Last May, I decided to get my wife a bike to learn to ride on. It was a TTR125L. She did great on it. Recently while in the car chit chatting, she brought up the MSF classes and said something along the lines of, "I should take that course." So, like the excellent husband that I am, the next day I had us both signed up for classes this May. So, in preparation, I sold off her TTR and began scouting a new, street legal bike for her to ride. You might say, Mike, why the rush, she hasn't even taken the class yet? But, ye must remember, it's winter in Michigan, no better time to purchase a motorcycle. So I began scouting, KLR250's, DR200se's, XR250L's, XT225's, and TW200's, which I assumed most would be out of our price range. I wanted to stay near 1,000 dollars for a bike. I don't know how serious she's going to take it, so I didn't want a huge investment. I was pretty seriously considering a DR200se and a KLR250, when I saw an ad on c-list for an 05 TW200 for 1600$. Wow, not a bad price for a newer one. I rarely see them show up and when I do, for that price, it's usually one made before 2000. So I checked the details. 12K miles. Intake valve had been replaced. It had a webcam aftermarket cam (stage 1)and it had a brand new Bridgestone TW204 and tube that came with it. It also has a jimbo sheild and a cyclerack on it. Here are a couple pics the P.O. sent me:
Not too bad. I wanted to check it out. So, I drove 2 1/2 hours to look at it. I walk around the bike. Initially I was a little turned off due to the fact that it looked as though it had never been washed. The swingarm was rusty, I assumed it was due to stones hitting it from the tire, but I now know it's a common problem with the battery vent hose. It needs sprockets pretty badly (He had recently changed the chain, but not the sprockets???). It also had some mismatched or just missing hardware here and there. Oh, and the fork boots were both ripped. I knew from the start that the meter box's tabs had broken off and it was hanging loose, there was a dent in the right side of the tank and the muffler had the spark arrestor removed and welded back up. I wanted to hear it run. The bike had been sitting in a cold barn, so when the P.O. went to put the key in the ignition, it wouldn't turn. There must have been some condensation in the lock cylinder. After a while of looking around, he located some wd40 to dribble into it. Eventually we got the lock turning. Then it wouldn't start and the battery was low. Luckily he had a charger with jump start capabilities. We got it running, so I wanted to take it for a spin down the road. It was reeaaallly cold out. The bike ran great and shifted fine. I got back and we started dealing. I ended up with the bike for 1350, which I thought was fair.
I brought it home and immediately started dis-assembling the bike. I am really anal about cleanliness and this bike was nasty.
I cleaned dirt and mud from every crevice of the frame, and removed what seemed like pounds of greasy dirt from the engine case. I cleaned up the rust on the swing arm and touched it up with some paint, I resprayed the passenger peg brackets, I cleaned up and resprayed the skid plate, cleaned and painted the exhaust, etc. etc. I also removed a bunch of metal mulisha sticker. It was starting to look pretty good. I removed the mismatched hardware and bought new button/allen head bolts in stainless for the passenger pegs and exhaust hangers. I also bought some bolts to hold the seat down since those were missing. I glued the tabs back on the meter box and it's pretty solid now. I also added a set of Tusk handguards and took off the open ended powermadd ones that were on it.
I ordered a bunch of parts the other day, including new sprockets, countershaft oil seals, crankcase gasket, bulbs for the meter box that were burned out, new fork boots, oil, filter, etc.
I also ordered these pegs from ebay since the stock ones are so small:
Tonight, I was bored, waiting for parts to come in, so I used an extra set of reflect rim tape on the TW and I think it turned out pretty cool:
Since she's going to be a new rider, there is nothing wrong with a little extra visibility.
I'll keep you updated with other stuff. I need to have the new tire/tube mounted up on the rim, but I might as well wait until I take it off to change the rear sprocket. Future mods I would like to do include a riccochet skid plate and a Lizrdcooler oil cooler. I like the look of the t-dub, so I don't really forsee any visual or strip down mods in it's future. I am thinking about stopping by the local body shop to see if they could pop the dent out at all.