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Discussion Starter #1
So I took the bike for the first real ride today and I thought I would put up my impressions of how it went.



I posted a trip report in the adventure riding forum with pictures if anyone is interested:



ride report



OK, so my overall impression is that I love the bike, but that is a given, How could you not?



I felt like on the paved road it was amazing, it handled the abundant potholes and loose gravel with great ease, and leaning into a turn with this bike is an utter delight. it cruises along at 45 or 50 MPH very comfortably, but over that and the frantic screaming of the motor is unpleasant for any length of time. Were I in the US I would probably want to do a gear swap, but around here you never go faster then 50 MPH anyway, so the gearing is actually perfect for me.



that fat rear tire gave me a lot of confidence and I noticed very little fishtailing in sandy, gravely, or muddy areas compared to other motorcycles I have ridden (although that pool is rather small)



I love small bikes and the ability to bully the bike around underneath me when at a stop. whenever I am stopped on the side of a road or on a hill or in the dirt I have at least some ability to back it up and turn it around without getting off. with my old XR650 and just my tiptoes touching, forget it.



Once we got off the road I felt that the bike displayed some of it's "dual sport" compromises. I felt like the suspension was a bit stiff for rough terrain and it felt, I don't know, jarring I guess. with every big bump I was scared something would snap on the bike, but nothing did. I don't know if is the front suspension, the rear suspension or both, but If I could I would probably want to give it a little more travel, and a more squisherier feel. The suspension is good enough, however, that I don't think upgrading would be essential, for my needs, but rather a luxury. Unless something snaps.



I am open to suggestions for improvements and maintenance items because I have a shipping container coming over in a few months, so now is my chance try and get stuff over here for little shipping. so if anyone has advise, I would appreciate it.



I was not carrying a load but I imagine that it's ride characteristics will change when I get a rack fabbed up, and luggage loaded on.



all the controls seemed good, the breaks, clutch, signals all seemed good. It starts right up beautifully, cold or hot, does not matter, I give it choke when cold (or at least the PNG version of cold), but it starts like magic. this is my first bike with an electric start and it is very nice to be able to just push the button and have it start. That being said, I would like to put in the kick starter, but I am afraid it will be cost prohibitive.



the transmission seemed great, except for my inability to shift into neutral while the motor is running. The Transmission is super snappy and when I shift gears it takes little effort and the next gear slams into place with a spring loaded, re assuring sounding, "Ca-Chunck". I am not sure if that is a good thing, or bad thing, but that is how it feels.



I can't attest to the fuel economy yet, I will be interested to see when I fill it up again. Perhaps others can chime in with mileage and range experiences. The stock tank is very pretty, but a bigger one might make more sense here.



All told, it was more comfortable then I expected and I can't wait to do some longer rides when the workload eases off a bit.



there are tones of WW2 wrecks around here and a lot of them are overtaken by the bush and can only be found with the help of a local, but this is the general site of the last stand of the Japanese against the Allied forces in the south pacific, so there are wrecks everywhere and I want to explore as much of that stuff as I can.



So there you have it, I am thrilled that I got this bike, and I think it is going to be ideal for me.
 

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Layne, It sounds like you are a satisfied TW rider. I'd guess that you may be running your tires a bit high on pressure. A few psi dropped out can make a big difference in how the bike feels on washboard roads, or rocky trails for me. Suggested is 18 psi, but depending on how much off road vs surface you are riding on and your speeds / riding style, you can drop that a bit without compromising safety. All that military materiel also means lots of junk on the ground - hidden traps for your tires when you are offroad and going fast. I worked in Guam, the FSM, Northern Marianas, and Palau so have seen my share of WWII Pacific sites, but they never cease to interest me due to the enormity of the energy, lives, and funds poured into the war. PNG had its cargo cults that sprang from the time. Tom
 

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You might think the engine is screaming over 50mph, but it isn't. The engine really dosen't care until you top 70mph with 14/50 sprockets. If you came off a 650cc thumper, you're perception of engine screaming is warpped.



Might as well order up sprockets, o-ring chain, and case cover gasket. If you ride much the stock chain and sprockets will be toast in a few thousand miles. If your highway speeds are limited, consider a bigger wheel sprocket. If my riding was limited to 50mph in an area without parts support, I'd be looking at a 15/58 sprocket set. The lower final drive ratio will ease the load on your clutch, too, especially when the bike is loaded with parts and tools for all those repair jobs you do. 1st might be useless around town, but would climb anything on which you could find traction.



Hold off on suspension mods until you have the bike loaded. The bike is relatively light, and a few pounds makes a big difference. Drop tire pressures to about 15psi--lower will risk slipping on the bead and pinch flats from the edges of potholes. 15psi will be fine on pavement for short trips and low highway speeds, even when loaded with tools for all those repair jobs you do.



You don't want more suspension travel, or you'll be right bike in tip-toe mode like on your 650. Pick one, you cannot have both. I think once you have the bike loaded you'll find the gearing too tall and the suspension about right. Your work use of the bike is exactly what the TW was originally designed for.



If I was in your parts support situation, I'd plan ahead as if going on a long ride to a remote area. Might want to order a new front tire, too. The stocker will wear funny and by 4000 miles making lots of noise and vibration. You can turn it around and run it backwards for a couple extra thousand miles. I'd order a set of tires (TW34 and Shinko SR244 in 5.10-18) and two sets of tubes. I'd order a set of cables, brake pads and shoes, spark plugs, and engine gasket set, a couple pairs of o-rings for the rocker covers (take a set from the heat and start leaking at 6,000 miles), a half-dozen oil filters, an air filter element, spark plugs, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You might think the engine is screaming over 50mph, but it isn't. The engine really dosen't care until you top 70mph with 14/50 sprockets. If you came off a 650cc thumper, you're perception of engine screaming is warpped.



Might as well order up sprockets, o-ring chain, and case cover gasket. If you ride much the stock chain and sprockets will be toast in a few thousand miles. If your highway speeds are limited, consider a bigger wheel sprocket. If my riding was limited to 50mph in an area without parts support, I'd be looking at a 15/58 sprocket set. The lower final drive ratio will ease the load on your clutch, too, especially when the bike is loaded with parts and tools for all those repair jobs you do. 1st might be useless around town, but would climb anything on which you could find traction.



Hold off on suspension mods until you have the bike loaded. The bike is relatively light, and a few pounds makes a big difference. Drop tire pressures to about 15psi--lower will risk slipping on the bead and pinch flats from the edges of potholes. 15psi will be fine on pavement for short trips and low highway speeds, even when loaded with tools for all those repair jobs you do.



You don't want more suspension travel, or you'll be right bike in tip-toe mode like on your 650. Pick one, you cannot have both. I think once you have the bike loaded you'll find the gearing too tall and the suspension about right. Your work use of the bike is exactly what the TW was originally designed for.



If I was in your parts support situation, I'd plan ahead as if going on a long ride to a remote area. Might want to order a new front tire, too. The stocker will wear funny and by 4000 miles making lots of noise and vibration. You can turn it around and run it backwards for a couple extra thousand miles. I'd order a set of tires (TW34 and Shinko SR244 in 5.10-18) and two sets of tubes. I'd order a set of cables, brake pads and shoes, spark plugs, and engine gasket set, a couple pairs of o-rings for the rocker covers (take a set from the heat and start leaking at 6,000 miles), a half-dozen oil filters, an air filter element, spark plugs, etc.


Thanks for the great reply Qwerty, it's definitely food for thought. I will be getting a lot of parts sent over based on your recommendation.



I am really interested in seeing what loading the bike with luggage does to the ride characteristics.



as far as gearing goes, I realize the motor can handle winding up to higher speeds, it's my ears that can't. I would only consider changing the gear ratio if I could improve the muffler to make it quieter.



-Layne
 

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A couple of ideas on muffler noise:



A simple copper tube 45 degree elbow will change the direction of the exhaust and the way it sounds to the rider.



If you can get some "muffler batting" and pack some extra in the muffler, around the spark arrester, it should be a little quieter.





The problem with changing the gear ratio just to change the noise, is that you end up using lower gears and revving the motor anyway, because higher RPM's are where the power band is.
 

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Thanks for the great reply Qwerty, it's definitely food for thought. I will be getting a lot of parts sent over based on your recommendation.



I am really interested in seeing what loading the bike with luggage does to the ride characteristics.



as far as gearing goes, I realize the motor can handle winding up to higher speeds, it's my ears that can't. I would only consider changing the gear ratio if I could improve the muffler to make it quieter.



-Layne


Keep in mind that with qwerty's suggestion of parts (a good list), unless you're there a very long time that list may be superfluous.



I've done 20000 + kilometres on mine and haven't had to change any brake shoes, cables, rocker gaskets and only the spark plug once (which wasn't due to failure).



That said, certainly get the case cover gasket. I tried to get away with the old gasket and now have a leak. It's a reliable old bike, and should do your job well. My only concern would be with the heat and low speed riding - the combination isn't ideal for the air-cooled motor.



If you're ever stuck for parts, I can send them from Australia. Feel free to PM me.



Rob.
 

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How hot is it, anyway? I've ridden at temps up to 112*F (44*C) at altitudes up to 5000 feet. No problem. I've ridden dirt roads at temps up to 106*F (41*F) at altitude. No problem. Slogging along in deep mud for a long while when it is that hot might be a problem, but as long as you are moving 20+mph(32+kph) most of the time, cooling will be adequste.



You need to gear your bike to use its powerband. Your ears simply need to get used to it.



Spare parts you purchase and don't need can be brought to your next place for your next TW. Once one has been assimilated, it is rare for anyone to escape.
 

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I use ear plugs for "The screaming engine" sound, the wind can also be a nuance to at high speeds. And thanks for you review of The Tumper Way 200
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How hot is it, anyway? I've ridden at temps up to 112*F (44*C) at altitudes up to 5000 feet. No problem. I've ridden dirt roads at temps up to 106*F (41*F) at altitude. No problem. Slogging along in deep mud for a long while when it is that hot might be a problem, but as long as you are moving 20+mph(32+kph) most of the time, cooling will be adequste.



You need to gear your bike to use its powerband. Your ears simply need to get used to it.



Spare parts you purchase and don't need can be brought to your next place for your next TW. Once one has been assimilated, it is rare for anyone to escape.




It usually hovers around 100*F, but it rarely gets above 110*F, so I am glad to read your reply.



I would be really sad if I overheated it, but at the same time, I really don't want the work or added complexity of a remote mount oil cooler. so it's nice to know I don't need to.



Just out of curiosity, is there any advanced warning of an overheat? with a car I can look at the temp gage (actually in my old life I had a replica cobra that I built auxiliary fans into that I could kick on if it was getting too hot) but with this bike, how would I even know if it is getting too hot? do some people install temp gauges, or is there a point where you just decide your leg is too hot, or do you just find out when something pops?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A couple of ideas on muffler noise:



A simple copper tube 45 degree elbow will change the direction of the exhaust and the way it sounds to the rider.



If you can get some "muffler batting" and pack some extra in the muffler, around the spark arrester, it should be a little quieter.





The problem with changing the gear ratio just to change the noise, is that you end up using lower gears and revving the motor anyway, because higher RPM's are where the power band is.


that is a great idea about the pipe and the batting, I think I will look into that. I don't mind a lot of noise when I am off road, it is an intense enough activity that any noise is irrelevant, it is only while cruising on the highway for long periods of time that it would be an issue, but even then, only cruising at 60+. As I said before, here in new Guinea you never get above 55 for extended periods of time so it is not an issue with the stock gear set. Back in the US where you can cruise along at 65 all day, I would appreciate either a softer silencer, or a smaller rear end gear if the bike was going to be used primarily on the roads.



I need to see how the bike handles hills and trails once loaded, but with just me on the bike, the gear ratio was great as is. If it does not have enough torque once loaded I will look at the torqueier gear set with the o-ring chain and the cruising noise will become a bigger issue. but I might still be OK even with a reasonable load because I only weigh 150. Also, I should add that I am not going to be using this bike to attack the most challenging trails and terrain I can possibly traverse, I just don't see myself as being that much of an aggressive rider, I just want to be able to handle the main highways, logging roads and 4wd roads around here as comfortably as possible, so there is a good chance I will leave the gear ratio alone.



My car used to be really loud and I would wear earplugs if I was going to be driving for more then half hour, but even then I remember a few trips where I would get out after 200+ miles on the freeway and I would be really light headed and dizzy. I think I am a wimpy baby with sensitive eardrums, but if that is the hand I have been dealt, I just need to accept it, and learn to play with what Ive got.



Layne
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Keep in mind that with qwerty's suggestion of parts (a good list), unless you're there a very long time that list may be superfluous.



I've done 20000 + kilometres on mine and haven't had to change any brake shoes, cables, rocker gaskets and only the spark plug once (which wasn't due to failure).



That said, certainly get the case cover gasket. I tried to get away with the old gasket and now have a leak. It's a reliable old bike, and should do your job well. My only concern would be with the heat and low speed riding - the combination isn't ideal for the air-cooled motor.



If you're ever stuck for parts, I can send them from Australia. Feel free to PM me.



Rob.


Thanks for the generous offer, I have only been a member of this forum for a short while, but it is clear that there are good-harted people here.



a little bit goofy in the head though (and now that I am a member you have another goofy headed guy).



-Layne
 

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Add a couple cases of 20W50 oil for motorcycles with wet clutches to your shipment, and change it often. Synthetic would be nice at those temps.



When Tdub gets hot, I can smell it. Power begins to drop. time to shut her down and let her cool, or hit a more open road. Once moving, she cools right off. If I was going to be doing a lot of low speed slogging, I'd mount a small fan with a sealed motor to provide a breeze over the cooling fins. It really doesn't take much.
 
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