‘The TDM is well built, ca­pa­ble and cheap to buy’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Liv­ing the par­al­lel life

Some peo­ple like par­al­lel twins. There’s some­thing about the sound of a rut­ting ver­ti­cal twin, es­pe­cially if it has a 360° crankshaft rather than a 180°. Not sure about 270° cranks – the bikes sound too much like vees.

It’s odd, but un­til the Africa Twin ar­rived there hadn’t been many big par­al­lel twins made for some time. Tri­umph’s Bon­nie, of course, and the Kawasaki W650/800. Honda’s NC750 is an­other. And that’s about it.

Pick of the crop is the Tri­umph Thrux­ton – for me, un­til the lat­est mod­els, the only con­vinc­ing Tri­umph twin, be­cause it was the only one that seemed to have any power about it. They’re not cheap, still, and the carbed mod­els are the most sought-af­ter – I saw a 2004 lowmiler make £5500. That’s stag­ger­ing.

De­spite my gen­eral am­biva­lence to­wards 270° cranks, though, I’m still go­ing to tip the Yamaha TDM900 as the one to go for. It’s fast, ca­pa­ble, and peo­ple seem to run them up to high mileages. Best of all, you can get a 20,000-miler for un­der two and a half grand.

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