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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 31 Aug 2010
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Long question needing a short answer

Next year I'm doing a 3-month european tour with a guy from HU (others still welcome http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...starting-48701) and need a bike.

We are still 'negotiating' on a route but its going to be a road-based tour rather than off-road, and I want to carry camping gear etc, especially as I'd like to also attend some overseas HU meetings as well.

Now that I have sold my fireblade the cash is burning a hole in my pocket. I've considered sports tourers but don't really want the head down aching-wrist scenario again, and besides which I want to see the places we travel through this time instead of breaking my neck trying to look up so I want to sit more upright. I don't need a proper trailie for tarmac and besides they are a bit gutless on the faster roads if I want to 'make some progress'.

I considered a BMW GS etc (doesn't everyone?), but why pay all that money for a big expensive thirsty bike that I don't need back in the UK to go to work on and attend race meetings etc. I also don't want huge servicing bills as I want to do it myself.

So, minded to get something a bit out of the ordinary, does anyone have any experience of the Yamaha TDM850? Looks to have the right sit-up style, decent size engine, good carrying capabilities, easy to service, and probably reasonably frugal on fuel. But why are they so cheap and unloved? I never see any ride tales on here with folks using them. Don't want to make a bad decision and regret it so figured you good folks would have an opinion as to whether it would make a decent road/camping tourer...?
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  #2  
Old 31 Aug 2010
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Don't know why they are so cheap secondhand, maybe just seen as a bit of a "non-specific" bike so goes un-noticed. A friend has a TDM900 and has been all over the place with it and rates it highly for comfort.
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  #3  
Old 31 Aug 2010
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I have never owned or ridden one, but from what I have read it should be ideal for your requirements, As far as I can remember they were quite popular over on the continent, they just never caught on here, despite being a very capable bike.
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Old 31 Aug 2010
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Have you considered the Kawasaki Versys? Superb bike, 19 litre fuel tank gives you a 220 miles range before going into reserve (you can probably push another 50 miles in reserve at least - never tried), great fuel economy, confortable, excellent tourer.

I rode mine all the way to Tallin and Back last summer and had a great ride. I've had it for 2 years now and I love it! I can't fault it.

Worth taking one for a test ride.
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  #5  
Old 31 Aug 2010
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Steve/Jon, thanks for the positive replies guys.

Maria, you must be a mind reader. That was rapidly becoming the other option. Apparently quite a few London dispatch riders are now getting them for reliability and ease in traffic etc.
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  #6  
Old 31 Aug 2010
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norfolk Guy..

I attended my first HU meeting in Ripley last year, and I would recommend you coming to next years event, and what I learnt from it was that if you want to travel you can do it on any type of bike.
Its more the mind set of the rider than the type of bike you ride. Yes ther were somes nice GSes there and even a new Tenere but the majority of the presentations were given by riders who owned neither of these bikes.

One gut had used his VFR, Lois used her small Yam, Vince used a small trailly bike and another wonderful lady had ridden her small Enfield India for 5 years.

As for me I ride a Honda Blackbird and given I never go off road that is fine,although if the wife would let me buy a GS I must admit if the wife would give me permission I would trade it in for a GS. Mind you now that I have fitted bar risers with VFR Bars I am not sure that a GS would be anymore comfortable.Whatever you choose to ride good luck and enjoy your travels.
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  #7  
Old 31 Aug 2010
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---------------=I never see any ride tales on here with folks using them. Don't want to make a bad decision and regret it so figured you good folks would have an opinion as to whether it would make a decent road/camping tourer...?[/quote]------------------

Here's one RTW report :

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tst...isa/000593.php
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Old 31 Aug 2010
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Get the TDM over the 850.. Its a HUGE improvement. Way worth the money. I had the 850 and wasnt impressed at all. I used the 900 at work a few times and it was lovely and gave fantastic mpg.
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  #9  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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If you want fabulous handling, stunning brakes, excellent power and lovely British character ... you really can't do a whole lot better than the 1050 Triumph Tiger. I love my '07.

I owned a TDM 850 and from what I've read and seen the 900 is better. But ridden against the Tiger its a bit of a barge. But TDM's are still common in France ... I saw lots there. Screwed up chassis, poor suspension.

The Versys is a great bike but won't have the kind of Steam you may want after coming off a Blade. The Tiger has that. Its fast, smooth, super comfortable, carries a good load very well .... and a bargain. If you ride one you'll be hooked ... the Triumph howl is unmistakable. Fantastic triple torque makes low effort riding all day long.
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  #10  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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Hondated, I did consider a blackbird, especially as coming from a fireblade I'm a Honda fan, but a big heavy bike. On tarmac and moving no problem, but as lots of folks of the hubb have pointed out even just going onto grass on a wet campsite makes it an ordeal with a heavy loaded road bike. Put a blackbird down and you need to be a russian docker to get it upright? Interested that you can fit VFR bars with risers though.

Dodger, thanks for the write up link.

Ted, isn't the 850 also a TDM? Take your point on the newer 900 engine though.

Definately will be at a Hubb meeting when next UK one occurs. This touring lark sure beats blasting round on one knee watching out for the law!
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  #11  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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MickeyD, now that is surely a lot of bike. last time I threw a leg over one it was very high though and would be top-heavy with luggage I suspect? Can you lower the seats on them? I'm just 5'9".
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  #12  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norfolkguy View Post
MickeyD, now that is surely a lot of bike. last time I threw a leg over one it was very high though and would be top-heavy with luggage I suspect? Can you lower the seats on them? I'm just 5'9".
I'm just 5'6" and not too bad. Triumph have a low seat and lowering links.
Keep in mind, the 1050 is lower than earlier Tigers, about 30 lbs. lighter weight, much less top heavy. At 5'9" should be no prob. Give her a try anyway, just an idea. Have fun! Feels about half the size of a GS. Lighter than a TDM as well.
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  #13  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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ive just bought a faired cb1300 and i have to say it is one of the best bikes ive ridden...and ive had 12 dofferent ones over the past 3 years alone!

150m tank range, very quick, comfy.....and id put it nearly on par with my 1150 GS...added with honda reliability, should b a good buy....will let u know in 6 weeks when im back from my europe trip ;0)

i have heard stories of the tdm's having electrical probs and one of my mates (was the 900 tdm) had his rear shock snap...not nice!
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  #14  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey D View Post
Fantastic triple torque makes low effort riding all day long.
Triples have often been a bit thirsty (Laverdas, Tridents, XS750 etc.). Is the Tiger OK on fuel, I must agree, it does look like a good bike for the money.
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  #15  
Old 1 Sep 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnon View Post
Triples have often been a bit thirsty (Laverdas, Tridents, XS750 etc.). Is the Tiger OK on fuel, I must agree, it does look like a good bike for the money.
My Tiger has been really impressive on fuel. I had read several tests were MPG was in the low to mid 40's but I've managed 50 MPG (Miles per US gallon) on several long rides. (3500 miles) If I'm hammering it in the mountains it drops down to about 45 MPG, but even making "good progress" the Tiger does very well, usually above 48 MPG. Highway cruising at 75 MPH its around 50 MPG. I ride with a friend who has an aftermarket Pipe, modified air box and different F.I. "Tune". His mileage is about 45 MPG, but he's got about 10 more HP on tap. So, make your choice.

Sorry, I've forgotten how to convert MPG to Kms per Liter. Sorry, math is not my strong area.
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