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MXA RACE TEST: 2019 TM 300MX TWO-STROKE

MXA RACE TEST: 2019 TM 300MX TWO-STROKE
THE GEAR: Jersey: Thor Pulse Stunner, Pants: Thor Pulse Stunner, Helmet: 6D ATR-2, Goggles: EKS Model EKS-S Premium, Boots: Sidi Crossfire 3 SR.

Q: IS THE 2019 TM 300MX BETTER THAN THE 2018 TM 300MX?

A: To be trustworthy, we haven’t tested a bone-stock TM 300MX two-stroke since 2011. That doesn’t imply that we haven’t tested TM 300MXs. We now have, but since 2011, TM importer Ralf Schmidt has built us a potpourri of exotic TM 300MX venture bikes. Why has Ralf been giving us absolutely modded TM300MXs as an alternative of production fashions? Ralf needs to have his finger on the heart beat of the American market, so he builds modified TM 300MXs in an try to seek out out what the Italian manufacturing unit wants to vary to go well with American motocross racers. What he learns, he studies back to TM Italy. 

Since Ralf moved from Holland to America to take over TM’s operations, he has discovered that American motocross is totally different from European motocross. What’s totally different? So much. Let’s start with the tracks. Ralf found that European tracks aren’t groomed to the extent of American tracks. European tracks don’t have the doubles and triples that litter most American tracks. European tracks are smaller and tighter. European riders worth clean power delivery, while American riders need an aggressive midrange powerband. The 2019 TM 300MX has a four-stroke feel to it that will get the facility to the bottom.

TM is an Italian boutique builder. Through the years, its curiosity in the American market has been minimal, largely because TM only produces about 1200 bikes a yr. Its first priority is to fulfill the calls for of its largest buyer base by making bikes that work better on European tracks. As Ralf came upon, European bike setup could be very totally different from what American riders need. Because the majority of TMs are bought in Europe, the corporate hasn’t had much incentive to concentrate to U.S. riders. All that’s about to vary.

The kicker is that TM goes to spend money on a larger facility to extend its production with an eye fixed in the direction of progress. And, it’s no secret that if an off-road motorbike model needs to promote extra bikes, it has to promote them to People. Subsequently, as Ralf has came upon, TM must Americanize its bikes. So, Ralf builds MXA challenge bikes to test totally different setups. We inform him what we don’t like and he tells the Italians, which brings us to the all-new 2019 TM 300MX manufacturing bike. A vastly better bike than we examined in 2011. 

Q: WHAT HAS CHANGED ON THE 2019 TM 300MX FROM THE 2018 MODEL?

A: It’s simpler to inform you what hasn’t changed on the 2019 TM 300MX. For 2019, the engine elements that carry over from the 2018 mannequin are the countershaft sprocket, clutch, piston and connecting rod. Every other half on the engine is totally different. Listed here are a number of highlights of the all-new bike.

(1) Gearbox. The transmission is now a five-speed as an alternative of a six-speed, and the gear ratios are utterly totally different.

(2) Counterbalancer. A counterbalancer shaft, just like the one in the KTM 250SX, has been developed to attenuate vibration. 

(3) Electrical start. The 300MX has each a kickstart and electrical starter.

(4) Electronic power valve. The digital power valve is now operated with a push rod slightly than servo cables.

(5) Offset. The triple-clamp offset has been modified from 20 to 23mm.

(6) Weight. The electrical start only added 2 kilos after TM made the frame and different elements lighter.

(7) Frame. The frame is all new, and the engine has been moved rearward to make room for the electrical starter that’s mounted on the front of the engine (under the exhaust port).

(eight) Suspension. The same Kayaba forks and TM shock are used with revised valving. 

The inventory 13/50 gearing is approach too low for tracks like Glen Helen.

Q: CAN THE TM 300MX BE TURNED INTO A 250MX AND VICE VERSA?

A: No, however for good cause. In contrast to KTM, who makes its 250cc and 300cc two-strokes with the identical stroke, TM makes utterly totally different bores and strokes for each. This enables TM to make an engines particularly tuned to each the 250cc and 300cc demands.  

SUB-MID

The TM spec’ed Kayaba forks are actually starting to really feel nearly as good as Kayaba forks ought to really feel.

Q: WHAT DID WE THINK OF THE TM 300MX POWERPLANT? 

A: In a couple of phrases, it seems like a free-revving tractor. It attached like a thumper and had very little engine braking, even by two-stroke requirements. The facility off the bottom was mild and snappy. The clutch didn’t should be utilized to get the bike shifting out of corners, nor did it must be used to maintain the entrance wheel planted on the ground. The texture of the 2019 TM 300MX powerplant reminded us of once we put a heavier flywheel on a YZ250. 

The downside of the TM 300MX’s powerplant is its brief powerband. Amazingly, it’s even shorter than the explosive energy of the 2019 KTM 250SX. The KTM 250SX hits actually onerous down low after which indicators off at round 8500 rpm as an alternative of the normal 9500 rpm. The TM 300MX delivers principally backside and midrange energy and never a lot on prime. This sort of power suits short-shifters very nicely. It took our testers some time to get used to the torquey engine, as we needed to journey it in another way from the best way we might a traditional smoker. As soon as they received used to the bike, the testers’ complaints died down, but slightly additional top-end rev can be warmly welcomed on each the TM and KTM. The Yamaha YZ250 shines above the TM’s and KTM’s rev limiters. 

We just like the peace of thoughts that the rear sprocket will never fall off with its nine-bolt pattern. But we’ll by no means need to take it off both.

Q: CAN THE POWERBAND BE BROADENED?

A: The only thing to do is gear the TM 300MX taller. It will lengthen the hole between shifts. Inventory gearing is a super-low 13/50. This gearing combo is actually a reasonably widespread filth bike sprocket setup, however what makes it feel too low are the interior gear ratios. We had a fairly good concept of what number of tooth we would have liked to deliver the TM gearbox as much as snuff and went straight to a taller 14-tooth countershaft sprocket. This allowed us to decide on between a 48-, 49- and 50-tooth rear sprocket to go well with the rider or the monitor format. Gearing won’t hold the powerband from falling off, but it should delay it. 

The good news is that TM’s 250MX and 300MX two-strokes will come with free software program that may work in your private laptop to vary the mapping curve, which can probably let you maintain the facility from signing off so early. The downfall? It gained’t be obtainable till the 2020 models arrive. 

TM can also be working with Pro Circuit to make a pipe and silencer that may spread the facility out. It’s out there now. 

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The brand new 300MX engine tracks down low like a tracker and has an excellent mid-range really feel as nicely. Hassle is, it falls off early on prime.

Q: HOW WAS THE KAYABA SUSPENSION?

A: TM lastly began listening to our complaints. Properly, truly, we complained to Ralf, made him change the stuff we didn’t like after which he complained to TM. On virtually every TM we now have examined in recent times, the rear of the bike sat too excessive. This stinkbug stance made the bike really feel unbalanced and put too much weight on the entrance wheel. To stability out the chassis, we needed to run as a lot as 110mm of sag. The 2019 TM 300MX was markedly lower within the rear, and we set the race sag at 105mm. This made the bike straightforward to arrange and provided a extra fulfilling experience on the monitor. 

The Kayaba forks and TM shock worked nicely together. TM’s model of Kayaba SSS forks used to have a harsh initial feel, followed by bottoming in huge bumps. We anticipate Kayaba SSS forks to work (based mostly on 13 years of Yamaha experience). Prior to now, the TM model was night time and day totally different from the Yamaha model. Thankfully, the 2019 TM forks get progressively stiffer as they go through their stroke. No more harsh spots. But, let’s not get forward of ourselves. Yamaha’s SSS settings are superior to all the things available on the market. The TM’s Kayaba forks still want some work, but they are a step in the fitting course. 

Our check riders didn’t have any points with the TM shock. It did its job nicely and worked in unison with the forks. Each check rider went softer on low-speed compression and stiffer on the high-speed compression to seek out the comfort he needed. 

TM brakes supply the most effective pucker energy available on the market.

Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?

A: The hate listing:

(1) Rear sprocket bolts. Nine sprocket bolts? No! Not even TM’s manufacturing unit race staff runs its hubs with 9 sprocket bolts. They take three out. The plus aspect of the nine-bolt pattern is that the sprocket will never fall off.

(2) Maps. The TM presents two maps to choose from by way of an easy-access, handlebar-mounted toggle change. We couldn’t really feel a distinction between the two maps, although. 

(3) Weight. TM should dropkick the kickstarter to save lots of a couple of pounds. If TM is apprehensive about killing the battery, the engineers have to find a better battery. 

(4) Entrance fender. The front fender hits the front tire on exhausting landings. It makes an irritating racket. We shimmed the entrance of the fender up to cease it from hitting but assume that TM should do that at the manufacturing unit. 

(5) Gearing. Commonplace gearing is 13/50, which is just too low. Mild riders like a 14/49 combo, whereas the remaining appreciated 14/50.

An electric start on a motocross model two-stroke is lastly right here.

Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?

A: The like record: 

(1) Brakes. The Brembo brakes with 270mm Galfer rotors are superb.  

(2) Wheels. TMs have had blue Takasago Excel rims for years, simply in case you assume TM is copying Yamaha. We love the polished spool hubs. 

(3) Suspension. The Kayaba SSS forks and TM shock work in unison, and because the forks are Kayaba SSS elements, any suspension guru could make them nearly as good as Yamaha’s version. 

(four) Hydraulic clutch. The self-adjusting hydraulic clutch is great. 

(5) Dealing with. This can be a great dealing with bike. It could actually activate a dime and has good straight-line stability. 

(6) Stability. After years of having to run super-low sag and minimize down the subframe to deliver the bike into stability, we expect the TM 300MX now provides an excellent stability at a traditional sag peak. 

(7) Bars. Everybody favored the oversize Reikon bar bend.

Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?

A: TM’s objective is to double its production numbers from 1200 models to 2400 models a yr. How critical is TM? TM put its Grand Prix race workforce on hold to save lots of the cash to purchase the gear wanted to up its production numbers. TM knows that the U.S. motocross market is the most important on the planet, and to interrupt into it they should build manufacturing bikes that American shoppers will like. Dutchman Ralf Schmidt is the point man within the Americanization of probably the most Italian of all motocross bikes. Luckily, TM has a small European brand that suffered the identical growing pains a number of years in the past that they will study from—that company was KTM. TM nonetheless has some work to do to provide you with the right American template, however the company has made more progress in 2019 than within the 10 years before that. 

MXA’S 2019 TM 300MX SETUP SPECS
This is how we arrange our 2019 TM 300MX for racing. We offer it as a information that will help you discover your personal candy spot.

KAYABA SSS FORK SETTINGS
For hardcore racing, we ran this setup on the 2019 TM 300MX (inventory clickers are in parentheses):
Spring fee: four.6 kg/mm
Compression: 8 clicks out (6 clicks out)
Rebound: 10 clicks out (12 clicks out)
Fork peak: 5mm up
Notes: The Kayaba SSS fork are on the tough aspect. Dropping the oil peak by 10cc increments can soften the feel. 

TM SHOCK SETTINGS
For hard-core racing, we ran this setup on the 2019 TM 300MX (stock clickers are in parentheses):
Spring fee: 4.8 kg/mm
Race sag: 105mm
Hi-compression: 1 end up (1 half seems)
Lo-compression: eight clicks out (12 clicks out)
Rebound: 12 clicks out (10 clicks out)
Notes: In contrast to previous TMs, the stability of the bike is spot-on with 105mm of sag. This makes the bike much easier to set up.

 

2020-BIKE-TEST