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TM are a small manufacturer taking it to the big manufactures from their factory in Pesaro, Italy. Here's what we thought of the MY24 TM MX Range.

The most noticeable changes for MY24 TM MX Range are the new colour plastics with the grey coloured rear guard and new graphics, new non-slip seat covers, Circuit carbon look hand guards and soft Circuit grips. All models received updated suspension settings and ECU mapping for better performance as well as a new frame forging for added strength. The four-stroke models all received new electric start gear systems and a new subframe with a silent block in the exhaust fastening and new exhaust systems to reduce noise and all new Galfer brake discs.

The two-stroke models all got new improved cylinder designs as well as improved crankshaft bearing lubrication on the 250 and 300 models and updated exhaust valve settings.

TM MX 450 ES Fi

The 450 Fi has an unorthodox layout with the fuel tank located under the seat and the fuel cap above the right side numberplate. The airbox is located on top, much like that of a Yamaha. The TM’s frame is a handmade aluminium unit with the highly regarded KYB SSS fork in the front and a TM designed and made rear shock on the back. The design is to evenly distribute the weight across the motorcycle for better handling.

The TM 450 power is so strong that it has been blamed for the heat wave across Europe as it single-handedly pulled the sun closer to the earth. The grunt is strong and the power runs deep. This bike digs holes just with a small touch of the throttle.

The TM 450 is a very stable platform to ride, the suspension works well but I have to give a special mention to the TM shock. This is not a big known suspension branded shock but a shock made in house at TM which cannot be faulted.

The cockpit is very spacious giving plenty of room to move around the bike with the seat, handlebar and foot peg position feeling very comfortable. This is a great thing that TM have obviously given plenty of time to get right. Riding this bike you can easily tell that there has been loads of research and development done here to produce a bike that I would consider a very competitive motorcycle.

TM MX 300 ES Fi / MX 250 ES Fi

It’s tough to tell the difference between a TM 250 and a TM 300 from the outside, but both are beautiful bikes. They have hand welded aluminium frames, KYB front suspension with a TM shock and detailing that would be appropriate for a factory works bike. The chassis has the same fuel tank and airbox arrangement as the 450.

The twin pipe motor has two separate ports leading to two independent exhaust systems that produce a sound more like a small bore four-stroke. The two exhaust systems can look bulky but absolutely serve a purpose when you ride the bikes. The 300 has stronger power than the 250 but it’s not a drastic difference as both bikes produce loads of torque for small bores and ride much more like a 450 than a bottom end lacking 250F.

The chassis’ are nimble but predictable and the brakes work just as well as you would expect them to. Out of all the models the one I actually enjoyed riding the most was the 300. It had incredible power but was not as heavy to ride as the 450 and was more nimble and took much less effort.

TM MX 300 ES / TM MX 250 ES

There’s no reason two-stroke MX riders shouldn’t have electric start just like four-stroke guys right? Well TM’s two-stroke MX bikes have it as standard equipment. They also have electronic power valves, aluminium frames and KYB forks.

The power of both of these machines is very abrupt and aggressive. The 300 power surge is harsher than the 250 but that by no means suggests that the 250 is slow. They both have a power band that kicks in and requires you to grip the bike with everything you’ve got. Throttle control is key on these machines because if you haven’t got it you’re going to be in for one hell of a ride.

I actually think TM might be over estimating the people that ride these machines because with most of our tracks in Australia being reasonably slick these things are going to be wild to hang on to. In the sand or a track with perfect traction they would be unbeatable but on hard pack you’d spend most of your time trying to keep the bike pointed in the right direction. If however you do want to make the bike less aggressive the power valve is electronic and you can tune it to open earlier which would make the power curve less aggressive and easier to manage.

TM MX144 / TM MX125

Small bore two-strokes were TM’s core identity for a very long time and very much still are. The MX 144 and MX 125 have different bore and stroke configurations but are otherwise identical. The power valve is electronic, but starting is accomplished through an old school kick starter unlike the electric start 250 and 300. The frame is hand welded aluminium with KYB forks and a TM built rear shock.

The six-speed gear box pairs with a hydraulic multi- disc clutch and goes with engines that produce loads of power. I am not typically a guy that looks forward to riding these small capacity bikes as they struggle to move my 90kg frame. I have to spend the entire time clutching the engine and bashing through the gear box. To my surprise both of these had no problems lugging me around the track over the jumps and up the steep hills.

I did have to give the gearboxes a good working but both engines produced torque that I never thought they would have. The 125 is a very strong engine for its class and the 144 would make a great stepping stone for someone who wants a little more power than what the 125 has but isn’t quite ready for a 250.

TM MX 100 / TM MX 85

The most exotic bikes in the mini world have to be the TMs. The small Italian company has made a big investment in little two-stroke motors. TM has some of the best karting engines available in the world and their development from karting engines is passed on to the motorcycle division. This means that their small bore two-strokes produce incredible horsepower.

The basic platform is the aluminium framed MX 85. Then there’s the big-wheel MX 100 with a 16-inch in the rear and a 19 up front. Both of these machines are carburetted with six-speed gearboxes, high quality suspension and come standard with a Scalvini exhaust system. TM claim the MX 85 to be the quickest 85cc production engine on the market and after riding all the other models I have absolutely no reason to doubt that.


For the full feature, check out issue #530 of ADB.