Expedition Bike? Not really, it's just WTHIJ's TW200.

New Seat: The Gripper...

More stuff! Motorcycle manufacturers spend countless thousands of hours tweaking little things here and there to give a bike more performance, lighter weight, more reliability, etc, etc, yet almost all of them insist on selling bikes with 2x6 planks wrapped in vinyl as a seat. This is not a dig on the TW or of Yamaha, but just about every manufacturer across the board- American, European, Japanese, Russian, all of 'em. Of the many, many motorcycles that I've owned, I can't think of a single one that had what one might call a comfortable seat as standard equipment, and the TW200 is no exception. There's not a whole lot of options out there for the TW200, but thankfully the folks at Seat Concepts offer a great replacement foam and cover setup.

SeatBox.jpg InTheSeatBox.jpg

In the box, there's a new seat foam, and a new cover (no pan- with this setup, one reuses their stock seat pan). Both the foam and cover are customizable to the owners liking- for the TW200, SeatConcepts offers 2 different seat foam densities and 4 different covers options. I chose the normal SC foam and gripper top and carbon sides seat cover for this bike.

Although slightly intimidating at first, installing a new seat foam and cover is really pretty easy- take your time, and flip the seat over to see where you're at a lot, and it'll look like a pro did it by the time you sink that last staple in. Start out by removing the old seat cover (pull all the staples). I did it with a tiny flathead screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a Pacifico. Next, remove the foam. It might just fall off, or it might take a little strategic pulling. I've had it go both ways on different bikes, but with the TW, it just came off. Next up, test fit the new foam on your pan, make any adjustments that might be needed or desired, then glue te new seat foam to the pan. It works best to clean off your old pan with soap and water, then give it a good once over the mating surfaces of both the pan and foam with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any residue form soap or mold release. Spray both surfaces with whatever adhesive you choose (I've always used 3M Super77, but I'm sure other stuff works fine too), then carefully stick them together. I've found it useful to place index marks with a Sharpie on the foam and seat pan when I test fit, as well as go through a couple of dry-run installations before actually applying the glue to make it permanent.

Here's the old and new seat foams side by side (factory left, SC right), as well as the cleaned, prepped and ready to mate pan and foam:

SideBySide.jpg PanNFoam.jpg

Once the foam is secured to the seat pan, it's cover time. I always start from the middle of the front and work my way to the rear, evenly going down both sides at the same time when installing a seat cover. I'm sure it'd work from rear to front as well, but front to rear is how I've always done it. Either way, the key is to start at one end and work to the other. If you staple the front and back, then work towards the middle during your install, you'll have a wrinkly cover that looks like a 4 year old put it on, and all your friends will make fun of you... and your 4 year old.

Flipping it over a lot to check your progress during install is key. It'll give you a nice taught cover with straight seams and lines. I should also point out that different seat pans seem to have different densities. Sometimes I can get away with using the staple gun in the picture above, and other times not. With the TW, I had to use a pneumatic stapler. I bought one just like this one at Harbor Freight a long time ago, and it's worked very well... just keep the PSI's above around 90, and it'll do the trick perfectly. Speaking of stapler, you'll want to use 1/4" staples (or on rare occasion, shorter) for a seat cover install. Any longer, and you'll risk poking through the seat cover- which is neither aesthetically or physically pleasing.

Here's what the old (left) and new (right) seat covers look like when installed:

OldSeat1.jpg NewSeat1.jpg

The perspective is a little off in the shots due to a different focal length before and after the install, and the new seat looks a LOT wider than it really is compared to the stock seat. The new one is definitely wider, but not to the distorted proportions that the above photos suggest. There is a bigger butt-platform on the new seat though, and I'm happy to report that it no longer has that "sitting on a 12/12 roof-cap" feeling like the factory seat had. Plus, there's no more super-slippery, plasticy-vinyly, "I'm gonna fly right off this bike" seat feeling.

Here's a bit more detailed shot of the covers themselves- Yamaha left, SC right:

OldSeat2.jpg NewSeat2.jpg

This may be the best mod that I've made to the bike so far, as it makes the TW200 infinitely more comfortable to ride. Rider comfort (for my preferences, anyways) with the stock seat lasted about :30 minutes. With the new seat kit though, I have yet to really experience any discomfort. FWIW, I like to move around a lot on the bike, and had a hard time deciding to go with a gripper or other seat cover. After spending some time on the new seat, my $.02 is to go with the gripper, as it has just the right amount of friction, and isn't super "sticky" like some other manufacturers gripper seat covers.
 

805gregg

Adventurer
Looks nice but not much of an adventure bike, top speed off a cliff is about 63, too small and poor suspension. I sold my 2008 and bought a DR650 now cruise all day at 75 on the freeway and much better off road.
 
Looks nice but not much of an adventure bike, top speed off a cliff is about 63, too small and poor suspension. I sold my 2008 and bought a DR650 now cruise all day at 75 on the freeway and much better off road.
Just like the title of the thread says "Expedition bike? Not really...," but it's certainly an adventure bike! I suppose the adventure is what you make out of it... I've had some great adventures on the little 'dub!

I'm pretty certain that all day slab action was not what Yamaha intended for the TW, but I have to say, your 63 off a cliff is pretty conservative compared to my GPS'd 84 (pretty much off a cliff :bike_rider:) or frequent and easy 65/70 from SF to Marin on the 101. Did you ever tune or jet your TW for your conditions/location/elevation, or did you just ride it around with whatever setup the dealer (or PO) sold it to you with? Either way, I agree with you that it'd be a silly choice for someone who's looking to do regular highway riding or anything resembling heavy off-road riding. The TW is perfect though for riding around town, keeping it pretty mellow, and exploring some 2-track or fire roads. Sounds like you were looking for something else though, and that the DR fit you better- glad to hear that you found something that works well for ya!

I had a DR at one time too- I think it was around a '00 or '01. I thought it was a good enough bike for around town and commuter-style highway riding, and I could pack a ton of stuff on it... and pretty reliable too. But it was a pig off road, and it always felt like I was more of the bike's passenger than a rider! The TW fills a niche that bigger bikes with 450cc's more displacement don't and can't, just like your DR isn't the same type of adventure bike as say a 990, Tiger, or GSA. Sometimes I wish I had a sort of Swiss-Army bike that could do it all instead of having to have a half dozen different bikes filling up my garage, but then again, that's part of what makes motorcycling so enjoyable- variety!
 
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fourstringfletch

Adventurer
Looks like a great bike!
Why are you selling it, and why not list it here? Any plans of driving to Colorado? I'm in the market for a t-dub... :drool:
 

Chili

Explorer
Ok, so after reading this thread I want one. :eek: I just want something that I can trail ride with, or ride to work, both just occasionally.

Found a couple local. One is a 1990, 6k miles, supposed to run well and everything functions. Asking $1,600. Other is an 09, 3k miles, same condition. Asking $3,200. Any input on those prices? I have no idea what something like this is worth.

I'm leaning towards the old one. Has the kickstart, and for a for a toy like this I find it hard to justify spending too much.
 
Ok, so after reading this thread I want one. :eek: I just want something that I can trail ride with, or ride to work, both just occasionally.

Found a couple local. One is a 1990, 6k miles, supposed to run well and everything functions. Asking $1,600. Other is an 09, 3k miles, same condition. Asking $3,200. Any input on those prices? I have no idea what something like this is worth.

I'm leaning towards the old one. Has the kickstart, and for a for a toy like this I find it hard to justify spending too much.
It'd be hard for me to recommend either bike without knowing more about them. I'd look for a well documented past with regular service intervals, and a bike that appears to be well kept. I'm a big fan of garage kept bikes, and not such a big fan of bike left out in the weather all the time. Call me crazy. A consideration for the older bike is that the tires and tubes will likely need to be replaced, as well as perhaps the chain/sprocket, a carb flush/rebuild (a good thorough tank flush and petcock rebuild too) if its been sitting, probably due for a tune up, etc, etc. That being said, the newer bike could need all that stuff too. It all just depends.

As far as the price goes, I've seen them all over the board from free basket case bikes to $5000 for new, practically new, or better than new bikes. I'd suggest taking your time to find the right bike for your goals and budget. Sometimes it takes a while, and other times you'll get lucky and will score a great deal on the first one that you go look at. Whatever your budget, don't forget to factor in personal safety gear! My $.02 is to get all of the safety gear you'll need (and don't skimp on it!), then see what budget you have left over to spend on a bike.
 
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Chili

Explorer
Excellent, thank you for the input. I do have time on my side, since I am by no means in a hurry.
 

Cody1771

Explorer
Excellent, thank you for the input. I do have time on my side, since I am by no means in a hurry.
yeah theres a few things to consider to, like parts availability, the newer ones are much much lighter but don't have the kick start, which the older ones do, the newer ones have much better aftermarket support for luggage racks and what have you if your not so fabrication inclined.
 
Here's what was in the box above:

FMFMuffler.jpg

An FMF Powercore 4 muffler made just for the TW200... sweet!

The pipe is stainless, and matches the TTR stainless header that I installed in an earlier post, and the muffler body is anodized aluminum. The tip is also stainless, and it has a USFS approved spark arrestor. Overall, a nice build quality. The decals on the pipe were removed (used a little rubbing alcohol to take care of the adhesive residue). IMO, the FMF logos were just a bit too flashy.

I would have detailed the install steps for the pipe like I have with most of the other mods on the bike, but this was just too easy. It takes about 3 minutes, 6mm and 5mm Allen wrenches, and a 12mm socket. Simply loosen up all the exhaust bolts (including the header!) pull the old muffler, slip the FMF muffler over the header, and re-tighten everything. That easy. I've heard that if you have an older bike, the frame is just slightly different than the newr ones, and that you might need to make a small tab to bolt this muffler on... but I can't confirm it. It's a perfect fit on the 2008 though.

The new pipe definitely sounds throatier, and I like it. Taking the bike for a quick ride up and down the street, the new muffler is noticeably louder than the stock muffler.
I threw together a quick video to try and describe the differences in tone, but the D7000's built-in mic really doesn't do either muffler any justice:


If I gain access to a decibel meter (no, not an iPhone app :cool: ) in the near future, I'll post up any measured findings.

Some say that there's a difference in power output when the stock TW200 muffler is replaced by the FMF... particularly top-end. However, I just put this muffler on, and haven't jetted for it yet, so anything that I noticed right now would likely become different after I re-jet the bike. I'll update later with the results.
 
James,
Who makes that fuel filter. Where could I get those?
The filter is a 90° Visu-Filter for 1/4" fuel line. They are available at many motorcycle parts shops or online, and on average run from around $3.50-$5.00. The Visu-Filter also come in a straight-through version, which was the first filter that I bought for the T-Dub, but it didn't fit. The 90° was the only one that fit the TW200 in this thread. Note that these filters are not serviceable, so if you decide to put one on your bike, maybe get a couple extra... or at least 1 extra to carry on the bike.
 

spd2918

Observer
Sweet bike. I teach MSF courses and I we have many T-Dubs.

For those that think this bike is not an expedition rig, I'd like to ask what is? Big, heavy, BMWs are far less suited to real off road adventure travel than a small, light bike. Anything in the range of a TW up to KLR seem to be a better choice. I would rather put up with a small bike on the road than a big bike off road.

Of course a BMW GS would be better for a road based adventure.
 
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