Technology

A Look at the Venerable Yamaha TW200

The Yamaha TW200 has been called many things, but pretty isn’t one of them. In fact, the TW200 has been called goofy-looking, displaced, fat-tired and downright ugly. Despite all that, it’s one of the only dirt bike models in existence that has remained virtually unchanged, and for good reason. It’s durable — like, cockroach durable. 

Top Features (According to Yamaha)

Of course, Yamaha wants you to buy this bike so it’s going to sell all its features, but every review can agree that there are some features of this bike that are particularly noteworthy. For one, the tires are beastly. The tires on this bike aren’t your standard motorcycle wheels — they’re fat, deliver outstanding traction and provide for a smooth ride despite how bumpy the terrain gets. They’re also the most distinctive aspect of the machine and are what enable it to traverse from asphalt to gravel to dirt with ease. 

In contrast to the bulky tires is the compact chassis. Maybe the wheels wouldn’t look so goofy if the bike’s body was bigger, but alas, it’s not, and maybe that’s a good thing? … Though the chassis is compact, not much of it is made of plastic, which means you can bang the heck out of it and still drive away unscathed. Of course, that doesn’t mean riders should forego their motorcycle helmets. It just means that it’s a great weekend toy to ride hard without much worry. 

The Goods Under the Hood (So To Speak)

The body is only half the bike—the other half includes all the working components, such as the engine, transmission and all other parts that make the machine “go.” The TW200 features an impressive powerplant, with a 196cc four-stroke, air-cooled engine that delivers low- to mid-range power perfect for exploring untraveled terrains. The counterbalance within the engine smooths vibrations and provides for a more comfortable ride for extended periods of time. The engine is low-maintenance, which means longer engine life regardless of how hard you push the bike. 

The TW200 features an electric starter. It also boasts a five-speed transmission, which means maximum performance both on and off the road. 

Performance Rating

The combination of features that this bike boasts may look strange, but they come together to provide for optimal performance. The beefed up tires allow for greater control and traction, not to mention comfort. The long-travel suspension soaks up the bumps while the lightweight swingarm enhances handling and increases overall comfort. The result is a plusher ride. If safety is your top concern (As it should be!), this bike’s disc brake will give you peace of mind. The hydraulic brake provides for greater stopping power with less effort and in little time. Anyone who has been in the riding world long enough knows that looks can be deceiving. The Yamaha TW200 may be interesting to look at, but it provides one smooth ride. It’s also durable, powerful and much more capable that its looks suggest. If you have your eye on the TW200, don’t let anyone talk you out of getting one just because of its Little Engine That Could appearance. Once you purchase your dream bike, shop the best motorcycle helmets — you know, just in case.

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