TW200 Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We are planning to move to the Big Island of Hawaii--hopefully around September. I am going to buy a new dual sport when I get there. And while its true that it will get mostly street miles, there are a lot of places to ride off road there. The main highways are generally 50 mph there, so the bike I choose will have to be able to haul me-at 5'9" and about 180 pounds at 50-55 without overworking the motor. I want easy maiuntenance and an aircooled engine with screw type valve adjustment is what I want. I rode an XT225 for a few years and liked it very much. So the bikes I'm comsidering are: The Suzuki DR200; the TW200; the XT250; the Honda CRL230F; I think thats it.



Since I'm betting that many of you chose the TW over these same motorcycles, maybe even test rode them, maybe you could tell me how you decided on the TW over these others. The bike will be used for my daily transportation. Errand runner. Joy riding, etc. We will certainly be taking some longer trips around the island (they don't call it the Big Island for nothing). There will be some overnight trips, say, to Kona (125 miles). One thing in favor of the Suzuki is that there is a dealer about 15 miles away. The Yamaha/Honda dealer is 125 miles away. Though I do my own maintenace including tire replacements, valve adjustments, oil changes etc,etc. I wouldn't expect any real problems with any of these bikes.



Suggestions, comments, personal experiences, etc??



Thanks, Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,369 Posts
We just finished our 1800 mile honeymoon over western roads in the Great Wide Open.



It can certainly handle island travel.



None of the other bikes you've listed is appreciably "better" than a TW in any particular category.



More a matter of flavor. I've never riden offroad in Hawaii, but if it includes soft sand and the wet conditons they have there I'd rather be on an aired down TW than any of the others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
I lived in Kaneohe for 4 years and visited the Big Island while there- Stayed in Hilo and up at KMC near all the old lava flows. I remember the terrain being pretty hard. Any of the bikes you list would be good to use but only the TW has the big knob tires. So pick the one you like best, but I recommend if you buy used, you buy it on the mainland-have it shipped over with your household stuff, and then sell it there when you get ready to leave. The steady exposure to the salt air really gets to vehicles of all types in Hawaii.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
200ccs---yeah, I don't have a problem with smaller motorcycles. I've been riding for 50 years and still love to ride. I just don't want to kill an engine that won't pull 50-55. I'm in no hurry. Here in the Pacific Northwest when I go riding it's almost always on the backroads. More fun, more sxcenic, etc.



The off road riding on this island is a lot of very hard newer volcanic lava deposits. I don't know if the huge rear tire would be an advantage on that stuff or not.



I also want great gas mileage as the gas there is always quite a bit more than on the mainland.



Take care, Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,105 Posts
200ccs---yeah, I don't have a problem with smaller motorcycles. I've been riding for 50 years and still love to ride. I just want to kill an engine that won't pull 50-55. I'm in no hurry. Here in the Pacifin Northwest when I go riding it's almost always on the backroads. More fun, more sxcenic, etc.



The off road riding on this island is a lot of very hard newer volcanic lava deposits. I don't know if the huge rear tire would be an advantage on that stuff or not.



I also want great gas mileage as the gas there is always quite a bit more than on the mainland.



Take care, Jon




I think TW is your bike.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
Any trails I walked in Hawaii that were soft or slippery would be better ridden with a real trials bike than anything you listed. The only sand I ever saw was beaches, and it seemed people generally frowned on vehicles on beaches. A TW will do the highway for you. Better if you do away with the federally mandated EPA carb tune strangle. The big tires will last longer (important when you have to pay shipping half way across the Pacific), especially when loaded with gear for overnight trips. If you won't be riding the mud in the pineapple fields and such might as well go with the 203/204 tires or the Shinko knock-offs to maximize hard surface traction, comfort, and safety. Keep the TW full of clean oil and it'll run WFO tank-to-tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
I picked the TW for the low seat height and high gas mileage.



If you do your own maintenance, being close to a dealer is almost a non issue. I go to the dealer to shop for riding gear and gawk at other bikes, that's it. The only warranty work I remember anybody getting was when the dealer installed the wrong oil filter and fried the motor.



I think you need to ask yourself, when you ride offroad do you want to go fast like motocross fast? Do you need lots of suspension travel? If yes don't get a TW. If going offroad is more for exploring, and you like to put your feet down when you stop, the TW might be your bike.



Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
My 2 cents as I've lived on the Big Island might have some relevant feedback:



1) I'd go bigger than the TW if I were serious about touring the island with it. Like 500cc big. While the top speeds around the island are relatively low (you're correct on this), it's allll hills and you'll be working the TW hard (though most experienced owners here will tell you it loves it and working it hard doesn't seem to cause any issues at all). You won't pull 55mph on a lot of road there - especially headed over the saddle (you hit 6000ft on a bike you'll want tuned for sea level) - and I think 45mph and working pretty hard when loaded will be the norm for any of the small-cc bikes you're looking at. Then again, the island traffic moves slow, so if you can handle this then:



2) I think the TW is a great bike. Many, many great, off-the-beaten-path beaches are over lava fields with sharp rocks and the big knobs and stability (along with low seat height and easy control) of the TW would be a great combo. Also think the big tired ON road would be more secure in the wet than the skinnier widths on other comparable bikes.



I'd take Poolsgold advice and buy whatever bike you decide on here. I'd also recommend getting a great lock -- and wherever possible locking TO something (MX and scooter thefts are very, very common and as easy as one big moke picking up your bike and setting it into his pickup). And based on my experience living there and doing a ton of tire research here at TWF I'd say stick with the OEM tire setup. Though it gets wet and slippery pretty regularly, you have to be somewhat used to this living in the NW already and the speeds are slow enough that knobs can handle it. Not to mention you'll inevitably want the offroad capability and toughness of the knobs (versus smoother street tires) when you pull off onto mud, sand or lava (read: the only surfaces around besides asphalt).



Okay, that's like 3 cents. Have a great move!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I appreciate the comments here. Now if we can just sell our Puyallup, Wa. house. We've already got rid of a lot of stuff. Our house on the island is fully furnished (we bought it that way) so we don't need to take much.And I could get something like a Suzuki DRZ400S or even the DR650, but those bikes get real spendy on the island. Shipping a car over is about $1100.



Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,489 Posts
I own a TW and a DR200, and in my own personal experience (not trying to get flamed here lol, just stating facts about my ownership experiences), the DR200 has been MUCH more reliable than the TW. I've had more major problems with the TW than I care to recount at this time, even though I bought it brand new for thousands of dollars. The DR200, on the other hand, cost me $1300 dollars, is a 1997 model, and has suffered through over eight thousand miles of very hard off road and on road abuse (total milage is 13,300): clutch slipping, wheelies, very slow speeds at very high RPM on very hot days for extended periods of time, frequent top speed runs red lining the engine in top gear, jamming through the gears like I'm running from the cops from every stop, sometimes dozens of stops and starts (engine on/off) in a couple of hours (necessary sometimes in the kind of stupid sh** I frequently put my bikes through off road), etc. etc. Anyway yea I rode the TW like that too, but so far my DR hasn't had any problems that weren't easy to diagnose and quickly fix without spending much if any money. That said, I DID enjoy riding the TW a lot, when it worked. It's a fun bike to cruise around on and can actually do some pretty hard core off roading especially with a couple mods. But, so can the DR, without falling apart. Good luck with whatever you decide to get, and understand that my ownership experience with the TW may not be typical (although the typical owner would never abuse it anywhere near as much as I did)...





On a side note: From my research, I have discerned that the DR650 is probably the single most reliable dual sport money can buy. The XR650L perhaps more so if you're only considering the motor/trans, which are after all the most important bits. The DRZ400S is good as well. My friend owns one and has about 25,000 miles on it. And the CRF 230 I believe is probably quite reliable as well, even though I haven't done a ton of research on it yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Well,he house deal is going through. The buyers lender just stated that it should close by the end of August. That moves things like a month sooner. I just called both the Suzuki dealer in Hilo, and the Yamaha/Honda/Kawasaki/Kymco dealer in Kona. The Suzuki dealer said the DR200 has been dropped. The Kona dealer said I would have to order any of them. I don't want the DRZ400S or the KLX250 because I want easy maintenance, and having to pull the camshafts for valve adjutments, and then having to obtain the correct shims is something I just don't want to deal with. An air cooled screw type valve adjusted bike is what I want. I was quoted $6350 out the door on a new 2010 DR650. But there is some really rough riding on the Big Island, and a heavy 650 would be a handfull. Think I'll go look at a TW200 Sunday.



Jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
I weigh about 180 and am about 5' 9" (sound familiar?, lol), and my TW has no problem hauling me up steep grades at 50-55 mph in top gear, so I don't think that would be a problem for you (actually, the bike hauled me around before I lost a lot of weight at those speeds, so now it's extra easy w/o the extra 40 lbs. of me!).



I like the bike a lot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I weigh about 180 and am about 5' 9" (sound familiar?, lol), and my TW has no problem hauling me up steep grades at 50-55 mph in top gear, so I don't think that would be a problem for you (actually, the bike hauled me around before I lost a lot of weight at those speeds, so now it's extra easy w/o the extra 40 lbs. of me!).



I like the bike a lot




Hey, about eight years ago when I was 49 I weighed about 239. Then I joined a gym, and started eating better too. Of course less weight is as good as more horsepower.



jon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Hey, about eight years ago when I was 49 I weighed about 239. Then I joined a gym, and started eating better too. Of course less weight is as good as more horsepower.



jon


About 2 years ago, give or take a year, I remember weighing in at 226.5, now I'm at 179.5....great feeling to jump on the bike and when you feel it's stronger you know it actually is! lol
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top