It wasn’t until I featured our first Yamaha TRX850 cafe racer back in 2013 that I learned of their existence. Some would say I must have been living under a rock, and rightly so. The TRX850 was a bold move by Yamaha aimed at stirring things up in the European market. It was, at its core, a Ducati 900SS clone, but it benefitted from steadfast Japanese engineering.
The TRX850 also had similarities to Ducati’s Monster as it was somewhat of a parts bin special, being made up of components from other models in Yamaha’s range. With neutral handling, a smooth as silk 270° crank, plenty of low down torque and a highly tunable engine it looked great on paper. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell all that well and Yamaha ceased its production after 5 short years.