Yamaha TW 200

Being referred to as Yamaha dirtbike on steroids, this odd beastie is a versatile machine usable on any kinds of terrains but most of all, ridden by any kind of rider. The term workhorse might not be the best way of introducing a motorcycle, but it does sum up the TW200 perfectly. Officially labeled as an agricultural machine it is also the preferred choice for weekend trips with many finding the TWs unthreatening package the perfect family companion.


1991 Yamaha TW200

This is a great little bike with a rich historic heritage.

The TW200 Adventure Trailway appeared in North America in the early Eighties and was launched on the Japanese market in 1987 when Shinji Kazama reached the North Pole on it. It was equipped with a 196cc 4-stroke single cylinder engine that already could be found on Yamaha XT and SR series (125 to 650cc), known more for its simplicity and extreme reliability than for its performance in terms of speed and acceleration.

Known as a beach bike, like its other ancestor Yamaha Big Wheel, the TW200 suffered big changes along the way but they were made in a single year: 2001. A disk replaced the drum brake in front and they also went to a CV carb, higher alternator output with a 55 watt headlight instead of 40 watt, and a no maintenance cam chain tensioner together with an electric starter. These features can also be found on the 2008 model which means that the bike didnt suffer any other changes since its rebirth in 2001.

1994 Yamaha TW200


The subject of this review was a great product from the very beginning so any other motorcycle that would come near it like Suzuki DR200SE would remain just an attempt of obtaining the same success but which can only be gained with heritage on an already filled drawing board.


2008 Yamaha TW200

Ive always wondered if the beach buggy has a 2-wheeler equivalent and now I am convinced it does. Like the beach buggy, Yamaha TW200 has big, wide tires which are meant to gently guide the bike through various kinds of terrains but that isnt all, is it? Of course it isnt! The idea of this vehicle is a job well done, fun included, and this reflects on the design: everything is positioned exactly were you would expect to find it.

Yamaha TW200 has always been characterized by its aggressive, I can do anything look although the engine doesnt deliver a great amount of power. I wonder what it reminds me of.

Another thing that catches my eye is the square shape that ended up characterizing this little beast. Ive noticed that apart from mirrors and wheels, everything on this beauty has edges which give the bike its unique design: aggressive and wide front fender, headlight cover, headlight itself, rear fender and lets not forget the cube-shaped torque engine that is ready to take you anywhere.

Test Drive

2003 Yamaha TW200

I first tested the TW in-town and I have to tell you that it is an admirable motorcycles. The thing I like best about this bike is that the controls are light and small. Shifting doesnt involve any effort and this means you can ride the bike in city traffic without getting fatigued. After clunking into first, I was off to face the first part of my journey to the dirt.

The first gear is extremely short and is testament to the TW off-road intentions with a real surge of power kicking in after engaging second. The tall riding position places you way above the rest of the traffic, offering you a panoramic view of the road ahead. However, despite the TWs high center of gravity and perched seating position, it is suspiciously accurate in lane-changing shenanigans.

It might not have the commuting credentials of a scooter, but the TW was comfortably diving into small gaps. This makes the TW a perfect alternative commuting machine, while still being able to tackle the rough stuff along with the open road, to a certai

n extent. I believe that youve already drawn your own conclusion about the bike not being a supermoto.

The TW wont help you win the traffic light battle as it has low-down pull but it wont embarrass you either. The power is enough to make the TW an exciting prospect although it is clear that it lacks top-end punch. The needle jumps up with ease as you race through the gears at low revs but as soon as the speed begins the climb significantly, the TW hits the doldrums and the needle slows considerably until it hits the 60mph roof.

The unrestricted space provided by the low, narrow tank and wide seat instills rider-confidence that should make the TW a hit with novice and experts alike. The pace of the TW might not be fast and frenetic, but its smooth delivery is only offset by the very mechanical five-speed transmission which in my opinion is very adequate for this bike although some people need a six-speed transmission but maybe they also need another bike.


TW200s low, thick seat, sport/plush suspension and those distinctive fat tires all work together to serve up a smooth ride over all sorts of surfaces. You only need to gas up and go.

  • Out With The FZ8, In With The FZ-09 – Cycle News
  • May 2011 Bike 4 Ride Page 2
  • Yamaha XS1100 – Classic Japanese Motorcycles – Motorcycle Classics
  • 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 Scooter Review – Review of the 2009 Yamaha Zuma 125 Scooter
  • Yamaha XS750 – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia