TLR200 make over.

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by motu, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I've had the TLR200 since about 2002 when I did a rebuild of it, I kept it stock apart from some 20mm longer rear shocks I made up. I struggled with it a bit, but also really enjoy it, seeing it's faults as a challenge. Twinshock Trials was popular here back then, the rest of the world not so - the US forums kept telling me the TLR200 was just a trail bike, not suitable for trials...that's because they got the toned down model they call the Reflex. Twinshock Trials has fallen away somewhat here, and they now do Aircooled to get numbers up, but is big overseas now - the Yanks turning their Reflex's into real TLR200's, and the Pom's turning them into bikes that are better than the Euro twinshocks.

    So, first thing is the footpegs (actually they were the last thing I did.) My previous bike was a KT250, and it felt like the footpegs were below the centre of gravity, or pivot point anyway, on the TLR200 the pegs are high, they feel above the pivot point. Very responsive to any input on the pegs, and I was spearing off in all directions for a while, but I've grown to like the high pegs....like riding a racehorse, or a sportsbike compared to a cruiser.

    They need to go down and back 25mm, more weight to the rear, and lighten the front. I made complete new mounts, and much heavier duty than stock....just because I couldn't be bothered pulling a full length out of the rack just to slice off a couple of small pieces, so found some thicker stuff in the scrap outside.

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    Stuck on the frame, I was going to put some braces up the inside seeing as they are only butt welds, but I reckon they will be strong enough.

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    They are more on the axle centreline. Next I'll make fatter pegs.

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    The biggest issue for was the engine, it's gutless, and a 4 stroke. I can't fix the 4 stroke, but more power is possible. First the intake, I need another carb, but we can still do things. Open up the airbox, just get rid of the restrictor for a start. It does act as a water dam, so I might have to make another dam if it swallows water.

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    The airbox isn't the problem, the flame trap is, it just can't suck air through this.

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    So I need a new filter. As some know, I don't sell anything on TradeMe, it all stays in my shed. Twenty years ago I was running non stock carbs on my XS1 and using K&N filters - I don't have the XS1 anymore, but the filters are still here. I had to trim the intake spigot, and made a new one out of an oil bottle cap.

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    It fits perfectly in the stock box with the original hold in thing.

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    Now the exhaust, the plan was always to make a new one - a larger header pipe and better muffler, but one day....

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    All the shit had to go....

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    I also pulled this disgusting thing out of the tailpipe.

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    All stitched up no one will even know.

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    It's still pretty restrictive, once I get the bits I'll make something better.

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    Next is the cam timing. They say it needs to be advanced 6 degrees....I would think that was 12 crankshaft degrees, but everyone seems to be advancing the camshaft 6 degrees, that's only 3 on the crank. That's half a tooth, so I've redrilled for half a tooth, I might go to one tooth later one.

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    So, all finished today, so I took it up to my daughter's place, they have 2.5 acres and a messy building site, dirt mounds everywhere, a swamp and steep sheep rutted hillside. I prefer to do only one thing at a time, this is just too much at once to know what is what. It's much easier to loft the wheel, all by itself now, even in 2nd gear. It's geared too tall stock, at 13 teeth, I had to import the smallest I could get at the time, an 11 tooth when I wanted a 9, and then went up to 50 at the rear. now I can get a 9, so will go for that. It will now pull up the sheep stepped hill in 2nd, no way would it do that before, and even when I did push it to a stall, doing that bit again in 1st I still didn't get up. All looking good until I dumped it upside down, and then got a bad knock in the engine. Got it home, pulled the cam sprocket cover....but nothing wrong and no noise now.

    Next sunday is an aircooled trial....I'll give it a go on my new bike.
    #1
  2. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    good stuff

    will you take your camera with you to the upcoming trial?
    #2
  3. bart-nz

    bart-nz Been here awhile

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    That's cool. Love the way you fix shit.
    #3
  4. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Tiger Tamer

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    Nice work - love build threads.:clap
    #4
  5. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I'm a bit concerned about this noise, it was only for a little while, but it sounded like something big floating around inside the engine. These engines (XR200) used to have a problem of losing teeth off the kickstart idler gear...but the kickstarter works ok, gears all work, engine runs fine with no noises. I think I'll drain the oil and see if anything comes out. I don't want to stuck down in some gully when this thing lets go.

    This bike has a hell of a life these last 10 years or more - looped, rolled and upside down, never a problem. A few years ago at a practice trial my daughter was riding it, and these bikes have an issue. Like Rossi's Ducati, power come on too hard off idle, not controllable like a 2 stroke, so it's not easy to turn on throttle. If the clutch was more controllable I could clutch a turn, but it's not, so a tight turn is much harder on this bike than others. She was doing a turn near a river bank, applied throttle, and it took off where it was pointed - over the bank. She just stepped off and landed on her feet 1 1/2 metres in the stream, the bike was completely upside down on it's handlebars, a couple of kicks and we are back on it. A little later my son was riding it, slipped at low speed on some grass on a bank, it fell over and bent a shock rod....all the big prangs and a little lay down does the most damage. I can't see putting it on it's side doing any damage.

    Here is my daughter on it, the stream it ended upside down in behind. Don't us trials riders get to ride on some pristine properties ?

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    The difficulties of twinshocks - the moderns were leaping this muddy stream and landing on the bank, twinshocks have to go through and haul themselves out the otherside. The Honda has an advantage here, a 4 stroke has traction, and my one dab gets me out of this mess....and into the rest of the section, this was just the starting gate.

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    #5
  6. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    So I took it to a trial today to try it all out. They were sticking to the official line and required the comp license, and of course mine has expired. I didn't want to pay the entry fee and day license, and then have my engine noise show itself with catastrophic results, so decided to have a play day...they are ok with that sort of stuff. It was in a quarry, so rocks and mud - I'm happy with mud, but rocks are not my favourite...wet rocks in a stream I'm happy with, rock formations not so.

    Rocks are 1st gear stuff, so not a chance to try out my power improvements, although there was a slushy muddy stream I could use 2nd. It's a while since I've ridden, and I turned 60 last week...is this really a sport I want to perceiver with, or should I just pack it in? I was really out of shape for awhile, but then got it back together, and cleaned quite a few sections. Not competing I could decide some sections were not for me, and do others several times to experiment.

    I can't say this is a huge transformation and a completely new bike to ride...which is disappointing after everyone saying what a difference this or that made, I did a shit load of things, and it's almost the same bike ! Marginally more stable in the rocks, more induction and exhaust noise, but more power and more response? Again, marginal. I'll get a 9 tooth sprocket now, and I know that will make a huge difference, and bring the power improvements to light. I need a gear between the 1st and 2nd I have now, that will give a 1st for tight stuff, and a 3rd for hills.
    #6
  7. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    so are you a bit stiff and sore today?

    don't give up on it - trials is just the sport for us less than youthfull riders
    and it helps keep you sharp for all your gravel road running.
    #7
  8. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    No, no sore muscles...that usually comes on the 2nd day. But it's the difference between just playing around and actually competing in a trial. When you have to do a section someone else has laid out you can't take the easy way out, you do stuff you wouldn't do by yourself...and then you have to improve on each attempt. I've always been in the lowest grades for those who don't learn by their mistakes. When younger I always worked on riding skills I wasn't very good at, I'll never get any skills with trials riding, that's why I do it,so I guess I'll just keep on at it.
    #8
  9. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I got my 9 tooth sprocket, and fitted the stock 44 rear, and made a new chain tensioner block...and took it to a trial today. This was a venue I'm pretty familiar with, and I DNF'd. 10 years ago I would've slogged it out and done the whole thing, but after 2 rounds of 4 I just said to hell with it. I got some cleans, a couple of 1 dabs and a few 3's, and several 5's....so after 4 rounds it still would've been an OK score.

    A twinshock trial where more than half the bikes are moderns, and the Clubman line is really made for novice modern riders....and that's bloody hard for an 87kg twinshock. The problems were logs, some at an angle that even the experts on moderns had trouble with. Lowering footpegs, gearing changes and more power make no difference getting over an angled slippery log - getting the front over is no problem, but the rear has to be manhandled over, the bike straightens up and spears off in the wrong direction.

    I've had this bike for years, had it in tougher places than this, and you'd think I'd notice any minor alteration - but after all this work I'm still riding the same bike! Everyone raves about how much difference the footpeg change makes, or how much power the camshaft advance gives, how better the gearing is. I must be insensitive, but it just seems to be the same bike. I'm still having to use first gear, it still gets up the steep climbs, still stalls in the same places - I don't notice any improvement from any of these changes. If I moved the footpegs on my R65 25mm it'd be a hell of a difference, so would 2 teeth on the pinion - and on a bike where you'd think these things were vitally important...it appears not. I'm getting confused.

    On the way home I went to see that Dodgyiti, and he said take it around the farm. I went down some track where he had the quad bike stuck for 4 days, and had to push the trials bike half way up the hill, real boggy and slippery. I've done some sweating today!

    My rear tyre is over 10 years old - still sharp, soft and flexes....but still, it's an old tyre, and the front is even older.
    #9
  10. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    so have you ridden it again since your last fairly disappointed sounding post?
    #10
  11. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    No, it's where I left it in the shed. I don't really want to the the club membership/competition license thing again, sending the license all the way to Huntly for renewal, and a day license is too expensive these days too. Trials riders supporting road racing MX and enduro and getting nothing for their money, moan moan, winge winge. We are thinking of doing our own thing - finding some venues, setting out a few sections, riding them, swapping bikes, telling other people how to ride properly, pulling up the pegs, loading up the bikes and having a few beers and muffins. gotta be more fun than the official route.
    #11
  12. trustme

    trustme Long timer

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    I'm keen , gotta get the TY out more
    #12
  13. Oscar

    Oscar Curmudgeon

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    I'll be up for that - about time the GG got an airing...
    #13
  14. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Tiger Tamer

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    that' sounds like my cup of tea....I'll be the one your tell how to ride properly :D. Went out last weekend in some steep rutty farm land and had a ball....every time I ride I know there must be an easier way.... technique, technique, technique! :deal
    #14
  15. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I don't do technique anymore, I'm into wing it these days. More important than technique is commitment - you have to hit the scary stuff with your only thought being you are going to do it, getting to the end pegs is your only goal.
    #15
  16. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    I rode in a trial today, and am feeling much happier about the whole thing...no more negatives today. After a lot of badgering, they've started a no license class to get more riders out - it certainly gets me out riding...being a local venue helped a lot too. The no license riders don't get Championship points or any trophies, but I've never been into that side of things so no big deal for me - I just want to ride.

    They made the sections easier in the lowest grade, but they were tricky enough to catch you out for a dab or 2 or even a 5 for dumb mistakes. Like my 1st section - you don't shut the throttle on a 4 stroke going over a rock, they stop. Got 48 points for today...3rd or 4th. Still not seeing any transformation of the bike, but probably getting less thrown off line by rocks, more throttle response to get over rocks or logs. The gearing is still not perfect, I might fit the big rear sprocket back on again. Experimenting gave me some points today, and can see the advantages of being able to pull 2nd gear more often. Like one section I was happily cleaning in 2nd, then tried it in 1st, and on a downhill turn in tree roots, the shut throttle put too much pressure on the front tyre and it slipped bad enough for 3 points. Using 2nd takes the load off the front, more like a 2 stroke. But 2nd is still too tall for most sections.

    So, I'm back into it. Met an inmate there today, he has a TLR200 with all the English fruit on it....too good to ride by the look of it.
    #16
  17. trustme

    trustme Long timer

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    Thats pretty cool . When is the next trial ? Who is organising it ?

    Sounds ideal for Swmbo & the Photog to have a little tutu.
    #17
  18. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    These are the Hamilton Aircooled trials, rnd 4 today. I'll let you know about the next one. I'm not sure if they are doing no license in any other series. There was a guy at his first trial today on an old TY250, and came away doing well with plenty of cleans, always a confidence boost. When I first started in 1981, I rode for months before I even got to finish a trial, let alone get a clean.
    #18
  19. leewhingingpom

    leewhingingpom n00b

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    Did you persevere with the tlr? I have a reflex and it's turning out to be about the best bike i've ever had, Once i fitted the mikuni carb and got the float height right, which turned out to be crucial.
    #19
  20. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    The TLR200 is bad enough, but the Reflex was really leaned out for the US emission stuff. It will still stall in slow going...one of the reasons I've been using 1st gear for 12 years - you need to keep the throttle open, kind of hard to do in a section, the throttle seems to be shut more than it's open.

    I've put my 50 tooth rear sprocket back on, but it appears I haven't ridden it for 6 months. The reasons are financial for me these days, I'm only going to no license events, and only ones close to home...and only when I can afford it, so not often. Just done a rebuild on my BMW gearbox, so won't be on the TLR200 for some time. I suspect I've retired from the sport, but I'm not going to admit it.
    #20