I recently purchased a new bike for myself- an somewhat unimpressive 2008 Yamaha TW200.
Is it a massive GS globetrotter? A big flashy Austrian beast? No, but it is Expedition White... does that make it cool?
Seriously though... I recently attended a group ride in Death Valley with a big group of other guys and gals from an online forum revolving around adventure motorcycling. The bike that I took on the trip was what many feel is the ultimate 550lb V-twin dirtbike- a KTM 950 Adventure. When it was running well, it was IMO a pretty decent machine. A bit heavy for real off-road riding, and not as comfortable on-road as a straight up street bike, but it was a fair compromise, and did the job. However, on the first real ride with it, is broke down. I did what I could in the middle of nowhere, but never got it going well enough to ride with my friends, and my day was over.
Back at camp I dug into the bike, and so did several others. One of them was a professional KTM mechanic. Nobody could figure out what was wrong with it. Around the time that it became apparent that the bike was not going to ride out, it occurred to me that perhaps the mighty 950 is a great bike for a guy who has a full-on Paris-Dakar race team following him around to keep it running like a top, but not all that great for a guy like me who doesn't.
Just when it looked like my weekend of riding was over, someone else on the ride mentioned that if I wanted, they had a spare bike that I could use for the weekend... a Yamaha TW200. Now it's not a big flashy motocross or adventure bike like I was used to, and I have to admit that I wasn't all that sure about it, but heck... 2-wheels is 2-wheels, and I came to ride DV!
Surprise: After a day on the pudgy little T-dub I LOVED that bike! It's not trying to be anything that it's not. Fast? no. Powerful? no. Impressive looking? no. It's BASIC on/off-road entertainment that's it. As an added bonus, it achieves +/- 80mpg, and could probably be completely rebuilt in the middle of the desert with a primitive toolkit, some duct tape, bailing wire, and an instruction manual no thicker than a Tuesday newspaper in some podunk town. The long and short of it: It's elegance in simplicity. Now I'm not saying that I'd want to tour on this bike, quite the opposite really, but back roads, dirt roads, and mild trails- you bet.
After returning from the DV trip (which BTW you can read about on Dave's (adventureduo) blog), I decided that I just had to have a T-dub. My only bike? nope... but it has it's place.
I looked through CL, but didn't find anything, so I posted a "WTB" as here on ExPo and also over on ADV. Within 24 hours, a guy contacted me from Walla Walla, WA. He told me about a bike that he had- how he bought it new for his wife, and she didn't take to riding. He also mentioned that the bike had been sitting for a couple of years, which of course meant to me that it'd need a battery, oil change, carb clean/rebuild, and tank flushed and cleaned. The price was right though, and a deal was struck.
So here's what I ended up with...
...a 2008 Yamaha TW200 with 146 miles on it. Yep, 146.
When I went to go pick it up, it was in even better condition than the seller stated. Aside from being a bit dusty from sitting without being used fr so long, this little bike was brand new! The seller was able to fire it up, and it ran great... well, aside from the fuel pouring out the carb overflow. The seller was sympathetic to the issue, and knocked another $100 off the agreed upon price. Money and paperwork changed hands, and off I drove toting my new "so unimpressive, it's awesome" motorcycle.