Honda TLR200 Reflex


41 replies to this topic
  • Jeephoto

Posted March 09, 2005 - 01:55 AM

#1

What are your thoughts on the TLR200 Reflex by Honda?

A good trail bike? Vintage trials bike? Small dual-sport? Dependability and parts availability? Ergonomics, seating position, gearing?

I don't compete in trials. I just like to putt around chasing the kids. I'm currently riding a '75 TL125; low gearing, soft suspension and light as a feather. How does the TLR200 compare to the TL125 or TL250?

Thanks in advance.

  • Motu

Posted March 09, 2005 - 12:10 PM

#2

I ride my 86 TLR200 in TwinShock trials here in New Zealand - it's a far far better bike than the earlier TLs,but not as good as later bikes,kinda obvious.It's taken me quite awhile to get it reasonably set up and I really enjoy the bike,but it has ''issues''.It's a lot taller than earlier...and later bikes,it really feels like the pegs are above the CG,not like say a Bully where it feels like your feet are on or below the CG,so it feels a bit 'tippy' at first.Generaly the handling is great - it's the 4 stroke motor that gives problems...it's very easy to stall,you just gotta keep the throttle on as much as possible,specially in things like rocks,but you gotta back off sometime,of course right at the wrong time and kerchunka! you are stopped mid stream.So you need to keep the revs higher and clutch in tricky going,but again not always possible - a steep climb amoung trees,a tight turn off the hill into trees,you button off for the turn...and stop,grrrr,it's bloody annoying.I have gone 2 teeth down on the gearbox and 6 up on the rear,and yet I can only use 2nd on long hills or swamp,I just have to use 1st for everything,but then that makes it hard to loft the front over obsticals.The engine braking is the best feature,but that loads the front,so a down hill turn is tough on the arms.I have found the switch to a 4 stroke a huge difference,not at all like I thought it would be.

That's too many negatives for a great bike,but I've had too many fives from stalling and a front end I can't get light.The TLR250 is a far better bike to ride,the extra 50cc almost adresses the power issue,it has totaly different gearing and 2nd can be used more often,but the guys who ride them still say they use 1st.The 250 has the same frame and suspn and drum brakes,but I have seen Expert A Grade riders using them,beating modern bikes in a trial,they can be hopped and bounced,launched from a standstill - I have no idea how cause I've ridden the bloody bike and it does none of that!!!
I really like my TLR200,and as long as I ride TwinShock I don't think I'll bother to change now...unless some silly bargin comes along.

  • TLRthumper

Posted April 02, 2005 - 10:19 AM

#3

I ride a 86 TLR 200. My first bike, bought it for trail riding, and thats what it does best.
1st and 2nd are very close, on most trails I never go past 4th. Ive had it for almost a month, and I've never stalled it. The riding postion is okay, but if you satnd up alot (which you will, because thats how they like to be ridden) your wrists will start to hurt (but that might just be me)
I havn't looked at parts yet, except for a WES silencer that I have had my eye on for a while.

For trails, its great, for trials, it depends on the rider, in my case, Ill stick to trails

  • CharlieT

Posted April 03, 2005 - 04:40 PM

#4

First off, the TLR wasn't designed to be a competition trials bike. For what you are describing, it's a great bike. Fully street legal. Stock gearing wilbe fine for trail riding and plunking along at trailriding speed. Seating postion isn't too bad, but the seat is small and not well padded. We have two of them, one's mine and one's my brothers. I've ridden it for hours on end on the trals and two-tracks of the UP....and then ridden it into town for a cold one (ice cream cone, of course). It doesn't have the suspension for serious hard-core trail riding like a couple of our newer MX based bikes we have, but for low-moderate speed trail riding it's ok. It's also fun to just take off thru the woods without where there is no trial.

It isn't a serious trials bike, it isn't a serious trail bike. It's just a plain simple *fun* bike. And its engien is basically an XR200, so it is about as stone-cold reliable as you can get!

  • 128racecar

Posted April 04, 2005 - 06:49 PM

#5

I just picked up a 86 Honda TLR 200 this weekend- great fun. A change of pace for trail riding from my 95 ATK 250 LQ. Slow enough to plod behind my kids, but light and well balanced enough to get off the trail to scout ahead. Loads of fun for little money :naughty:

Anyone ever try any suspension updates? Any similar era CR 125 or XR 200 suspension pieces that could be used to improve the suspension for trail riding? I know there are severe limitations what you can do with 20 year old technology, but what the heck? :naughty:

Marc in Indy :D

  • Motu

Posted April 04, 2005 - 10:05 PM

#6

First off, the TLR wasn't designed to be a competition trials bike.


You need to get down here and watch Warrick Merriman,father of Steffan who was World Junior Trials Champion,several times World Enduro Champion and ISDE winner - I have been watching and competing in trials with Warrick for 25 yrs (in lower grades of course) and have seen him win in our A Grade Expert class against modern trials bikes on a TLR250 (using ''old'' rules,no hopping),the guy who he sold it to hops,bounces and launches from a standstill just like a modern bike - this is a bike capable of winning in any ''classic class'' (we call it twin shock here) Outclassed by ''real'' trials bikes of course,but laugh at a TLR to your peril.The TLR250 is practicaly an identical bike to the 200,it just has a bigger bore and different gearbox,same frame and suspn,updated tank and seat and brakes...but still drum.The TLR200 was sold as a competion trials bike here,not as a trail bike as it appears it was in the US.

  • markotto

Posted April 10, 2005 - 07:21 PM

#7

My experience w/ Reflex. I bought mine new- it was a left over 1987 from Pete's Cycle in Baltimore, MD. I didn't even know about them but stumbled accross it in the showroom while actually looking for a big-bore dual sport. Here I was talking to the salesman who I knew about wanting an Xl600 which had been dropped when they came out with the "NR's", (I think), and I spotted the Reflex. I had always wanted one of the old TL'S back in 1976, so I instantly bought it with a credit card- this was in my pre-marital age.

The bike was totally cool- and I got a tag for it. Although I had been racing 250 Expert class with a 1979 CR250 when I got out of racing in 1980, I had never ridden on the street.

Anyway, I rode it as is for awhile, but eventually stripped it down and started riding vintage trials events. For vintage, twinshock C and B classes it was great! I did modify it as follows:

First got decent trials tires for it- huge difference. Changed gearing from 13 / 44 to 11 / 50. First gear is almost too slow- but plenty of power. I removed un-needed tabs from frame including shifter linkage- then reshaped shifter for direct attachment to shaft. Wiring reduced to single ignition wire and kill switch. Moved lower shock mounts forward 2 inches which gives more ground clearance and makes turning sharper. Turned shocks right-side up from factory position which reduces damping and allows much quicker rebound. I lengthened rear brake actuating arm, (on drum), 1/2 inch to create more leverage on brake without noticing additional pedal travel. I flattened clutch actuating arm on engine for same reason- (I had seen this done else where).
I made a heavy-duty skid plate and inserted the stock rubber pads back in between plate and cases.

I rode the bike in many events before having kids but now I just play trials rider- my 8 yr. old boy has a CRF70F and is also starting to ride the Reflex. I also have an 87 XL600, and a 91 XR600 but I am very fond of the Reflex. I am actually putting some minimal lighting back on it and plan to get another tag for it in the weeks to come.

Two things to mention- I ordered and got from Honda a carb improver kit which someone highly recommended to me for the Reflex- part #16012-KJ2305 which came with a needle, pilot jet, and adjustment screw cap. I got this in the past year and I'm installing while I presently have the bike apart. It is probably still available. Also, I ordered off Ebay a set of original new grips like came on the CR's, TL's, etc. It should give a true vinatge Honda look and feel.

Also does anyone have or know a source for a Reflex gas tank- mine is damaged on one side where I dropped it in some rocks. I would love to replace it- I felt really bad when I did it!

Thanks

  • CharlieT

Posted April 11, 2005 - 07:42 AM

#8

Motu

Did the TLR200 sold down there come with full lighting, turn signals on stalks, speedo, horn, battery box hangin of the rt side in front of the shock?? Like mentioned, above, stripping it down and some mods, no doubt it could be a good twin-shocker, but stock, unmodified as sold here, more of a trail/fun bike.

  • Motu

Posted April 11, 2005 - 12:59 PM

#9

Motu

Did the TLR200 sold down there come with full lighting, turn signals on stalks, speedo, horn, battery box hangin of the rt side in front of the shock?? Like mentioned, above, stripping it down and some mods, no doubt it could be a good twin-shocker, but stock, unmodified as sold here, more of a trail/fun bike.

They may have,but I've never seen a TLR with lights,they are all stripped down.Often back in that era trials bikes were bought through farmers who got them less several taxes,so it was much cheaper that way.So doing it that way they were never registered,never able to go on the road,they were stripped from day one.Mine has no wiring loom,just ign and kill switch.

I rode in a trial last weekend and there were half a doz TLR200s there,one a 250,although only 4 competed,one a DNF part way through.One was totaly restored into as new condition,first time out,totaly spotless.The rider was English and said he never saw the TLR200 in England.Conversely one of the 200s had a Scottish Six Day Trial transfer on the tank - something about best performance in class 1986,this was genuine,not taken off a Bultaco or anything because it had Honda TLR200 on the transfer.

I still say they are cometitive against similar bikes of their era,I don't know my placing from sunday,but I am usualy 2nd,3rd or 4th in my class,wins are elusive of course.

Oh,and markmoto,I have the same mods on mine,11/50 for the sprockets,but I find it still difficult to use 2nd,mine has no shift linkage,just the lever vertical on shaft,rocks will hit the original linkage and do an involintary shift.

  • markotto

Posted April 11, 2005 - 01:30 PM

#10

Yes, my TLR came w/ full lighting, turn signals, side battery, speedo, etc.

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  • wendy397

Posted April 11, 2005 - 04:53 PM

#11

HELP!!! I have a Honda reflex TLR200 1986, it was my dads and sat in the garage since 1990 without knowing it had gas in the tank. The tank is rusted all the way through. Does anyone know where i can get a new one? I am retoring it and everything else is in GREAT shape! please e mail me wendy397@aol.com thanks wendy

  • TLRthumper

Posted April 11, 2005 - 05:03 PM

#12

I believe Sammy Miller makes some fiberglass seat/tanks combos, but you can probably find one on a auction site somewhere. BPS engineering also makes some nice bits, check out their 2 piece exhaust for the
TLR!

http://perso.wanadoo...s-eng/index.htm

If I had 300 bucks lying around :naughty:

  • HRC RS250ta

Posted February 28, 2006 - 05:16 PM

#13

I have just imported some tanks and seat bases for the Reflex.....Really trick only need to be painted. Exact copies of the TLR250 competition tank and seat...only have a couple left email for pictures.....

  • oregon_rider

Posted March 02, 2006 - 02:44 PM

#14

What is used to make these tanks - are they fiberglass? plastic?

thanks,
jeff

  • mcman56

Posted March 10, 2006 - 12:42 PM

#15

A richer pilot will help with the stalling problem. They are very hard to find so I had to drill mine slightly larger. With that and an adjustable SL125 needle there are few stalling problems. Mine only stalls when chopping the throttle after lofting over a good sized log. If a little blip is added after the chop, it keeps running. (I usually ride a two stroke so this is hard to remember.) With 9/44 gearing it lifts the front end pretty easily.

  • JMC

Posted March 11, 2006 - 05:00 AM

#16

I had three of these bikes. Got my dad started back riding in the dirt on one and taught my girlfriend now wife how to ride on one. Never had any thing happen to any of them, change the oil and wash them and ride 'em. They were fun trail bikes (never any real trials stuff for me). If I remember right they only put out about 9-10 horse power but they felt stronger than that. Wish I could get them back, heck I bought one for $500 that was two years old and only had 86 miles on it and was never off road! Sorry for the trip down memory lane guys...

  • jpj1983

Posted March 19, 2006 - 07:21 PM

#17

tlr 200 are great bikes for light trail riding and chasing the kids i have a 1986 tlr 200 and love it i am not sure on the availability of parts as i myself am searching for a gas tank

i highly recomond this bike

  • SoCalrider21

Posted March 19, 2006 - 09:53 PM

#18

To put it in simple words good for easy riding or chasing the kids(like said before). This bike isn't a performance bike, but it will take you where you want to go. And this bike is very reliable. :thumbsup:

  • TLRthumper

Posted March 20, 2006 - 03:12 PM

#19

I think with a few mods it could be competitive in twin shock trials, but its fine as is for the riding I do.

  • CharlieT

Posted March 21, 2006 - 12:08 PM

#20

WOW!

Just happened to have noticed a TLR 200 on ebay yesterday. The Auction closed last night and it sold for $2425! 570 mi, described as not pristine, but excelent condition with a few minor cosmetic flaws.




 
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