Comparison test of the Cagiva Gran Canyon against the Yamaha TDM 850


Comparison test of the Cagiva Gran Canyon against the Yamaha TDM 850

The second face

No one was like her: Enduro, athlete, tourer, fun bike ?? all in one. And on top of that so striking in expression. But now the TDM 850 has had competition. In the shape of the 900s Cagiva Gran Canyon.

Sprotz, slap, pffft ?? out. Damned cart. Quits her duty at every traffic light. Will and will not run properly below 2000 revs. Gran Canyon ?? that I don’t laugh. Should she ever reach any gorge on her own, I’ll throw her in. Word of honor. And why does the cucumber not start now? Because there is a corridor in it. Aha. Pulling the clutch around does not help: As long as the idle control lamp does not give a green light, the starter mimics the dead man.
What a glitch. What a disappointment after the promising debut of the 900 Cagiva in MOTORRAD 13/1998. After that, I wouldn’t have bet a chanterelle on the Yamaha. In the meantime things are looking different: not bad at all, a TDM. Comes with the space of a four-room apartment, pampers you with cuddly soft seating comfort, costs a whole 2500 Marks less than the Cagiva, nominally 13 hp more? and above all: it works. With pronounced load change reactions and fine vibrations, that’s true. Without a stimulating sound, that’s right. And the gnarled gear is not for pure pleasure either? sometimes sounds a lot like pool billiards. But nonetheless: The in-line two-cylinder unwinds its speed repertoire with a mockingly relaxed look, while the V-Two, made by Ducati, struggles for bare survival in the lower area.
You now have that from progress. Injection, engine management, fart and flint ?? for what? Okay: there. We know from the first test that the modified Desmo engine can work. So: stay cool. Go to the workshop. Maybe it’s just a minor matter. Maybe it can be fixed in a matter of seconds. One look into the computer and everything is clear.
It would be nice: two open operations lasting several hours on the part of a well-known authorized dealer who knows injection systems are unsuccessful. It doesn’t help: a new test motorcycle is needed.
Three days later we have one. And suddenly everything is there again: the enthusiasm for the unmistakable start of the two-valve engine, the desire to challenge its enormous elasticity with senseless thrusts of the gas, the desire to keep the speed dropping, only to hear that vigorous “Broooap” while accelerating. He looks like a muscular, sun-tanned decathlete, this engine. Always ready to do your best.
The water-cooled Yamaha drive is far more expressionless. Almost synthetic in direct comparison? serene, casual, tanned solarium. Although the Italian hot-blooded is superior in some disciplines, he does not ask to prove his skills. He can if you want. But you don’t have to, and neither must he. And that is exactly where the temptation lies for many: to float through life carried by this great serenity.
Literally. Because the driving characteristics of the TDM arouse associations like ?? Space glider, airship, chairlift. You feel strangely disconnected. As if you have nothing to do with what is happening. She doesn’t need you, the Yamaha. I would do everything she does without you. It’s strange. At the same time, it is very fascinating. How effortlessly this tall building swings through curves. And then this amazing impression that the front wheel and engine turn the corner ten meters in front of you, pulling the rest of the machine behind you, with a little more lean angle than expected.
The nebulous driving experience is supported by the soft design of the spring elements, which start pumping at a brisk pace. So that there are no misunderstandings: Short bumps are passed on fairly unfiltered, while bumps get the TDM going. There’s only one thing to do: turn the lever on the rear shock absorber to “hard”, add a lot of rebound damping and increase the preload of the fork springs (two rings visible). But then the comfort is over.
The Cagiva manages the balancing act between a stable side position and appealing comfort. Your chassis is crisis-proof. Fast curves, winding stretches, holey tar surfaces ?? the canyon is away. Is spontaneous, sensitive, on track and stable. At least in general. The dewy test machine, however, gets out of step with every longitudinal groove. And from 150 km / h it begins to commute terrifyingly. A completely new quirk.
It can’t be because of the tires. Are brand new. In addition, the Pirelli MT 80 RS have already proven that they can with the Cagiva. Swing arm bearing in the bucket? Steering head bearings too tight? Nope: fork totally tense. Installation error. After all screws have been loosened and the fork legs are parallel to each other, the 900 comes on the track.
Now the direction is right. And the first shock after switching from the Yamaha? “Ooh, but she steers tough” ?? dissolves in approval: “Ah, at least you have something in your hand.” With the broad handlebars of the Cagiva, you are completely in charge. The machine does not develop a life of its own, does exactly what it is commanded to do. Input equals output. The feedback is correct. Even when braking.
Only in the rain do you feel a little unsafe, even before the easy-to-grip series tires even slip. Maybe it’s because of the aggressive sitting position, which arouses a desire to conquer when the weather is nice and the road is dry, but a need for protection when it is wet. Sometimes the psyche plays along very badly.
In the saddle of the Yamaha you are almost unaffected by environmental influences, you sit in, not on the bike and somehow feel that you are in good hands. The expansive fairing, which is attached far in front of the handlebars, bravely defies the wind. However, on the long way between the chauffeur and the cabin, turbulence breaks out, which is not necessarily more pleasant than the direct draft on the Cagiva. Especially since this, if you bow to him, sweeps over you halfway graciously.
In order to stay in the broad field of everyday suitability: The Gran Canyon starts up great, doesn’t bother when it is cold, knows how to please with a clear cockpit with a timer and messes things up with this stupid Plexiglas cover, which sometimes reflects in such a way that it is poor anyway control lights glowing in front of them are barely recognizable. So be careful: don’t overlook the fuel warning lamp. One looks in vain for a reserve switch. By the way: The 20 liter tank has a partition, so it has to be filled on both sides. Also not particularly clever: the side support that is a little too long and the luggage rack without corresponding hooks.
The Yamaha has four convenient anchorages for lashing straps, but no cargo bridge. In the cockpit, the TDM has similar problems as the Cagiva: Above all, the tachometer, which is highlighted in silver, reflects considerably depending on the incidence of light, and the poorly placed control lights often struggle in vain for attention.
And where was the oil filler neck again? Under the bench? Not correct. That was long ago. Since its remake in 1996, when the TDM was delighted with the engine of the TRX 850, the grease has been poured in at the top right, under the tank. Quite a choke. There is also a peephole, by the way. You just have to find it. It is hidden behind the right frame profile. However, if you want to check the oil level on your own, you run the risk of being killed by the top-heavy Yamaha.
Both machines are suitable as a two-seater. Whereby the TDM comes up with more space. However, under a double burden, she loses composure, begins to sway excitedly and sometimes misses the target line. If only by a hair’s breadth. The load change reactions of the five-valve engine are really annoying when running in pairs. In general, the engine seems somehow stressed. Almost short of breath on slopes. The front brake then comes under pressure when going downhill. You have to pull like an ox to bring the load to a stop with some precision.
The guest becomes active on the Cagiva. This is not least due to the short, slightly inclined seat bench, which forces a close relationship. You have to like that, otherwise the tour will be a bad trip. Well-rehearsed teams, however, put top marks on the floor with the Canyon. Because little changes in the driving behavior of the 900s. It retains its sporty, dynamic nature, lets itself be pounded around the corners without restraint, brakes properly, but straightens itself up more clearly than the TDM.
D.His focus elsewhere on surprise effects. At night, in left-hand bends, for example, when the light cone from the double headlights illuminates everything except the road. That is maybe a stupid feeling: You turn the machine and drive into a black hole. The slit-eyed Canyon does not necessarily act as a shining example in the dark. It is time for motorcycle manufacturers to give three or four more thoughts to the subject of light output. Shaping striking faces is one thing, giving them charisma is another.

Daniel Lengwenus, chief tour manager of the MOTORRAD ACTION TEAM – For me: Japan’s answer to Bavaria’s GS

Daniel Lengwenus, chief tour manager of the MOTORRAD ACTION TEAM, has 70,000 TDM kilometers on his back

“We managed to get you your favorite motorcycle.” That’s how my team boss announced the TDM as a company motorcycle six years ago. I found them ugly. Terribly ugly. But after the first bends it didn’t matter: full torque, good handling, relaxed seating position, enormous lean angle. Perhaps an adequate replacement for my BMW Paris-Dakar after all? In any case, the Yamaha is ideally suited for fast pace on the winding paths of the ACTION TEAM tours. But there is no sun without shade: If you can still get over the lack of a main stand, oil control (on the current model) and precise suspension adjustment prove to be impossible: rock hard or buttery soft. There is nothing in between. The tight coordination is nerve-wracking, but it is the only solution for harmless cornering. And that’s still a lot of fun for me on the third, now much nicer TDM. If Yamaha managed to turn off the extreme load change reactions, could the 850 really become my favorite motorcycle? and my boss was right. In retrospect. As always.

Vortex wind and other adversity

First it pulls pathetic eyes, then it hits you ?? zack ?? the visor closed. Fresh air fans have completely lost at the TDM. At speeds of 50 km / h or more, annoying turbulences arise behind the cladding, which inflate in an unsympathetic manner with increasing speed. Clear case, we thought: There must be another windshield on it. Not because of: The high disc from Five-Stars (mounted) takes the pressure off, but the turbulence is rather uncomfortable, and the MRA copy (right) only brings a little improvement if you duck down. The cause of the problem lies elsewhere: the distance between people and the windbreak is too great, there is too much space in which disruptive turbulence can spread. Contact addresses: JF Motorsport, phone 06002/910391 (Five-Stars, 169 Marks); Hein Gericke, phone 0211/98989 (MRA, 130 Mark).

On the subject

MOTORRAD editor Monika Schulz on the failure symptoms of the Cagiva Gran Canyon

When I took over the Canyon from the new German Cagiva importer Zupin, I almost got hit: What a carrot. Wouldn’t a representative of this series imported directly from Italy have made a brilliant appearance in MOTORRAD four weeks earlier? Hard to imagine how this comparison test would have gone. Now we were lucky enough to get a replacement motorcycle relatively easily. Will the same be given to a customer? And then ?? the next breakdown: the landing gear wobbles. It was only due to a tense fork, but something like that is quite annoying. Likewise the sloppiness in other areas. On the first test machine, the worm was in the electrical system, on the second the throttle grip got stuck, and various screws were missing on both of them anyway. The question inevitably arises: Does the purchase of a Gran Canyon fall under the heading of gambling? 18,495 marks everything on red?

1st place – Cagiva Gran Canyon 900

1st place

The one with the bumblebees in the ass. An incredibly dynamic bike for people who are pissed off. Consumed by the thought of getting involved. Even on the big tour. Engine, chassis, seating position, styling, sound ?? everything about the Cagiva has that certain bite that makes motorcycling a sensual thrill. Bitter, however, when looking at the price: 18,495 marks. Something has to be done urgently, also in terms of series spread. Otherwise the Gran Canyon stands like lead.

2nd place – Yamaha TDM 850

2nd place

The ones with the pampering aroma. She loves grand gestures, the TDM. Welcomes you with open arms, has a calming effect on long stretches and is very, very jovial when she swings through curve corridors with unimagined ease. In a peculiar way, TDM driving is like watching television: right in the middle and still only there. The load change reactions of the engine are annoying, the jamming, embarrassingly loud gearbox is annoying, and the temporarily occurring undercarriage bulges take some getting used to.

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