Let me see now. Ten years ago British biking was on the verge of something big. Our bike buying trends were going to be challenged by a bug-eyed kid from Yamaha - the TDM850.
Let me see now. Ten years ago British biking was on the verge of something big. Our bike buying trends were going to be challenged by a bug-eyed kid from Yamaha - the TDM850. It promised the kind of handling and performance that would be useful against a supersports machine, with the usefulness that would be super against a tourer. Add in the fact that it had wide bars, a comfy seat, roomy riding position and user-friendly practicality and it was a dead cert to be a hit with us no-nonsense Brits.
And the initial response was good. Journalists invented the sort of timeless clichés that can still haunt to this day. "You could give a sportsbike a run for its money through the twisties and still go to the South of France and back on it, quite.
Success should have been assured, but it wasn't. We as a nation continued to clasp sportsbikes to our bosom and we even insulted the poor old 850 "Tedium" we called it, and all the while the mainland Europeans went TDM crazy. Check out the major cities in Europe and you'll see them everywhere... Berlin, Munich, Milan, Rome and should you hear the boom of a big twin in Paris, the chances are it's a trick-as-buggery TDM with open pipes, not a Ducati...
To further illustrate... in the last decade, the TDM has been the second biggest selling bike in the 750-1,000cc category second only to Honda's VFR... So, pay homage to the TDM as people really love this bike.
In the UK, too, all is not lost. Since 1991 and after the bike's big up-date in 1996, there's still been a small enclave of people who recognise a good thing when they ride one. On average every year, recently between 200-500 people buy a TDM, making it important enough to Yamaha UK to bring it in and with rising insurance costs and Gatsos, surely it's starting to make more sense?
This latest version, launched in the same resort of Fuerteventura as the original a decade ago, is having another crack at teaching us Brits all a lesson, so listen up.
It looks similar to the last one, which is no bad thing, as since the Glynn Kerr-penned 1996 version, the styling is still markedly individual, so Yamaha has only made subtle changes, including a re-designed tail light and brighter multi-refelector headlight.
The big changes are to the engine and chassis.
Continue the 2002 Yamaha TDM900 road test
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