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trixie queries

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by ibast, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. OK I know there are a few TRX 850 riders in the forum these days so I've got a few questions.

    What are the known problems?

    I've heard of a couple doing main bearings around 20,000. Is there anthing to this?

    How many k's have you guys done?

    What are they like to ride in the traffic?

    Any standard upgrades?
  2. hey ibast, i have one and love it. Known problems? Not many as far as i can tell, some use a bit of oil but its normal. Havent heard of any bearing issues. The engine is a pretty solid bit of gear and seems to be pretty understressed. They don't have heaps of power but still more then enough to have alot of fun with, but what they do have heaps of is midrange grunt, its awesome. Mine only has a bit over 30 thousand so its still reasonably fresh but from what i've heard they can do fairly big kays. In traffic, hmm not the greatest in my opinion, the standard gearing has a tall first gear (will do almost 100 in first even with the lowish redline) and the engine is pretty easy to stall just off idle (needs a bit of clutch slip). The engine is also not very flexible and a bit rough under 3k, but it is a 'nice' roughness. Common upgrades are pipes and r1/r6 brake calipers. Overall a great bike, sounds great with pipes or debaffled, its got both character and reliability in spades and you don't see them at every set of lights
  3. Mine is on 93,000 km and doesnt use a drop of oil. The oil consumption seems pretty random - factory specs allowed for a litre every 1000km. Such is the life of a big twin :D

    Where mine is showing it's age is the emulsion tubes are worn meaning mixture is not right - how long it took to foul up plugs recently will be monitored this time.

    Since this is an excuse for Keihin FCR41's (if I have the money) I'm not overly fussed.

    the sound and the grunt is incredible. They're not faster than any 600 sports bike, but they arent much slower in the right hands if ridden in an old school style. And they are a LOT easier to ride as well.

    Front suspension and brakes are a weak poiint - badly damped front fixed with lighter fork oil, and R1/R6/Thundercat/Thunderace calipers bolt on.

    Getting 80 rw horsepower with litre class torque is reasonably easy. getitng 100rwhp is pretty difficult and expensive, but the torque you get with it means it doesnt compare to anything you'd expect.

    I'd estimate I'm on about 80rwhp btw.

    They're a sort of bike that attracts a lot of fans and has a good resale value, so you cna pick one up, see if you like it. If you dont, so long as you dont rush to sell, you shouldnt lose much money.
  4. I've spent quite a bit of time on a mate's trx.

    A nice bike, and demand keeps the prices up, but they're too expensive in my eyes.

    The torque is nice, and they're super comfy compared with a sports bike, but the power leaves me wanting, and the suspension is the first thing that should be changed. Straight line performance is on par with SV650's, but the trx has plenty more torque.

    The suspension and brakes were specced to a price, they need to be changed. For a comfy, everyday bike though they would be fine. Just don't expect to be scratching with the best of them on a standard example, although you can still have plenty of fun on them.

    It's not easy to extract significantly more power out of their engines.

    They seem to have a fairly large following, and most get ridden a fair bit, so those that do appear on the market often have high km's. My mate's has covered 85k odd km's with no problems.

    I'd have one if their price came down a bit.
  5. I would agree with most of Cammo's comments, good bikes, but strong demand makes them a bit pricey second hand imo,

    I spent a day on one on the GOR a few years ago, I found the ride position uncomfortable on the highway, at least as compared to my 96 ZX6R

    I also had issues with the 5 speed gearbox, they probably dont need 6 speeds, just different ratios. For me first and second were too tall, and covered the range of 3 gears, which meant in slow corners I had trouble finding the right gear, although coming from inline 4 cylinder bikes, my riding style probably needed adjusting

    that said. I would have one in my garage as there appeal and style is timeless
  6. I've heard of this too. To my knowledge it was only on the first ones that came out 95 (Grey) 96 Australian release that have had the bearing problem. I doubt that you would find a model of that era with under 20,000 kays on it nowadays. I have 50,000 kays on mine now (99 model) 18,000 my own in nearly three years. No engine noises apart from the characteristic TRX ones. It sometimes uses oil. It really depends on how hard I ride it.

    In the small amount of commuting I have done it I've found it quite comfortable. The only issue I have with it when commuting is when lane splitting slowly the standard gearing really causes a lot of snatchiness in the drive train. I mean you really notice if the chain is a little bit too tight or loose. But the seating position affords you a lot of room to move. I did 1000 kays in tassie in a day and my arse and wrists were killing me but testament to the bike I could jump back on the next day and had a ball with out to much pain.

    Here are some of the upgrades i've done or that are going on at the moment;

    1 smaller tooth front sprocket
    Yamaha R1 Gold spot calipers
    Braided brake Lines
    Yamaha r1 front master cylinder
    Gold valve forks with uprated 9 kilo springs
    Factory Pro Carby Kit
    Megacycle pipes (they sound horn :wink: )

    The best money I have spent so far was on the pipes. The megacycles just gave it a beautiful note on the power, off the power cruising around all sounds great. Wheelies have taken a bit of practice but pretty easy when you find the sweet spot (40 kays :wink: ) and stoppies have taken a bit of fettling but I have to admit I have yet to try them with my new forks and brakes.

    Yes the power is comparable to an SV650 so if you want a newer looking bike look at them. They just dont have the character of the TRX though.
    The handling on the TRX was the main selling point for me its just awesome.
    There are some good ones out there that aren't too pricey but some are asking stupid money for what is now an ageing bike. DO your homework and have fun test riding :grin:
  7. Btw a SV650 will be way way easier to pull big wheelies on due to the gearbox ratios and the longer rev range. If you're looking to pull 3rd gear wheelies on a twin the SV is a better option.

    Having said that dipping the clutch at 5000rpm still gets the front way up there beyond 100kph even with tired springs and plates. That's enough for plenty of people (if not for me).

    The SV is by far a more modern bike, but if you've ever ridden and enjoyed any of the 1980's sports dinosaurs like Katanas the stability of the TRX feels like coming home.

    As for the bearing failure issue I know quite a few other Yamahas had a similar issue at the same time - a friend had to have his new 1996 diversion rebuilt as well - so it was probably a bad batch of bearings rather than a model specific problem.

    I'd be interested in whats in the Factory Pro Carby Kit - does it have emulsion tubes?

    My best money spend by far was the brake upgrade to thunderace blue spots. The braking just doesnt cut it after a few performance mods, and they were very cheap from brisbane bike wreckers in woolongabba.

    As far as price goes, it's really only changeover price that's important, and I would have been looking at a 600 Monster for similar money, knowing I would still have been desperately seeking another 20-30 horsepower.

    You can't compare power or cost (or resale) against the masses of japanese inline 4's.
  8. yesss, as with lots of american things ;) :LOL:

    trx summed up in short.
    2 big pistons moving a relatively well made bike at a more than decent THUMP! people that own them, tend to love them. people that dont like them...pretty much havent had the experience of riding them.
    not a bike for people who love to feel like rossi, but will keep up with the best of tourers and even with the limited ponies produced, the sweet spot in second is perfect to lessen the wear on the front tyre ;)
    i took some for a spin when pondering the thought of purchasing a jap-twin and other than looking for 6th gear at good pace (only because i loved the sound of it not quite labouring but just sitting in the torque-zone) they are a fine example of a big twin.
  9. Thanks guys. Heaps of good points there.

    Are they better to commute on with either 2 teeth more on the rear sprocket or one less on the front?

    What's the problem with the front forks? Too stiff? Too bouncy? Too much dive?
  10. Dunno yet. The thing is they're designed with a deliberately rough character under 4000rpm. If you dont like how they've done that try a TDM - great bike but Tedium is absolutely great at explaining the engine characteristics. How the same engine can feel so different with a few tweaks is incredible.

    Some would say the spring rate is too low, although it depends a lot on your body weight. Considering I know people who race the things on the stock springs I really dont think it is that bad, unless you get an import.

    I can get stiffer Racetech Pro springs cheap and havent even considered it. As I wound down preload handling greatly improved from when I got it, contrary to much of the popular "stiffer is better" belief.

    The main issue is the damping rate at the front, which is greatly improved with a higher level of lighter fork oil. Old tuning trick for those who dealt with setup in the long long ago days before everyone had 50 way adjustable forks.... I'll be going to 5W or maybe blend up about a 7 weight when I do mine. Plenty of info on the web about it

    Racetech gold valve cartridge emulators are apprently the best solution, or else front end swaps are pretty common as well, with thundercat being easiest but most people seem to want the expensive bling factor of R1 fronts now.

    Stiffer fork springs may work better with stock damping, but why pay to fix what isnt really the problem?
  11. I have had the standard forks fitted up until recently and they were only ever a problem if I had a pillion and hit a bump causing a huge BANG through the front end. Or when riding by myself and pushing really hard on the brakes particularly when going down hill. The original springs were 50 kays old anyway and due for an upgrade. Just be aware that is money you may need to spend if you cant get the front end sorted your self :wink: .

    yes mate the factory pro kit has the emulsion tubes :wink: Most bike shops will be able to get them in for you. There is also the Dynojet kit as well , pretty sure that has the emulsion tubes aswell. They are both around the 200 dollar mark. I was in the same boat as you in regards to my plugs gettng fouled so I've bought the kit and hopefully it will fix that prob.
  12. Let me know how you go - I'm suspecting emulsion tubes at 90,000+ km's and would rather get an aftermarket performace part than factory bits if I can squeeze out a few more ponies. plus of course it will probably be cheaper as well :D
  13. Hi iblast
    I'm one of those TRX850 owning fanatics. Mine turned 90,000km yesterdee..

    TRX's gained a rep for lunching cranks and mains from two interlinked factors. Firstly the early Aus market bikes, 1996 & 97 build, used the TDM inlet valves with a more aggressive cam profile and the result was the inlet valve stems would streach if habitually run into the red. This would creep up on owners as the book valve clearance checking intervals stated by Yamaha as a rather stupid 42,000km, so the first clue this was happening was the bike would be real difficult to start cold. A byproduct of this stem streach is the stem seals would'nt.. Leading to a gradual but persistant increase in oil consumption. In 1998 the inlet valves were updated and they can be fitted to the early bikes. This helps explain why some owners have bikes that drink oil, and some do not. I replaced all 6 inlet valves and seals, along with new rings and a mild hone @ 83,000km.

    How does this effect the crank? The TRX has a dry sump engine, a rarity for a Japanese roadbike. This demands a more complex oil level checking skill than usual.

    Firstly ride the bike untill completely warm. Never check the level on a cold engine. Stop the bike, drop to your knees on the right hand side of the bike, say two hail marys (or pray to mecca..) pull it vertical towards you and off the stand and check the sight glass in the catch tank on top of the gearbox. The key to this is consistancy. Check it cold and most of the oil will be in the sump. Leave it too long after switching off and oil will drain from the head into the catch tank faster than the catch tank drains into the bottom sump and you will get an artifically high reading.

    So the main bearing issue is caused by a coincidence of variable oil consumption (they can use 1 litre per 1000km when thrashed and none around town at all), an arcane oil checking proceedure and apathetic owners letting the level get too low.

  14. Informative piece there dfh. :)

    If anyone's looking for a very good example, my mate is selling his low mileage TRX, check the classifieds.
  15. I'm just gettin' warmed up.... :LOL:

    Dirty TRiX recons the TRX does not need stiffer fork springs than stock, then recommends overfilling the fork oil to support the stock springs rate.

    This reduces the airgap in the forks and as the trapped air itself is a spring greatly increases the spring rate, but only in the last 30% of wheel travel. The end result? The bike will sag through the too soft spring rate just supporting its and the riders weight, then bag hard against the rapidly stiffening rate of the "air spring" when it hits a bump.

    As a TRX owner that has fitted different forksprings (0.9kg/mm for the road and 0.95kg/mm for the track) my experience supports the often repeated mantra of the professional suspension experts... get the spring rates right first.

    My TRX Set up.. for a 95kg in riding gear, middle aged anglo saxon male.

    Front End
    For the road I have fitted .9kg/mm front springs and Racetech cartridge emulators, with the Racetech recommended 15wt fork oil, at a level that is LESS than standard to maintan a constant rate and full travel. I foun the emulators stock 2 turns compression damping preload a bit stiff and now use 1.5 turns.
    I have fitted a 120/70/17 front tyre rather than the stock 120/60/17 that Yamaha and Kawasaki loved in the late '90's and pulled the forks up through the clamps an additional 12mm to restore the front ride height to stock.

    Rear End
    I have had a 10kg/mm spring and Racetech gold valves and seal kit fitted to the stock TRX shock. This enables me to run the preload at he stock setting but with a loaded sag figure of 35mm. The standard spring need to be 1 notch off max preload to reach this figure, causing the shock to top out hard over bumps. I have experimented with 3 different length drag links to experiment with different ride heights ( 'cos nobody uses preload to alter ride height these days do they.. :roll:) but now run the stock links.

    How much did all this cost? Less than a grand. And its fun to do as well, pretending to be one G Burgess while you develop your own bike. Surprisingly the only TRX owners who think that is too much to sort the chassis out are the ones that have already paid that and more for a set of noisy slip-ons.. :p

    Is it effective? Contrary to the myth spring rate does not effect the ride quality, only damping rates do.. especially compresion damping. My TRX rides far better than stock now it is sprung correctly and I can use less compression damping rather than using it to mask the symptoms of underspringing.

    One of my riding buddies rides a SV650 with a WP rear shock and springs and emulators from racetech in the front, and another rides an Aprilia Falco withan Ohlins rear end. Both have spent more on suspension than I have yet my TRX is right in the ball park.

    It is interesting the comparison between SV and TRX. My mates SV was dynoed at 69hp at the wheel, my TRX at 76hp. As I use a 41 tooth rear in place of the 39 tooth stock sprocket to fix the tall standard gearing and the SV is a 6 speed box to my 5 the SV is a touch faster run flat out ( on a really long secret test strip). But in acceleration and drive off the corners the TRX creams it and can hang onto the Aprilia if the road has no straights. On the track 600 and 1000 fours just blast away, but on the road where you ride between 30 and 160kmh the TRX is a fast bike.

    Compared to the SV again the TRX is a heavy steerer, requiring an 'old school' heavy counter-steer muscle from the shoulders style. But the TRX is only 20kg heavier than the SV and 15 less than the Aprilia so it carves corners well with masses of cornering clearance, it just needs what the journos call a firm hand. It has an unfashonable 160/60 rear tyre. Do not fit a 170 as it really slows the steering down..

    So there it is. I bought my 96 when prices were high, after the VTR1000 came out Yamaha discounted heavily, but I dont regret buying it at all. 10 years and 90,000km on I still really enjoy riding it. Plus now it is getting a sort of cult status.... out of all the CBR600's, Thundercats, ZX6 Kawkas and stuff I considered back in 1997 only the VFR750 has retained any respect over the years. And its still not as cool as the TRX.:grin:

  16. How tall are you DFH? I'm 6'5 and looking at getting a TRX, I have long legs, how do you think I'll go?

    And I weigh around 105kg (more with gear on)
  17. Thats why you'd need a completely different spring rate to me. If you're up around the 100kg mark of course stock spring rates designed for a 70- kilo japanese guy are not going to be up to the task.
  18. So I finally got a chance to have a look at the specific bike I had in mind and go for a test ride.

    To be honest I don’t believe the bike would be appropriate for the type of work I do. First gear was just too tall for practical work in the traffic. It would at least need some sprocket changes, so I’d have to factor this into the cost of the bike.

    Add to this, the particular bike I looked at had a really loud exhaust and to be honest that’s just a PIA when you ride every day. So I would have to factor in a new muffler too. Also, this particular bike had a lot of polishing, which these days doesn’t mean that much, but factor in a painted swing arm and the alarm bells were ring a little too loud.

    Even on the short ride I had I could see what people mean about the forks. This front end felt stiff, but the extended spring back I got at a stop sign suggested the springs were soft but the damping set hard to compensate.

    I was also disappointed in the vibration from the engine. With a 270 degree layout and 2 balance shafts I would have expected a smoother bike. Bottom end power was good for a sub-1000cc bike, but the mid range and the top end were disappointing.

    I think if I had one I would consider finding some cams, as the engine could handle being more peaky and be a better bike for it. Though, 38mm carbs are probably only good for around 30kW each. So a set of 40mm carbs would be necessary, so a hotter engine (including cams) would be an expensive exercise.

    So yeah, if I was only after a weekend scratcher I could see the appeal, but as a daily mule it doesn’t quite work. For me anyway.

    [edit] I forgot mention the seat. It hard and slippery. Not nice.
  19. I am 5'10'' in the old coin,.. so being 6'5'' is somthing I have no experience of. However the TRX is quite roomy compared to most sportbikes and very slim between the knees so I suspect it would fit well. Justin "Streach" Law from AMCN had a long term TRX that he bought off Yamaha rather than hand back and he is a tall bugger

    @ 105kg budget for some springs though, but that would be the same for any bike for you.

    Cheers DFH