2023 Yamaha TW200 First Look Preview

The Yamaha TW200 (TW being short for Trail Way) returns in all its fat-tire glory.

The Yamaha TW200 (TW being short for Trail Way) returns in all its fat-tire glory. (Yamaha/)

The popular neo-retro movement marries modern technologies with retro motorcycle designs. So what happens if a motorcycle never quite got to the “neo” part, but stays true to its raw and charming retro-ness? Meet the 2023 Yamaha TW200 multipurpose dual sport.

Look up photos of the original 1987 TW200 and you’ll see that the current T-Dub is a carbon copy of its ancestor. Sure, we can cross our fingers for EFI or modernized electronics (though there’s Yamaha’s XT250 for that), but there’s something quirky and appealing about the TW200 that’s allowed it to endure as is. Could it be the gentle thumper, the unique fat tires, the distinct dual sport design? All of the above?

The TW’s dash closely resembles the instrumentation on the original 1987 TW200.

The TW’s dash closely resembles the instrumentation on the original 1987 TW200. (Yamaha/)

The TW200 soldiers on as an all-rider-friendly machine ready to take on paved and unpaved rides. A 196cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine is paired with a smooth five-speed gearbox to deliver low- to midrange torque and approachable power for any road. Driving home its streetability, the thumper sips from a small 1.8-gallon fuel tank to deliver an impressive 78 mpg for efficient commuting.

Related: Top 5 Fuel-Efficient Motorcycles 2022

For those looking for fuel injection, your best bet is to look at Yamaha’s other dual sport, the XT250. The TW200’s engine has a Mikuni carb.

For those looking for fuel injection, your best bet is to look at Yamaha’s other dual sport, the XT250. The TW200’s engine has a Mikuni carb. (Yamaha/)

Then there’s the chassis, with its dirt-ready dimensions and design. The fat 130/80-18 and 180/80-14 give the Trail Way its iconic look and terrain-conquering capability. Taking on the bumps and rocks is a plush 33mm telescopic fork and single shock with decent 6.3 and 5.9 inches of travel front and rear, respectively. Fork shrouds and a skid plate protect the bike from damage, and a wide front fender wedged between the fork tubes defends the rider from dirt, water, and mud.

Splish splash, the TW is at home taking a muddy bath.

Splish splash, the TW is at home taking a muddy bath. (Yamaha/)

Although some shade could be thrown at its old-school electronics, like the boxy analog dash and halogen lighting, it does have push-button start for easy startup. Think of its tech as a simple button-style flip phone; it still works and serves its purpose, just in a slightly antiquated way.

A single 220mm disc and 110mm drum brake help slow the fat-tire dual sport.

A single 220mm disc and 110mm drum brake help slow the fat-tire dual sport. (Yamaha/)

Compared to last year’s model there are no other changes aside from a $100 price increase, which brings Yamaha’s fat-tire TW’s MSRP to $4,899. Still a very reasonable price for a capable dual sport.

Related: Affordable Dual Sport Motorcycles in 2022

The tire tread of the rear wheel nearly meets the spoked rim. Bring on the rocky roads.

The tire tread of the rear wheel nearly meets the spoked rim. Bring on the rocky roads. (Yamaha/)

With older fashions in a constant time loop of popularity, does the long-standing TW200 have a timeless appeal that still doesn’t require it to be updated? You could argue both sides.

An enduro-styled square headlight and blocky turn signals give the TW an old-school front profile.

An enduro-styled square headlight and blocky turn signals give the TW an old-school front profile. (Yamaha/)

2023 Yamaha TW200 Technical Specifications and Price

PRICE: $4,899
ENGINE: 196cc, SOHC, air-cooled single-cylinder; 2 valves
BORE x STROKE: 67.0 x 55.7mm
COMPRESSION RATIO: 9.5:1
FUEL DELIVERY: Mikuni 28mm
CLUTCH: Wet multiplate clutch
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE: 5-speed/chain
FRAME: Steel
FRONT SUSPENSION: 33mm telescopic fork; 6.3 in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION: Single shock; 5.9 in. travel
FRONT BRAKE: 220mm disc
REAR BRAKE: 110mm drum
WHEELS, FRONT/REAR: 18 in. / 14 in.
TIRES, FRONT/REAR: 130/80-18 / 180/80-14
RAKE/TRAIL: 25.8°/3.4 in.
WHEELBASE: 52.2 in.
SEAT HEIGHT: 31.1 in.
FUEL CAPACITY: 1.8 gal.
CLAIMED WET WEIGHT: 278 lb.
WARRANTY: 1-year limited
AVAILABLE: Now
CONTACT: yamahamotorsports.com
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