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MOTORADOR
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me start with three quick introductory facts:

1. The Yamaha TW200 is widely used at riding schools because it's cheap, bulletproof, easy to ride... and slow.

2. As a riding instructor, I am friends with many riding school owners across California.

3. For a while, my kids have been asking me to teach them how to ride but all the bikes in my garage are just too big and unsafe for them to learn on.


Alright. A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook asking if any of my school-owner friends was getting rid of a TW as I know they renew their training fleets from time to time and I was interested in buying one for my children. It wasn't long before a friend from the Bay Area told me they were getting rid of not one but two TWs and that I could have them for free if I picked them up! Of course, they were pretty beat-up as you would expect a training bike to be but I am pretty mechanically savvy and I have built and rebuilt many bikes over the last few years, so I thought this could be a fun opportunity for having my kids learn how to work on bikes and then learn how to ride on them.

So, behold the beat-ups t-dubs!

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The bikes are both 2008 with a little less than 16k miles on the odo. Both were decommissioned about three years ago and were rotting in the back of a storage container. Stale fuel had completely flooded one of the engines and they were both pretty run down and with a few missing parts each.

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As soon as I picked them up, I started ordering parts and disassembling everything with the kids. Of course, a good pressure-wash was one of the first things we did.

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MOTORADOR
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Then, we drained the engines and dismounted, disassembled and rebuilt them with new rings, seals and gaskets. We also rebuilt the leaking carburetors and the petcocks.

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We ordered new batteries, chains and sprockets, steel brake lines and pads, clutch and brake cables, footpegs, levers, hand grips, turn signals and even seat covers, handguards and skid plates. With all the boxes of new parts ready, it was time to start putting everything back together.

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Both engines fired up on the first try and there are no signs of leaks. Both tested 125 psi of compression, which is right on the spec mark. Yay!

After that, we rebuilt the forks with fresh seals and oil and then proceeded to the final assembly.

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MOTORADOR
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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One of the bikes even got an exhaust upgrade as that one came without the stock muffler. This one sounds sweeeet!

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Eventually, we will get new plastics but that is not a priority right now.





Today I submitted all the DMV paperwork online. Unless they ask me to take them for a visual inspection, I should get the plates in the mail in the next couple of weeks.

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Well, looks like you've got "Dad of the Decade" all wrapped up! Nice work!
How do you find the time and energy?
 

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Wish I had such a mechanically talented father ... would you adopt me? 😄
 
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Yeah! That’s great! Good family bonding project with a cool finish line.
 

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Hoowee that looks fun!! Learning to ride on a slow bike makes for good motorcycle riding, I can't think of a better pair of bikes. They'll be racing each other before you know it!
 

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Great job, having the kids involved will help them as they age into adulthood. I always liked the TW200 and would like to have one some day. The skills the kids learn will last them a lifetime, our kids are in their mid-twenties now, the skills they learned from working on motorcycles have allowed them overcome challenges that life has presented.
 

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Nice work! Many kids these days just don't get their hands dirty anymore.

Our local high school dropped all of its shop classes right as my oldest boy was entering. We ended-up building an electric kart ourselves in our garage to run in a high school competition at Road America. Wasn't competitive in the endurance stage - but set a new high speed and lap record! That's all he wanted...

IMG_0474 (800x533).jpg


The oldest boy (now 24 and a Mechanical Engineer) just moved out your way, and brought both his Supermotos with him.

This was the last project we did before he left, a complete rebuild of the CRF150R he's currently thrashing -

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Both boys have moved away now, one joined the Marines, and our daughter is moving-out this week. That's it.

Enjoy the time you have with them, especially working on projects. You both will appreciate it later.
 

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Enjoy the time you have with them, especially working on projects. You both will appreciate it later.

Very true, I miss the time we spent in the garage working on stuff or in the van traveling to races.

Our youngest @ 15 and his high school girlfriend, they met in a machining class, she went on to the nationwide super skills competition and is an engineer at NASA now. They started this in the summer.



Finished with the HS machining & welding students assistance and teacher supervision. Since then the program has been dropped, lack of participation.


He played hockey in college and after a concussion took a semester off, we changed up a few things on it.


He's moving next week and will have access to a garage, it will be going to him once he's settled in.

He was able to change a radiator in his truck in a convenience store parking lot, wouldn't have had any idea w/o the work he put into motorcycles. So different from most of his friends.
 

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MOTORADOR
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, looks like you've got "Dad of the Decade" all wrapped up! Nice work!
How do you find the time and energy?
Haha, thanks!

Time? I run my business from home so I have plenty.
Energy? Their smiles fill my tank ;)


Wish I had such a mechanically talented father ... would you adopt me? 😄
Sure!


Our youngest @ 15 and his high school girlfriend, they met in a machining class, she went on to the nationwide super skills competition and is an engineer at NASA now.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T


Coolest build thread I've seen in a very long time (y)
Awww, thanks!

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Thank you all for your cool comments. This really has been a wholesome experience for me and my kids that I know we will remember forever. I am not an engineer or even a respectable mechanic, for that matter, but what I know I lovingly share with them, hoping that it helps building their character and their chances of succeeding in life. Plus, it's fun as hell!

Tomorrow I'll be taking the bikes to the DMV for inspection and, hopefully, I'll have them approved and platted for road use soon.
 
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