego. And yes I do live in Cal City. I'm on the south side up on the hill. We moved here about a year ago from Utah so my wife could do a big project for the Borax mine.


You're well positioned. Once you get your sandlegs it's entirely possible to string together hundreds of miles without ever seeing pavement. I'm over on the 15 side. Been here a long time and I haven't even made a dent in it.



The pavement ain't bad, either. Red Rock up into Isabella, Randsburg and the Rand Mining District, El Mirage, Saddleback Butte/Lake L.A., all that 20 Mule Team stuff, yada, yada.
 

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Of course there's some riding here, but would like to try riding in your neck of the woods some time. Prolly already gettin' warm over there?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've done Red Rock to Isabella already and have to say that was one of the coolest roads I've ever been on. I was up around 20 Mule Team on Saturday. Your right I think it would take years to make a dent in all the roads around here but I'm certainly going to give it a go :)



Jon H, if you ever want to come riding I would be willing and happy to run around with you. Right now is perfect riding weather...high 40's at night and low 70's during the day. I know, however, that it won't last long. By mid April towards the end of April I bet it will be in the 90's some days, and it only goes up from there.
 

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Check your mail, neighbor. Got a question for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So I went out this afternoon and tried all of your suggestions. They made a big difference. I was still nervous but it didn't feel like I was going to die every second :) Thanks again for all the suggestions. Now I think I just need seat time to improve.
 

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So I went out this afternoon and tried all of your suggestions. They made a big difference. I was still nervous but it didn't feel like I was going to die every second :) Thanks again for all the suggestions. Now I think I just need seat time to improve.
Curious, what tire pressure did you try? Lowering the pressure makes all the difference, they stick to the earth like glue...almost
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I forgot to lower them before I left but when I got back I lowered them to 12 psi. We will see how that feels and adjust them more if they need it.
 

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Hey there Medsker, I am South East of you in Adelanto, near Victorville. Probably about 15-20 miles west of Lizrdbrth. Both me and the wife have family in Lancaster a bit South of you. Can't say I've ridden out there though. Despite what you may see in some of the Far East nations, a family of four would be difficult transport for the hour ride out there.
Anyway, I know I'm a little late, but welcome aboard! Hope to ride with you some day as well!
 
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