Yamaha TRX850 (1996 - 2000)

Manufacturer
Category
Available from
1996 to 2000
Quirky parallel twin, the TRX850 wins a lot of friends.
It's always going to be an odd-ball but the TRX850 has character too.

User Reviews

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kebab19's picture
Submitted by kebab19 on Tue, 05/02/2008 - 18:19

Overall Review

Yamaha originally released this bike vastly overpriced. It should have been cheap and as popular as SV650s, but prices remained exorbitant. Now cheap to buy, it offers excellent VFM, especially with a few mods. Stronger front fork springs make a big difference, or Thundercat forks if you find get a pair. Bluespot calipers and an R1 or R6 master cylinder are beneficial. Switch to 120/70 front tyre and drop yokes 10mm for improved front end. Performance benefits from decent pipes and sounds soooo much better. Engine tuning relative expensive. Rear shock benefits from a respring. 17/39 gearing too high - 17/42 better for road use. An often overlooked, yet impressive machine that should have cleaned up when it first came out. Will probably become quite collectable in 10 years.

Strengths

Rare, still looks good (subtle paint schemes instead of shell suit designs). Feels light and flickable. Engine has character with the 270 degree crank, much more than the older TDM850 version. Reliable if oil level checked regularly.

Weaknesses

Mirrors pretty useless, pillion seat a joke. Front brakes average, front forks too soft, rear shock a touch harsh. Standard exhaust cans strangle power and sound uninspiring. Many engines burn quite a lot of oil, mainly due to piston rings, valve oil seals and engine gearbox seal. Corrosion can take hold easily

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Submitted by phuk72 on Wed, 06/02/2008 - 08:13

Overall Review

I had four TRXs and can honestly say that there is nothing else that I really want at the moment. Although overpriced and overlooked in the UK sportsbike market, the TRX won bike of the year 2 years running in Australia and sold well in Europe and Japan (even spawning a one make race series and seeing Sarron ride one in the Suzuka 8 hour). My current bike is a long way from standard but that's just me - the stock suspension and brakes are up to the job but, being 10 years old now, do benefit from upgrades. The motor is somewhat strangled by the starndard exhaust and open pipes free some power and noise! You either like the look of these bikes or you don't. If you do, ride one and I'm willing to bet you end up buying one and keeping it for a bit. If you want to know more, there is an active and friendly owners forum at www.motomaniac.net/trx850. (BTW - my rating are based on the stock bike and niot mine)

Strengths

It's something different. Cracking value for money and does everything you could ever want from a bike in the real world. Although the pillion capability is crap (who cares?) the TRX can comfortably tour, commute and, with some suspension tweaking, turn its hand to track days. Assuming you can actually check the oil, I consider this to be one of the most reliable lumps ever used on a bike.

Weaknesses

Can be a bit snatchy at town speeds due to 70mph first gear (easily sorted with revised final gearing). Not as fashionable or fast as contempories and too expensive when new.

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Submitted by eagleman on Wed, 06/02/2008 - 09:00

Overall Review

Great first bike for me, very reliable, no probs in 35000 miles done in 3 years. Not that comfy but ok at speed, cheap to buy and sounds awesome with race cans

Strengths

Easy to thrash, reliable and sounds great, fun on track

Weaknesses

uncomfortable on a commute of 25 miles mainly in london, burns oil like all big yams

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Submitted by Greg on Wed, 20/02/2008 - 17:30

Overall Review

This has got to be one of my favourite bikes ever (the other one was my VF750FD). I love riding with my mates cos it's generally MY bike that gets looked at as we go past! The TRX is a fantastically individual bike, with bags of character - something that is sadly missing from today's breed of sports bikes.

Strengths

Torque, performance characteristics, tuneability, individuality... There aren't many of these beasties around, and those that are seem to be rapidly achieving 'cult' status. A technician at Yamaha's HQ described them to me as... "a thinking man's R1." Couldn't put it better myself! I'm loving my bike, especially as it's been a great bike to modify - decent forks and R1 calipers, a set of FCRs and an Akra really allow the bike to show that it has potential which is waaay beyond my abilities!

Weaknesses

Compared to modern machines they look a bit dated, but hey - it is nearly 15 years old now! Standard brakes are a bit poor and OE carbs and pipes don't do it any favours at all. Oil maintenance is essential for reasons already given.

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albee's picture
Submitted by albee on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 11:11

Overall Review

150bhp jockeys won't understand, but this bike makes sense on the road i.e. sub 100mph, where biking requires more than a right wrist ;-). When new, supposed to compete with Duc 900ss, but less fragile and now better value; a contender with the sv650. However, my 10yr old TRX holding together much better than all the sv650s I've seen at less than 5yrs old. Difficult to say it's great in individual areas, but great overall package

Strengths

Fun, characterful, compact and light. Cheap to buy, run and upgrade. Love the looks: trellis framed, bikini faired exposed mechanics

Weaknesses

Out-the-box the brakes are weak and lack feel. Braided hoses help. Not the best touring/pillion machine, but anything's possible. Like many Yamahas can have a bit of an oil habit.

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Submitted by biker_jay (not verified) on Thu, 27/03/2008 - 17:10

Overall Review

Great machine with reliablity. Usable performance on the road. Easily upgradeable to make into a quick, good looking, good handling machine. Pleanty of information available for good upgrades here: http://trxfiles.webgti.net/ Use your head and these machines can become beautiful works of art.

Strengths

The ability to upgrade parts is good. R1 brakes fit straight on to make a great improvement. Good strong engine, and with a great noise. No need for rear sets as it looks great with jack up plates, had mine custom made. Good road holding. No superbike but great fun on the track.

Weaknesses

As standard not the most comfy bike but can be made better with jack up plates. Standard brakes are not too great. Front forks a bit soft but can easily be made much better.

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Submitted by the good doctor on Tue, 23/12/2008 - 03:16

Overall Review

honest bike with a great heart. have had mine for 7 years and I still get a tingle down my spine when we take off for a run

Strengths

torquey engine, great sound, good value for money

Weaknesses

poor riding position

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Submitted by pyndman on Wed, 25/08/2010 - 15:16

Overall Review

I dont understand those who say its uncomfortable. I rode that thing for 6 days in a row over 2500 miles and I could have kept going. I'm 6 foot so maybe thats the difference but I think its a great riding position. Those obsessed with 180 bhp top range sports bikes dont get it (as someone else said) but the engine is not at all short of power for the road world, not at all. I recall going around many of the superbikes on mountain roads in the rain with bald tyres, the R1 crowd going easy due to too much power, the smooth TRX, no such problem. I sold my TRX and got an R6 for the track, but for the road give me the TRX any day, far superior, you dont spend all your time looking for the right gear. Twins are great, and I hated the R6 so much I went back to twin world with the VTR1000. It has about 20 or 30 more ponies apparently but I dont notice it that much to be honest. TRX is a great under estimated bike. Look for a well loved one, accept they use a bit of oil, and buy.

Strengths

useable real world power range, great fun, individual, non bulky, far more reliable and less maintenance than its competitor the 900ss, and economical, and comfortable, price.

Weaknesses

80 bhp shows its limits at a racetrack, mainly a roadbike but more than capable for the odd track day. Cheap front suspension and lack of compression damping. But thats about it for me.

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Overall Review

A bike that comes together beautifully to give you a package that delivers in real world riding.It will scratch it with the best of them and then do a 1000k tour without a glitch. This bike grows on you and most after owning one will have a soft spot for them. You will grin from ear to ear when you see the faces of these hyperbike riders after they come to realise they couldn't shake the humble TRX .A unique bike in it's own right with the Laverda 750, Triumph Thruxton 900, BMW 800 and the new Norton 900 being closest to the Yamaha's inline twin layout.Whilst it may not sound as exclusive as the company it keeps , it delivers the goods just as well. In all, the trixie is a great bike that is deserving of the cult following it has attracted.

Strengths

A great all rounder leaning towards the sporting sector . Great Torque. Rediculously easy to ride fast. Affordable and easy to maintain . Classic looks ,great sound. An abundance of character.

Weaknesses

Regular oil checks needed. A little too heavy. Pillion seat poor ??? Light could be better.

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Submitted by supoing on Wed, 18/07/2012 - 18:31

Overall Review

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Strengths

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Weaknesses

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