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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 24 Oct 2009
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Africa twin - Trans Alp - TDM 850

Hello,
I have been out of biking for a few years.
Mostly was into road going 'crossers' from 125cc to 500cc RM (killing machine) Suzuki's, and then a change to ZZR600

Now I was looking at the Honda's. and my goodfriend loadned me his Yam TDM 850cc It is a decent bike, of 1997 year.

Has any one any feelings if the TDM could make a long distance cruiser for a ride around Europe in 2010?

Opinions either way please

'vette
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  #2  
Old 25 Oct 2009
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I had all this bikes. The TDM was the 1999 model which is an improoved model over the 96-98 model. If you plan to ride only on road it is a very capable bike for the money. A lot of power, a lot of torque, zero vibrations, strong frame and as long as you dont push it too much, the consumption two up with full lagguage was constantly less then 5l/100 km. I had two GIVI MAXIA 50l cases on sides (this cases are ment to be at the top) and one on the top. With this setup the TDM was arround 90cm wide, which was very comfortable when passing through the traffic.

I did arround 40kkm and had zero problems.
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  #3  
Old 7 Nov 2009
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I had a TDM 850 ! Alright bike but much better out there for the same money. Was quick though.

The TDM 900 is a HUGE improvement over the 850 with FI, alu frame, design mods etc.

The TDM is the best road tourer out of these three but pretty useless offroad and tyre choice is pain with its 19" front wheel..

Africa twins are great (iv had 3), but the TDM is much better if you dont plan to rough it at all..
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  #4  
Old 8 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
I had a TDM 850 ! Alright bike but much better out there for the same money. Was quick though.

The TDM 900 is a HUGE improvement over the 850 with FI, alu frame, design mods etc.

The TDM is the best road tourer out of these three but pretty useless offroad and tyre choice is pain with its 19" front wheel..

Africa twins are great (iv had 3), but the TDM is much better if you dont plan to rough it at all..
'

hello Ted,
Thanks for the reply,

This is a kind of type of bike I have never owned, and I am thinking of buying a bike, for long tarmac, and gravel track cruising.
No serious off road, as I think I have left all that behind me.
I have had fast @road bikes@ and decent "strictly off road killing machine" so now looking for a piece of middle ground.

The XT from Yamaha has also been on my thinking list.
For some reason, I just WONT have a BMW.

My brother in law had a 1996 850 TDM, and I was rather pleased with it, even though was only on tarmac, it was quite good.

So, what else is there, which could do a run down to Mauritania part of the world, and a short bit of playing in the sands.?

I looked at the newer TDM 850, but I am not sure I like the shape of it, it is probably a better overall bike, but at the moment, it just dont look right.

So is it just the Africa Twins, or the TDM, can you suggest some others i could think about and consider?

'vette
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  #5  
Old 8 Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
'

hello Ted,
Thanks for the reply,

This is a kind of type of bike I have never owned, and I am thinking of buying a bike, for long tarmac, and gravel track cruising.
No serious off road, as I think I have left all that behind me.
I have had fast @road bikes@ and decent "strictly off road killing machine" so now looking for a piece of middle ground.

The XT from Yamaha has also been on my thinking list.
For some reason, I just WONT have a BMW.

My brother in law had a 1996 850 TDM, and I was rather pleased with it, even though was only on tarmac, it was quite good.

So, what else is there, which could do a run down to Mauritania part of the world, and a short bit of playing in the sands.?

I looked at the newer TDM 850, but I am not sure I like the shape of it, it is probably a better overall bike, but at the moment, it just dont look right.

So is it just the Africa Twins, or the TDM, can you suggest some others i could think about and consider?

'vette
Road bike which plays in the sand.... Don't think it exists mate !
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1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

BMW Dealer Technician
Welder/Fabricator

Ushuaia - Colombia 2007/8
UK- South Africa 2010/11
India 2012
Yukon 2012
S.E Asia 2014
U.K - Magadan 2015
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  #6  
Old 8 Nov 2009
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Africa Twin

Quote:
Originally Posted by uk_vette View Post
'

hello Ted,
Thanks for the reply,

This is a kind of type of bike I have never owned, and I am thinking of buying a bike, for long tarmac, and gravel track cruising.
No serious off road, as I think I have left all that behind me.
I have had fast @road bikes@ and decent "strictly off road killing machine" so now looking for a piece of middle ground.

The XT from Yamaha has also been on my thinking list.
For some reason, I just WONT have a BMW.

My brother in law had a 1996 850 TDM, and I was rather pleased with it, even though was only on tarmac, it was quite good.

So, what else is there, which could do a run down to Mauritania part of the world, and a short bit of playing in the sands.?

I looked at the newer TDM 850, but I am not sure I like the shape of it, it is probably a better overall bike, but at the moment, it just dont look right.

So is it just the Africa Twins, or the TDM, can you suggest some others i could think about and consider?

'vette
Hey There,

We have been on the road for about 6 months (on bmw's). Not long by some standards but its been enjoyable so far.. One of the things we have noted is that most of the riders not on BMW's are on Honda bikes. Particularly the Africa Twin.. I've not seen any Transalps on our route yet or Yamaha bikes doing long distance... That's not to say they don't do it ive seen many pages of people on those bikes which do... its just my experience (please don't shoot me).

Personally my R1200GS has had no problems however my wife's F650GS has had many issues with the after market immobiliser and fork seals.. whatever you get make sure you don't have an immobiliser and make sure you have fork protectors

Good luck in your choice.

p.s. another choice could be the KTM 640 Adventure or the Kawasaki KLR 6xx
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  #7  
Old 9 Nov 2009
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For a trip in Mauretania part of the world just forget the TDM, because it is a road bike. I did a short trip in Tunisia off road with the TDM (32km) and it was a pain in the ass. I thought it will fall apart. When I got home I sold it and bought an Africa Twin. I went two more times in Tunisia with the AT and had a great time doing mostly off road. As it was written a million times before, the AT is a very good compromise between road and off road performance. The only problem is that they are getting old.

Another one is the orange 950 or 990. Better in every way than the AT except in reliability. If you know how to sort minor mechanical problems, this is the best on/off road bike way ahead in my opinion.
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  #8  
Old 10 Nov 2009
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Bike around Europe

Hi there,

This is a bit cheeky but we just got back from a 10,500 mile Europe trip on a 900 Divvy. We are all so selling it.

It is listed in the Travel bikes for sale section with the ebay link.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...for-sale-46367

It did the job for two up with long days in the saddle. There is a link to our travellers story on that page as well.

As I said a bit cheeky but it's another type of bike to consider.
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