Sunday, February 21, 2016

Babe the Blue Ox

Well the CT is in parts in the basement. When I did ride it around out in the fields, it was pretty rough. Clearly this is a supercub made for rough gravel roads and not for riding off road out in the fields. I got bounced all over and at times had trouble keeping it under control.

Upgrading the suspension will help, I'm sure, but in the mean time Grace has been wanting to ride and I've been wanting something a little more old-bones friendly to ride with her out in the fields. The horses are nice, but they are high-maintenance. I wanted something I could push a button, put on my gear and go on a sunny afternoon before heading to work.

I've always wanted a TW200 - the ultimate trail motorcycle.

I finally found one that fit my budget.

Babe is a 1992 TW200 that sat in a Forest Service cabin most of its life. I bought it from a guy in Seattle that had it up on Craigs for a great price. Being a Forest Service bike, it had never been registered with DMV (so that's one cost I won't have to pay until I want to put it on the road.)

I headed up to Seattle in a wind and rain storm and arrived after dark. He had a garage full of TW200s. He told me he used to fix them for the Forest Service and gets them surplus. Sometimes they get a lot of use from the rangers, and sometimes they just sit.

Mine did not look like it had much use. The plastics are all in good shape and the pain looks like it has never been outside. Must have been a dry environment too -- no rust that I can find!

The downside is that it comes from the factory with the same crappy stock carb as the TTR-125. Since the seller was a TW expert I picked his brain for a few suggestions. His advice was to Seafoam the fuel system and then buy a $30 carb and swap it out when it arrives. He showed me his daily rider -- a well farkled TW -- and the cheap dualsport carb on it. "Starts faster, warms up faster, runs smoother."

I've got the plastics off now and am hoping to have it running around the fields by the end of the week.