Expedition Bike? Not really, it's just WTHIJ's TW200.


I totally dig this. A number of my buddies give me a hard time for focusing on the WR250R lately (mainly due to my size), but when I saw the pic of your TW with the Sammy, I know I'm doing it right as I'm using our new Jeep- just with a hitch mounted carrier- in the same way.

I really am too big for the TW, but- embarrassingly- can bunny hop the WR, so it is as light and toy like as you can imagine to me. Let's just say it is a bit of a departure from the 1200 GSA that is the "main" bike.

Bottom line, I love what you are doing as you're not focusing on the latest go fast bits, but just making it a nice little trail machine to enjoy. Well done.

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Header blingification...

Man, it sure has been a while since I've done anything to the 'dub! I've been scrambling with a packed schedule over the past couple of months, and the TW just hasn't gotten much love from me lately. However, I had a little time between business trips, so I thought I'd do something minor, just to say that I did. Now let me just preface this post with this- Most of the time, I'm all about functionality... this is not one of those times. This was simply for bling. You can justify that there's other good reasons to do this if you like, but the reason I did this mod was straight up style, nothing else.

So getting started... here's a little package that came from ebay via UPS the other day:


I don't know why, but I think pictures of boxes are cool.
Maybe it reminds me of birthday presents or something.
Anyways, here's what was inside the box:


In case you couldn't tell, it's a well used (but remarkably, very dent & scratch free) header pipe. The pipe was removed by one of those "Bent Bike" type salvage yards that strips parts off of wrecked or stolen bikes that are purchased from insurance companies for salvage, then they sell the parts on ebay and sometimes, through storefronts. This particular header is off of a 1999 Yamaha TTR225. The header that came stock on my TW200 is a black painted steel job... which admittedly, does it's job just fine. However, the header off of the '99-'04 TTR225 is a stainless pipe, and is known to be an (almost) bolt-on swap for a stock TW200 header... see where I'm going with this?

I used a bit of elbow grease, and these supplies that I had laying around:


...and I turned that crusty old used TTR225 header in to this beauty:


After getting it all polished up, I fitted it to the bike. That's when I figured out the "(almost)" part that I mentioned above. The header is too long, and is kind of impossible to fit the way that it came from Yamaha. So here's the deal cut exactly 3/4" off the muffler end of the header pipe, and it'll be a perfect fit on a 2008 TW200 (I cant speak for fitment of other years of TW's). Also, don't forget to break the sharp edges that you just created with a file.

Here's what it looks like mounted up on the bike:


Sah-weet! So there you have it, my one "bling" mod on the bike to date.

* The header that I bought on ebay cost more than others that were on there. I was okay with that for a couple of reasons... firstly, this one was very straight- zero dents or scratches. Secondly, this header pipe came with the heat shield, and it was in just as good condition as the header itself. The TW heat shield doesn't fit the TTR header, so I saved a second purchase.
* I polished the snot out of this header, and I used only wet sand paper. I started with 280, then 320, then 400, then 600. Expect to spend a few hours wet-sanding. After the 600, I used a little contraband that I have laying around my shop from my Boeing days to polish it up. The stuff is just a fine polishing compound, and you could use any fine polish for metal to get that "chrome" look out of the pipe (maybe try barkeepers friend?). As a last step, I just went over the polished header with some wadding polish, then gave it a good wash under hot water.
* If I did this again, I think I would sand it with the 600, then leave it alone. This thing gleams, and although that's the look I was going for while the header was in my hot little hands, after installing it on the bike, it sticks out a bit. Maybe it'll grow on me (heck, maybe it'll blue), but I think that if I left it at 600, it'd look better.
* Lastly, don't forget to get yourself a new exhaust manifold gasket.
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Nice choices on your mods. I have a 2010 TW200, to which I have added a custom seat by Don Weber, dual loud horns, same ATV bars, rear rack and container for 1.7 gal extra fuel [total of ~200 riding miles]. As my signature says, the TW rides out from both my Jeep and my Fuso Expedition Vehicle. It was great for exploring small roads in the Yukon this summer! [I previously had a WR250R, but it was no where near as much fun to ride in gnarly places as the TW.]



For those of you interested in more information about the TW200 or specific modifications [farkeling], I highly recommend the following site:


Some of you have PM-d me about the specific mods I mentioned above;

the seat mod is at: http://tw200forum.com/index.php?/topic/2788-my-mods-followup/page__p__25339__fromsearch__1#entry25339

the horn mod is at post #5: http://tw200forum.com/index.php?/topic/2025-horn-upgrade-for-cheapskates-andor-technophobes/page__p__18062__fromsearch__1#entry18062

I can provide more info if you PM me.


New member
One of the things that you may or may not realize about the TW200, is that it's small. Way small. This of course makes it super-fun, nimble, and easy to "throw around", but it also makes for a somewhat cramped rider position... unless you're a shorty (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I'm not tall, but I'm also not short- I'd say average at around 5'10" or so. I stood up on the bike while riding over some obstructions the other day, and found myself in a pretty hunched over position- not great if you want to have total control of your bike when standing up. To fit the bike a bit better, I needed to raise the bars a little. Of course there's no real way to do this but install risers, taller bars, or both. I figured I'd start with some taller bars and see where that got me.

I looked at several different aftermarket bar manufacturers, and compared the specs of their bars to the factory Yamaha bars. My goal was to get something that would have a lot of rise, yet keep the same width and sweep as the factory bars. Also, since the bar clamps on a TW200 are built into the top triple clamp, I'd need to stick to the same diameter bar as the 7/8" Yamaha bars. I ended up going with ProTaper SE ATV High bars model 02-5257. These were about as close as it got to the factory sweep, gained me over 2" of rise, and could easily be cut down to the factory width.

Knowing full well that I'd be cutting off the old grips to remove them from the factory bars and throttle tube, I picked up some Single D grips from Scott (not the fanciest, but I've used them with good results for many years), as well as some grip stick glue. Some people prefer not to use glue, but I've found that it works well, and with the grips that I like being only $10, I figure that as many times as I'll remove grips from a handlebar and want to reinstall them, the $10 for a new set of grips (when I have to cut mine off because I used glue) is fine.

Here's all the stuff that I got. Setting the bars side by side, there's certainly a big difference in rise between the ProTaper's and the factory Yamaha ones.

View attachment 108846 View attachment 108848

The first step is to remove all the things that hang off of your handlebars, such as the throttle tube, misc. wire wraps, switches, levers, brake reservoir, mirrors, bark-busters, etc. FWIW, I like to just leave most of that stuff hanging around off the front of the bike. Once all the junk is off the bars, take your bars off. When the bars are stripped, it's a good time to measure where the bar ends are, what kind of sweep they're at in relation to the clamps etc. You can take actual measurements, but I just take mental notes.

View attachment 108847

Before cutting the bars, or beginning to reattach them, I like to install them in the bar clamps. Knowing that my mental notes only stay with me about 5 minutes, it's good to get them on and adjusted close to where I think I'll want them before I forget. Once they're clamped up, it's easy to go about cutting them straight. ProTaper is kind enough to provide some potential cutting options painted on their bars, and it just so happened that #4 was where I wanted mine. Even though they're clamped up and sturdy, and even with ProTapers nicely painted lines, I still mark my lines with some painters tape to make sure that I'm cutting them square all the way through the cut.

View attachment 108849 View attachment 108851

With the bars cut to width, it's time to reinstall all of the bolt-on stuff that was removed from the factory bars. It's best to start from the outside and work your way in. The factory throttle on my TW200 has a little nub built into it to keep it in place. I don't think that older TW's had this, and I know that I've had plenty of other bikes that didn't have it, and I can't recall my throttle ever moving. I could either shave the nub off the throttle, or make a place for it to lock into the bars. I opted for the latter. The bars are thick and strong, and I don't think that the small indent will impact the bars too much. I might be wrong though, and I'll certainly post up here if I find that the bars fail at that point. I used some blue tape again to mark the dimple location, and using a cordless drill, made the indentation. FWIW, I used a 1/16" bit as a pilot, then a 1/8", and finally a 3/16" for the final diameter. Also, I did not drill all the way through the wall of the bar, as the nub is only about 1/8"deep.

View attachment 108853

Bolting everything back on to the bars, it was all coming together.

View attachment 108854

The front brake line needed to be moved in its support brackets a bit to give it some slack. With the added rise of the new bars, it had more tension than a brake line should have. I think that maybe a future mod will be to install a new brake line (2.5" longer) to compensate for the rise of the new bars. On top of just getting the slack in the line back, I've always preferred the positive feel of braided stainless brake lines as opposed to the squishy feel of the rubber ones, and this seems as good a time as any to go that route.

I like the look of the new bars on the TW, and have gained 2 1/4" of bar height (factory the bar end was at 42", now with the ProTapers it's at 44 1/4"), which feels just about right. I could have gone for about another 1/2", but this is fine for now, and certainly makes a big difference in the rideability and comfort of the bike for me. As an added bonus, I think the new bars look pretty cool too.

View attachment 108866 View attachment 108867
Good looking Dub!


Looks good, Im starting to look for a good deal on a tw myself. Use it mostly for short dual sport trips and mainly to use as a commuter at school.

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Tail Light & License Plate Bracket

Gosh, it sure has been a while since I've posted any updates! Then again, there hasn't been a whole lot to report- work, travel, winter sports...
I haven't really been doing much with the TW, except riding around the neighborhood trials-syle every few weeks just to keep the fluids moving. In hooliganing around like this, I found that the big'ol rear fender mudflap thingy (which also holds the huge square tail light, license plate, and another oddly placed reflector) kind of gets in the way. The good folks at Pro-Cycle came to the rescue, and set me up with this great license plate bracket and tail light...

LPBox.jpg InTheLPBox.jpg

The bracket is burly, but has some cut-outs that would make it likely for the bracket to bend in the case of it being struck (or a crash, or whatever)- which is a lot better than a straight license plate bracket and a bent subframe or a badly bruised body part. Not that it's flimsy at all- like I said, it is a stout piece. the bracket also comes with holes in all the right places, and a nice black powdercoat finish. It's definitely a quality part.

The tail light is okay. It's a no-name LED unit that doesn't bear any indication of DOT approval, and is probably made by the zillions in China. I suspect that it could be had on ebay for $10 all day long. That being said, it works just fine, and I believe it to be more visible than the stock unit.

DayLP.jpg NightLP.jpg

All said, this was a good mod. Everything's tucked up nice and neat, and I got rid of that big rear fender extension that drug on the ground with even a mild wheelie :ylsmoke:


Looks much better! I did a similar mod on my old XT250, and got a taillight that looked exactly the same for like $8 on ebay, just to confirm your suspicions.