Resend my activation email : Register : Log in 
BCF: Bike Chat Forums


TRX850 (epic length) Review

Reply to topic
Bike Chat Forums Index -> General Bike Chat
View previous topic : View next topic  
Author Message

G
The Voice of Reason



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Karma :

PostPosted: 18:47 - 20 Sep 2005    Post subject: TRX850 (epic length) Review Reply with quote

A bit about my riding for those that don't know, so that you can judge where my opinions are coming from:
I've ridden quite a few bikes in the last 8 or so years that I've been riding bikes on and off. I'm not a massively fast road rider, though others seem to think so - I'm sure I could be described as 'faster than average'.
Bikes I've owned range from a NSR125FM to a 143 rear-wheel-hp seriously downgeared ZX9.
I moved on to track riding for my kicks a while ago and have just finished a rather poor first season racing an R6 with the BMCRC.
Around the time of my first track days I got busted with a recorded 119 whilst undertaking, they then chased me for over 10 miles through fast motorway traffic without me realising. Only got caught as I slowed down when I caught up with the person I was late for meeting. Incredibly luckily nothing further ever happened, but I did tone down my road riding after that. Eventually settling on a RS250 road bike for 'fun' A and B road riding.
I've ridden a few different twins, those labelled as 'sports' and others, in my time. I've never been that impressed by them as fun bikes, one of the reasons I was looking for one for my 'get around' bike.

So, I should explain the circumstance that I came to buy a TRX850.
I was looking for a 'get around' bike, quite tempted by a CB350, for getting to work and back. Wanted an electric start so I could fit a remote start alarm - no more getting soaked on those wet winter mornings while waiting for the bike to warm up.
Also wanted a bike that would be fairly easy to work on - so a twin or single if possible with a simple engine.

General opinion however was that I should avoid the CB350.
Seeing that no one liked it, I started looking at the Honda Bros/NTV, a bit bigger capacity, but I know they can wheelie and could be quite a fun bike, also had a dead one sitting on the drive at the time.
Unfortunately there wasn't the usual bargain ones around, but I did notice the SV650 didn't actually cost much more than people were getting for a Bros and usually with less miles as well.
>From there it was a natural progression to some slightly tatty TRX850s - only a little bit more power than the SVs, but could be got even cheaper.

I bid on a couple off tatty-ish ones on ebay, diligently asking questions about mechanical stuff before hand, but got out bid.
My current bike I had kept an eye on, generally looked good, but was missing the nose fairing, seller would get it MOT'd at end of Auction.
I broke the cardinal rule and as I didn't have time to ask a question when I had decided to go for it, bid anyway, winning the auction with 8 seconds to go (I think for this one) at 930 for the 25000 miler.
I accept that this choice may have been made partly on emotion, or possibly wanting a bike that would wheelie decently. It definitely did fit the 'easy to work on' category with a 5 shimmed valve per piston head.

Had a rather nice last journey in my Red van to Dartford (averaged 80mph most of the way, once cleared out). The MOT looked like it was a mate's-job; the front indicators were held on with packing tape as there was no nose cone.
There was also a cam chain rattle, however I had checked a buying guide that said this was common and often sorted by tapping the camchain tensioner. Anyway, I had bid on it without asking - so it was my problem.
Unfortunately it seems it does need a new camchain, not just tensioner. I'm told this shouldn't be too hard to do myself.
A good condition nose cone was acquired for 70; the person I bought the bike from gave me the number and an Thumbs Up to Swaffs who collected it for me.

The only major mod from standard the bike has is braided lines on the front.
I have since added a remote-start alarm and a 'loobman' chain oiler.

I've left writing the review until now because I've only recently got decent tyres on it.

The continentals that it was shod with were barely adequate, I never tried to take the piss cornering, but even with a smooth controlled front brake could slide if too much pressure was applied. One attempt at a stoppy on shell grip still resulted in a slide!
The new Supercorsa's I've got a much better. I haven't tried testing all out lean, but it seems to be able to go plenty far enough for everyday riding.

The bike was designed as competition for the Ducati 900ss and so seems to have got that 'planted' though not too quick turning handling that big twins are often given.
If you want to lean quickly the bike will happily do as it's told with some sturdy countersteering, but don't expect it to flop over on it's side with the slightest waft on the bars.
While the bike is not ideal for seriously twisty back roads, on slightly less winding roads it all makes sense. The engine does need to be kept on song otherwise it all goes a bit jerky, but do that and it's a good match for the rest off the bike.
Nothing is as sharp as the latest sports bikes, but I suspect will be fine for 99% off people on the road. Even on track I'm sure you would have to start seriously pushing before you started to get frustrated by the basic handling. Maybe a slightly stiffer front end would be a start, but definitely not required for basic road riding.

Riding position is good for me, the seat is relatively low thanks to the parallel twin configuration, also good for shorties as the bike is quite wide, so short legs are more likely to be able to reach the ground.
This means the clip-ons aren't too low in comparison to the seat, and there's a not too short a stretch to them, also the pegs are in a relatively sporty position, which I like.
A decent riding position with ball off the foot on pegs and arms parallel to the ground feels natural for me.

The seat is fairly plank-like I guess, sitting on an SV race bike I was a bit confused as the seat foam actually compressed as I sat on it! However I don't mind and it's done me fine for hour+ journeys, other may not find it so comfortable.

The engine to some degree is like other typical twin sports styled bikes. In this case the redline is shown at 8000rpm. Low down power up to 4000rpm isn't great and is a bit lumpy (as it is with many other sports twins). From 4000-5000 rpm the engine starts to get into it's stride and make some decent power, this builds in a fairly linear manner up to the redline. If you need that bit extra it continues to make smooth power way past the redline, not dropping off too massively.
To some degree the engine actually acts a bit more like a four compared to some other sporty twins with higher redlines - often you find a big midrange with power easing off as you get through the top end, just when you expect it to come in strong.
Here the power at least stays constant to the redline.
The engine is taken from the trail styled TDM850, but with a 270 degree crank so that it has the same firing order as a V-twin. I'm not convinced the extra grip you would get from a big bang firing order is much use until you're a top club racer at the very least, but it maybe makes it sound a bit nicer! The 850 engine also inherits the 5 speed gear box it originally had. While I'm not usually a fan of five speed gearboxes, in this case it seems to make sense.
Topping out at 140mph or so I'm not really wanting or needing another gear and there's plenty of go once you get into the top half of the revs in each gear.
Quite a few people have commented that the engine is very smooth, partly due to the lack of power possibly, but once you get in the power bulge (as it should be referred to on a twin) it's a lot smoother than many others.

Being an 850 there's plenty of engine braking - knock it down from second to first coming up to a roundabout and it'll stick it's arse end out nicely, a dab of rear brake and you can keep it going for a bit.

On the motorway, the wide spread of torque through the top of the rev range means that above 70 or so it can be left in top, just turn the throttle to bugger off!
The TRX is fairly thin, so quite quite a good filtering tool. The combination of the relatively wide range of torque with good stable high speed handling is perhaps not the best combination for me, as I am often tempted to use it.

Around town the bike handles fine, though not too smooth under 15mph. You do need to slip the clutch a fair bit to get a properly decent getaway. I'm not talking beating most cars here, which is easily enough with a little slip then dumping the clutch, but if you want to embarrass that kit car or another bike.
This however shows up another flaw, my bike seems to suffer from a known problem relating to the clutch design. If you slip clutch too much it is starved of oil and makes a rather worrying metal grinding sound, thus I have avoided it.
There is a modification that can be done to sort it, but it involves drilling some holes in the clutch basket, so I haven't done it yet.
While I do like to do drag starts, it's something I can do without. It only happens when slipping for a prolonged time, so does not effect wheelies.


For stunts the TRX is acceptable, though not amazing.
Rolling burnouts and donuts see bruises left on your inside legs when your legs are around the rather square tank. To get them going requires a bit of clutch slipping, but fine after a few tries providing you've got a decentish front tyre. Incidentally, I learnt to do donuts for the first time, on this bike, a few weeks ago.

Stoppies are easy enough, though the front brakes can sometimes be a bit random on initial bite, if you want really decent stopping power, R6 brakes bolt straight on!

Wheelies need the clutch or a massive bounce to come up properly. Once up fairly high the broad range of power keeps them up there easily. The fairly high pillion pegs seem to want to fold back when resting a left foot on one for standups. Changing gear mid wheelie as resulted in a couple of cases of neutral between first and second, but I don't want to start doing wheelies through the box on a 140mph bike.

Rather oddly there doesn't seem to be any pictures where both wheels are on the ground doing the same speed, so here's some where they're not:

http://www.evilbendy.co.uk/gallery/albums/sundaypics/thumb_2PICT0045.JPG http://www.evilbendy.co.uk/gallery/albums/sundaypics/thumb_PICT0073.JPG http://www.evilbendy.co.uk/gallery/albums/sundaypics/thumb_2PICT0017.JPG http://www.evilbendy.co.uk/gallery/albums/driftroad/thumb_PICT0048.JPG http://www.evilbendy.co.uk/gallery/albums/driftroad/thumb_PICT0024.JPG


I have never been a fan of 400cc sports bikes for 'everyday' bikes, as they tend to have to be worked quite a lot to get decent power. However I would not recommend someone gets a relatively newish 600cc sports bike as first big bike - they can be very fast.
The TRX is a good compromise between the two, it's got 15 or so more horses than the 400cc, but still 25 less than the smaller 600cc sports bike, however it does have the higher and broader range of torque that the 600cc has. It does weigh a bit more than either, but the low height means you don't notice it when waddling it into a parking space.
Based on this I would definitely recommend it as a 'first big bike'.

For me it does pretty much everything I would want it to, though is perhaps a bit too fast. I definitely find something like my RS250, a bike like that entices you to have fun, more rewarding to ride on twisty roads; you have to make your own fun on the TRX, but most don't have a problem with that.

At current prices, even one costing a bit more I would say is very good value for the package you are getting.

A quick note on my remote start alarm and chain Oiler that I've added:
Loobman chain oiler - (about 8.50, done through a group buy)
Fairly easy to fit, a bit fiddly in places, but what isn't on a bike (yes I know filling your bike up with petrol isn't fiddly, but you know what I mean!)
Seems to be doing a good job. However at some point it has managed to get bent off the sprocket. Looks easy to fix and the chain may have been running slack enough to hit one of the cable ties holding it on.
While they said wheelies weren't a problem, they may have also not accounted for my cack-handed attempts; apparently on Sunday the bike managed to get to about the eleven thirty position before I got it rather too rapidly back down again.
You do have to squeeze the bottle every time you want to use it, but it's fine when you get used to it. It seems to work better for longer journeys, as the 1.4miles to work can see it weeping a bit when left.

Remote Start alarm from ebay - 28 all in from ebay
Had a bit of hassle with this one. It turns out the TRX has a 'negative' system for the start - rather than the start switching allowing a current through as such, the current is already present and the start switch connects it to earth instead. Once I'd worked this out I just needed to swap one of the wires going from the alarm to it's connector with another one.
I still haven't quite fathomed out everything. The remote start works fine once I've done a little bodge, but the immobiliser function doesn't seem to, despite the fact that it does if I physically disconnect the wires from the alarm, which it should be disconnecting internally.


Last edited by G on 19:05 - 20 Apr 2012; edited 2 times in total
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message You must be logged in to rate posts

colin1
Captain Safety



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Karma :

PostPosted: 19:01 - 20 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

A nice read. Thnx.
____________________
colin1 is officially faster than god
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message You must be logged in to rate posts

Josh|RD125LC
World Chat Champion



Joined: 08 Sep 2004
Karma :

PostPosted: 20:09 - 20 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats helped a lot in making my decision whether to buy a TRX. Only thing putting me off is the 'low seat height'. I'm 6ft, so do you reckon the seat will be too low for me?
____________________
Honda MBX50 | Yamaha RD125LC | Suzuki RG125F Lucky Strike | Suzuki GSF600S
RD125LC Pictures
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website You must be logged in to rate posts

G
The Voice of Reason



Joined: 02 Feb 2002
Karma :

PostPosted: 20:11 - 20 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're not talking cruiser here.

Not that much lower than other bikes, but apears lower because it's narrower as well.

I'm 5'10" or 5'11" and I quite like the position, so shoudn't be a problem for you.
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message You must be logged in to rate posts

Trixie
World Chat Champion



Joined: 27 Jul 2005
Karma :

PostPosted: 14:05 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

As standard I think the seat is about 30". Being a shortarse, I've had to cut my seat down by 1.5/2", which is far better for me. My other half, who is about 5'10" has ridden the bike with the standard seat on and found it no problem at all.

Love the review, G - thanks. A lot of what you're saying sums up the TRX for me too. I like the smooth, predictable power delivery, the fantastic handling and the nimbleness of it - it is perfect for filtering. I reckon the TRX has oodles of character and is absolute fun to ride. Aesthetically, I like the fact that the bike just looks that bit different; it certainly attracts attention most places I go, and I love the twin silencers - gives the bike a beefier look from the back!
____________________
Dead nobodies in company cars...
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website You must be logged in to rate posts

mrtEE
World Chat Champion



Joined: 12 Sep 2005
Karma :

PostPosted: 14:45 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Josh|RD125LC wrote:
"If Carlsberg made 4 stroke 125's, they certainly wouldn't be the best 4 stroke 125's in the world


Why wouldn't they be? Confused
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message You must be logged in to rate posts

craigs23
Mr Muscle



Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Karma :

PostPosted: 16:03 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, informative read. I'm going to be looking for a second bike for the winter and for commuting (mostly bypass/backroads) and had not considered a TRX. I had an SV650 as a hire bike last winter and it seemed very good at coping with my daily riding. If I can find a TRX for cheaper and with a bit better build quality, think I'd seriously start looking for one.

Cheers Thumbs Up
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail You must be logged in to rate posts

killa
Won't Shut Up



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Karma :

PostPosted: 16:17 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks G, good read there.

Actually enjoyed it more than the usual MCN spaz.Thumbs Up
____________________
Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.
Bike:- Yamaha TRX850 | Killas Biking History | Killas Gaming History | Killas autmotive history
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website You must be logged in to rate posts

Kickstart
The Oracle



Joined: 04 Feb 2002
Karma :

PostPosted: 16:42 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Re: TRX850 (epic) Review Reply with quote

G wrote:
This however shows up another flaw, my bike seems to suffer from a known problem relating to the clutch design. If you slip clutch too much it is starved of oil and makes a rather worrying metal grinding sound, thus I have avoided it.


Couple of things that may also be worth thinking about. Lots of Yamahas have clutches that get nasty when hot. With the FZR I have been told this is often due to wear in the basket where the damper springs sit, giving it some play. Also on the Divvy the thrust bearing in the clutch is a regular problem, possibly due to the Haynes manual specifying using oil on it while the Yamaha manual specifies to use moly grease.

All the best

Keith
____________________
Traxpics, track day and racing photographs - Bimota Forum - Bike performance / thrust graphs for choosing gearing
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail You must be logged in to rate posts

McGee
O RLY?



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Karma :

PostPosted: 17:31 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

G do you work for fast bike or another sort of magazine Shocked
____________________
◙◙► K6 GSXR 600 ◄◙◙◙◙► K5 GSXR 1000 ◄◙◙◙◙► K5 GSXR 600 ◄◙◙◙◙► 96 RF600r ◄◙◙
◄◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙►◄◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙►◄◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙◙►
Its pronounced Jixxer!
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail You must be logged in to rate posts

colin1
Captain Safety



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
Karma :

PostPosted: 18:22 - 21 Sep 2005    Post subject: Reply with quote

killa wrote:

Actually enjoyed it more than the usual MCN spaz.Thumbs Up


Yeah i agree. We have better writing on BCF than you get in a lot of bike mags.

I recently passed my test so I've been test riding a few bikes recently and putting what i think about them here

http://www.bikechatforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=60383

Not as well written as G's but worth reading I think.

So far
dominator (big single city trailie thing),
rebel 250 (baby cruiser),
yp250 (bigish scooter),
freewind (smoother big single city trailie thing)
gsxf 600 (budget sports 600)
burgman 400 (bigger scooter)
thundercat (sports 600)

tomorrow I'm doing sv650 and friday its vfr750 and maybe tt600.
____________________
colin1 is officially faster than god
 Back to top
View user's profile Send private message You must be logged in to rate posts
Old Thread Alert!

The last post was made 12 years, 336 days ago. Instead of replying here, would creating a new thread be more useful?
Display posts from previous:   

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Bike Chat Forums Index -> General Bike Chat All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum

Read the Terms of Use! - Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group
 

Debug Mode: ON - Server: discovery (www) - Page Generation Time: 0.14 Sec - Server Load: 6.7 - MySQL Queries: 16 - CDN Objects: 41 - Page Size: 88.53 Kb