YAMAHA TRX850 (1996-2000) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"A match for Ducati's 900SS in its day but never sold well"

Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding

"A match for Ducati's 900SS in its day but never sold well"

  • At a glance
  • 849cc  -  79 bhp
  • 43 mpg  -  165 miles range
  • Insurance group: 13 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (800mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

A Ducati with Japanese reliability? That was the plan. The Yamaha TRX850 was a match for Ducati’s 900SS of its day but never sold well – the last few machines were ushered out of showrooms for under £4K. Shame. the Yamaha TRX850 is a sporty motorcycle but road biased with tons of character. Can be a bargain on the used market as they last well.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Slightly bouncy when new – most Yamaha TRX850s would benefit from new fork oil and springs as a minimum now. But the Yamaha TRX850 is still neutral and nimble and has the feel of a proper sports bike without being intimidating. Brakes were, again, fine in their day but Yamaha calipers are famous for seizing so a strip and grease may be needed.

Engine 4 out of 5

Yamaha TRX850uses parallel twin also used in Yamaha’s TDM850. It produces less power than sports 600s of the same era but it’s much gruntier and more satisfying to use thanks to that twin cylinder character. 270 degree crank (one piston is a quarter of a cycle behind the other) makes Yamaha TRX850 feel like a V-twin.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

Yamaha had a bad patch in the 1990s for quick-corroding bikes. The Yamaha TRX850 is, unfortunately, one of these machines. Fasteners and brackets will almost certainly be rusting already. If it’s spread no further that’s ok but if it’s well set in anywhere, be careful. Yamaha TRX850 reliability problems are rare but big wheelies can starve the engine of oil – listen for nasty noises.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

A few years ago the Yamaha TRX850 was one of the biggest bargains on the market. Unfortunately prices have reached that level where they don’t drop any further and Suzuki’s SV650 offers a similar experience for a reasonable price too. Clean, bargain Yamaha TRX850s are still out there if you hunt – and they have much more presence than the effete SV. Find a Yamaha TRX850 for sale

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

Equipment 2 out of 5

Very few frills on the Yamaha TRX850. There’s some luggage space under the pillion seat but that’s about it. Headlights and mirrors are on the poor side. Comfort’s not brilliant for the pillion but it’s ok for the rider. Yamaha TRX850's wind protection is reasonable but there’s quite a bit of weight on the wrists – better at speed than round town.

Owners' Reviews

7 owners have reviewed their YAMAHA TRX850 (1996-2000) 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 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.7 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 3.6 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great value A & B road bike

28 November 2011 by Anonymous

I bought a TRX 850 for £2000 with 18K miles in September 2011 after being off a bike for 4 years. The bike came as standard with the exception of braided hoses'. What a great value fun bike to ride, especially on twisty B roads. There is plenty of... Read more grunt in second and third gear giving it a respectable midrange and unlike my last GSXR600 i don't have to rev the hell out of it. I have put wrap on the down pipes and upgraded the cans to a pair of blue flames which made an improvement on delivery and now it sounds more like a twin should. As for comfort, i am5'10 and the only snag i have had on a 250 mile ride was a tingle in my hands from vibration, everything else fine. I think it is fair to say that the suspension will need an over hall by 20k but i have tightened it all up and that will do for now, but then my local roads are bumpy. Overall, a cracking bike, some can be found with all modifications already done for less than 2k on e-bay.

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

trx of the month world wide

04 February 2009 by onewinglow

my bike is far from std ,it has a R1 front end fcr 41mm flatslide carbs and a 878cc big bore kit , go to http://trx850.motomaniac.net/forum/ and have a look , its the best road bike ive owned Read more

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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

30,000miles and counting

15 October 2008 by hector1988

I have now covered 20,000+ miles on mine in 4 years. Basic maintainence, no problems. Still returns 50MPG. I love the way it accelerates out of the 30MPH limits and leaves all the 600's floundering dropping 2 gears trying to keep up. Will be... Read more keeping mine.

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

Lust @ 1st ride!

03 September 2007 by Lass

Now this bike has been the best bike I've ever owned, it handled like a dream it was like s*** off a shovel, and mine sounded awesome!!!I loved it! Cracking bike! Read more

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 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

trxer bargain

10 May 2007 by araijazz

track days, commuting , 45 mpg ,£150 insurance ,crap pillion seat so i cant take my whinging MRS. all for£1700 for a mint s.reg with 4000 miles on the clock its a bit of a no brainer really...awesome FUN... Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 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

trxer bargain

10 May 2007 by araijazz

i have owned about forty bikes from a RS250 APRILIA to a PAN EUROPEAN Read more

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

I've done many miles on my TRX, and loved every yard!

24 June 2004 by gizzman916

I've had many different bikes in the past, yzf's, blades, even a brief spell on WR426 as my road bike, but none have been the complete all rounder that the TRX has been. I'm no Fogarty on the road, and never will be, but the TRX has to offer... Read more brilliant allrounder capabilities, whether just out for a Sunday ride with the guys, or going to Spain for a few weeks fully loaded. I've never had to do any major work in 14K miles, just regular servicing, fluids and filters. Cheap insurance, and quite unique for a jap bike, you don't see that many about, unlike some of my previous bikes. I would highly recomend a TRX to anyone who wants a bike for all seasons, and all purposes, and i'm told that Jamie Whitham uses one as a track tool!?! Strengths: A genuine all rounder, as quick as any road rider should be going, and capable in any scenario, carries a full compliment of soft luggage with consumate ease.. Weaknesses: Front brakes do require serious upgrading, and the riding and pillion seats offer little comfort over long distances.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 7 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1996
Year discontinued 2000
Original price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 79 bhp
Max torque 63 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.8 secs
Average fuel consumption 43 mpg
Tank range 165 miles
Specification
Engine size 849cc
Engine type 10v parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 190kg
Front suspension Preload, rebound
Rear suspension Preload, rebound, compression
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 248mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1996: Original Yamaha TRX850 launched.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Yamaha TRX850 motorcycle review - Riding