Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) - Review & Buying Guide


Price: £2500-£5000 | Power: 85bhp | Weight: 210kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 3/5


Yamaha have a history of making ground-breaking bikes that are ahead of their time – so much so that they often fail to sell and by the time they are appreciated (or the market’s tastes catch up) they have stopped production! One such bike is the TDM.

Initially launched in 1991 as the TDM850, the TDM was a cross-over bike that took the best bits of an adventure bike, namely tall bars and long travel suspension, and then merged them with a road bike to create... well, to create what we now know as machines such as the BMW XR, Ducati Multistrada, etc. Talk about forward thinking!

A bike that never seemed to hit the mainstream, the TDM grew in stature from 850 to 900 in 2002 and remained in Yamaha’s range until 2010 – which is about when the rest of the two-wheeled world caught onto the idea!

Nowadays the TDM is a bit of an overlooked bike but one that certainly has its place in the used market. A really good all-rounder, the TDM may lack a bit of pizzaz but its parallel twin is reliable (if lacking in power...), its handling secure and assured (if not sporty...) and its look unique (if not beautiful...). Simple, reliable and easy-going, the TDM makes for a good workhorse of a bike that is extremely versatile. A versatile bike, now that would be a good name for something similar, maybe shorten it to Versys to make it catchier...


Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) Price

Initially the TDM had an RRP of £6499, which increased to £7899 as it neared the end of its production with ABS adding an extra £500 to the price. However at this point dealers were really struggling to sell any and they were heavily discounted to shift stock.

Nowadays you can pick up quite a tired TDM for around £2000 but you are better off paying about £2500-£3000 for a good one in a private sale or in the £3500-£3800 region from a dealer. There are some bikes advertised for far higher (even £4999!) but it’s a TDM and even with luggage fitted, you shouldn’t pay over £4000 for one.


Pros & Cons

  • A solid workhorse
  • Cheap to buy and run
  • Very easy-going
  • Not the most inspirational to ride
  • A bit soggy in bends
  • Not great looking
2002 Yamaha TDM900 Review Used Price Spec_13


Engine and Performance

Considering the excitement now surrounding parallel twins, it is remarkable how quickly the TDM’s engine was forgotten. Well, until you ride it...

Starting with the good, the TDM has Yamaha’s five-valve head design (taken from its sportsbikes), which is pretty trick on a commuter machine. A similar motor to the TRX, the TDM makes a fairly low 85bhp with a slightly better 65.5lb-ft of torque backing it up (there is an airbox mod that can up this a bit). Smooth and relaxed to ride, it kind of lollops along rather than ever picking up its skirt and running but that’s not necessarily a bad trait. If you want effortless mile-munching, the TDM’s character is perfectly suited and owners report it is a brilliant machine for making long journeys slip past with minimal hassle. And it is very, very reliable.

Aside from the occasional cam chain tensioner needing replacing, reg/rec breaking down and coils failing (often the bike becomes reluctant to start if it is on its way out), there isn’t much to worry about with the TDM’s motor. Most seem to sip a bit of oil (especially when ridden hard), so keep an eye on the level but mechanically they are very solid. Cosmetically, however, well that’s a different story...

A lot of owners grumble about the finish on the TDM’s engine, which can start to look very second hand very quickly. Annoying on a product from a company that is usually on top of these things, use the condition of the motor as a gauge as to how the bike has been cared for and if it is good, keep it that way through anti-corrosion protection.

Lots of owners do home maintenance on the TDM, which isn’t surprising as it is an easy bike to work on thanks to its exposed nature. If they do, it is unlikely many will brave a valve-clearance check (every 24,000 miles) so always see if this has been completed.

Throughout its life the TDM900’s motor was never physically changed (extra cats were added to the exhaust on 2007 and there were fuelling tweaks) so you can buy on mileage and condition rather than year. Unless, that is, you aim to ride it sportily...



Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) Handling & Suspension

Interestingly, Yamaha did actually update the TDM900’s chassis and running gear a few times. In 2003 and 2004 they altered the fork springs and a larger-bore master cylinder was also added to the braking system in 2004 before ABS came as an option in 2005. Does any of this matter? Not really because the best thing you can do to a TDM is junk the original suspension and treat it to a new shock and fork rebuild!

Set terribly soggily as standard, despite the suspension having a degree of adjustability (preload and rebound on the forks, fully-adjustable shock) it is very low quality and by now will be well past its (already pretty poor...) best. Treat it to a set of new suspension, however, and the TDM is revived.

Although never going to trouble a sportsbike, the TDM is ok on A and B-roads and thanks to its long travel suspension, deals with bumps really well. The 18-inch front wheel does give an odd feeling (and can limit tyre choice however there are options out there from Bridgestone, Dunlop and more) but owners quickly get used to it and once you know how it responds the TDM is enjoyable at a reasonable, if not brisk, speeds.

As with the motor, much of the TDM’s chassis is pretty solid and aside from the usual suspension linkage checks and inspection of bearings and consumables, all should be well.


2002 Yamaha TDM900 Review Used Price Spec_16


Comfort & Economy

In terms of comfort, the TDM scores highly with owners and that’s not surprising. Tall, upright and with a well-padded seat, the TDM is a great mile-muncher and its fairing is surprisingly effective – even more so with a taller screen fitted. Pillions are also well catered for with a big grab handle and single-piece rider/pillion seat.

Recording an average of 48mpg (mid 50mpg figures can be achieved) the TDM will cover over 200 miles (just...) from its 20-litre tank, which isn’t bad going at all.


2002 Yamaha TDM900 Review Used Price Spec_12


Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) Equipment

In 2005 ABS was introduced as an optional extra to the TDM but owners report it can swallow up some of the underseat storage area, so isn’t always a welcome addition. Other than that, Yamaha’s immobiliser system arrived in 2004 (always check you get the red master key) and that’s about it.

A lot of owners fit luggage to a TDM, which isn’t a bad thing to have, tall screens are also popular (or bolt-on deflectors) as are heated grips, fender extenders and the occasional aftermarket exhaust system. In general, however, most TDM are kitted up for touring or commuting, not scratching or drawing attention to themselves! If you see one heavily modified (new bars, exhausts, coloured screen etc.) they are generally best avoided.



Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) Rivals

The budget-conscious commuter market is quite varied so there is quite a lot of options to go for. Here are a few of the best...


Honda NC750S (2014-2020) | Approx Price: £3000-£5500

Power/Torque: 53bhp/50lb-ft | Weight: 216kg


Suzuki V-Strom 1000 (2002-2008) | Approx Price: £1500-£3000

Power/Torque: 105bhp/68lb-ft | Weight: 238kg


Triumph Tiger 955i (2001-2006) | Approx Price: £1500-£3000

Power/Torque: 104bhp/67lb-ft | Weight: 240kg



Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) Verdict

The TDM900 is a workhorse of a bike in a similar vein to the likes of Honda’s NC750 range. While this certainly makes it worthy, it also means it isn’t the most thrilling of bikes to own. There again, it is very solidly built, easy-going to ride and also comfortable. If you want a relaxed semi-adventure bike commuter, the TDM is a good option. It may not excite in the same way as some other machines, and is undeniably a bit quirky looking, but if practicality and budget are your main buying criteria, it won’t let you down and is a great all-rounder.


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Yamaha TDM900 (2002-2010) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

92mm x 67.5mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

DOHC, 10v, liquid-cooled


85bhp (63.4kW) @ 7500rpm


65.5lb-ft (88.8Nm) @ 6000rpm

Top speed



6-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

20 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

215 miles

Reserve capacity

35 miles

Rider aids

ABS optional


Aluminium diamond

Front suspension

Telescopic forks

Front suspension adjustment

Preload and rebound damping

Rear suspension


Rear suspension adjustment


Front brake

2 x 298mm discs, four-piston calipers. Optional ABS

Rear brake

248mm disc, one-piston caliper.

Front tyre

120-70 – ZR18

Rear tyre

160/60 – ZR17


n/a / 114mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2180mm x 800mm x 1290mm



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

220Kg Wet


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