I've owned TDM's since 1998
First one I bought was a Mk1. Loved it. P/x'd that in for a brand new red Mk11 850. Rode that for ten years and it never missed a beat (literally) Sold that with 42K on the clock. Then I bought a Blue 900. Fantastic bike. Sold that and wished I hadn't.
Then I realized that the best of the bunch was the Red 850 so I went back in time and bought a '97 Yellow and Grey 850 with - believe it or not - 14,000 genuine miles on the clock. It already had a two-into-one sports exhaust fitted which sounded sublime. It also sported small adjustable levers. The front side panels had been resprayed, so there were no big TDM decals on them. It was a clean and tidy bike and for £1,300 I snapped it up.
The tyres were a bit worse for wear and it didn't handle very well on the ride home but the sound from that sports mega made it all worthwhile. First thing I did was put it in for new tyres and suspension maintenance with Bikersworld in East Grinstead. John, the owner, is a top guy and really knows his stuff. He removed the front end, cleaned, re-bushed and fitted new seals and oil to the fork legs then calibrated the damping and reshod the wheels with new Pirelli Angels. The transformation was immense. The bike now handled like it was on rails! I fitted a touring screen which I bought from Dream screens for £68. Makes all the difference at high speeds. I hooked up a 12V cigar lighter charging point on the handlebars and purchased a RAM Mount X Grip phone/SatNav holder gizmo. I then bought a Ryde 52L top box off Ebay for £30 which holds two full face helmets and just for the hell of it I fitted a RING dual charger socket with USB to the inside of the top box.
Then some mates suggested a bike ride to Spain. Why not? So I purchased one of those click on tank bags and dusted off a pair of old canvass panniers I had sitting in storage.
It was a 1100 mile trip from Newhaven to Dieppe, through France, across the Pyrenees and all the way down to the South of Spain. I checked the weather forecast and figured we were going to get wet going through France so I fitted a pair of Oxford Intelligent Hot grips and for good measure whipped the Toucano Urbano muffs off my Burgmann and fitted them onto the TDM - and boy, am I glad I did that! It PISSED down through most of France. The bike ran great though and I was the only one in the group who had perpetually warm and dry hands throughout the entire trip. The only mechanical problem I had was petrol started leaking out of one of the overflow pipes about 40 miles from our final destination. That looked a bit dubious but I managed to get the bike there by fiddling with the fuel tap. Next day I stripped the bike down and checked the carbs. Petrol was leaking from the overflow of the right carb so I had to pull that apart and found that the rubber ring that seals the plastic floats to the carb body had perished. With no rubber rings available I wrapped PTFE tape around the float spigot spigot, jammed it into the carb body and the leak was sealed. The bike ran fine for the two weeks we were in Spain and ran faultlessly all the way home. Result!
This old '97 850 was the perfect bike for that trip. Tons of torque with ample speed, power and comfort. I could lope along all day at 90mph without breaking a sweat and still had plenty in reserve. My mates on their Harley's and Versys struggled at those speeds. We totaled 2,800 miles getting seriously soaked at times as well as scorching hot, especially in Spain. The Spanish roads are some of the best I've ever ridden on. Mile upon mile of twisting, fast tarmac that winds it's way through mountains, valleys and quaint towns and desert stop off cafes. My advice is to not go through the centre of Spain which we did on the way there (very straight and boring) Instead, follow the East Coast roads past Barcelona to Zarragoza
When I got back home I decided this bike was a keeper so I properly stripped both carbs and renewed the gaskets and seals and fitted a K&N air filter. I then treated the 'ol girl to a new set of s/s brake hoses from Wezmoto which have a dual pipe system at the front, doing away with the cumbersome bridge pipe across the mudguard. These were definitely worth the £60 I paid as they really did improve the braking. They even came in yellow which was a bonus. I got a carbon fibre bellypan for Xmas and slapped that on. I even fitted yellow brake caliper bleed nipple covers and a pair of LED dust caps which light up when the wheels are in motion (very bling) The seat has now been sent of for revamping with a new custom cover and gel pads front and rear.
She may be old (20yrs) but this bike has everything I need and for less than £2K including all the accessories and servicing it's had with only 18K genuine miles on the clock what more could you ask for?