YAMAHA TDM900 (2002-on) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Such an easy motorcycle to ride you could do it with your eyes shut"

Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding

"Such an easy motorcycle to ride you could do it with your eyes shut"

  • At a glance
  • 897cc  -  74 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  170 miles range
  • Medium seat height (825mm)
  • £8,399

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The Yamaha TDM900 is a streetbiking oddball that’s as brilliant beating congestion as it is swinging bends. The parallel twin motor is spunky enough for fun, while the wide bars really let you take charge and hustle. It’s such an easy motorcycle to ride you could do it with your eyes shut.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The Yamaha TDM900's ex-R1 brakes are very good indeed and with the slim sides and low-ish seat height the TDM900 feels more like an oversized supermoto than anything else. Motoways speeds up to about 90mph are OK, thanks to the nose fairing, and pillions are well served with a nicely sculpted seat and decent grab rails. The headlights are rubbish, frankly.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Yamaha TDM900's 10-valve, 897cc, DOHC motor doesn’t exactly rip your arms off with outright power, but there’s a handy 50 per cent more torque than a CBR600, which makes overtakes safer and punching out of bends more pleasurable. It’s a strange confection – the crank has a 270-degree firing order to make it feel more like a V-twin.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The Yamaha TDM900 is miles better than the older TDM850. The a stainless exhaust, alloy frame and paint is much improved, but the mild steel suspension linkage is prone to the same rust problem as before.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

Older Yamaha TDM900s can be had for the same price as a 10-year-old CBR, making them good value to buy secondhand…but not so good new. Compare it to a BMW GS, though, and suddenly it becomes an utter bargain. Both are aimed at adventurous non-conformists, but only the Yamaha TDM900’s this affordable.Find a Yamaha TDM900 for sale

Insurance group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Sadly, with the Yamaha TDM900, there’s no centrestand, which makes lubing the chain a needlessly protracted affair. You do get an ignition-based immobiliser (’04 motorcycles onwards), though. Official luggage is available for the TDM900 too and there are plenty of race-style exhausts to fit.

Owners' Reviews

13 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TDM900 (2002-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.2 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 3.8 out of 5
4 out of 5

Ahead of its time

10 November 2014 by TheHood64

I bought a TDM 900 in may this year (2013 reg, 500 miles) and am very pleased with it. It does every thing I want/need, Commute, tour, Back Lane Scratch, has bags of character and fun to ride. The Yamaha TDM was light years ahead of its time and a... Read more really good bike and only now people are cottoning on to it, shame because Yamaha dropped it in 2010, but in Europe they got it and the TDM sold very well.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Top All Rounder

13 October 2012 by thedavedent

I've had my TDM 900A for 18 months now and will probably keep it for a good few years yet. Why? Because it does everything I need, it's a commuter, a back lane scratcher, a motorway cruiser & hoot to boot. I use it in all weathers and it's never let... Read more me down or missed a beat. Great on twisty A roads, comphfy on long motorway hauls, superb on overtakes,great fuel economy, over 200 miles per tank whether ridden hard or easy, gives me a smile on the way to work & puts a smile on my face after. Bad points hates winters despite regular cleaning snatchy at low revs,no auto choke. Overall if I was to change this bike it would be for another one ;-)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

lorryles

15 April 2012 by lorryles

only had my tdm a week but loving it.should of brought ost thought about itne 3 years a go.when i fir Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Good all rounder for tall people

05 August 2008 by Mjollnir

I use mine to commute, and to tour. It does both capably. I have had two pillions fall asleep on the back on three seperate occasions, say something for the comfort. OK build quality isn't perfect, the engine paint hates road salt, but then most... Read more bikes never see that. Don't be decived by it's looks it isn't very good off road. The mechanics are simple, and it is easy to service. You won't go wrong with one of these

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Had a borrow!

10 December 2007 by zx7rdelboy

Don't own one but me Brother does and seeing as he's laid up in Hospital (non Bike related) have been using his TDM. Overall a nice package, engines good and it certainly can be hustled through the London traffic. Read more

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great mile muncher

13 April 2007 by KWAK6ftRider

I have had mine for a couple of years now, and I cannot fault it for being a mile muncher. It is comfy to ride all day long, and then again the next day. It is ok handling through the corners as well, and the high bars and thin engine make it good at... Read more filtering too. Then engine has a smooth power band all the way up, nothing overly spectacular, but then this isn't meant to be a sports bike. It has been very reliable, very little has gone wrong with it. In fact I think I have only had to replace one coil on it, which was cheep as chips. My only real grip about the bike is the quality of build, the engine paint flakes after no time, the rear brake caliper is terribly prone to salt getting behine the pad guides. But then I didn't buy this bike to look pretty, but to be a work horse, and it is superb at that

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bought for everyday commuting and weekend fun

12 December 2005 by Trevini

The TDM took a little getting used to after riding a multi, but what a great torquey twin. It'll pull from next to nothing in any gear (although it is a bit lumpy below 3k), consistently return 200-225 miles before it hits reserve on the fuel gauge... Read more (average 59mpg), is comfy 1 or 2 up, great roll on acceleration at sub 100mph speeds and can cruise at a ton. Handling is very confidence inspiring as is grip (Metz Z6 work really well). Got 12k on the front tyre and headed for 8k on the rear. Servicing reasonable (£150). Strengths: Brilliant all rounder. I've put 12k on the clock since April 05. 70 mile commute daily. Economy is good. Weaknesses: Suspension is a bit soft, but an extra click on everything seems to sort it out ok for my taste. Doesn't have the street cred of a sports bike (although it will shock a few of them).

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Second TDM and it just gets better

07 November 2005 by ivorsmee

ABS is a god send but only for the rear, when the front is activated the wheel still locks for a split second which is scary. All the other tests say it all. I am a bit lacking in height (29'' leg)and can still touch the floor due a narrow seat.... Read more Strengths: Ride for miles in comfort. Easy to get luggage. 210miles average on 17 litres pushing hard it will drop to 180miles. Fitted larger screen to help with wind. Dunlops work well. Weaknesses: Front ABS. First gear clunkey. 18 inch front wheel does restrict tyre choice.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great pice of kit

19 October 2005 by homer75

Great all-rounder. Have ridden sports 600's for years to the point they were almost getting bland for me. This really has put the smile back on my face. Wish I'd done in sooner. Strengths: Engine, seating position, comfort, tank range, brakes.... Read more Weaknesses: Tyres (Bridgestones when the Dunlps wear out), exhaust not loud enough, NO centrestand on a twin exhaust bike?

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Purchased 2005 - 3 years old but less than 5,000 miles on the clock. Fitted with touring screen.

23 August 2005 by CedHills

Used daily for commuting into central London. This bike is ideal; great for filtering through town traffic, but then a real blast when you hit the dual cariageway on the way home! Heated grips and high screen make cold mornings bearable. Strengths:... Read more
Good low down torque and great fuel economy for a bike of this size. Averages 59mpg, with 63mpg from some tankfuls. Beats most stuff away from the lights. Weaknesses: Very lumpy at low revs, which can make the trickle in traffic queues uncomfortable.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 13 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2002
Year discontinued -
New price £8,399
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 74 bhp
Max torque 60 ft-lb
Top speed 139 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.7 secs
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 170 miles
Specification
Engine size 897cc
Engine type 10v, parallel twin 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 825mm
Bike weight 190kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 298mm discs
Rear brake 245mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 18
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1991: Yamaha TDM850 introduced. Supermoto-style streeetbike. Makes 10bhp more than the later Yamaha TDM900.
2002: Replaced by Yamaha TDM900, which gained an ignition-based immobiliser in 2004.
2005: ABS version of Yamaha TDM900 introduced.

Other versions

Yamaha TDM900A: Advanced Braking System version. Originally a £500 premium over stocker.

Photo Gallery

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  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
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  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Side view
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  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
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  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Side view
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  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TDM900 motorcycle review - Side view
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