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