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Motorcycle Monday: Yamaha TW200

Jul 1, 13 • by Lindsay Shaw • Motorcycles, Vintage Motorcycles2 CommentsRead More »

My name is Lindsay, and I am addicted to dual sport motorcycles. Big or small, I love them all. Dual sports tend to be the oddballs of the motorcycle world, and I have a fondness for the most peculiar of the breed. One of the most unusual is the Yamaha TW200.

What other dual sport comes stock with a 130 tire on the front and a 180 on the rear? For reference, the rear tire on a Suzuki DR650 is a 120. The TW is a freak show, and I can’t get enough of it.

The TW200 has been in production since 1987—nearly three decades—with minimal updates. At first glance, it looks like someone has mounted two river tubes to an XT225. I mean, it is nearly cartoonish.

But, Yamaha has clearly hit on something, and people keep buying it. Although the TW isn’t going anywhere in a hurry, the fat tires and low gearing enable it to truck up and across nearly anything it is pointed toward. Mud, sand, potholes—none are any match.

On the highway, it is straining above 60, but for the offroad efforts, it is truly a two-wheeled tractor. And, it will manage about 80 mpg all day long with a moderate touch on the throttle. With its 1.8 gallon tank capacity, that is just over 140 miles of road and trail.

Beyond those benefits, the TW is just an easy ride. With a seat height of 31” and a wet weight of only 278 lbs., it is a manageable good time for pretty much anyone. I’m 5’3” on a good day and am always appreciative of any dual sport that does not require me to come completely off the seat in order to get a toe down at red lights or stopping points along a trail.

The TW’s compact stature and calm obedience provide tamable confidence for new riders and wide-smiled fun for seasoned veterans.

The TW200 won’t get you an easy IBA number, and it requires more inflation than Dolly Parton’s chest, but it will billy goat its way up a sandy hill and into your heart without a blink.

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2 Responses to Motorcycle Monday: Yamaha TW200

  1. William Robinson says:

    One of these was the first bike I have ever driven on the street. I liked how it drove but would hate to take one on a freeway or any other fast moving road, they are pretty much done at 100kmh.

  2. Wendy says:

    Power mad, you are, Lindsay.