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Yamaha TW200 review... no really - - (beware, long)

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by turbonotch, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. turbonotch

    turbonotch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    741
    Location:
    Vincentown, NJ
    yeah - i thought about turboing the ranger but it is simple and reliable so i just left it alone.

    you'd like my street/strip car though... check out my photoalbum: http://www.turboford.org/cgi-bin/album.pl?album=00000025;photo_height=200

    how's this for a 2.3 turbo :D
    http://www.turboford.org/cgi-bin/album.pl?photo=00000025/dsc00417.jpg;photo_height=-1;photo_width=-1

    http://www.turboford.org/cgi-bin/album.pl?photo=00000025/dsc00415.jpg;photo_height=-1;photo_width=-1
    #21
  2. RichBeBe

    RichBeBe All Hail Seitan!!! Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    7,563
    Location:
    NYC
    Very nice clean ride :D
    #22
  3. Ruskie

    Ruskie Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    29,237
    I enjoy fooling around with the TW 200's and the XT 225's. At last count I've owned 8 TW's and still own one today, and wehave a had a few XT's too. Wfie boought anew XT last year. But everybody in the family enjoys these fat tire marvels. There a hoot in the sand and in rocks. Pretty much bullet proof. I've never had any problems as some others have.

    The XT 225's are even better if you plan to do longer on/offroad trips but want a smaller ride. The wife loves her XT225. We plan to do the Continental Divide. I'll use the DRZ400S for my big butt:D
    #23
  4. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2004
    Oddometer:
    30,482
    Location:
    Western Mass
    The Yamaha website used to (maybe still does) actually mentions the XT for use by RV'ers who need a street legal way to get to town...

    -Vinent
    #24
  5. cbig

    cbig Rift- Raft, SCooter Trash

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,685
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    I had one for 13 yrs! Bought mine with 700 miles for 700 bucks from a female rider who only rode it to grad school. How could I go wrong? 16k later I finally sold it. Great for RV's, NO breakdowns except for a flat tire. Rode the thing all the way through the Mojove trail, many, many trails in Utah, Elephant Hill, Kennedy Meadows, Baja, Borrego, Arizona..

    It works very well. Not fast. Definately doable. Different - no skid and throttle for turns, kinda street bike like. Sorry to hear no kick start! Mine had both. This bike did everything. Not fast, but it did it.

    You'll enjoy it - I know I did!

    cb
    #25
  6. Mr. Cob

    Mr. Cob Howling "Mad", Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2001
    Oddometer:
    11,658
    Location:
    Granite Falls, Washington State, USA
    Howdy All,

    IMHO, the Yamaha TW200 is a GREAT little bike. I bought one for Donna from Ruskie, for the HUGE sum of $800.00, the thing runs great and is in good shape. Donna, is verticaly chalanged, in short, she's short. To give you an idea of how small the TW200 is, here's a photo of it and Donna along side of my DRZ400S.

    [​IMG]

    Me and Donna have had a lot of fun riding together since she got this bike, we plan on doing a lot of camping and dual sporting in the future now that she has a bike she can handle. This ole bike has kick and electric start, it's old enought so that if it gets messed up it's no big loss and to tell you the truth, I have had a ball riding the darn thing in some places I know I couldn't ride my DRZ400S without having to get a little crazy. They are a really good bike for the money and a ton of fun to boot.
    #26
  7. turbonotch

    turbonotch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    741
    Location:
    Vincentown, NJ
    yeah - i was concerned that the seat height would be TOO low and my hips would cramp up (i'm 6 foot)... but that hasn't been a problem yet.

    i find myself playing around on trails that are an absolute mess and trying all sorts of goofy lines that i could never get away with on a 400 or a 650 simply because of the narrow tires, high seat height, and extra weight (650 specifically on the weight). it is almost like i pick trails LOOKING for trouble because i know it is easy to get out of with such a small, easy to handle bike :D
    #27
  8. cugino pegaso

    cugino pegaso 141.7 MPH in DIRT

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2002
    Oddometer:
    383
    there is a shop in the Oeno district of tokyo (biker heaven if you ever get to japan, a must see, 10 blocks, buildings filled to the 10th floor, etc) dedicated to nothing but TW's (just like there are z50/monkey only, brake/clutch lever only, glove only shops, etc). all manner of hop up parts, custom swinarms/wheels you could imagine. I remember one with what must have been an 18" drag race slick!!! flat track set ups the whole schmeer. seems the japanese use the tw as a incredibly popular customizing platform
    #28
  9. turbonotch

    turbonotch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    741
    Location:
    Vincentown, NJ
    spent another weekend on the bike... did 100+ miles on Saturday afternoon, all off-road.

    In the morning we got on alot of enduro trails, I'm pushing it increasingly harder as I get comfortable with it and I'm beginning to find the PRECISE limit were the suspension just can't hack it. Rode with a buddy on his DRZ400... definitely outmatched, but we could pace each other on the tight trails.

    If we did an all out sprint he handed me my ass (obviously), but when riding at a pace like we were going to spend another 75 miles on the bike - we were pretty even.

    On smoother fire trails and narrow two tracks it was a blast. When we got on really whooped out enduro trails and wide graded dirt roads I was out of my league. On the enduro trails the suspension was simply overwhelmed and I had to do the work to keep the thing moving fast... as opposed to the DRZ400 where you could just point it down the trail and let the suspension do the work. A plus side is that it kept my speeds safe enough that I never found myself off the trail into the woods... unlike the DR rider :D Other problem on enduro trails was height - the foot pegs and shifter seemed to seek out stumps and logs - and the bike sits just low enough that water crossing can become a problem. However when it comes to watercrossings - the TW hydroplanes like a dream provided you have the speed to do so ;) it is kind of addictive - but put me in two situations where I went down, once pretty damn hard. Hydroplaning waterholes of unknown depth seems to do that! lol.

    On wide graded dirt roads, it just didn't have the cajones to power out of corners or the top speed to keep pace as the DRZ400 rider powerslide through long sweeping turns 'dirt-track' style. Oh well. That doesn't bother me because I only ride on graded dirt roads long enough to spot a side path.

    As soon as we got off of those types of trails - the two bikes were very well matched... simply because speed became dependent on rider skill and we have been riding together since we were kids. On low to medium speed trails I had to put LESS work into keeping the bike moving through and I could negotiate obstacles with less effort and error than the DR - simply because of the low weight, low seat height, and amazingly tractable tires (sandy trails). The little things that usually take alot of energy (like unsticking the bike or turning around on a dead end, bar width, trail) were MUCH easier on the TW200 and kind of made up for all the work I put into keeping up on the heavily whooped enduro trails earlier in the day.

    In the end, the TW200 kept pace with a bike twice as big, with at LEAST twice the suspension and twice the motor... and a price tag also double. Did the TW200 do it flawlessly? Hell no. But it did do it and came back in one piece.

    Time will tell if it stands up to the abuse. I think the rear suspension will do OK but I'm wondering how long it'll take before the fork seals are hammered out. I have a plan to swap on better forks if it does become a problem... shouldn't be to hard at all.

    It's tolerance to abuse and my bank account will ultimately determine if it sticks around - but I can't say I'm dissappointed.

    BTW - I added handgrip guards from my old dual-sport (to deflect brush and protect the levers/my hands) and a 1 tooth larger front sprocket today (to give it some more highway ability and a little better gear split for intermediate speed trails). I think I'm going to order a rear rack from cycleracks.com to hold camping gear and put some thought into a set of custom guards to protect the shifter and rear brake lever... they seem to keep catching stumps.
    #29
  10. Lee Dodge

    Lee Dodge Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Oddometer:
    651
    Location:
    Horicon, WI. By da marsh.
    I saw a TW200 for sale and went to look at it today. I took it for a test ride (on the street) and it was not quite what I was expecting. The engine was stronger than I expected. It should be fine for the kind of tight woods riding I plan on. The motor was also very smooth. It even sounded kind of cool.

    What I didn't like was the suspension. Much stiffer than I expected for a trail bike. Stiffer than my street bike. It seems like it would make for a pretty rough ride off road. Perhaps it would better if the tires were aired down for trail use. Are all the tw200's this way or did they stiffen the suspension on the later models?
    #30
  11. bullfrog

    bullfrog Dismember

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Armpit of Texas
    Turbonotch,

    I really appreciate all the info...
    Next month Mrs. Bullfrog will be taking the beginner MSF course.
    She has really been eyeballin' the tw200.
    Nice to know that it is soooo good on the trail.
    Very glad to have read your review....
    Not a whole lot of info out there...

    I did find this though....

    http://www.thumperpage.com/articles/tw200.html
    #31
  12. mrsquirrel

    mrsquirrel Lost in Thailand

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    12
    Location:
    Thailand
    [​IMG]

    This might amuse you TW owners

    SR400 with a few mods.
    #32
  13. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,088
    Location:
    Irvine, Calif.
    Mrs. LEV likes hers:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. bronc3

    bronc3 Lucky 13

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,735
    Location:
    Zero Gulch, Floriduh
    Just wanted to reinforce what has already been claimed in this very old post. I bought an '07 for myself and love it. I have been having a blast with it. Used for it's intended purpose it is incredible what it will do. It is a nice trail bike, short range commuter and a nice pit bike at the drag strip. It really shines on tight sandy trails and climbs steep grades without the benefit of a running start. 6th gear and a little more suspension travel would be nice, but it works very well as is. The engine also has a reputation of durability.

    There is a forum for TW's now:

    http://tw200forum.com/forums/default.aspx?ForumGroupID=4


    Modified my '07 a bit and it improved the looks/added function. Baja Designs rear taillight, handguards, Renthal Jimmy Buttons, fold down mirror, small tailbag, and fabbed a bracket to install a YZ85 front fender.
    #34
  15. buddha

    buddha buried in the sand... Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    722
    Location:
    Clinton, NC
    I've always loved these bikes.... want to "buy one for my wife" one of these days.

    Somebody needs to start a TW200 thread, so we can drool over everyone's TW's....
    #35
  16. Mr. Magoo

    Mr. Magoo Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,882
    Location:
    Milky Way
    Just got back from the Yammy shop where my 13 y/o son spent a lot of time eyeballing, sitting on, and muttering about a new TW there. Man, this is going to be hard to resist with X-Mas and all coming up. IT's cool. I think my little wife would learn to ride too. I'm headed towards financial ruin....with a smile on my face.:rofl
    #36
  17. Scalzitti

    Scalzitti Adventure Driven

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    442
    Location:
    Lake Zurich, IL
    bronc3 - Thanks for the heads up on the TW200 Forum. I've been looking for one. Larry
    #37
  18. turbonotch

    turbonotch Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    741
    Location:
    Vincentown, NJ
    Yeah - I cruised through that forum last week. Seems pretty active... lots of pictures. Wish I'd know about it a few years ago. Back when I bought mine the only dedicated TW stuff was written in Japanese!

    I've been loving my KLX300R performance wise... but I still have to chuckle, grin, and smile whenever I even THINK of the TW.

    It will always have a place on my short list of bikes I couldn't pass up for the right $$$$.
    #38
  19. gas_pig70

    gas_pig70 Mmm... mud!

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,407
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Me as well (even if the wife doesn't know it). There's been a few times that I've "parked" my DRZ400S on a nasty hill-climb and began to wish that I was riding one of these instead .:lol3
    #39
  20. wickedxgrl

    wickedxgrl n00b

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Camp Hill, PA
    I know this post is hella old but I couldn't resist! You think that FL-NY trip was major? Check this out!

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=255995
    #40