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Honda phantom

Honda Phantom

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Honda Phantom TA200 (Custom 3 / 4 / Fire Edition)
Honda Phantom TA200
Manufacturer Honda
Model years 2001-2010
Assembly Assembled in Thailand
Body style "Chopper" type frame, inspired by classic American designs
Engine 4 stroke, 196.9cc, air-cooled, 2 valve SOHC with a compression ratio of 9.0:1
Transmission 6 speed sequential
Wheelbase 1505mm
Length 2256mm
Width 775mm
Height 1085mm
Curb weight 140kg (Dry)
Related Honda Tiger (Indonesia)



[edit] Overview

The Honda Phantom TA200 was a single cylinder Thai-made "chopper" motorcycle. It was known in Australia as the TA Shadow. Production of the TA200 was stopped in Thailand on 3 March 2010.
Overall design was very similar to the Honda TA150. The major differences was that the TA200 contains a 4 stroke engine and higher engine displacement.
This motorcycle was very popular in Singapore due to it being one of the few cruisers available for a class 2B license (the most basic motorcycle license in Singapore). Class 2B license holders are only allowed to ride motorcycles with displacement below 200cc, and the Phantom TA 200 fits in nicely with a 197cc engine.
If purchased new Honda has a 3 year protection guarantee.

[edit] Specifications

  • Engine Type: 4-stroke Single Cylinder, air-cooled, 2 valve SOHC
  • Displacement: 196.9cc
  • Bore x Stroke 63.5mm x 62.2mm
  • Compression Ratio: 9.0:1
  • Ignition System: CDI
  • Redline: Unknown - early TA200s (Custom 3? Short handlebar version) up to 2004 have NO rev limiter
  • 6 speed gearbox (Conventional motorcycle 1N23456)
  • Clutch System: Wet Multiplate Clutch
  • Drivetrain: Chain (520)
  • Sprockets (Front / Rear tooth count): 13 / 39[2] or 41 (standard) [3]
  • Dimensions (WxLxH): 775 x 2256 x 1085 mm
  • Seat Height: 699mm
  • Wheelbase: 1505mm
  • Dry Weight: 140 kg
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Main / Reserve): 9.68 litres / 2 litres
  • Suspension System: Front - Telescopic, Rear, Double Shock
  • Brake System: Front / Rear Disc Brakes (Dual Piston Calipers)
  • Tyre Size: Front - 90/90 - 17M / C49P (Tubeless) ; Rear - 130/90 15M / C66P (Tubeless), available from Metzeler (Lasertec), Pirelli (City Demon), Bridgestone (Exedra), IRC (from Thailand) and Shinko (with white-walled option)
  • Battery: Maintenance-Free 12V - 3.5Ah
  • Max. Power Output: 12.3 kW / 16.48 hp @ 8000 rpm
  • Max. Torque: 16.2 nm / 11.95 lb-ft @6500 rpm

[edit] Thailand - The Phantom Saga

Thailand has always been regarded as "Home of the Phantom" - while Singapore's motorcycle customization is severely limited by the Land Transport Authority's regulations, various accessories were, over the years introduced to the local aftermarket scene through official Honda dealerships as well as from private merchants and motorcycle enthusiasts making the arduous overland trip to Thailand through Malaysia's North-South Highway.[4]
While importers more often than not charge premiums for special orders, suffice to say even limited access to the vast motorcycle customization industry of Thailand is well worth the expense! As of 2010, the main online store supplying cosmetic and functional upgrades to the Honda Phantom is PinkPhantom.com.[5]
With Thai engineering excellence supported by a strong local automotive parts fabrication industry, Thai Phantoms are often done up to resemble much heavier motorcycles such as the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide. "V-Twin" chrome engine covers, dual or even quad exhaust outlets, highway shields and even a super-sized front wheel (the front forks are often widened to allow fitting a 130/90 rear wheel in the front) all but transforms the Phantom into an impressive head-turner with massive road presence... without the ownership and operating costs of an actual Harley-Davidson![6]
The Honda Phantom's large frame makes customization easy and rewarding, as the motorcycle appears to be designed ground up to support such modifications; factory-provided hardpoints for mounting of accessories are evident on the rear struts and various points on the frame. The Phantom's potential as a custom motorcycle is limited only by their owners' imagination.
Unmodified, the basic design is well liked by Thai commuters and expatriates alike. While the TA200 "is definitely not a rocket-ship" it offers "superior comfort and speed than smaller bikes".[7] It is also very reliable in any tropical weather condition. Properly maintained at a competent garage or dealership, the Honda Phantom has been known to survive hard riding for a decade or more with little maintenance and basic lubrication clocking up well over 200,000 km of mileage. With a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour and a surprisingly agile suspension setup, these are workhorses well suited for commuting and short range touring. The TA200 may not offer the high cruising speed of a larger cruiser motorcycle, but it's just as comfortable and has a much longer range (the reserve capacity is more than enough to circumnavigate small nations such as Singapore twice over); the Phantom's range can be considerably increased by fitting custom built or aftermarket fuel tank for increased capacity (20 to 33 litre fuel tanks are available through aftermarket sources or the standard tank simply expanded).

[edit] Ownership Review - Honda TA200 Phantom Custom in Singapore

The Honda Phantom, according to its devout following on ThaiVisa's Bikes in Thailand forum, has been out of production as at 2010 due to stricter Thai emissions regulations. First-hand (never owned) examples are few and far between. But thanks to Honda's massive logistics base in Asia, spare parts are cheap and readily available in both common and upmarket workshops alike.[8] One of Singapore's major transit corporations, SBS Transit, uses the Honda Phantom Fire Edition as a dispatch vehicle.
Over the years, various mechanics and online communities have provided a comprehensive guide to maintaining the Honda Phantom, by now long exceeding their warranty periods. As some of these "unofficial" maintenance practises may be damaging to the engine or drastically reduce performance (such as overfilling the oil sump to compensate for "inevitable" oil consumption), it is recommended to trust one's own judgment and automotive knowledge and let the trademark Honda reliability let the popular and well-liked Phantom soldier on way into the next decade.
Indeed, with such universal availability of spare parts and a vast selection of used examples available for as low as SGD600, the Honda Phantom presents new and veteran motorcyclists alike with a unique challenge to not only learn to ride in Singapore's hectic traffic conditions on a small cc, highly economical chopper, but to learn to restore them to peak condition as well! [9]
As of March 2010, several members of the Singapore Bikes Forum (www.singaporebikes.com) had experimented with not only restoring but enhancing performance of the stock 200cc Honda Phantom by conditioning them to run on fully synthetic oil, reducing restrictions in the air intake and reducing exhaust backpressure with nothing but household materials. These self-termed "CBX200" bikes are known for their distinctive exhaust note, enhanced fuel efficiency beyond 40 km/l (100mpg) at highway speeds and increased reliability - one example by the end of 2010 had covered 20,000 km of abusive riding in all weather conditions and despite experimentation with such ideas as lean burning, water injection, etc. had suffered no mechanical issues nor any oil consumption whatsoever.[10]
Fully restored and performance-tuned "CBX200R" example. Heat-reflective foil to accelerate exhaust/waste heat flow is evident on the header, a self-engineered measure to improve engine efficiency.
It remains to be seen if this newly discovered hidden potential of this humble small engined chopper would be exploited by their riders in Singapore and Thailand, outside of small discussion groups which are free to research and experiment at will using the best international automotive knowledge bases at their disposal without fear of contempt from more "traditional" schools of automotive thought (that may inhibit free speech and innovation).
Until then, this popular Asian motorcycle continues to ply the local motorways on errands related to both business and pleasure. The combination of light weight and short gearing means the Phantom is comfortable keeping up with fast-paced traffic within the legal speed limit, making for an enjoyable, exhiliarating ride on a surprisingly agile machine. Where the stock Phantom was reportedly "prone to skidding" especially in the wet, end users have by now figured out the related vehicle dynamics and maintenance practises necessary to inhibit such situations (such as suspension setup, weight distribution and most importantly, correct tyre pressure), or have plain modified their motorcycles for additional traction and ease of control.

[edit] Maintenance Recommendations

Engine oil ~ 10W40 grade or Higher, 1 L per 2,000 km
Spark plug ~ Change per 5,000 km
Air filter ~ Clean per 5,000 km. Change per 10,000 km
Brake Fluid ~ Change per 10,000 km. Top up if low level.
Cleaning the carburetor is discouraged unless you are a very competent mechanic.
Tune and clean only if problem arises. Under the fuel switch is a small bowl which can be cleaned to remove water or debris.
Brake Pads ~ Honda Original
Chain ~ DID
Lubricate per 500 km (Scottoiler [1], Maxima Chain Spray or used engine oil)
Change when it can no longer be tightened
Sprockets ~ Usually change together with chain
Tyres ~ Metzelers Lazertec Front, ME77 Back
When worn out or more than 5 years from manufactured date
When changing tyres, tell the mechanic to check wheel bearings as well
Full Servicing ~ per 5,000 km

[edit] References

  1. ^ Stats derived from Honda Phantom Advertising Brochures, from Boon Siew Singapore Pte Ltd (www.boonsiewhonda.com.sg) and Stadium Accessories Co., Ltd., Thailand
  2. ^ Source: TA200 Owner's Manual and personal experience - 39 tooth rear sprocket preferred for motorway cruising, as the Phantom's very short gearing is ideally meant for good pickup in start-stop riding, not constant top speed.
  3. ^ Verified from ThaiVisa.com Motorcycle Community 24/12/2010. http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/428470-honda-phantom-wikipedia-article-seeking-input-from-thailand/page__gopid__4107471#entry4107471
  4. ^ Source: Phantom Knights, Singapore Bikes Forum www.singaporebikes.com/forum
  5. ^ Disclaimer: Parts availability may vary due to seasonal demand.
  6. ^ Source: Various motorcycle enthusiasts' forums including Bikers in Vietnam: http://bikervietnam.com/bfrm/showthread.php?t=43663
  7. ^ Source: ThaiVisa motorcycle forum user review at http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/428470-honda-phantom-wikipedia-article-seeking-input-from-thailand/page__view__findpost__p__4107221
  8. ^ Source: SBF Phantom Knights - "Prices for typical Phantom repairs and mods" directory. Please scroll to the last page, as the list is constantly updated by the Phantom Knights of Singapore: http://www.singaporebikes.com/forums/showthread.php/155800-typical-prices-for-phantom-repairs-n-mods
  9. ^ Phantom ownership, maintenance and checkrides available at the Singapore Bike Forums - URL: http://www.singaporebikes.com/forums/showthread.php/309602-Motorcycle-Buying-Guide-Used-Bikes
  10. ^ Source: The editor of this revision owns a 2003 Phantom that was rebuilt upon transfer of ownership. The editor also organises technical discussions and hands-on DIY tuning sessions for various small cc, single cylinder commuter motorcycles.


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