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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all, new to the forum but not to motoscoots, hoping you lot can keep me a bit better informed about the little TW200 so if I do decide to go through with buying one, I'll know what to look for. First of all, a little about myself: been riding since 2011, my first bike was a Suzuki GS500. I had that until late 2013 when I decided "now's a good time to crash this thing!" (but for real, watch those road crowns). With that bike out of commission I found a great deal on a Kawasaki ZRX1100 and couldn't pass it up, so I now own and use that as my primary two-wheeled transport. With both of these bikes I was primarily living in Northern Virginia, where I would've had to go out of the way to find a decent trail to ride. However, now I live in the mountains with plenty of opportunity and have played with the thought of supplementing the ZRX with a TW200 for those days I want to mess around or just take it easy.

Now, I'm not a complete TW200 virgin. I did use one as my MSF learner bike and that's really the reason I know I want one. I loved the light weight, especially compared to my 520+ pound ZRX, and I remember it being a fun little bike to ride. Over the past few weeks I've been seriously considering trying to find a Teedub to purchase. So, I got some questions for you guys before I even start looking.

1) What would I be looking to pay OTD for a new TW200?

I haven't had much luck finding any pop up on CL or ones close to me on eBay, so it's looking like I'll have to find a dealership with some in stock. for the GS and ZRX, I used CL and paid with cash, but that currently isn't an option so I'll have to finance if I do decide on a TW200. It'll be easy to know beforehand what kind of value the Teedubs go for and how much I can look to negotiate.

2) What kind of running costs are associated with the bikes?

One thing I didn't really factor into the ZRX was how much more expensive everything is, be it replacement parts or aftermarket accessories. I loved the GS because of its simplicity and how cheap it was to maintain, and I imagine the TW200 is even cheaper. How much do typical replacement parts run and how easy are they to find?

3) Is there any particular year that's more desirable?

If I can find one used, I'll probably go that route instead of buying from a dealer. With these bikes, I can't imagine much has changed since they've been introduced. I heard that they switched to a front disc brake in 2001 (?) so I think I'd want one after that, but as far as other changes that may result in better reliability, is there anything to look for?

4) What are the offroad capabilities like?

I've been watching a ton of youtube videos of these bikes doing a lot of offroad, but from you guys with experience, what are their practical limits? I'm pretty sure the bike will handle anything I can throw at it, especially since my dirt experience is limited, but for those of you that have thrown everything at them, what kind of stuff do they just not like to do?

5) Realistically, what's the top speed?

I'm 5'10", ~160lbs. Since I have the ZRX (and a car), this isn't a huge deal, but I do have to take some highway (55 limit steady hills) to get to work. I could take the back roads if I had to. I've read that it'll do 65-70, but if I'm wringing out the engine and burning oil, I don't want to put the bike through that.


Thanks for any and all answers! I'm not sure when I'd get around to buying one, but I have that itch that I feel won't go away until I get one.
 

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Parts are pretty cheap and lots of aftermarket accessories available.
For the years, I'd go with any year but 87. Only because it had a cdi that was prone to failure. Bikes 2000 and before have both kick and electric, in 01 they dropped the kickstart and added the disk brake.
The TDub can do almost anything off road but the stock front tire (known as the deathwing) doesn't do so well in mud and washes out a lot.
60-70 I personally haven't taken mine above 40 in my week of ownership.
Hope this helps!
 

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Watevaman it doesn't really matter what TW you get....just get one! I dont regret buying my 09 for one second, it has been a great machine so far. The low cc motor was always a concern but it is what it is and it still continues to amaze me where this thing will go. As for maintenance costs it is almost nill once you have replaced the few things like the stock chain and sprockets. Oil changes are cheap and easy ( lots of threads on here for that) and only thing I hated was my stock tires, they were the weak link for the terrain we ride in (Maxxis rear fixed that). I looked and looked for a good used bike, but none to be had so my wife talked me into a new machine in the fall of the year (big discount off retail then) and the rest has been history. Resale seems to hold pretty good for a small bike but you will never want to sell it once you have had one, least I would never part with mine.

I didn't see your location posted? Are you close to the Canadian line? with the dollar difference there are some good buys to be had right now, just that paper work crap to deal with for licensing state side. Let us know where your located and I will throw you some canadian bikes available and the pricing.

Welcome to the forum and best of luck in your bike search.
 

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1) — OTD prices differ widely, from as little as 3800 to 4600 — depends on whether the dealer is going to add on all those fees. But when you consider there’s no difference between a 2015 model with one mile on the clock — and a 2016 with the same, you can “play them at their own game” — depends on how long you can wait, and how far you can travel.

2) — The running costs are low, simply put gas in it and ride. What pushes up the running costs, are the number of extras that everyone on here is about to start recommending (myself included). But if you can do your own oil changes and tweak a valve or two, ultimately that’s really all there is to it. The TW simply doesn’t have enough horses to pull itself to pieces. Spares are easy to find and generally cheap, though there are some electrical parts that will make your eyes water such as the CDI — but then the chances of that failing in the first five years is virtually zero.

3) — Once you get past 2001, the year they switched to a front disc, the models are basically the same. There was an issue with leaking base gaskets between 2006 and 2009, but the fix is easy, and the replacement gaskets hold well. In 2001, they also discontinued the kick start on the American model. This can be retrospectively fitted by using either the Yamaha parts (though they are a bit like rocking horse crap to find these days), or by the “Chinese equivalent” which a member on here is currently looking into.

4) — Off road capabilities are excellent, as long as you accept that “speed” is not on the menu. This is both the TW’s nemesis (for many) but also its greatest strength. You will no doubt be familiar with the tale of the “Tortoise and the Hare” — you’ll be on the Tortoise. This means that while you are smelling the flowers as you pass by, you will also get further up the trail than almost anyone else — and in one piece.

5) — Top speed for your weight is realistically around 65mph, the bike is designed to rev up to 9000rpm, and is only limited by your ability to withstand the noise of two socket sets in a tumble dryer going in opposite directions for any length of time — but at 65mph, your safe enough. 70mph is “pushing it”. All this can be changed around by changing the rear sprocket of course, but for an even mixture of both road and trail, most of us have found the original gearing to be about right.
 

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Downsides:

While the rear tire is widely held by the forum to be “excellent” (just as well ‘cos it’s a tricky size) – the front tire is known locally as “the Death Wing”. Looks nice on the bike, but in grass or mud, at some point you’ll get fed up with “face planting” and re-read this bit. Change it, before it changes you, and your bike. The Shinko 241 seems to be the favourite at the moment.

Rear rack: The platform that comes with the bike is rated (by Yamaha) to only be capable of carrying 7lbs – my lunch weighs about as much, so unless you only intend to carry two rounds of sandwiches on there, you’ll need to buy something to fit on the back. Look up three makes – “Cycleracks” – “Manracks” – and “Happy trails” cycle racks. Everyone has the favourite, ignore the advice and find the one that suits your intended purpose.

Which brings us to the next issue – fuel capacity. Figure on a run time of 100 miles to the tank. Yes, I know (insert name here) got “X” miles out of theirs, but consumption figures can go either way, especially on the trail or even long hills on the road. There are two fixes to this issue – bigger tank – or carry a gallon can on the back. Personally, having seen the “Clarke” tank that many use, I’d go for the can on the back. This is where your rack comes in.

Chains (not sprockets, just “chains”): The average life-span of the cheapo chain that Yamaha fit on these bikes is about 5000 miles, at which point, you’ll be changing out the chain and both the front and rear sprockets and throwing the lot in the nearest bin. So, while you have nice shiny new sprockets on there, swap the chain out for an “X” ring or “O” ring chain, and sit back and relax, smoke a cigar, knowing that your next 20,000 miles will be trouble free.

That’s it from me – sure a few other suggestions will be coming your way shortly as the others find this thread – but consider what I’ve said above – it’s all your own fault after that …….

(Welcome to the board)
 

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If you are serious about buying used, widen your search parameter. Look beyond Craigslist to Cycle Trader.com since they are very popular and tend to have more variety than local Craigslist. Whenever I'm looking for a bike I am willing to drive up to 4 hours away to look at it, though I usually go with a trailer and cash-in-hand just in case the bike is what I want. (Thinking about it now, almost all of my motorcycles have come from an hour or more away.)
 

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Welcome to the forum! I ride a 2014, have had it for a year and about 2600 miles so far, so I will answer what I can here for you.

1) What would I be looking to pay OTD for a new TW200?
====>I paid 3850 plus tax and DMV for mine as a leftover, I didn't rob them but they didn't rob me either. I did the Yamaha financing and have a minimum payment of $66/month

2) What kind of running costs are associated with the bikes?
====>My first service at the Yamaha dealer was around $60, and since I've gotten the oil changed at a local repair shop for less than half that.

3) Is there any particular year that's more desirable?
====>I'm not an expert on the mechanics of the bike, but I happen to like my '14 because of the color

4) What are the offroad capabilities like?
====>I'm hoping to find out this year! Been riding 99.999% street so far

5) Realistically, what's the top speed?
====>I find that wind resistance can cut a few MPH off top speed. When I first got my TW I was 5'8 and 295 lbs. I didn't have any racks or bags on it yet, and on a flat road with no head wind I could get about 72 out of it. I now have a cyclerack and a pair of big Versapack saddlebags. Myself, I'm now down to about 270 lbs. Breaking 70mph is a struggle now. Also, when I wear my heavier bulkier cold weather jacket it seems to slow me down a hair. At some point soon I'm going to take the bags off for a couple weeks, I'll see if I can go faster. Once my factory chain and sprockets are worn out I will probably go down to a 47T rear sprocket due to my mostly road riding.

That's cool that you have a Z-Rex. I always wanted to ride one. Years ago I had a '87 Kawasaky ZL1000 Eliminator which was a muscle bike with the Ninja 1000 motor in it, that bike was a blast, but a Z-Rex would beat it.
 

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Great bike, super reliable, off road capible and tons of aftermarket supports. Crapy front tire, low top speed and a dated design! It's a give or take, every con I mentioned might be a pro to some and vice versa! If I were you I'd buy new and look for a 15, I saw them for as little as 3700 when I bought my WR two weeks ago. Good luck
 

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Purple there pretty much nailed it. I rode and raced dirt for the most part of my motorcycling days. My best road bike was a Honda XR400 made street legal. As Purple mentioned you're not going to win any hare scrambles but should have no problem in finishing. Suspension is a little short but you don't have enough power to launch to any great heights either. In the single track or boon docking/stump jumping it would be nice to have another 3 inches of front travel or double the horses to lift the front wheel over a downed tree but if the tree is less than eight inches or so in diameter and close to the ground you can practically lift it over buy jerking up heavy on the handle bars and giving what throttle you have. If you're used to power sliding or breaking the rear wheel loose to cut a sharper corner, just cut the corner sharper. That massive 200 ccs ain't going to break that big ass rear wheel into a spin with out going crazy with the throttle and clutch. Not recommended.

Front tire sucks in soft terrain. Might as well have a round snow sledding saucer when you get into sand, mud, wet grass. I went with a Pirelli MT 21 up front (rear dirt bike tires fit the front) and it's OK. Wish I would have maybe went with the Dunlop 606 maybe. I'll try that next time. Otherwise the stock tires are not horrible off road on firm packed terrain.

Also it could use a sixth gear. Changing sprockets gets one thing at the penalty of the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks for all the answers guys! Seems pretty straightforward in terms of what to look for. I'm also pretty handy with my bikes in terms of basics, so it's good to hear how simple it is to work on. I watched a video of a valve adjustment and I laughed at how easy it looked compared to what I have to go through on the ZRX.

It'll probably be a little while before I settle on something. Have to talk with the GF, as I'm partially leaning towards the TW because I can teach her and some friends on it. I can't do that on the ZRX unless they have a death wish haha.

I didn't think to look at Cycle Trader and on first glance it looks like a bunch of dealers but there's a 2012 with low miles about 5 and half hours away that's going for $3000. I'd say that's a good deal. Let's hope deals like that are still up when I have some more money to put down.

edit: Oh, and I know I've got the itch when I'm sitting here at work daydreaming about riding on some trails somewhere...
 

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I have a 94, an 03 and an 09. All are running stock sprockets at this time. I have had a 47 and a 55 on the 03. For road use the 47 is great. Off road the 55 works well but I can tell you for positive sure the stock gearing is the all around best. I ran it stock as many did at Moab this year and I feel personally that it took me anywhere I pointed it. I do have kickers on all the bikes the 94 coming standard. I was lucky to have it on my 09 as I forgot to turn off the key when killing it with the handle kill switch. It came in real handy back in the bush when it hadn't charged up enough to turn the engine over.

Have only one issue and that was on the 03 ignition at just over 3000mi. haven't yet tore into it to find out what exactly shut down. The others have been trouble free.
 

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I like to describe it as a two wheeled ATV. Take the right amount of air out of the tires off road and they absorb obstacles and even bounce a little.
First gear has a very short range which is good for crawling over obstacles, easy to learn on, and great for negotiating rough terrain.
Front brake isn't really an option off road with the stock front tire. Even the shinko 244 was a HUGE improvement.
If you get one of road you might not care about the highway.
I'm a new rider but thanks to that fat tire it will get me out of stuff a more experienced rider on a XR250 gets stuck in.
 
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