Thinking about buying a 2011 - 2014 TM EN 300? Here are the things out Tech Editor Mat Boyd says to look out for.
You can be forgiven if you have never seen a TM motorcycle. Part of the allure of these rare Italian machines is the fact that they are scarce, and exotic. We don’t get much in the way of exotic in the dirtbike world as the majority of the motorcycles we see in Australia come out of five main factories. But if you are in the market for a 2011 – 2014 TM EN 300, here’s what to look out for.
The two-stroke motor is not direct injection or anything fancy. Instead the motor is a somewhat old school case reed design with a five-speed gearbox. Its most sophisticated feature is the servo-controlled electronic power valve. Much like the one Honda had moved to before abandoning the two-stroke altogether.
The most impressive aspect of the motor is that its hand assembled. The cases are sand cast like those of a works motor. This is a bike built in a race shop, like HRC without the big Honda factory next door.
That’s even clearer when you take a close look at the chassis. It has what looks a little like a modern Japanese aluminum frame until you look carefully. The welds are all beautiful, clearly made by a craftsman. Japanese frames have two or three handmade welds in places that can be seen easily, and the rest are made by soulless robots.
TM also makes the majority of their own parts. The triple clamps are billet aluminum, the rear brake lever is nicer than anything on the aftermarket and the rear shock is made by TM. In front it has a KYB fork similar to the one found on a Yamaha. The rear brake is by Nissin, the front is by Brembo, the rotors are Galfer, and the hydraulic clutch is Magura. TM 300 EN augments the motocross style Kokusan ignition with a bolt on flywheel addition and a lighting coil mounted to the ignition cover.
When the 300 is in the meat of its powerband, look out. You’re going to go wherever you’re pointing very quickly. Down low the power is a little soft, but then it hits hard and fast. It feels like a motor that has already made a trip to an engine porting specialist.
When the traction is good, the TM is a rocket sled. The hard hit is moderated with a heavy flywheel, which helps in low traction situations but you have to know what to expect. The seat is firm but comfortable, the ergonomics are roomy and the controls quality. It’s clear that the TM was built with racing in mind.
If you manage to find a 2011 – 2014 TM EN 300 second hand then I would hope the person who had it has been looking after it but as we all know not everybody is right up on their maintenance regime. Check over all the wheel and frame bearings like you would with any other second hand bike. Check for oil leaks and take it for a ride to make sure it has full power and the clutch isn’t slipping and that all the gears work correctly. Being a rare bike take a good look over the hard to replace items like the frame, triple clamps, swingarm and engine cases.
Any major damage here could render the bike worthless. Lastly being an electronic power valve, take a good look over the cables and check for any damage.
Read more in issue #530 of ADB.
WORDS | MAT BOYD