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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2023 Yamaha TW200 Technical Specifications and Price
|ENGINE:||196cc, SOHC, air-cooled single-cylinder; 2 valves|
|BORE x STROKE:||67.0 x 55.7mm|
|FUEL DELIVERY:||Mikuni 28mm|
|CLUTCH:||Wet multiplate clutch|
|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|
|SEAT HEIGHT:||31.1 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY:||1.8 gal.|
|CLAIMED WET WEIGHT:||278 lb.|