TM Bikes - Opinions?

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2/15/2018 6:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 6:56 PM

My son had a nasty crash over the holiday break and we will be taking a haitus for most of the 2018 season to regroup.

With that said when it’s time to come back I was considering keeping him on a 125 and from what I have been reading the new TM 125 is a great bike. I rode a 16 model a couple summers ago and was blown away.

Parts and realiability do not seem to be a problem but the bikes are pricey. On the flip side you will not need $1500 in motor Mods to make the bike competitive. Though resale could be tough?

I wanted to get some feedback or opinions of the TM.

Thanks!

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2/15/2018 6:55 PM

The 06 125 I have is a great bike. Fantastic quality throughout. MXA had a very positive test of the 2018 125.

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF

2/15/2018 6:58 PM

MPJC wrote:

The 06 125 I have is a great bike. Fantastic quality throughout. MXA had a very positive test of the 2018 125.

What issue did the test? From what I have read the bike lacks bottom but is a rocket in the mid thru top.

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2/15/2018 7:03 PM

MPJC wrote:

The 06 125 I have is a great bike. Fantastic quality throughout. MXA had a very positive test of the 2018 125.

brocsdad wrote:

What issue did the test? From what I have read the bike lacks bottom but is a rocket in the mid thru top.

The latest MXA issue (March 2018). You're bang on saying that it's weak on the bottom but a rocket on top. Just rev it until you think it's going to blow up, then rev it a little more. Great fun!

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF

2/15/2018 7:06 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 7:16 PM

Rode a friends 16 tm 125 mx at a sand track up by be back to back with my 16 tc125. The tm felt taller and longer but had great kybs on it that worked years better then the wp 4cs's. Kind of honda ish in its ergos and very good brakes like the ktm/huskys. Handled a euro ish till i moved the forks up in the clamps and once i felt comfotable i was kinda split on which bike i liked as far chassis goes. Ktm /husky got the slight nod as i felt it turned sharper and without and straightline stabilty sacrficied . Power was good but..... my 16 tc125 felt like it blew the tm away in pure speed and with 125's it hard not get the husky or ktm because of its almost 250f lvl horespower and it's smaller lighter and agile 2016 + chassis. Know you've gone through those and probably don't wanna go the white orange route again but I feel the ktm or husky is a more polished overall package. If the tm made a little more closer to the ktm or husky power it'd make my decision harder. It's such a really trick bike I could drool over for hours.

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2/15/2018 7:09 PM

MPJC wrote:

The 06 125 I have is a great bike. Fantastic quality throughout. MXA had a very positive test of the 2018 125.

brocsdad wrote:

What issue did the test? From what I have read the bike lacks bottom but is a rocket in the mid thru top.

MPJC wrote:

The latest MXA issue (March 2018). You're bang on saying that it's weak on the bottom but a rocket on top. Just rev it until you think it's going to blow up, then rev it a little more. Great fun!

125s are supposed to be ridden on top but I was hoping a stab of the clutch and it would bring it to life? A fast bike is great but it still needs to be rideable. I was told there are some vhm Head options and pipes that help the low end.

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2/15/2018 7:13 PM

brocsdad wrote:

My son had a nasty crash over the holiday break and we will be taking a haitus for most of the 2018 season to regroup.

With that said when it’s time to come back I was considering keeping him on a 125 and from what I have been reading the new TM 125 is a great bike. I rode a 16 model a couple summers ago and was blown away.

Parts and realiability do not seem to be a problem but the bikes are pricey. On the flip side you will not need $1500 in motor Mods to make the bike competitive. Though resale could be tough?

I wanted to get some feedback or opinions of the TM.

Thanks!

bikes are pricey because one guy builds the engine, one guy is responsible for the overall assembly, etc...
TM's don't get stamped out by the thousands

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Many thanks to everyone helping me out this GNCC season: SRT Offroad, Acerbis, FCR Suspension, O'Neal Racing, Evans Waterless Coolants, Rekluse, Twin Air, Braking Brakes, Carbsport

Profile image credit Ken Hill Photography

2/15/2018 7:19 PM

brocsdad wrote:

What issue did the test? From what I have read the bike lacks bottom but is a rocket in the mid thru top.

MPJC wrote:

The latest MXA issue (March 2018). You're bang on saying that it's weak on the bottom but a rocket on top. Just rev it until you think it's going to blow up, then rev it a little more. Great fun!

brocsdad wrote:

125s are supposed to be ridden on top but I was hoping a stab of the clutch and it would bring it to life? A fast bike is great but it still needs to be rideable. I was told there are some vhm Head options and pipes that help the low end.

I find it quite rideable, but I don't really have enough experience on other 125s to be able to offer an informed comparison. I'm much to heavy for them, especially on the sand track I usually ride (it's more for my son than for me). I think the 18 is also vastly different from the bike I have. There's also a 144 if you want a little more grunt.

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF

2/15/2018 7:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 7:23 PM

braaap707 wrote:

Rode a friends 16 tm 125 mx at a sand track up by be back to back with my 16 tc125. The tm felt taller and longer but had great kybs on it that worked years better then the wp 4cs's. Kind of honda ish in its ergos and very good brakes like the ktm/huskys. Handled a euro ish till i moved the forks up in the clamps and once i felt comfotable i was kinda split on which bike i liked as far chassis goes. Ktm /husky got the slight nod as i felt it turned sharper and without and straightline stabilty sacrficied . Power was good but..... my 16 tc125 felt like it blew the tm away in pure speed and with 125's it hard not get the husky or ktm because of its almost 250f lvl horespower and it's smaller lighter and agile 2016 + chassis. Know you've gone through those and probably don't wanna go the white orange route again but I feel the ktm or husky is a more polished overall package. If the tm made a little more closer to the ktm or husky power it'd make my decision harder. It's such a really trick bike I could drool over for hours.

Yeah my kid got s bad taste after the atrocious 4cs forks on the KTM. He loved the YZ handling and the power was great after Varner modded it. Honestly I think the 16 TM I rode was faster than our KTM or YZ. The 18 TM is supposed to be even faster. Though it’s a little scary buying an exotic. That is why I wanted to get some opinions.

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2/15/2018 7:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 7:43 PM

MPJC wrote:

The latest MXA issue (March 2018). You're bang on saying that it's weak on the bottom but a rocket on top. Just rev it until you think it's going to blow up, then rev it a little more. Great fun!

brocsdad wrote:

125s are supposed to be ridden on top but I was hoping a stab of the clutch and it would bring it to life? A fast bike is great but it still needs to be rideable. I was told there are some vhm Head options and pipes that help the low end.

MPJC wrote:

I find it quite rideable, but I don't really have enough experience on other 125s to be able to offer an informed comparison. I'm much to heavy for them, especially on the sand track I usually ride (it's more for my son than for me). I think the 18 is also vastly different from the bike I have. There's also a 144 if you want a little more grunt.

It’s for my son and he currently weighs about 115. He crashed in Florida over the holiday break and broke his jaw and knocked 4 teeth out. They saved 3 but he will need a bone graft and implant in the future. So knowing we would be out for a while I sold the YZ 125. Hopefully we will back this fall but I have concerns putting him on s 250f until he gains more weight.

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2/15/2018 7:34 PM

brocsdad wrote:

125s are supposed to be ridden on top but I was hoping a stab of the clutch and it would bring it to life? A fast bike is great but it still needs to be rideable. I was told there are some vhm Head options and pipes that help the low end.

MPJC wrote:

I find it quite rideable, but I don't really have enough experience on other 125s to be able to offer an informed comparison. I'm much to heavy for them, especially on the sand track I usually ride (it's more for my son than for me). I think the 18 is also vastly different from the bike I have. There's also a 144 if you want a little more grunt.

brocsdad wrote:

It’s for my son and he currently weighs about 115. He crashed in Florida over the holiday break and broke his jaw and knocked 4 teeth out. They saved 3 but he will need a bone graft and implant in the future. So knowing we would be out for a while I sold the YZ 125. Hopefully we will back this fall but I have concerns putting him on s 250f until he gains more weight.

That's rough. Hope he gets better soon and has a smooth recovery. I think it's wise to go to a 125 first instead of straight to a 250f.

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF

2/15/2018 7:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 7:42 PM

MPJC wrote:

I find it quite rideable, but I don't really have enough experience on other 125s to be able to offer an informed comparison. I'm much to heavy for them, especially on the sand track I usually ride (it's more for my son than for me). I think the 18 is also vastly different from the bike I have. There's also a 144 if you want a little more grunt.

brocsdad wrote:

It’s for my son and he currently weighs about 115. He crashed in Florida over the holiday break and broke his jaw and knocked 4 teeth out. They saved 3 but he will need a bone graft and implant in the future. So knowing we would be out for a while I sold the YZ 125. Hopefully we will back this fall but I have concerns putting him on s 250f until he gains more weight.

MPJC wrote:

That's rough. Hope he gets better soon and has a smooth recovery. I think it's wise to go to a 125 first instead of straight to a 250f.

Thanks! No major injuries in the last 10 years of racing but if your in the sport long enough it’s bound to happen. He was on a 125 and riding it really well.

My son is 15 but with the rule changes you can stay on a 125 in the schoolboy 1 and 125 b/c until your 17.

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2/15/2018 9:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 9:22 PM

TM's legacy is high strung engines developed from the Karting world where max HP is King. Improved KYB setups are starting to provide ready to race bikes. Tall rigid alloy frames and the high strung engine have made the bike most suitable for the most talented of riders as they are not forgiving.

There are very few riders that can extract the high rpm power from a 125 efficiently. Those( 5%?) that are capable should do fine on a 250f. The vast majority of developing talent would be better served by some low end power in a 125. While a smaller lighter bike makes sense for developing talent, a light switch engine that falls on it's face with the slightest error does not.

I suspect the new Beta and Sherco, which are likely arriving on the U.S. shores this month, would make a more effective race weapon on the majority of (non hard packed) tracks and for riders learning their craft. We shall see. It is the mistakes that will catch you out, whether it is a stall or the inability to clear a big jump.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

2/15/2018 9:25 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 9:30 PM

If you're willing to travel to Georgia I can probably arrange a test ride on a 18. If anyone is interested in any new TM I can help you out.

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2/15/2018 9:56 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 9:57 PM

That is a great choice and I definately wouldnt go for a 250f just yet.


Id consider this...get a near mint yz125. leftovers or lightly used to save money. Use it to mod a bit (as i heard the yzs have good mid range so the motor might be better) suspension is the same but im sure itd be cheaper.

Use that to let him rip the crap out of it because I think you learn things on a 125 that can be transfered to a 250f. which if you go straight to the 250f you might lose a few bike skills.

Save your money buying a brand new 2019/2020 250f or 250 2t if thats the route hes going in the future.

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2/15/2018 10:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/15/2018 10:24 PM

hyler199 wrote:

That is a great choice and I definately wouldnt go for a 250f just yet.


Id consider this...get a near mint yz125. leftovers or lightly used to save money. Use it to mod a bit (as i heard the yzs have good mid range so the motor might be better) suspension is the same but im sure itd be cheaper.

Use that to let him rip the crap out of it because I think you learn things on a 125 that can be transfered to a 250f. which if you go straight to the 250f you might lose a few bike skills.

Save your money buying a brand new 2019/2020 250f or 250 2t if thats the route hes going in the future.

We just sold a fully modded 17 YZ 125 because he’s going to be off the bike for a while after his injury. I thought we would transition to a 250f but with the new rules going to 17 we may go back to 125s.

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2/15/2018 10:23 PM

Jack_Wagon wrote:

If you're willing to travel to Georgia I can probably arrange a test ride on a 18. If anyone is interested in any new TM I can help you out.

Where in Georgia? I will down that way for SX.

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2/16/2018 5:36 AM

Get it!! Because they're cool! I haven't ridden any of the modern tm's but my first bike was a pink one back in 97-98, so I'm a little biased.

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2/16/2018 6:37 AM

Dont hesitate, they are great bikes!! Years ago the forks were so bad (paioli). These days they are much better tho! Really good power out of the 125 TM's, very reliable too.

I raced a few seasons (98-00) on them, all i ever had to replace was brake pads and top ends. Maybe one o-ring on the clutch slave cylinder. You dont have to buy parts to mod them either because they come with good rims/hubs/spokes/handlebars etc.

As said above they are hand built bikes, quality on the parts and materials are way above other manufacturers.

In short, you wont go wrong with a tm 125

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2/16/2018 8:26 AM

A friend raced them in the swedish nationals and also in the EMX125 class (250 2 stroke now), and fuck me how many engines he has gone through, i dont think i have ever been at a practice with him without him swapping bikes at the end of the day. So 2 bikes at a miniumum is a must for him.
Then comes the fact that he probably laps almost everybody here with ease so take that in to consideration.

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2/16/2018 9:41 AM

Lastander wrote:

A friend raced them in the swedish nationals and also in the EMX125 class (250 2 stroke now), and fuck me how many engines he has gone through, i dont think i have ever been at a practice with him without him swapping bikes at the end of the day. So 2 bikes at a miniumum is a must for him.
Then comes the fact that he probably laps almost everybody here with ease so take that in to consideration.

This ^. Imagine a Pro Circuit full on factory 125 2t build. Fast as hell, short fuse.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

2/16/2018 9:48 AM

Here' some of their state of the art Kart 2t's:

https://italianmotorsusa.myshopify.com/collections/engines-complete-tm

They have some kart engines for over $5k.

TM 2015 Motocross Engine Package $2,998.00 USD

Photo

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

2/16/2018 10:09 AM

I've never ridden a TM, I just wanted to chime in about the yz having a "lacking bottom end'. I've ridden other 125s and the yz has an awesome bottom end compared to some others. Very strong motor. Like someone said, 125s are meant to be ridden up top anyway. Plus the parts are always readily available, and the suspension is the best.

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2/16/2018 6:30 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/16/2018 6:31 PM

Rohr144 wrote:

I've never ridden a TM, I just wanted to chime in about the yz having a "lacking bottom end'. I've ridden other 125s and the yz has an awesome bottom end compared to some others. Very strong motor. Like someone said, 125s are meant to be ridden up top anyway. Plus the parts are always readily available, and the suspension is the best.

Our YZ has good bottom but after the Mods it had great power everywhere. Though retail on that package is $1800.

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2/16/2018 6:50 PM

If you don't wanna go back to Yamaha, TM are nice, but you really ought to be looking hard at KTM/Husky again.. If you don't like air forks, swap them out.

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"Nothing happens until something moves"

2/17/2018 7:40 AM

tempura wrote:

If you don't wanna go back to Yamaha, TM are nice, but you really ought to be looking hard at KTM/Husky again.. If you don't like air forks, swap them out.

My son just doesn’t like the KTM.

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2/17/2018 8:31 AM

braaap707 wrote:

Rode a friends 16 tm 125 mx at a sand track up by be back to back with my 16 tc125. The tm felt taller and longer but had great kybs on it that worked years better then the wp 4cs's. Kind of honda ish in its ergos and very good brakes like the ktm/huskys. Handled a euro ish till i moved the forks up in the clamps and once i felt comfotable i was kinda split on which bike i liked as far chassis goes. Ktm /husky got the slight nod as i felt it turned sharper and without and straightline stabilty sacrficied . Power was good but..... my 16 tc125 felt like it blew the tm away in pure speed and with 125's it hard not get the husky or ktm because of its almost 250f lvl horespower and it's smaller lighter and agile 2016 + chassis. Know you've gone through those and probably don't wanna go the white orange route again but I feel the ktm or husky is a more polished overall package. If the tm made a little more closer to the ktm or husky power it'd make my decision harder. It's such a really trick bike I could drool over for hours.

On a sand track the bikes are lost, like fishes on the dry. But put them on a hard pack track and they will kick KTM/Husqvarna ass. But if you wanna make them competitive in the sand you've a real headache, been there...

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2/17/2018 9:14 AM

I rode an 18' tm 144 a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think it was as fast as my ktm 125. It felt a good bit heavier and came on a bit late. My ktm has a little port work, tumbled gears, and pipe. But all stock outside that. I was expecting more from the tm tbh.

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2/17/2018 11:40 AM

MXMattii wrote:

On a sand track the bikes are lost, like fishes on the dry. But put them on a hard pack track and they will kick KTM/Husqvarna ass. But if you wanna make them competitive in the sand you've a real headache, been there...

Sorry can't agree with you there. In terms of hp the ktm husky has 38. I believe the tm is at 36.5 ? And the yz at 36. The orange and white bikes enjoy a almost 2 hp lead. Another thing to think about is how the tm comes with aftermarket HGS exhaust. If the ktm husky owner installs a exhaust then the hp lead opens up even more. Not trying to start pissing match but it's hard not to see the horespower they have. MYy tc125 felt very potent under load and power from bottom up. whereas the tm power felt like a yz 125 but without the benefit of the yz's power spread. Good power up top but very little margin for error. To the op sounds like your kids pretty fast so maybe he can live with its small power spread so he might be okay. Just saying for genral populace the 2 hp lead ktm has and it's great bottom makes washed up 20 something year Olds like me have an easier time riding one correctly. All 125's are great bikes though so what ever you get the kid will have fun. That's for sure

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2/17/2018 11:48 AM

The TM125 had 38 hp until 2004, then they lowered the power to 36hp to broaden the power curve in 2005.

They increased the power again in the later model year. Can`t remember if it was 1or2 hp gained, But they got some power back again

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