high-powered, 250cc two-stroke. It is very fast, and, if you play gun-and-run with it, it is an effective weapon. It does require that the rider be either very skilled or an old hand at two-strokes. A transplant from a four-stroke will corkscrew himself into the ground very quickly. This is not an easy bike to ride. It demands constant attention from your left foot, throttle hand and clutch hand. Going fast on the TM 250MX is a ballet of lightning-quick movements—shift, clutch, rev and repeat. Making matters more difficult, and by that we mean worse, is the lack of an effective low-to-mid transition. Below 6500 rpm there is a power valve dip that makes it hard to glide through a corner at half-throttle on a TM 250MX. Instead, you have to hammer the throttle and jump up on the pipe. The transition from low-to-mid is quicker than the light in a home-schooled racer’s eyes going out at a spelling bee. It goes from no power to max power in the blink of an eye. A word of warning: If your clutch hand doesn’t have fast-twitch muscles, don’t even take a quick spin on a TM 250MX in the pits. It will only embarrass you. Q: WHAT IS THE 300MX POWERBAND LIKE ON THE RACETRACK? A: Incredibly pleasant. There was no way the TM 300MX could push the amount of air that the 72mm piston moves with any quickness. The 300MX revs much slower than the 250MX, It has abundant low end, but falls off early on top. It starts dropping at 8200 rpm and is done by 9500 rpm (the 250MX will rev to 10,500). The TM 250MX works in the upper ranges of the power curve, and the TM 300MX works at the lower ranges. There is the illusion that the TM 250MX is faster than the 300MX. This false sense of power is caused by how hard the TM 250MX hits. The explosive power delivery makes the 250MX feel a lot faster than the mellower power delivery of the 300MX. But, the 300 makes more horse- power, has a broader powerband and is easier to ride. When you start throwing turns, off-cambers and ruts into the equation, the TM 300MX shines even more. It never falls off the pipe. It is torquey. It doesn’t rev, but guess what? It doesn’t need to rev. It does things that the 250MX can’t do, like go around a slippery corner at quarter-throttle. It doesn’t need any help from the clutch. Every MXA test rider preferred the 300MX’s broadside of low-end power, its metered output and its stronger pull into the midrange over the gun-and-run 250MX’s burst of power. Oh, test riders could go fast on the TM 250MX, but at what price glory? They say that there is no rest for the wicked, and the same can be said about the wicked midrange bark of the TM 250MX. It was taxing—mentally and physically. On the other hand, riding the 300MX was a no-brainer. It didn’t ask for your soul before rewarding you; it went fast without divine intervention. Q: WHAT MODS SHOULD EVERY TM RIDER MAKE? A: We know this will sound strange, but both bikes need to be geared down. Paradoxically, both the
2013 TM 300MX: With as much as
seven more horsepower at low rpm
and two horses more at peak, the
300MX is exactly what riders are
looking for in a big-bore 250.