Yamaha TW200 Review
There are few bikes with as much personality as the TW200. I normally ride street bikes, and the TW200 is actually the first dirt bike I ever had the chance to ride. It’s fun, bouncy (compared to a street bike), and a blast to ride on the street or the dirt.
I got the chance to take this bike out for a few days and really run it through it’s paces. If you are nervous about dropping your first bike, or you want a motorcycle that is extremely beginner friendly, then check out the TW200.
Fun on a budget
Brand new the TW200 comes in about $500 cheaper than most other bikes in it’s class at around $4,600. I wouldn’t buy this bike brand new though, you can find SCREAMING deals on it in the used market. You could easily find a newer TW200 in the $2,500 range. That’s a whole motorcycle for what would be the down payment on any other bike.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. This bike is underpowered. It’s engine is a 196cc single cylinder thumper. No matter how you slice it, nearly under 200cc’s is going to have trouble at high speed. But that’s not where this bike shines anyway. This bike is a dirt dragon, at home in the mud and sand!
Fatties and springs
The stock tires are FAT. It is one of the most noticeable thing about this motorcycle. Those wide rear tires will give you grip when other tires might fail. It’s these grippy shoes that make up for it’s lack of engine when you are on the trails.
When you combine a small engine, lightweight motorcycle, with big grippy tires… You get a lot of fun. You can do stuff with this bike that you would only be able to do on a BMX bicycle. The bike get wedged between some logs? With a little muscle you can lift it out yourself. With a larger bike you would need a friend to dislodge you from a similar situation.
The suspension is good enough for a stock motorcycle. It’s not amazing, but it also doesn’t hold you back too much. It’s more than good enough for a new rider, and even most experienced riders.
The place where this bike lacks is the obvious. It struggles making it to 55mph, so if you have some freeways in your daily commute then you might want to avoid the TW200. It also has no 6th gear so even if you could get it up to 65mph it’s really not going to be a smooth ride.
The other negative about this bike is the small gas tank. Yes, that small gas tank really does help limit weight, but at 1.8gallons it really does seem small. To be fair, this engine sips gasolines so you should be able to wring out around 150 miles from a full tank.
Most new riders drop their first motorcycle at least once. This can be painful if you get something with beautiful plastic fairings like the Kawasaki Ninja 300. A drop with that bike could result in hundreds of dollars worth of damage.
Dropping the TW200 is simply par for the course. Not only is it a dirt bike that is made to absorb falls, it is so lightweight you can easily pick it up again. That reduced weight also helps with maneuvering the bike at low speeds. In fact, this might be the IDEAL bike to take the motorcycle license test with.
- Nimble bike with wide tires
- Great for a beginner
- Amazing for an experienced rider (you can whip it around!)
- No 6th gear
- Small gas tank