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Well, this winter my dad wanted to have something to ride as he hasn’t ridden a dirt bike in over 30 years! The man that taught me how to ride hasn’t ridden in over 30 years! Work, life and that awful disease, Cancer, got in the way. But now here we are, in 2022 and my dad has a bike! No, it’s not a new 450 or even a 250 for that matter, it’s a TW200!
There is a reason the TW200 still sells well and remains in Yamaha’s lineup after all these years; in fact, there are many reasons but a few quickly come to mind: it’s inexpensive, versatile, built well, and anybody can hop on one and go, including my 68 year old dad. It’s low 9.5:1 compression means it will run on just about anything, which is a good thing when traveling in places where gas might not be of the highest quality. The suspension is made up of a 33mm telescopic fork with 6.3 inches of wheel travel up front and a single shock swingarm setup up with 6.0 inches of wheel travel in the back. The bad news is that you can’t adjust it. However, have no fear as the TW200 is not meant to outperform or race your friends, it’s a bike that allows you to “get out” and enjoy two-wheels on or off road. The TW has a very-low and less intimidating 31.1-inch seat height, standard odometer/speedometer set up, and a modest 1.8-gallon fuel tank. It weighs just under 280 pounds, which is a little heavy for a “play bike”.
What makes the TW so unique is its “fat” tires. Remember the old Yamaha BW200 that was produced in 1985 through 1989? The TW is like it’s long lost cousin that slimmed down just a bit. These fatter tires give the TW its unique personality and, more importantly, the ability to go places where most motorcycles—or any two wheeled vehicle—can’t, or at least not nearly as easily for the beginner or casual rider.
My dad hasn’t ridden in over 30 years, but since his retirement he wanted something he could get out and about with. He is out of shape, a little more fragile and less likely to feel the need for speed at age 68. The man that taught me how to ride needed a bike that he could just get out on and maybe watch his grandson ride. The Yamaha TW200 is a bike that gives him the ability to watch his Aden ride out in the desert while giving him a sense of freedom that only two wheels can give. Sure it’s a little cold blooded and maybe not the most maculate of machines, but when you want to be as safe as possible yet still get out with your friends/family the TW 200 is really unmatched. Need to make a run to the liquor store? Sure the TW200 handles the pavement just fine as well! The TW200 only tops out at around 68mph but speed isn’t necessarily why you would be purchasing this machine right? Pops is back in the saddle and to me that is what matter most. Oh and he seems to be smiling more too! We are going to be slowly doing subtle mods to this Yamaha so stay tuned for a step by step list of things that need to be done to make the TW200 a little more fun to ride. As always if you have any questions about this machine, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seat Height: 31.1 in.
Wheelbase: 52.2 in.
Trail: 3.4 in.
Ground Clearance: 10.4 in.
Fuel Capacity: 1.8 gal.
Fuel Economy (claimed): 78 mpg
Weight (wet, claimed): 278 lbs.