Petrol Pinchers: Yamaha TW200 - First Look

Big wheels keep on turnin’.

Petrol Pinchers: Yamaha TW200 - First Look

What we have in the Yamaha TW200 is a two-wheeled ATV if ever there was one, and at first glance the specs would seem to take it out of the econobike class.

This is a utility motorcycle, geared and tired for hauling stuff over trails and around the campground. It fills a niche...well, it may have created its niche and been there by itself since the demise of the Rokon Trail Breaker and the Tote-Goat (ask your dad).The big fat knobbies don't like rain grooves, while the off-road gearing means a speedo redline (from the factory) of 55 mph. I ran at an indicated 60, which doesn't seem to actually hurt the bike, and the riding position and feel of stability at that speed are fine, but cruising there feels slow, boring and dicey at the same time.

At the finish of the highway runs, shifting was notchy and neutral elusive, so the factory may have picked 55 mph tops for sound reasons. Again, we were in the early stages of break-in, less than 500 miles, but more than any bike here, the TW would benefit from re-gearing.

Fair play requires me to say here that my youngest son, Joe, has owned one of these things for 10 years or so, and he's used it at Maely's TT course and explored every mile of Cleveland National Forest and he brings it to my place and rides the aqueduct roads and he's never had any trouble and it goes wherever my XR250 goes.

The horse fits the course for which it was intended, and while I don't see it as the perfect vehicle for the econo-commute, the TW200 nonetheless returned an incredible 79.2 mpg, low gearing be damned. Fit a smaller rear sprocket, go faster, see 80 mpg!

Update: You can still purchase a TW200 from Yamaha Motors. Pricing has increased $50 to $3799. Oh, yeah, and Rokon tells us the Trail Breaker is back in production.