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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone...... new member here.

Just throwing this out for all you experienced TW riders. I'm seriously considering either a TW200 or XT250. I'm leaning towards some fat tire fun with the 200. Drop the tire pressure a bit and I know that wide rear knobby will suit the rides I'm gearing towards. I'll be riding low speed (10-20 mph) on very loose rock, gravel and sand back roads as well as severe washboards like those in Death Valley...... the worst. I know the 250 has greater suspension for higher speed on washboards for running on the ridge tops. But, I'm not looking for hi speed drifting around on washboards running 30-50 mph. How does the TW handle rough washboards in 10 to 20 mph range?

Thanks for your insight :D
Rotor Head
 

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How much do you weigh? The answer to this will determine if it is serviceable as is or if some slight modifications will be required.


Tom
 
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Discussion Starter #4
How much do you weigh? The answer to this will determine if it is serviceable as is or if some slight modifications will be required.


Tom
I'm a little guy; 5'6", 155 lbs and 10-15 lbs of gear/tools in a pack. Will be just exploring via fire roads and jeep trails in the Eastern Sierras and Death Valley. Lots of loose rocks, sand and severe washboards. Drop the tire pressure and good to go?

Thanks,
 

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Well, all depends if you want to skip across the tops of the washboards (We call'em Whoops or Whoop Dee Doos around here), or roll through them riding them out. You can hit them faster and "kinda" skip through them. I do, but not to fast. Your a light guy compared to me, so you should be good. Just remember, like you said, TW suspension is kinda lame with 5" or 6" travel, and non adjustable damping both, front and rear. I ride mostly soft sand, so it's washboard city here, and I manage, but not ideal. Other than that, the TW is perfect for what your looking to do. My opinion of course....:)
 

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Hitting washboard or hoop T doos I just stand up and let the bike do it's thing. Easing along at 10 to 20 is not an issue. Mostly it depends on depth and frequency. I weight 270 and my stock 200 does just fine. You won't be disappointed in one.
 

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....... How does the TW handle rough washboards in 10 to 20 mph range?
The most important thing you can do with a TW on washboard is replace the front tire ASAP. The stock tire is scary on washboard and on lots of other types of dirt as well....on pavement it's fine. There are MANY threads here on front tire choices, but the Kenda 270 and the Shinko 244 are the most popular.

When I got my TW in 2010 I didn't like riding it OVER 20 mph on loose gravel or washboard! It took a while for me to decide to replace it and what a difference it made. Now I recommend to newbies who intend to ride a lot of gravel and washboard to replace it right off the showroom floor! That and lowering the tires to about 12/14 have made the TW as good on gravel as any bike.

I go to Death Valley every other year or so, and now I have no problem tackling the Racetrack road at 30 to 40 mph (well, some of it anyway :p) . It's the perfect bike for there as it will do that sort of riding as well as the worst of Steel Pass without blinking an eye. The only thing it gives up to the XT250 is extended highway riding at 65mph and up. That and the small tank...you will almost certainly need to carry an extra gallon. I plan no more than 100 miles without that.

Also, I dropped the front sprocket to 13 teeth right off the showroom and really prefer that. I can still go 60 if I have to, but the rough technical stuff is less intimidating.....it's the closest thing to a trials bike out there.

It is true that riding at whatever speed will allow the bike to plane on the tops of washboard will give a smoother ride, but I agree with you, I'm too old for that and the penalty clause is too stiff. If I can see well ahead and the washboard is about 2-3 inches, fine. Like the North Road or Westside, for instance. Add some blind corners or severe 6 inch washboard and I might go as slow as 10 or even 5. For me, since really bad washboard is such a small part of all my riding and rocky technical stuff a large part, there was no question that the TW was what I wanted.

A year later, I traded mine off for an hour with a buddy on his XT225, and he wouldn't give it back!!!:D
 

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Another thing to consider is what version of the TW you intend to get. They fall into two categories — ’87 to 2000, and 2000 to present day.

The TW doesn’t have a lot of rear suspension travel, as it’s not supposed to be as fast as an XT250.

I’ve heard tell that the newer ones are more comfortable to sit on (rear suspension wise) — while the older version can seem a little “rigid”. I’m 180lbs and on a ’98, and it feels a little “stiff”.

My advice is to get the bike and try it out on those trails, and if you do need to re-work the rear suspension, get back on here and we’ll show you what can be done (which is quite a bit).

The XT250 is a different bike altogether — but you’ll be going so fast you’ll miss out on a lot of scenery, and a lot of the trails it can’t get up.

The TW is more about the journey — not how fast you get there ………
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Rocky!

Do you operate on a sales commission? Because you just tipped the hat in my purchase of a 2015 TW200 over a XT250!

Great information and thank you very much. I was out on Hunter Mtn Road, Tea Kettle Junction and Race Track two weeks ago in my full size stock 4x4 Dodge Ram. Third time out to the Race Track, first time in the Dodge which I thought would handle the washboard better..... wrong! Had to back down to 10mph in a couple of spots because the washboards were so severe. Biltstein external reservoir shocks are going on all 4 soon which should help along with lowering tire pressure. Have you tried Lippincot Mine Rd on the TW200? Class 4 offroad. I'm know of Steel Pass but now need to research it for a trip on it with the TW. Took the Dodge Ram down Lippincot on our way out! Wild.... 2 miles in 2 hours as I crawled over the road as my son was out in front guiding me. Down near the bottom, 4 bikers blew by us as I'm still picking along at 10-15 mph and trying not to break a motor mount or shake anything loose. That's when I started thinking of a TW200 again.

Just got off the internet looking at the Kenda and Shinko tires you recommended. Probably will be picking up the 2015 TW200 within the week and will switch over to either the Kenda or Shinko. What is your preference and size? Thanks for the info on the sprocket too.

What you described is exactly the type of riding I will be doing. I spend a lot of time all over the eastern sierras on both sides of the Owens valley. I can't wait to take the TW into those off the path backroads and trails exploring.

Have you ever been to the Alabama Hills in Lone Pine? Probably have.

I'm a newbie to this site and have found it to be extremely helpful. Thanks for your time and spot on info!
Dave.
 

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I know your not asking me, but I do ride soft sand (35+ years) and pretty big and deep washboard sections. I ended up buying the Kenda K270 in a 5:10 up front due to everyone here saying that tire or the Shinko 244 in same size. I got the Kenda because they've been around a lot longer. Better tire company IMO. Now, with the low power of the TW, it's kinda hard to wheelie long, if at all. The 5.10 is a heavy tire. And the knobbie pattern is more of a medium to hard packed pattern. My next tire WILL be the Kenda K760 in a thinner size. The 760 is for soft terrain/sand, and a thinner size will allow to keep the front tire light and high through the washboards. They are sized different. 120/100 = 5.10, so I'll either get next size narrower 110/100, or narrower yet 100/100. There are a few here that use the 760. Qwerty is one, but don't know if he'll chime in or not. I haven't seen him post in a while. Maybe something else to consider since your riding sandy terrain.....;)
 

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I think you will be very happy with the TW for the riding you do. I have had the pleasure of some of your rides on my TW, it is well suited other than a small gas tank. Here is a quicky from Alabama Hills which somehow I think was tailor made for the TW.
As far as washboards go at sub-warp speed I accept that our TWs might be unsophisticated but usually there is a harmonic speed where I feel comfortable and in control.
A bigger gas tank is handy in country so big and without services. A 100+++ mile loop from say Eureka Dunes over Wire Pass to hot springs and Saline Valley then either back via Lippincott /Racetrack or north and clockwise will really have you dipping deep into reserve. I did the latter last spring but stashed an emergency fuel depot on my drive in ferrying bike to camp at and dunes. Here are a few pics from the trip, I highly recommend it. I did it solo and needed extra fuel because a wide ATV tire at low pressure gave me only ~50 mpg.
 

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Other than "severe washboards", like the road between Death Valley's well traveled and chopped up road from Uhebe (sp?) crater and The Racetrack, the TW is really well suited for poking around that entire region. The dismal seat and fuel capacity are what limit my endurance.
Last time I was there with my cat some 4x4 had ripped up The Racetrack to my dismay. "The Racetrack" is a dry playa where pretty good sized rocks move about leaving enigmatic tracks for hundreds of yards, it is a unique natural phenomena that didn't deserve desecration.
I took my cat for scale in the picture to demonstrate typical moving rock size. Dogs had to stay in car due to "NO DOGS" sign.
IMG_0073.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Bob for jumping in..... I dont mind it at all! Will be a new owner of a TW within the next week so all the info I can get, all the better. BTW. I looked at some of your videos and can see where there is plenty of soft sand where you ride. Been riding mountain bikes since 1986 in all kinds of terrain including soft sand. Probably will steer the TW thru sand like I ride a mountain bike...... weight on the back tire, light on the front, float it over the sand and no fast input on steering. But this time I don't have to pedal-power my way thru.... like you say; just gas it.... like the little orangutang...
 

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Hi Everyone...... new member here.

Just throwing this out for all you experienced TW riders. I'm seriously considering either a TW200 or XT250. I'm leaning towards some fat tire fun with the 200. Drop the tire pressure a bit and I know that wide rear knobby will suit the rides I'm gearing towards. I'll be riding low speed (10-20 mph) on very loose rock, gravel and sand back roads as well as severe washboards like those in Death Valley...... the worst. I know the 250 has greater suspension for higher speed on washboards for running on the ridge tops. But, I'm not looking for hi speed drifting around on washboards running 30-50 mph. How does the TW handle rough washboards in 10 to 20 mph range?

Thanks for your insight :D
Rotor Head
I air down to 15psi front and back.
 

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Thanks Bob for jumping in..... I dont mind it at all! Will be a new owner of a TW within the next week so all the info I can get, all the better. BTW. I looked at some of your videos and can see where there is plenty of soft sand where you ride. Been riding mountain bikes since 1986 in all kinds of terrain including soft sand. Probably will steer the TW thru sand like I ride a mountain bike...... weight on the back tire, light on the front, float it over the sand and no fast input on steering. But this time I don't have to pedal-power my way thru.... like you say; just gas it.... like the little orangutang...
Yep, you got it. Loose grip, let the bike do it's thing, weight back, light front, look way out ahead of you, not right in front of you. You'll be fine. I really haven't posted vids of washboards yet. I have one or two from last Sunday, but the video cam was angled right down in front of me. Maybe I'll post it, cuz you can see the washboard good. I'll also post vids next week from this coming weekend. Tomorrow, I'll upload and post this one I have.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Another thing to consider is what version of the TW you intend to get. They fall into two categories — ’87 to 2000, and 2000 to present day.

The TW doesn’t have a lot of rear suspension travel, as it’s not supposed to be as fast as an XT250.

I’ve heard tell that the newer ones are more comfortable to sit on (rear suspension wise) — while the older version can seem a little “rigid”. I’m 180lbs and on a ’98, and it feels a little “stiff”.

My advice is to get the bike and try it out on those trails, and if you do need to re-work the rear suspension, get back on here and we’ll show you what can be done (which is quite a bit).

The XT250 is a different bike altogether — but you’ll be going so fast you’ll miss out on a lot of scenery, and a lot of the trails it can’t get up.

The TW is more about the journey — not how fast you get there ………

Purple: Thanks for the input! I'll be picking up a 2015 within the week. I'll see how it performs, like you said before I start with any modifications. I can't agree with you more about it's all about the journey... If I want to go fast, drag a knee I'll jump on my 'Busa..... but I won't see the scenery. Outback, under 30mph is just fine with me.

By the way..... I didn't know you Blokes across the pond could ride on two wheels..:p just kidding of course! Cool Rocket Cat avitar.

Semper Fly, Rotor Head.
 

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Thanks Rocky!
..... Have you tried Lippincot Mine Rd on the TW200? Class 4 offroad. I'm know of Steel Pass but now need to research it for a trip on it with the TW.
Just got off the internet looking at the Kenda and Shinko tires you recommended. Probably will be picking up the 2015 TW200 within the week and will switch over to either the Kenda or Shinko. What is your preference and size? Thanks for the info on the sprocket too.

What you described is exactly the type of riding I will be doing. I spend a lot of time all over the eastern sierras on both sides of the Owens valley. I can't wait to take the TW into those off the path backroads and trails exploring.......
Dave.
Although I have not been down Lippincott or over Steel Pass I have researched them well. Mostly the limited range and the prospect of too many hours in the saddle has made me pass on those. I've been up Butte Valley, which has some really rough spots.... Chloride Cliff, Gold Valley, Crater, Queen of Sheba, etc. I'm quite familiar with DV, and the only place I know for certain I would never try on the TW is the 6 foot step up Echo Canyon on the way to Lee's Camp. (Or on any other bike!) The other thing I would not choose to do is miles and miles of deep sand. The TW just isn't powerful enough to really plane up on top of it. But then, I probably wouldn't do that if I was on a 450 WRF....just not my cup of tea. I want to go slowly and quietly and smell the flowers. :) I was just there in February for 10 days.....lots of flowers at the South end....found some new mines and a really cool old cabin.

As far as the size of the Kenda 270, I have gone against the conventional wisdom and bought the narrowest and lightest, the 120/80-18, purely because I wanted to lighten the front end as much as possible. That one is 5 lbs. lighter than the 5.10. After 6,500 miles in all types of terrain I still think I made the right choice for my type of riding. It is actually very close in size to the OEM tire.

As others have said, the seat is torture after two hours, but there are lots of remedies. I just splurged for a Seat Concepts a couple weeks ago after 10,000 miles and today did 4 hours straight in the desert lava....rougher than hell and my butt is still happy. (Shameless plug: I have the old foam that I inset a gel pad into and rode for 10,000 miles for sale cheap in the Classifieds.)

Don't buy TOO many farkles before you have some time on the bike! :p Front tire, hand guards, O or X-ring chain and a Cyclerack should do it for the first year. You are going to have a blast!:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yep, you got it. Loose grip, let the bike do it's thing, weight back, light front, look way out ahead of you, not right in front of you. You'll be fine. I really haven't posted vids of washboards yet. I have one or two from last Sunday, but the video cam was angled right down in front of me. Maybe I'll post it, cuz you can see the washboard good. I'll also post vids next week from this coming weekend. Tomorrow, I'll upload and post this one I have.
Ok. I'll be watching for it. Top Predator rode with a broken ankle?? What the heck is that guy's pain tolerance???
 

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No brain, no pain?..........:p Just Joking Rick. I couldn't let that one pass by without saying....:D Pretty high I guess.


Here it is. The camera angle sucks, way to low. Now, we are beat, dead tired here after 6+ hours of riding. Found this pit on the way back to the truck. So we had to stop and check it out, even though the sun was going down. These are very small whoops, and being so tired, they started kicking my ass. Next time, I'll record earlier in the day. Not a good video at all. I was going to delete this on my card. This weekend, I'll get some good vids. IF I can get someone to go. I will be going with forum member Prime either Wed, or Thursday.

 
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