Family duel Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer against TDM 850
Is it there??
Or would you prefer the other one? No question of to be or not to be. But one of enormous weight. Especially when it comes to characters as different as Yamaha’s TDM 850 and FZS 600 Fazer.
There are things that can be decided immediately without much hesitation.
It is completely different when buying a motorcycle. That needs to be considered, because a mistake can lead to permanent misfortune or ?? in the worst case ?? lead to a hobby. Foresight is required.
It’s just a shame that industry isn’t helping out here. Take Yamaha as an example: knowing that financial considerations only play a subordinate role in such important decisions, the TDM 16,195 marks are posted in the price list exactly below the Fazer, which is sold for 12,695 marks. King customer! Pah. At most, a confused prince who is perplexed looking for a bride. Fazer or TDM ?? that is the question.
The answer lies ?? as so often? in the street. Because as different as the engine concept, frame layout and peripherals may be, Yamaha classifies both as part of the »Tourer« category. And so, as far as the Fazer is concerned, a bit off. Tour riders are sociable people. They like to take one with them. But not on the Fazer. No space for the legs, no space on the bench, no proper grip to hold on to. Driving a Fazer makes you lonely.
But not unhappy. Once you have adjusted to the hermitage, its beautiful sides also reveal themselves. Only without additional ballast does the Fazer run to top form? and straight ahead up to a top speed of 221 km / h. The wind protection of the small half-shell is quite okay, and turbulence is hardly a problem. In addition, it sprints from zero to one hundred in a remarkable 3.4 seconds.
Meanwhile, the TDM is still twitching in two-person operation because it’s so cozy. And probably also because she has no chance in the disciplines mentioned above. It stirs very easily at top speed (201 km / h), takes longer for the sprint (3.8 seconds). But it has a similarly good windbreak.
And much more. The qualities of the TDM can neither be found on the motorway nor on the quarter mile. Their territory is the highway. This is not least due to the fact that with the 1999 vintage Yamaha the TDM finally drove out those mosquitos that made it unnecessarily difficult to deal with it until now. Violent load change reactions, coupled with less precise, but louder gear changes, did not quite fit into the image of the otherwise gentle giant for years. It has now been extensively softened by means of a new carburetor, a new fuel pump and the revised gearbox while at the same time reducing the secondary ratio. Result: TDM works as it should have always worked.
Which cannot be said of the Fazer. At least when it comes to transmission quality. People in a hurry still reap a loud crash when changing gears quickly under load. This is all the more tragic as on the Fazer frequent sorting of the gear pairs is essential in order to move forward quickly in the meandering curves. Especially when it comes to following the TDM.
Not an easy undertaking. The reason: this 850 is as easy to handle as well-tempered chocolate cream on breakfast bread from the Bobele. The difference: Boris practiced lubricating for years, the TDM works like clockwork from the first spread. Sit down, drive off? nothing more is needed.
Which also identifies the crucial characteristic that distinguishes them from there. The 600s, impatiently demanding, spirited, always on the go. The other one calm, calm, almost casually.
This different temperament manifests itself primarily in the different engine concepts. With the best will in the world, the TDM-Twin cannot deny that the small Fazer quadruple is missing around 250 cubic centimeters of displacement. Where the twin stomps bravely out of the cellar and marches evenly to the red area, the four-cylinder pauses until it gets a courageous kick on the gear lever. Once revved up, the 600 then hisses its power onto the road with such force that the next braking point quickly approaches threateningly.
The Yamaha engineers have probably taken this into account and the Fazer donated a brake system with four-piston calipers, which continues to impress with its crystal-clear pressure point and enormous effect. Exemplary. It’s a shame that this point was apparently forgotten during the TDM renovation. Here, too, two floating 298 millimeter discs with four-piston calipers. And yet: Dosability and effect are significantly worse. You can feel the progress in technology here.
The seating position fits much better. Corresponding to the TDM nature, relaxed. Loose your hands on the wide handlebars, upright, with an overview and comfort. No edge presses, nothing pinches the buttocks, nothing pinches the knee? one lets oneself drift. And again the Fazer demands more from the driver. It’s just a bit more delicate, has to accommodate as many people in less space, with the upper body bent further forward and legs more bent. That would by no means be uncomfortable if two things didn’t make life unnecessarily difficult. Namely the tank edges that constantly press on the inner thighs and the poor seat upholstery? Nobody needs that, no tourer – but also no racer.
More like a halfway tight suspension setup. The Fazer has it, and that’s a good thing, because nothing can be readjusted on the fork, while the preload and rebound damping are adjustable on the shock absorber. Here, too, the TDM comes first on the comfort track. Very pleasant when it gets really bumpy. Besides, she also has reserves for the brisk pace. The rebound damping on the fork and the shock absorber turned down a little, and it is ready for fast country road traffic. And even better: If you really want to move forward, the system is set to hard with a switchable additional spring at the rear and the spring base is adjusted at the front. So much for conscious heating. No more, because that doesn’t really fit in with her nature. Her motto is unobtrusively fast. That becomes clear again and again at the moment in which the fear nipples completely unexpectedly maltreat the asphalt. One is amazed, one cannot believe it. Would you rather brake now? Not necessary, although the TDM forgives that, too, with minimal installation moment.
As in general, the Fazer is simply more uncompromising. It doesn’t have more ground clearance, but a much more pronounced righting moment when you put your hand on the brake. It wants to be driven consciously, more purposefully, more committed. She literally demands speed without leaving any uncertainty about the consequences. In the depths of her four-cylinder she is an athlete, her driver should bring the appropriate systems.
D.hat doesn’t mean that you can’t go on tour with the Fazer. It has two liters less tank volume, but at least on the country road it also has lower consumption. Head-to-head drinking develops on the motorway. The same applies to equipment. The TDM appears more dignified overall, without shining through special features. Luggage hook, of course, but otherwise? Fuel gauge, yes, but no clock. Everything like the Fazer. But you forgive him, given the price. Not the TDM. It’s been a long time since the clumsy steel elbows that seem to be rusting in the brochure. Yamaha could confidently start the next model upgrade here. And revise the Fazer tank and seat. That would not change the fundamental character of the two. And the question of whether it should be there, or should it be there? Clarifies like in real life. The chemistry must be right.
Conclusion Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer
The Fazer can do it, no question about it. Robbed everything in her class because she’s a class bike. Powerful engine, decent chassis, perfect brakes. She doesn’t need to shy away from the competition with the TDM either. But one thing has to be clear: In direct comparison, the Fazer demands more effort and demands the active driver. One who does what he can and knows what he is doing. He then has the same amount of motorcycle for less money.
Conclusion Yamaha TDM 850
What takes a long time will finally be really good. This also applies to the TDM, born in 1999. Weaknesses eliminated, strengths retained. The result: a motorcycle on which everything is actually easy. Sit comfortably, drive lazily, turn safely? if you have a look at the country and its people and still don’t want to forego dynamism, you are right on top of the TDM. As with wine, ripening has a steep price.
sporty alternative Yamaha TRX 850
TDM too touristy, Fazer too four-cylinder? No problem with Yamaha. The TRX is no longer completely fresh, but still up to date. An original. Strictly speaking, the first two-cylinder sports car from Japan, well ahead of all the TL 1000 and VTR. However, the TRX had a completely different opponent when it appeared. From bella italia. The thrust was clearly in the direction of the Ducati 900 SS. The legacy of this concept ?? namely the relatively modest output of 83 hp compared to the later V-2 dynamic hum? the TRX is still a disadvantage today. But not only. It also has tangible advantages for itself. The razor-sharp handling, for example, which arises from the combination of modest weight (213 kg with a full tank) and moderate tire widths (120/60 and 160/60). Or the uncapricious fulfillment of duties in everyday life, which results from the moderate sitting position and the original area of use of the twin? just in the TDM? results. If you still want it sportier, you can choose harder fork springs. That won’t change anything about the all-round character of the TRX (VT 7/1997, LT 21/1997), which is expensive at 14,990 marks.
sporty alternative Yamaha YZF 600 Thundercat
When she came it was too late. Or too early how to take it. In any case, at the wrong time. The 600 arms race was in full swing, Honda’s CBR and Kawasaki’s ZX-6R were lighter, sportier, faster on the racetrack, more popular. The Thundercat went under. It’s a shame, especially since MOTORRAD attested at the time that it was the best CBR that ever existed in everyday life and on country roads. YZF has retained these qualities to this day. The brakes, for example, are still top notch. Or the engine, which, by the way, is also working in the Fazer, slightly modified: a lot of power, full torque. Even the handling is still up to date. Sure, at 223 kilograms she’s dragging a few pounds more than others. But that doesn’t matter to the sporty road driver, the fully faired Thundercat offers good wind and weather protection. And if you turn the damping down properly, you can also have fun with it on the racetrack, despite the modest ground clearance for athletes. But Yamaha can pay for it properly with the official 16,395 marks (VT 16/1996 and 4/1999)
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