Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Yamaha Tech

Yamaha Tech Originally the Yamaha XT600 Tech Forum, due to demand it now includes all Yamaha's technical / mechanical / repair / preparation questions.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 24 Jun 2008
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 4,382
TDM 850 or 900 as a Travel bike - Discuss !

After selling my arse numbing but wonderfully reliable and capable XT600E in Colombia, im looking for something for some European road bashing..

Now, I work in a large Motorcycle dealership and I have the opportunity to buy a lovely Yamaha TDM 850 for not a lot of money.

Now, i know this is an underated bike and apart from that, I dont really know much about it apart that its a large parrallel twin with a 18/17 inch wheels and pretty good handling and comfort..

So, anyone done any serious travelling on one ???

Whats it like in rougher stuff ? (worse than an Africa twin ?)

Tyre choice ?

Reliabilty ?

Luggage options ?

Thanks all.
__________________
www.TouringTed.com
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
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24 Jun 2008
mollydog's Avatar
Banned
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,134
If the price is right then go for it.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 17:52.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 24 Jun 2008
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 4,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
I owned a '92, bought new as a left over in '93. Put only about 30K miles on mine, rode it around California, mostly weekend trips. Sold in '95 for yet another 600 Ninja. (I've owned four or five)

If the price is right then go for it. The Tedium's are quite reliable far as I know. They were only for sale two years in the States, Yam pulled them do to lackluster sales. I saw a lot of them in France, mostly the 900 version.

Biggest gripe on the TDM was the super notchy gear box. Shifted fine mostly, but a nasty feel to it. Maybe newer ones are better?

The other thing about the TDM is WEIGHT. This is very heavy motorcycle and top heavy to boot. sit on it (it's comfy), now lean it over ......

I had the misfortune to take mine on some desert roads a couple times. This bike cannot do sand. Packed dirt roads are sort of OK but the 18/17 combo it never feels comfortable (to me).

The handling is suspect on the TDM, IMO, so don't push it in the twisty roads. Good on highway, some vibes throughout and one of the most UN inspiring exhaust sounds yet. I put a Sebring pipe on mine but ditched it for noise. The stock silencer must weigh 20 kgs.!

The good news is valve adjustments are needed only every 14K miles or so.
Overall a pretty tough motor and the bike is built like a HUMM VEE. No idea how tough the cast wheels are, but probably fine for mild off roading in touring mode.

My buddy put an Ohlins shock on his TDM and had the forks done as well.
Big improvement, according to him. I rode his bike one time across the Golden Gate bridge and thought I would die. The head bearings were so loose I could barely steer it. Could have been swingarm bearings as well.
That was just a few years back so that TDM was about 13 years old. He managed nearly 80,000 miles commuting on it and never spent a dime after doing the suspension. (This from a certified Volvo mechanic no less!... Don,the TDM owner, is now passed on ..... a great guy.... they probably buried his TDM with him)

If this bike is fresh enough, been taken care of, them might be a deal if cheap enough. If you can manage it in any way ..... get a DL650 Wee Strom
instead. A 1000 times better bike as a travel bike. (cheap buying with UK pounds in the USA!!!)

Ted,
Did you sell you XT in Colombia?

Cheers,

Patrick
I know the Strom pretty well as I used to sell them while I was a Suzuki dealer. A good bike but I want something with more grunt for the tarmac and more importanty ... CHEAP !!! I will be doing 99% tarmac riding in the next couple of years and planning on buying a new Tenere for when I do my next big trip to Aus or North America/Canada !

Cheers for the info on the "tedium" LOL ...

Yer, I sold my XT to a fellow Liverpudlian who lives in Bogota. It was going to cost me way too much to get it back to the UK and I really needed the money. I was sad to see her go but it was only right that she continued her true purpose !
__________________
www.TouringTed.com
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
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,370
Question

Ted,
There was a similar question away back in this forum which got a small response at the time - it will be lost somewhere in the pile of issues with XTs, unless you fancy searching!
IIRC, there were no bad points.

There is supposed to be a "Super Tenere" on the way for 09: 1200cc to match/beat the Beemer boxers at their game - do you know anything about that?
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 25 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 185
From memory one of the big things they chased when designing the TDM900 was to get the weight down the 850 to 190kgs. I've spoken to a few riders and they a supposed to be real sippers when it comes to fuel

have a look at this review comparing the DL1000 and the TDM900; Suzuki V-Strom vs Yamaha TDM900 - Motorbike Review - BikePoint
__________________
'99 R1100GS - In a suitable shade of black

It's not that life is so short, It's just that we're dead for so long....
"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." ~ Saint Augustin
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25 Jun 2008
Wheelspin's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Colchester, UK
Posts: 150
Not sure I agree with some of that.... I have owned a TDM and several Super Tens. There is no doubt that on the road a TDM is a better handling, better braked bike than any of the offroad based bikes mentioned above. It certainly is not top heavy if you are comparing it to a Super Ten or an AT - quite the opposite !

Bits I do agree with - both TDM and Super Ten gearboxes can be very notchy. Reliable, but can need a good prod - not all are bad though, and you just get used to it. Stock exhaust is a bit boring. And of course the reason it is so much better than a Super Ten on the road is.... it is a road bike. It will not match up to an S10 or a V Strom type bike in the dirt.

But - an excellent allrounder. Recommended .
__________________
Honda CBR 1100 XX, Yamaha XTZ 660, Harris Special
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 26 Jun 2008
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 4,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesawol View Post
From memory one of the big things they chased when designing the TDM900 was to get the weight down the 850 to 190kgs. I've spoken to a few riders and they a supposed to be real sippers when it comes to fuel

have a look at this review comparing the DL1000 and the TDM900; Suzuki V-Strom vs Yamaha TDM900 - Motorbike Review - BikePoint
Its strange that you mention that they are thirsty.

The people I ask who own them say they are FANTASTIC on MPG (the FI 900 anyway).. Averaging 65-70mpg !!
__________________
www.TouringTed.com
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
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Staffordshire. uk
Posts: 776
I had my '91 TDM 850 (360 deg crank) for 14 years and it was as reliable as a rock. I had a voltage regulator cook a battery early on but nothing else. Tyre choice for the front is limited but if black and round is good enough for you it's not an issue. It was smooth and regularly got 50+ mpg. You can get a Givi wing rack for it and load it up no probs. I found the handling pretty good. The front is pretty well planted, it does dive a bit but you get used to it. As a cheap reliable bike that will tour and handle gravel and dirt roads in it's stride I wouldn't hesitate if the price is right.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 26 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by tedmagnum View Post
Its strange that you mention that they are thirsty.

The people I ask who own them say they are FANTASTIC on MPG (the FI 900 anyway).. Averaging 65-70mpg !!
sorry Ted.. thats exactly what i was meaning.. they sip rather than gulp!
__________________
'99 R1100GS - In a suitable shade of black

It's not that life is so short, It's just that we're dead for so long....
"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." ~ Saint Augustin
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 27 Jun 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 3,370
Another couple of cents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
. You can get a Givi wing rack for it and load it up no probs. I found the handling pretty good. The front is pretty well planted, it does dive a bit but you get used to it. As a cheap reliable bike that will tour and handle gravel and dirt roads in it's stride I wouldn't hesitate if the price is right.

I got hold of one quite a few years ago and rode it around an airfield at various illegal, for the road, speeds. I recall it being tall in the saddle - sitting on it, rather than in it - but not unpleasantly so and it did not seem top heavy to me at the time.
Later I owned a 900cc Yam Divy shaft drive and the fork dive was much the same - you can learn to live with it, or get better springs.
__________________
Dave
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 8 Aug 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 43
I know it is a little late to post on this thread, but anyway...

I did on my TDM 850 year99 40000Km, two up all the time. If there is no off road involved, it is a perfect tourer. I had 3 x 50L Givi Maxia, a tanckbag and some other stuff, two up and the bike was doing great. The widith with the two 50L Givis was something more than 90cm, which is not wide for such big cases. The engine is like an electromotor, withought vibes, and very powerfull and torque. At highways I was touring full loaded two up at 150Km/h withought any problem. The consumption at this speed was arround 6,5l, but at crusing speeds on regular roads, the consumption was always below 5l. I didn't have any mechanical problems at all and the second owner did another 20000km with no problem and is still going. The 99 model had some minor changes over the 96/97/98 model, different gear ratios, different clutch, fuel gague, better mirrors, different carb which lead to reduced consumptions.

In comparison to the AT, which I had later, the TDM had a lot more power, more confy on the road (we did in one day 1550km), much more stabel in curves, especcialy loaded up, much less vibrations, much better seat, consumption for me was equal on both bikes, worse wind protecion, much more confy for the passenger.

The bigest advantege in my opinion for the 900 over the 850 is the reduced weight for 10Kg and lower center of gravity which was achieved by lowering the engine down where previously was the mufler.

Off road the TDM just can't go. It is no comparison to the AT. I took the AT offroad where the TDM just cant go (Tunisia desert and other stuff).

But is a strange thing, aldo it has many advantages over the AT on road, I would never change the TDM over an AT eaven for a pure onroad trip.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 2 May 2012
parkie's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 199
TDMs are great global tourers

My wife and I spent 20 months riding overland from Uk to New Zealand on a TDM850.
Awesome bike
Throw on a Michelin Sirac up front & an Anakee on the rear & it works well on gravel/hard pack dirt.

Hard work in sand or mud though - 200kg dry, a damn sight more when loaded up for long distance 2 up.
__________________
Rich
www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/richardandlisa
www.youtube.com/richparkie

280,000 kms on a TDM850 - ridden 2 up UK-NZ. Now abusing a Cagiva Elefant
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 3 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 3 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
wtb travel bike in S. Amer. hot rod TRAVEL Bikes for Sale / Wanted 2 28 Apr 2008 06:40
Competing in Trials on Your Travel Bike - UK Ian Motorcycle Events around the world 66 12 Jan 2008 12:38
XTZ 750 Super Tenere - Discuss *Touring Ted* Yamaha Tech 15 20 Jul 2007 19:39
buy a bike, register it and travel !?. m-cinek South America 6 6 Oct 2006 13:36
Where to buy a bike for travel in Europe? jk Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else 2 19 Aug 2000 04:15

 
 



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 20:23.