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The Honda TLR in standard form makes a very capable machine for clubman type twinshock events, but can be improved a great deal to suit riders wanting to be competitive in higher level events. To keep costs at a reasonable level, if possible it is always a good idea to modify standard parts, rather than fit aftermarket replacements, which are sometimes poorly made and often don’t work as well as stock items.


1. Replacing the stock narrow rests and relocating the mounting position is a very good start, and can be carried out in isolation or at the same time as other changes are effected. The 200 footrests need to be moved down and further back, and the 250 ones down and further forward, to reduce tendency for front end to lift. We would recommend Raptor Ti footrests, as these will outlast shoddy alternatives many times over, and can be easily transferred to successive machines.

2. Front forks on the TLR200 can be modified to TLR250 spec, with slightly increased travel, by increasing the length of the damper rod by approx 10mm. Rear suspension works well using Falcon shocks, but 200’s need the chain tensioner bracket modified if you intend to fit the slightly longer TLR 250 shocks. Shocks that are not re-buildable, or are not gas pressurised are fine for clubman type riders, but perhaps not ideal for more serious riders competing in harder events.

3. The TLR250 uses the basic TLR200 chassis with some very minor changes to mounting brackets and spindle sizes, and many riders find the front of the bike is far too light, and handling in difficult situations is often unpredictable. Moving the footrests forward will provide better control, but adding a little length to the swinging arm is more preferable and will also offer improved traction.

4. Steering head angle on the TLR rather relaxed, and in common with many twinshock machines handling is pretty vague, and not ideally suited to conditions in modern type events, which are often inclusive of very tight turns, and the stock angle can be steepened to improve steering noticeably.

5. Air boxes on the TLR work best in unmodified form if you are using the standard roundslide carbs, and removing parts or “modifying” any part of the intake system, will often only result in increased noise and reduced performance.

6. Currently the stock Honda exhaust systems work significantly better, than any of the aftermarket alternatives that are easily available. However with careful changes to the carburetion and induction system some after market systems can be made to work reasonably well.

7. Brakes can be improved greatly by getting oversized linings machined exactly to diameter of hub, and using only genuine Honda front brake cables. Wheels from TLR250 can be used in 200 with minor modifications, and drum brake wheels from some TLM models provide a worthwhile upgrade on TLR200.


1. General condition of the motor is very important, and if yours has worn piston rings/cylinder bore,  leaking valves, or worn kickstart gears then it will need to be properly rebuilt, ideally using only genuine Honda parts.

2. Inlet ports on the TLR head are significantly bigger than the size most appropriate for trials applications, and gas flow can be improved by adding material, and reshaping the port to more suitable dimensions.

3. Ignition system can be improved by fitting XR200 type head mounted pickup, in combination with earlier type cam with drive for spring type advance/retard unit.

4. Clutch is derived from the old CB125, and as such often doesn’t work that well in trials applications. Essentially slightly increasing spring pressure by adding an extra steel plate, and modifying the clutch centre to aid oil getting to the plates, as well as using good quality kevlar type plates, will improve things noticeably. However before making any of the changes above, you need to be certain that there is no wear in any other part of the clutch.

5. Carb wear is often a problem on the TLR, and if bikes have been standing for any length of time, floats can become porous, which will drastically alter fuel level, and cause very poor running. Classictrial are able to provide a specific replacement flatslide carb kit for TLR models, which offers improved performance and is a simple bolt on modification.

6. Camshaft run’s directly in the cylinder head on the left hand side of a TLR engine, and if motor has been poorly maintained wear can occur here. Classictrial can help with a higher performance camshaft kit, complete with needle roller bearing conversion, which fits to a worn head without machining, and will eliminate any future cam bearing problems entirely.

7. Many Honda “experts” posting on the net, suggest various cures for the common problem of spitting aback/stalling at low rpm. In general if the motor is in otherwise good order this is something that is simply due to poor carburetion, caused either by a badly worn carb, or the jetting not having been adjusted to work properly with an after market exhaust.

8. Finally the TLR motors can be modified to provide far better performance for trials applications, but these changes must be carried out in combination with other alterations, and are not merely a matter of bolting on an aftermarket pipe, or drilling a few holes in the airbox.


If you are interested in having any of the above modifications carried out then please feel free to contact us, but we are not able to disclose specific information relating to engine, suspension, steering, settings and geometry changes.

* Finally please remember that all of the above information is provided on the strict proviso that any modifications or changes not carried out specifically by Classictrial, are not guaranteed or warranteed in any way, and are entirely the responsibility of the individual carrying them out, and that Classictrial are not responsible in any circumstances for damage or injury that may occur as a result of poor workmanship *

Classictrial modified Honda TLR and RTL

Classictrial modified Honda TLR and RTL

Click to enlarge

Honda trials

RTL Club Honda meeting French Alps

RTL Club Honda meeting French Alps

Click to enlarge