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Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by neepuk, Jan 10, 2009.
TW now Sold.
Ride safe everyone!
DAMN! I passed a link to this thread on to my cousin last night and got a reply, at 1:35 am that he was headed to Rancho Cordova, just a couple of hours away, on Saturday... Nice used TWs go QUICK! I hope it was an inmate here that lucked out.
Ok, I give up on trying to get the damned LED turn signal bulbs to work. The electronic flasher unit I originally bought appeared to work in the garage with just the key, and worked at idle. But with revs it went into super hyper flash mode, blinking SO fast it basically wasn't... This one was adjustable, so I adjusted it to the stops trying to get it to work, to no avail...
So, this week I stopped by a parts store and purchased one off the shelf that claimed to work with LED, incandescents, or a combination of the two. Just tried it, and it did absolutely nothing. Key on, at idle or with revs, no flashing at all, no matter how I hooked it up. So, now, two flashers down, and still no joy with the LED running/signal bulbs. I'm out of about 20 bucks for two chunks of plastic with useless electronics inside. Not going to keep chasing this for such a small advantage, if any at all...
I wired the stock flasher unit back in. While it has the typical hyper flash, it's at least stable at all revs, and the rate is still distinguishable as being a turn signal. Guess I'll just run it like that or just stick the stock front bulbs back in and call it a day.
Not sure what unit others are using, but obviously I didn't get one of them... I've used an adjustable electronic flasher on another bike in the past without issue. If I'd have known it wouldn't be as simple here, I'd have just skipped it altogether....
Its been really dry around here and the sand is super soft and deep, and while the klx230 is a lot of fun, its NOT in the sand and I pine for a TW.
Hey Jag. Nothing heavy goes in those bags. Only things like my frog togs, extra gloves, neck portector, nylon vest. etc.....
Wasn't feeling like riding Saturday so decided to stay home and get a few other things done instead... One of those chores was to wash two pretty nasty motorcycles.
So, what does one do with a clean TW200? Well, of course, you ride it and get it dirty again!
Saturday I thought about where to go and decided to see about finding a more interesting route to take from Newnan to Roanoke, AL. Once in Roanoke I can jump on the SEAT and find all sorts of good riding opportunities. But, getting to Roanoke can mean a good little distance of boring pavement. So, Saturday night, after working on a few things I decided to round out the night by spending a little time on gravelmaps.com, and with OsmAnd on my DFP. Being really new to the whole GPS thing I had no idea how to create a likely route in my nav app. But, I played around a bit and figured out how to at least drop some flags and make some waypoints. I'm sure there is a much cleaner way to go about this, but I just haven't delved that deeply into learning the app yet. Guess I need to start reading the OsmAnd thread and brush up... But in the meantime I just created waypoints at points on the map that were turns that corresponded with what looked like a likely route to take, based on looking the area over on gravelmaps. Then, yesterday, I just followed those waypoints as turn markers. I had sort of hit and miss luck as some of the roads that show on gravelmaps just weren't there. And they showed up on OsmAnd as roads too. But, when I got there in real life, there was no road.
Even still, and while I plan to investigate a few more possibilities, I WAS able to add quite a bit more interest to the route between Newnan and Roanoke. It did increase the length of that trip from roughly 55 miles to 75, but it eliminated a LARGE portion of boringly straight asphalt and replaced it with some good gravel and dirt roads. I even figured out how to record a GPX track file too! So, now I have that displayed on my DFP so I can follow it next time, and/or use it to help investigate improvements to the overall route.
So, yesterday turned into another "Ironman" ride, covering 284 miles in 11 hours, out and back, with the largest portion being off pavement. Whew! Was I beat last night! And I will say that what Alabama has in the large amount of dirt roads, they make up for with a dearth of maintenance! What I mean to say is, if you like riding dirt roads, Alabama is your place! If you don't mind them rough! And if you're the type of rider that has a strong preference for the seat over the pegs, you may want to avoid most of the roads I was on yesterday altogether.
Spent too much time moving to take many photos, but here's the one that I did take...
And I'm happy to report that my fuel bottle attachment worked like a charm. Over all those miles, and covering some really rough terrain at pretty decent speeds, the bottle was just as tight and snug as it was when I left yesterday morning. I also learned something yesterday... While I've said that I likely wouldn't carry the spare fuel bottle often as I don't normally need it in my area, I may have changed my mind. Yesterday, was just a trial run on the bottle attachment setup so the bottle was carried empty. My tank had enough fuel when I left that I decided it wasn't worth topping off so decided I'd just fill up in Roanoke rather than further along in Lineville as usual. Then, I took the longer route to Roanoke. And THEN, I FORGOT to gas up in Roanoke! I hit reserve somewhere between Roanoke and Lineville with no idea how far I still had to go before the next gas station. One of the things I like about my Clarke tank is that I can see the fuel level, so as I could still see fuel, I pushed on and made it to my usual gas stop in Lineville. But, it did occur to me that had I had that bottle full, I would have been much less stressed on that portion of the trip. Now I'm thinkin that some gas and a little Stabil just may go along for the ride much more than originally anticipated. A little insurance against the unplanned and unexpected never hurts.
As a side note, after too many years off of the dirt bikes and on the street, I'm finally getting back into the groove. I noticed yesterday that I was getting much better at not riding the TW like a street bike and actually riding the way a bike should be ridden on surfaces with limited traction. Ridden properly I now find that the little TW does have enough power to steer through the corners with the throttle. It's still not the point and squirt affair like my big bikes of the past, but I found that my speeds through the curvy gravel sections has increased dramatically since really thinking about what I had been doing, and making a conscious effort to correct my technique. I know, I know... The TW is supposed to be about going slow... But, it can actually do that AND be pretty quick about it too when I want. And I wanted quite a bit yesterday...
I very rarely wash motorcycles as that just makes them rust and water gets into things where it does no good.
Street bikes a wipe down with a soft wet towel and then dry.
Sure does look nice though!
Don't feel like riding??? What is that like?
Set up right and with a good rider, the TW can do very well in spots.
Its not great at doing over 60 mph anyplace, and its not great in the real rough stuff, but all that traction really helps, it can slow down fast for late braking into turns or to avoid a mud pit or some such and its good in turns.
And it IS very good at going slow as well.
That's a lot of miles on any bike!
I made a similar mistake of carrying an empty extra fuel supply once, like you said it caused unnecessary stress.
I installed LED turn signals on two bikes, used a standard plug in LED flasher and they work great.
The TW I bought in AZ came with LED's and they worked correctly until I broke one off.
I bought a pair of similar, but not the same LED lights and they did not work.
I ordered another pair on Amazon that were the same as the existing and they work great.
I read that after putting the stock flasher and lights back on you have the "typical" hyper flash.
Neither of my TW's has what I would consider a hyper flash, just a normal motorcycle signal flashing speed.
If your flashers are different from other TW's with the same stock signals you have another issue going on that needs to be resolved.
I learned that you can't mix sequential signals with regular LED's either
I washed the bike when I first got it. I sorta spot washed it a couple of other times before working on it, like installing the kick start and adjusting the valves, etc, as I feel it's best to have a bike clean before opening things up. Other than that, this is the first time it's actually been washed since I've had it. And it was pretty nasty.
Having a clean bike makes it easier to inspect and catch things too, IMO. Never worried too much about getting a bike wet as I ride through water and in rain as well, although I never use high pressure sprays and I try to be somewhat careful in where I direct the spray from my hose.
Just one of those days. Had ridden close to 600 miles and 20 hours the previous weekend on two bike, with a very large portion of both trips being off-road. Stayed up late Friday night working on another project, was tired so slept in, the weather wasn't the greatest, and I had other things to do... But, I made up for it on Sunday.
Yep, it has it's virtues for sure. On the road I could use more power. It really struggled on a few long steep hills yesterday on Cheaha Mtn. scenic hwy. But once off the pavement it's really about as fast as I need it to be where I ride in all honesty. There are few dirt roads around here that you want to be going much over 45. For long anyway. And quite a few of them are so rough that 20 mph is more like it. Of course, that goes into the suspension since as you say, it's not great on the rough stuff. And it's spunky enough to motor along pretty well and be entertaining at speeds like that.
Well, in my case, I wasn't planning to carry spare fuel on this trip. I just had the bottle on there to test the new setup for those future times when I did want to carry spare fuel. I just normally top off my tank before leaving, and I normally don't forget to make my planned fuel stops in route. It was just a confluence of events on this trip that conspired to get me low on fuel farther from a refill than what is normal.
With the stock turn signal parts, everything worked normally. And then, my bike behaved as normal (in my experience) when installing LED signal with a stock non-LED flasher unit. I.E. hyper flash, where the turn signals blink at roughly twice the speed as normal, perhaps faster even. I installed a solid state flasher that should work with LEDs (from Amazon) that I'd read a post about somewhere, and that was said to work fine. I picked it because it had the little tab that allowed it to mount with the rubber dingus like the stock flasher. It worked fine with just the key on, and at idle when I tested it in the garage. However, the next time I rode the bike (last weekend) I discovered an issue... With revs over idle speed the signals blinked so fast that it was difficult to even tell they were blinking. It behaved as though the solid state unit worked fine at a nominal 12v but couldn't deal with the higher output voltage of the charging system at higher revs. Saturday night, I tried a second flasher unit, purchased from an Auto Zone, that was said to work with LEDs, Incandescent, and a combination of the two. Nothing happened at all. No turn signals at any speed or flash rate.
So, I wired the stock flasher unit back up. Not the lights, just the flasher. I still have the LED bulbs in the front and things work as they did when I originally installed them. They just flash faster than normal as seems to be a typical thing with old style flasher units and LED bulbs. I've installed LED signals on two other bikes in the past. On one I used a solid state flasher, and on the other I wired in resistors. Both worked. But since I only installed the LEDs on the TW to save wattage, I obviously didn't want to add resistors. So, I went the solid state flasher route. Tried two, and neither worked correctly for whatever reason. Everything else on the bike works as it should so I don't believe it's a bike problem. Just bad luck with two consecutive flasher units I guess. Got tired of fooling with it and throwing money at it, so just living with the hyper flash unless someone can point me to a specific flasher that I know will work correctly.
Yes, its been a long time since I could do close to 300 miles on a bike, let alone in the dirt!
I can see needing a rest after that!
Pre work on a bike is the only time I really wash them, that is a good idea, but after having some older bikes I find rust inside rims and
other places where water gets in but does not get out.
There is a local kid who pressure washes his 2 stroke dirt bike after every ride, not a good idea but he will outgrow it quickly
(or have it impounded).
Its nice you have such a large interesting area to ride a TW.
Yeah, I'm sorta surprised at my stamina. I haven't kept a log but I know that over the last quite a few weeks now, I've ridden somewhere around 200-300 miles a day pretty much every weekend at least one day out of the weekend. Last weekend I did it twice in a row, for close to a 600 mile total, with some of those miles being very difficult terrain. Not really sure where this old man had that stored back, but it's been nice finding it again.
While I recognize that some of age is inevitable, and that age related physical limitations are very real, I've also seen some allow themselves to "grow old" before their time, as a state of mind....
As the late great Tom Petty once said, "Well, I don't know, but I've been told, You never slow down, you never grow old..."
Quite a few years ago I decided to put his theory to the test.... Been working so far....
Maybe I'm just lucky, or blessed with good genes...
And yeah, on the riding places. But believe it or not, until very recently I wasn't aware that I had so much so close. I actually stopped riding dual sport because there just wasn't much in the way of good gravel/dirt roads around me. For the most part, my area of Georgia is mostly paved. But once I took the GPS plunge and started doing a little research, I found that there was more than I had been able to discover by just riding around looking and finding by chance alone. And then, I discovered the SEAT route, as well as other similar GPX files.
Of course, you're one to talk about being lucky to have so much good riding nearby! You have it made WAY better than most!
I'm not complainin' as I'm pretty stoked about my recent discoveries. My only issue is that most of mine are of the longer, out and back rides, of the 200+ mile variety. Guys over in the Alabama areas where I've been going, and in the N GA, W NC, and E TN (I LOVE that golden triangle) areas are the ones that really have it made, with SO much of the best riding the east has to offer. For me getting TO and from those areas takes a considerable amount of time, which explains the "why" of my "Ironman" rides...
But, I've recently begun researching more and hope to continue to find alternate routes that'll allow me to build out a few more routes with more off-road. And if I get lucky, I hope to create a few more "loops" of, varying length, that I can access easily enough from home. Still not a whole lot really close to me, but by leveraging modern technology offered by GPS and the internet, it's a lot easier to find what is available than it ever was the old fashioned way. Once I have a few decent GPX track files created I'll likely start a new thread in either the regional or Mapping and Nav subforums in order to share them with other members that may be in my area.
I am a well worn 62 and its hard to sit for any length of time, lyme disease, old age, being out of shape, or some combo of all three makes it very painful to sit, even driving in a comfortable car hurts.
I find I CAN dirt ride longer then street ride as I move around and stand up more, and could do 120 miles on the TW without feeling bad or tired at the end.
I think local rides are fine if you have them, but sticking a bike in a van/truck to get someplace fun 100 miles away would be the way to go for me.
I can get to the woods about 6 miles from my house and do 200 miles of mostly dirt, but if I had a van, I would love to take a bike someplace different like over in Pennsylvania where they have hills and different type of dirt trails from mostly flat sand and mud.
At my age, I don't think there is any dual sport I would want to ride 100 miles to the dirt and then do another 100+ miles, then ride home.
Thats at my age.
Wish I had a DR650 about 40 years ago!
Yeah, there are real physical limitations for sure. I'm a young 56, and hope to stay active and fit for as long as other health and age related conditions allow to remain possible.
And I'm with you on the long rides TO the dirt. When I first bought the TW I knew of a few local dirt/gravel roads, and thought it would make an excellent small bike to use exploring in my search for more. But had actually planned to trailer it to N GA to do the bulk of my TW riding. In fact, I bought a new, better, lighter trailer, and set my 4Runner up to camp out of, specifically for that purpose. Then about the time spring time rolls around and I plan to start doing weekend riding/camping trips, COVID hit. So, with all of the restrictions, that sorta screwed up my spring/summer/fall plans, as it did for so many others.
But, then I took the GPS plunge and started discovering more that's accessible from my home in Newnan. While my rides have been long, I actually leave the pavement not too far away. And even the paved roads are, for the most part, nice to ride. I can't put a number on it, but the majority of yesterdays miles were off pavement and the ride was as long as it was because I had a specific route in mind, was trying to find a new way to cover the trip to Roanoke (where I jump on the SEAT), as well as an area that I wanted to explore a bit around the Cheaha Mtn area. I have some shorter rides closer to home if I just want to jump on the bike for a couple of hours. But, recently I've been excited about the explore/discover aspect of building out routes associated with the SEAT and Alabama Skyway rides. I'm currently planning to do a larger portion of the SEAT, including the Smokey Mountain 500, and a couple other N GA routes that I have mapped out, sometime this year. Haven't figured out the details yet, but that trip will be several days. Probably a week, maybe more...
When I had the 2nd TW I explored a LOT of trails I never went on before, as they are mostly very un fun on a normal bike.
Miles of tight, rough, thick, soft sand with a bit of swamp thrown in.
I could always count on the TW to get me through and back, without a lot of work.
Now that I have a normal bike, I am back to avoiding some places and right now its very dry and I am not dirt riding at all since
the sand is so soft and thick in many places.
Therein lies the rub of owning only one bike, for me. I've never found any one bike that satisfies the different types of riding I like to do. I like the TW for it's go anywhere nature as this helps me prevent the "avoiding some places" thing. I had the same issue way too much when I rode bigger bikes. They were great for certain things but I bypassed too many unknown roads/trails due to not wanting to get a harder to handle bike into a sticky situation. While riding the TW I don't have this "fear", which allows me much more freedom to explore.
For example, a while back I discovered what looked like some interesting off-road routes. My plan was to explore them on the TW first so I could see what they were like, then if I felt comfortable, I'd ride them on the Himalayan later on. That was my plan anyway... And to a point it worked out that way. I rode the stretch of the SEAT from Roanoke to Heflin on the TW and had a blast. So, once I knew what to expect, I decided I was comfortable taking the Himalayan over the same route. So, I did, with no issues.
Then, while in that area and feeling brave, I decided to explore some more... I did a little write-up about the rest of that trip here:
The short version is that some of the rest of that ride was WAY more challenging than I anticipated. While the Himalayan did fine, I found myself wishing I was on the TW for a greater portion of the last leg of that ride. I've since gone back and rode those sections on the TW and found it less stressful of a ride in the tougher areas.
So yeah, while some may not be able to financially justify more than one bike, I look at it kind of like shoes... I have different types of footwear because they each serve a different purpose. It sounds like maybe you need two bikes... the KLX for what it does when the conditions and locations are appropriate, and a TW for those other times. Life is too short to feel limited by conditions and equipment.
Well, I do have two bikes at the moment and am looking to get a 3rd for 2 up riding.
The klx230, the TU250, and the wife wants a newer Bonneville.
I got the 230 so I could do more street to other places to dirt ride, the TW with its limited top speed was a limitation for that.
Well, I checked the other places out and they suck, or they really call for a TW (REALLY soft sand).
So I will be going back to the TW at some point.
The 230 motor in the TW would be SO bad ass!
Its a real gem.
And yes, I would be thrilled if I could have a TW with maybe just a bit better suspension, and 24ish hp and a sixth gear. As it is now, mine runs fine for the off-pavement stuff I do. But, it could definitely do with more power along with a bit higher final ratio for the pavement sections of my rides.
I'm still toying with picking up yet another small dual sport. I really like the overall size of the TW, and while an advantage in some places, for the overall area in which I ride the fat tires aren't really an advantage. I've ridden similar stuff many times on much larger dual sport bikes with standard dirt bike wheel and tire sizes. But, as mentioned, they were too big to allow me the freedom that I enjoy now with the smaller bike. Unfortunately there's just nothing on the market currently that fits. Probably the closest to what I think I'd enjoy would be the Honda CRF230L or the Yamaha XT225, neither of which are still available. I've considered quite a few other dual sport bikes recently, compared the specs between them all, past and present, and by and large, the majority are just too damn tall for what I want a bike for these days.
The KLX sounds interesting, but just from the specs, it appears to me quite a bit taller than what I'm looking for.
A few years ago, when I first became interested in a smaller bike, I ran across a ride report on another forum about a California to Alabama off-road adventure that a guy did on an XT225. He had his nicely set-up with mods to the suspension, wheels, spokes, tires, tank, etc. He's also a member here so I contacted him a while back trying to find that old thread. Unfortunately, he did't know how to find it any longer... But, I remember enough of it that I could likely replicate it well enough for my needs. I like the simplicity of the bike as it's sorta like a TW's skinny slightly taller sister. If I run across a clean example for decent money, I'll probably pick it up and give it a whirl... Just don't see nice examples around here too often these days... Keeping my eyes out for one though...
You can lower bikes you know, I have lowered my 230 a bit because I fit taller tires, but with the stock tires you can lower it about 3 inches.
I met a guy on the trail with a lowered wr250, lowered a lot, and he loved it.
But, I think the TW is fine, you just have to live with about 60 mph as a top speed to run at.
That works most places around here.
Lately though, the police are hiding and people are going nuts, doing 60 or 65 in 40 mph zones and such!
Around here they bumped the two main roads to 65. Its not at all common to see 75mph anymore. It's just plain stupid