When the first TDM was launched in 1992, it was a niche product. Now, 10 years later, TDM has created a category by its own and other makers have been following with similar concepts in the meantime. The new TDM 900 marks the 3rd generation and has the features many TDM owners have been telling us to develop.
Product planner Hennes Fischer remembers: "It all started back in the beginning of the nineties, when we wanted to create a bike, which would be ultimate fun on bumpy small roads. Most of us loved touring trips using tiny alpine pass roads. But most bikes at that time either needed full concentration on these small roads or simply could not cope with the constantly changing surface properly. Something in between a big Enduro and a streetbike seemed ideal for this purpose. "The answer was TDM 850 launched in 1992. The bike instantly hit the heart of the French bikers, who were already customizing their Enduros with street tyres and better brakes. In the years to come TDM convinced the motorcyclists all over Europe of its benefits. Yamaha product planners often hear sentences like : "TDM is many bikes in one: a sportsbike on small roads, a tourer on longer trips and a powerful commuter in city traffic."
In 1996 TDM saw major changes with a new engine and many chassis modification and a new face. The new styling attracted many new customers, and the bike became also very popular in the styling-sensitive Italian market. Now, for 2002, the TDM is completely revised again. Sven Ermstrang, Product Planning manager in Yamaha Europe: "We want to take a long-term approach to our model development for the European market. That means sensible model changes, with real benefits for the customers: not changing for change's sake."
Long Term model philosophy
He continues "That is why the TDM850, throughout it's life, has remained essentially the same bike. It did have step-by-step improvements through the years, so that at 10 years of age, is still an excellent bike. It does not feel old since it's function is very well up to date. Following our long-term vision, we wanted to make the new 900 version fit for the next 10 years by preserving all the good points and bring the bike to a higher level overall!"
Etsuo Matsuki, Project Leader of the new TDM 900 says: "Personally I love riding on mountain roads and I also love machines powered by a twin engine. As a fan of big bikes, I had a burning desire to build this 3rd generation TDM. The image we had in mind during our development was a machine perfected for pass roads when touring in the Alps or Pyrenees for example."
Takuya Mochizuki, product Planner adds: "I believe the new TDM represents the technological advantages and developments that have taken place over the last 10 years. Though the concept is the same than 10 years ago, the TDM 900 is a completely new machine from tip to toe."