Driving report Yamaha TDM 900

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Driving report Yamaha TDM 900

Driving report Yamaha TDM 900
The third generation

“The first acquires ?? s, the second inherited ?? s, the third spoiled ?? s,” is the vernacular commenting on the subject of the succession of generations. Yamaha has completely different ideas and is wading away old-fashioned sayings with the third TDM edition.

Jorn Thomas


Yamaha’s classless all-round parallel twin debuted ten years ago, five years ago the first major renovation took place, and now the TDM 900 is in the starting blocks. As with the second edition, the Japanese did not stop at a redesign of the plastic parts, but sent an almost new motorcycle into the race. The VW Golf principle was obviously the inspiration here: familiar shape with thoroughly revised technology.
It works. Sit on it, feel good, everything seems familiar, but somehow better. Flattering, full-surface knee closure, accommodating cranked handlebars, extensive instrumentation including fuel gauge, temperature display and time clock. Even under the sharpened dress, it’s evolving tremendously: A tick more bore lifts the five-valve two-cylinder, which will be a little more upright in the future, to almost 900 cubic centimeters of displacement. In addition, the downdraft carburetors flew out ?? Injection is the order of the day, if only in terms of exemplary exhaust gas cleaning with G-Kat and secondary air system. In addition to the marginal increase in output to a nominal 86 hp, the focus was on more torque and more even power output.
Right? Well, press starter ?? the choke replaces an automatic ??, and off you go. From 2500 revs, the twin picks up the gas cleanly and turns easily and quickly to the red area at 8000 rpm. Speed ‚Äč‚Äčorgies are unnecessary, however, the five-valve engine pushes happily forward even in the middle range, and thanks to the new six-speed gearbox, a tight connection is always ensured.
A surprise for TDM connoisseurs: The almost boring running culture of the parallel twin is over with the new engine. While the predecessors tried their best not to be particularly visible in terms of acoustic or vibration, the current 900 flirted with it comparatively aggressively. The in-line engine rumbles under 3000 rpm and although it is smoother about it, low-frequency vibrations are always present, albeit in differently pronounced forms.
Like the second generation and before that the sports sister TRX 850, the crank pins on the crankshaft are offset by 270 degrees. From a technical point of view, it is more of a dubious advantage, this trick is supposed to give the parallel twin, which sounds a bit weak due to its principle, an earthy V2 character. And that works this time? in contrast to its predecessor? in the best way. The TDM gives a dull throbbing sound. On the intake side, another trick is likely to be involved in this unusual sound, namely the variable intake cross-section in the air filter housing. This corresponds to the injection system and should actually help to accelerate the inflowing air volume at lower flow speeds in the sense of a better power output in the lower speed range.
The 900 didn’t just gain because of its stronger engine, but also because of the brakes. The one-piece four-piston pliers of the front stoppers from the YZF-R1 now also adorn the TDM. Regardless of whether it is soft braking or a brutal point stop, it is great fun to explore the potential of this famous brake, which is effectively supported by the rear counterpart. A downright thieving pleasure, especially on winding mountain stretches that are blessed with grippy asphalt, such as those offered at the presentation date on the island of Fuerteventura.
The rest of the TDM package, consisting of a lighter frame now made of aluminum, the 40 millimeter longer swing arm, also made of aluminum, wants wider, yet lighter rims ?? Keyword lower sprung mass? as well as modified spring elements do not stand back. Nothing more with the cuddly soft airboat character, the new TDM comes across as robust. The dry 190 kilogram 900 series gives its pilot a fairly unadulterated image of the road conditions via the mounted Dunlop-D207 pairing and can be moved precisely and true to line around narrow and wide arcs. No wonder, the TDM 900 introduces a tighter fork set-up as well as a new, fully adjustable spring strut hinged by a lever system at the rear. The previous “soft / hard” setting using an additional spring has therefore been omitted. Unfortunately, the annoying load change reactions have not been eliminated? let’s see whether this malus disappears in the fourth TDM generation.

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